The problem of Information Obesity


I believe Tim Ferriss of Four Hour Work Week fame coined the phrase and concept of a “low information diet”.

According to Ferris: “It’s not enough to use information for ‘something’ – it needs to be immediate and important. If ‘no’ on either count, don’t consume it. Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.”

It occurred to me that you could extend Ferriss’ diet/food analogy. In other words, we are all consuming too many information calories. And, as a result, we are suffering from information obesity. Our brains are getting fat with useless information.

However, what we don’t have is any equivalent form of food labelling for information.  The food we buy has meta data regarding its nutritional content – in other words, we have the opportunity to decide whether to consume based on prior information.

However, with information itself, rather than be able to determine in advance what “info nutrition” the content has, we tend to have to consume it first to find out – by then, it is too late.

Stretching the analogy to breaking point,perhaps  trusted people, media and brands will  become the information nutrition filters that our bloated minds surely crave.

Or do I want my cake and eat it?

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  1. [...] The problem of information obesity Escherman’s Andrew Smith borrows an analogy from Tim Ferris and says we are all consuming too many information calories. He predicts that trusted people, media and brands will become our information nutrition filters [...]

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  2. [...] to 2003. The unstoppable surge of content and data has contributed to what we are now calling ‘information obesity’ and led Edelman’s Steve Rubel to coin the term ‘Attentionomics’; focusing on the difficulty [...]

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  3. […] value of inbound marketing. Content is now ubiquitous and competing for attention in the age of ‘information obesity’ is increasingly […]

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  4. […] standing out amongst all the content in the age of ‘information obesity’ is difficult. Content, just like real currency  is everywhere and ensuring it grabs people’s […]

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