2012. január 9.

The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson [Review]

According to Johnson there is no such thing as information overload. Rather, we consume junk information produced by content farms. He proposes conscious consumption of information which is not about consuming less, but developing a balanced and healthy habit just like when you go on diet. Although, I don't agree with every word of it, I really enjoyed reading the book as it is full of stories and clear descriptions of various scientific studies.

  • Clay A. Johnson: The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption
  • O'Reilly, 2011
  • informationdiet.com

In the first part, Johnson gives a vivid explanation of the obesity metaphor and describes the symptoms of information obesity. The second part contains practical advises about improving data literacy and how to consume information and attention fitness in chapter 8 which is the weak point of the book. The method describe there is very similar to the Pomodoro technique, and although there are plenty of great books on how to manage your tasks and stay focused (GTD, Personal Kanban, Pomodoro) and the author mentions a lot of studies in the book somehow he forgot to search in this area. The last part is my personal favorite. If we really want to act against information obesity, changing our habits is just the first steps. Johnson calls us for some sort of activism by demanding access to government data, forming local interest groups and start discussing what we can do to change the present situation.

I'd recommend the book to anyone who's interested in media (so virtually everybody). But be warned, this book is not about the practical side of handling the problems of information, but a pamphlet and call for change.

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I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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