Information Saturation

The BBC had a story about a company called Spritz that claims that they will be able to make anyone into a super speed reader possibly finishing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 77 minutes. Normally as we read, our eyes hop from word to word through the text, with quick movements. The amount of time our eyes linger on each word and the distance they hop changes as the difficulty to comprehend each word changes. While this may not be the most efficient way to input information it does mean that we are not getting information faster then we can process it.
As I read this article I was reminded of a conversation with my brother who works for a large computer chip manufacturing company. It seems that every few years they can make a faster chip but that the market isn’t always ready for the new speed and the innovation becomes a hard sell and yet the technology keeps advancing. Will we reach the point where fast becomes too fast? Will we reach a cognitive overload where we are trying to force ourselves to take in more data than we are hardwired to comprehend in the speed that we believe we should be able to comprehend it?

Information Overload


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