The Rise of the Infoglutarian and the Future

Too much information running through my brain
Too much information driving me insane
Too much information running through my brain
Too much information driving me insane
I’ve seen the whole world six times over
Sea of Japan to the Cliffs of Dover
I’ve seen the whole world six times over
Sea of Japan to the Cliffs of Dover
Over my dead body
Over me
Over you
Over everybody

This song, Too Much Information, by the Police, was written 24 years ago. What could Mr. Sting now say with the revolution of the Internet and the rise of the Infoglutarian? The lyrics should probably be sung at the speed of an old 78rpm record if not faster.

Like it or not, most of us who write or read blogs are infoglutarians. We “eat” information on a regular basis and our appetites are insatiable.

There is a lot to say about the Infoglutarian. We can talk about the accelerating growth of information over the last two hundred years. We can talk about the burn out professional bloggers, TV anchors, and radio personalities have faced. Many have succumbed to info depression. Some have left their respective fields all together because they could not “keep up” with the daily information stress. We can talk about how to practically handle, aggregate, dispense, and consume information.

There is so much here, that a book could be written. Speaking of books, does anyone know if Dr. Winter’s book on boredom makes a connection between the information glut and personal boredom? Anyone know of other books that address this topic?

What does the future hold for the Infoglutarian? I recently read an article about the participatory Panopticon. In brief, with the emergence of mobile camera phones and imminent emergence of such cameras in glasses or embedded in our skin, everything can and will be recorded. I’m overwhelemed thinking about the idea.

Your thoughts? And does anyone want to help write a book? 🙂


  1. Ron said,

    August 2, 2005 @ 1:07 pm

    “O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
    The endless cycle of idea and action,
    Endless invention, endless experiment,
    Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
    Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
    Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
    All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
    But nearness to death no nearer to God.
    Where is the Life we have lost in living?
    Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
    Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
    The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
    Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.”

    T.S. Eliot Choruses from the Rock

    From a little longer ago, but I thing Eliot still hits on the point. Too much information, loss of wisdom and perspective. I like the word infoglutton, it really captures the point your making.

    I’m not sure it hits on exactly the same stuff you’re talking about here, but Neil Postman’s book Technopoly at least touches on some of these ideas if I remember correctly (as, I suppose, does Amusing Ourselves to Death). I don’t remember if Dr. Winter’s book touches on it, I’ll pull it out tonight take a look.

  2. Just call me G said,

    August 2, 2005 @ 2:38 pm

    This brings to mind the verses in Daniel 12 – But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.

  3. richard said,

    August 3, 2005 @ 4:46 am

    My book certainly deals with this and also quotes or references many other sources on the subject.

  4. Ron said,

    August 4, 2005 @ 9:34 pm

    Obviously no need for me to follow up when the man himself comments!

  5. GS KERN said,

    September 5, 2005 @ 9:04 am

    Paul S~

    Ever since the the Information Age began (the time period of which is debatable, but let’s just say it started in the early 70’s when Bill Gates commandeered CPM, created DOS, and Microsoft was born), the predictability of the Information Glut was a given.

    As you pointed out, with the emergence of such technologies as cameras-in-everything, the sheer *amount* of information available to anybody with an Internet connection is incredible. IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE (or “better”, depending on your perspective). Things like RFID tags, microscopic radio transmitters, sewn into your clothing, into the heat sleeve on your Starbucks coffee, and attached to tires you bought last month (ad infinitum) will all track you, classify you, and let advertisers and governmental “oversight” agencies into the most private corners of your life.

    Indeed, the concept of “Privacy” will be fiercely debated in the coming years, but all for naught: Fences only keep Honest People out, and the same technologies that afford us amazing new ways of enjoying life will also be invisible handcuffs, technological “ties that bind”, imperceptible to anyone except those who have the keys…

    On a related note, I’ve been working, for some time now, on an outline for a book that I might call, “Becoming gods”, which fleshes out the idea that Technology is our modern-day Tower of Babel…

    I know all this sounds very Matrix-like, very Orewllian, but take it from someone IN the tech industry, who has a particular interest in the technological future: What Science CAN do, Science WILL do…

    I spend a great deal of time thinking about ways to use Technology for the CAUSE OF CHRIST… We don’t have long before the Curtain falls…

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