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Is the Information Overload a New Concept?

Ann Blair, a professor of history at Harvard University and the author of Too Much To Know: Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age, doesn't think the information overload, as a concept, it is a novelty.

From her post at Boston Globe (We have stressed the ideas important to us):

    In the academic world, critics have begun to argue that universities are producing and distributing more knowledge than we can actually use. In the recent best-selling book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr worries that the flood of digital information is changing not only our habits, but even our mental capacities: Forced to scan and skim to keep up, we are losing our abilities to pay sustained attention, reflect deeply, or remember what we’ve learned.

After comparing the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, she concludes:

    Some of our methods are similar, and others are completely new. Search engines like Google harness technology to do something that wasn’t possible earlier: using algorithms and data structures to respond to search queries that have never been posed before. Many of our tools will no doubt rapidly become obsolete, but a few of those may spawn useful offshoots, just as the note closet enabled the growth of sophisticated catalog systems.

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