Information overflow

What happens to us as we stand in a storm of information?

The information overflow is steadily increasing. We are bombarded by information from countless channels – newspapers, TV, radio, billboards, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, sms, Linkedin, Google+, Diaspora, Trello, e-mail lists, forums, face to face conversations, phone, phone apps, blogs…

With such a massive amount of data, how do we cope? How do we sort? How do we sift? What to trust, and what to ditch?

On February 16th, I will be holding the opening speech at the CIO forum in Oslo. And with people like you reading my blog, I would be stupid not to ask for your views.

I am not simply looking for how you think we should handle massive data, but also what it does to an individual, to our society.

Gimme your take on the human aspect of the information overflow.

Update: My post after the talk.


98 thoughts on “Information overflow

  1. (1) I think that the individual must have a criterion using which to sift data.

    (2) That criterion would be what is most important to a person at any moment.

    (3) The importance would have to be determined by what the person is trying to accomplish

    (4) The person who would be most overwhelmed is the one who is not very clear about his purpose.


      1. I guess that the volume of info is somehow proportional to the “wideness” of the purpose ( = lack of a narrow, precise definition), and also that a “sea” of info should be the first hint that the purpose should be re-evaluated … 🙂

  2. “With such a massive amount of data, how do we cope? How do we sort? How do we sift? What to trust, and what to ditch?”

    LOL, even on the subject of information overload there’s an overload of information! But I still figure the way to go is to find out what those who have already studied the issue (since it’s a huge one) have discovered and what they advise. One recommendation I’ve seen is to read reviews, on books or whatever sources of information. At this point, I think Vinaire said it right – it comes down to indivudual choice, depending on purposes.

    Or even ask people like Geir, who for example recommended on one of his blog posts. Here’s a good tip I found on another blog, for researching on the internet:

    “Since so much of what we learn comes from the Internet, knowing how to write more specific search strings can go a long ways toward refining your options. For example, putting a phrase in quotes “like this” is a great way to avoid results that contain the words, but not the phrase you are looking for. Adding + to a word will make sure it appears in the results while – [minus sign] will make sure you don’t get any results that contain that word.”

  3. I can’t add anything more than what Vinaire and Miraldi said, because I don’t think there is any more.

    You just have to be very selective according to your fields of interest.

    I not only refused to get on the social media things like twitter and facebook, etc. but am afraid to.

    I may in the future, as I come to terms within my own mind about the need for such things.

    I do not yet know how these medias will benefit me.

    I know there is a lot of businesses operating and increasing sales via them medias, but I am not there.

    I have never been one to get on the latest bandwagon or latest gadget.

    I love knowledge that is useful to me, and I read books and search the net for what I want to know.

    If the economy depended on guys like me, there would not be an economy.

    I am similar to Warren Buffet, he lives in the same little old house he did before he became wealthy.

    His neck ties are old and worn out and still wears them in public.

    I think he said once during an interview on TV that the tie he was wearing was 30 yrs old.

    He does not buy anything that the does not need. He lives like a middle class man or even like a low middle class man.

    Yet he controls much of the economy.

    The main difference between him and I, is that he has money and I don’t.

  4. Here is some of the things a person can do:

    (1) Take some time off to totally relax.

    (2) Let the mind wander on its own and notice where the attention goes.

    (3) Make a list of all the things that come up in the first fifteen minutes.

    (4) Group these items in major categories that are meaningful to you.

    (5) Sequence these categories according to your purpose.

    (6) Use this sequence to sift and search data that deserves your attention.



  5. When doing and electrical troubleshoot, I sometimes must confront say hundreds of wires at a time. I do this by focusing my attention on only what I possibly could be looking for, by confronting only what could possibly be causing my problem and I studiously ignore everything else.

    I have tinnitus, but my hearing is fine. I deal with the constant electronic squealing “in my ears” by focusing on sounds that I want to hear and translate and studiously avoid listening to any other wave length.

    1. I ‘hear’ ya Chris. I have tinnitus too. It’s annoying- reeealy annoying. Oddly it started emanating from a point *outside* my head – rear left and then the little rascal moved in on me.

      Must have been those Steppenwolf, Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath & Jethro Tull concerts I went to 🙂

  6. I had the occasion to work with a group of generation Y people whose lives are characterized by constant immersion into chat, email, facebook, Internet, ipad, iphone, etc. They generally multi-task on a continual basis, will facebook while watching a movie on TV, email while sitting with friends for dinner, and no one even remarks on it. Drives any older generation people crazy, with the constant shifts of attention or half attention.

