Thursday, February 7, 2013

Brain overload: device too busy

It seems that the 
genius of connectedness offers us too many tempting directions to follow all at once. 

How often do you feel like the student in Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoon, and are tempted to say, “Mr. Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full.”

A disk device can become so overwhelmed with Input / Output requests that at one point it will flash some warning messages asking you to increase your storage, or defragment it, or delete unneeded files. 

But what can we do when our brains are overwhelmed with information?

With all the benefits of the information and communications revolution, we also experience a well-known dark side: information overload and its close relative, attention deficit.

For example, in this age of social media, we create informational flows of near unrestrained magnitude from countless sources. In effect, the sheer amount of information threatens to hide really valuable information.

The traditional process of ‘filter-then-publish‘– done by professional editors – has been inverted to ‘publish-then-filter‘. So now instead of relying on professional editors and librarians to make recommendations, we have to become experts ourselves.

Brain Overload - Visual Summary generated by WebSummarizer

The curious thing about this state is that seemingly accidental recommendations from many sources sometimes result in remarkably high quality ideas – see 

The challenge here is seeing how quickly we can discover them in the atomized universe; this is quite time consuming, which often leads to our brain overload

In parallel to the free-for-all publishing world, we also see trends for using collaborative methods for producing both aggregated and authoritative content that takes advantage of the limitless Web sources and yet can be trusted. Examples of such trends are Wikipedia and professional wikis. This community approach, with a peer review process, for sharing knowledge and learning, manifests our need for creating dependable and trustworthy information sources.

It seems that the genius of connectedness offers us too many tempting directions to follow all at once. Connectedness provides us with a very unrestrained way of seeing events, people, and the world where we are pressed hard to make sense from all the atomized information bits hitting us. This is why we are increasingly turning our attention to such applications as data mining, text mining, and big data.

Deep down, until there is a unified theory of the web, we often need to reach for some authoritative and curated content to keep us on dry land and save us from drowning in information overload and fragmenting our attention.

About WebSummarizer:
WebSummarizer is a powerful text mining and visualization application.  It offers rapid summarization of web pages and documents, creation of personal and corporate knowledge bases

The summarization results are presented as:
•   Visual Summaries
•   Visual Knowledge Maps
•   Tree Views (structured text)
•   Keywords Cloud, and
•   Visual Summaries and Visual Knowledge Maps can be exported to HTML, word editors and mind mapping applications. 

You can summarize text in English, French, German and Spanish.

VISUALIZE and SUMMARIZE web pages and documents with WebSummarizer and BlogSummarizer.

BlogSummarizerWebSummarizer and WikiSummarizer are products of Context Discovery Inc.

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