The Open Book World vs. the World of Information Overload

Mark Cuban has an interesting post about how "information overload" is a myth, that we've moved to such a point of aggregation (think Techmeme) and access (think Google) that we no longer have to worry about when where or how to find information - we know that when we need it we are sure to find it. That life is now an "open book" test.

It's an interesting thought - in reality, we have so much access, that we can become experts or catch up on any subject at any time. I haven't been to a library in years, and researching something happens every day. But now with all this access, I am acutely aware of just how much information is out there, and it comes at such a rapid pace that I tend to feel - if I don't read ALL THE TIME I'll fall so far behind that it will be too late to catch up.

Techmeme for example is great, it aggregates the major tech headlines, and for most people that should be enough - but if I don't read in detail the 80+ feeds I have saved every day, I'm worried that what slips between the cracks of Techmeme (a personal Techmeme built ontop of Google Reader would be a game-changer) will be more important, and if I don't catch it today then it will be burried by 200 more articles tomorrow.

I have, for the most part, given up books - but I read for hours a day, between blogs, news sites, email, twitter and more. With greater access, I feel a need to consume faster and consume more, and rather than getting easier, it's getting burdensome. At some point I need to step back and accept the idea of "open book" life, it seems the only way to manage the information overload.