“In the Age of Information, Specializing to Survive”

“At least since the heyday of ancient Greece and Rome, each generation has confronted the overwhelming struggle to search, sift and sort growing piles of information to make what is known useful. “Papyrus, print or petabyte — the history of feeling overwhelmed by information always seems to go back further than the latest technology.” said Seth Rudy, a professor of English literature at Rhodes College who explores this phenomenon in his new book, “Literature and Encyclopedism in Enlightenment Britain: The Pursuit of Complete Knowledge.” “The sense that there is too much to know has been felt for hundreds, even thousands, of years.”…
If the information age makes knowledge seem like a straitjacket, David Galenson, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, notes that progress often hinges on those rare individuals who have escaped its bonds. Artists from Picasso to Bob Dylan and entrepreneurs including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs changed the world by finding “radically new ways of looking at old problems,” Mr. Galenson said. “They cut through all the accumulated stuff — forget what’s been done — to see something special, something new.”
It is why, Mr. Galenson added, the historian and physicist Stanley Goldberg said of Einstein, “It was almost as if he were wearing special glasses to make all that was irrelevant invisible.”
For many who don’t share that kind of vision, the response to information overload is simple: Just search and forget (repeat as necessary).”

The rest of this isn’t totally worth reading, it’s sort of fluffy, but I think about this problem all the time and I liked this summary.

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