    – after several days of constant contact, their level of agitation rises, then they shut-down and refuse or limit all contact, referring to this as chilling out or time out. They may not respond to anyone when they are chilling out. A mini chill out would be going for a walk. They all did this.
    – they rapidly became impatient with what they consider to be added inapplicable information — get to the point!
    – zero interest in drama queen behavior, consider it a major waste of time and tune out immediately, ending off the contact and suggesting the person needs to chill out.
    – they develop what I’d call focal points — kind of similar to foraging for a particular plant in a field of grasses and plants. They skim over or scan information, seizing only information that could be useful to their focal points, often following up such a lead with great thoroughness. They see people coming into their lives as information sources, undoubtedly attracted to offer needed info relevant to the focal points.
    – none of them took offense to being told, I am busy, I have to get back to you and no offense was expected.
    – interest and use of any kind of mindfulness, focusing or synergistic techniques.
    – subscription to values/states such as respect, love, concern, law of attraction and synergy.
    – heavy into music, dance, physically active group activities as a counter to heavy inflow of information and during those times no connections to information are continued.

    1. Astute. I can name many examples of your post. The art of communication is suffering in favor of quantity of information.

      I suppose my question whether this is good or not is laced with too much “drama.”

      1. LOL. I asked that very question. I was treated to a lecture about the importance of being connected and assured that if I increased my number of connections, I would feel much better and I would do better in life. One offered to teach me all about facebook and twitter and another offered to help me set up my cell phone so it would be an excellent organizer, everything at my fingertips, making it possible for me to maintain contact anywhere there was a cell tower!

      2. Actually, they are in more communication with others than I have ever been in my life. They have ADDED the electronic side of communicating, not replaced communicating. They do not spend much time gossiping, talking about other people or really on much introspection. They’re busy and very active! They value positive behaviors and focus. And they value each other. Very much. They don’t dwell on the past, they prefer to focus on “be here now.” And don’t get me wrong, if one of their group gets into personal turmoil, is really not doing well, they offer support and kindness and do whatever they can to help the person weather their storm. They just don’t care for manipulative drama queen behavior and consider it to be on the order of some kind of weird temper tantrum, best ignored.

        I am aware that many older generation people find this a difficult way of living and being, accustomed as they are to chatting to catch up on the news. These guys keep in constant contact and so there’s no need to “catch up” on the news. When they get together, they do things — they don’t usually just sit around chewing the fat, or watching TV, or having long discussions about what happened at work, gripes and complaints. They are not comfortable with long visits with relatives where everyone sits around eating and chatting about inconsequential things. They get pretty antsy in that type of situation, preferring to be doing something — dancing, singing, watching a good movie, tobogganing, swimming, walking, listening to music and so on. Of course, there are those that are solidly into Internet games (that’s a whole other breed of cat) that offer no live human interaction, but this group didn’t do that.

          1. They put me in mind of your “hive” idea. Because they are in constant contact, they are very fast to respond and to create opportunity. i.e. they pretty much know what the others are doing and where the others are and they “converge.” Kind of like a traveling tribe that is never really out of contact. One day one of them went to do a task downtown and encountered an event, reported on it, and they decided to go there and meet up. It wasn’t really planned, yet it was planned on the fly. Another instance, one was setting up an event and was missing something needed, quick text to get another to stop on the way to the event and get the item. It really was amazing to see them moving along almost like a flock of wheeling birds, using their devices to enable connection and convergence.

        1. Whoa, Maria, maybe that’s the whole appeal – there in fact IS more actual communication with electronic forms, at times, just because of their nature. What you mentioned as regards sitting around chewing the fat about inconsequential things and the long visits with relatives, etc. – that was a big part of my rationale for joining the Sea Org. I wanted to spend myself and my time on meaningful things.

          And I’m also reminded of the comm we have on these blog discussions, being as rewarding as they are. Well, whaddayaknow, maybe modern-day communication does have its superior aspects, just depending. I’m so glad you described this angle.

          I also think there can be a pendulum swing – too much of one extreme makes one yearn for the other. And it sounds like some of the young ones are able to keep it in balance.

    2. Hmmm, sounds like you’ve got children … 😀

      I observe the same with mine, they have adopted that heuristic approach from somewhere, def’nitly without me teaching them. 🙂

      And yeah, I think that these are the ones to study, they are the natives of that world, we’re only their ancestors come from another “continent” … 😀

      1. Tor: I can’t exactly call them children anymore! 🙂 they are all grown up generation Y children. And yes, they are natives of that world!

        1. Hehe, my youngest (of three daughters) is 17 1/2 … Heed the word of the prophet : “You may try to be like them, but do not try to make them be like you !” (or soemthing like from Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” …) 🙂

  7. I don’t think that the actual amount of information we take in has changed. It just comes in different form. Without the internet, or computers, or the TV, or the radio, or books, or writing, or even speech, we took in information from our environment at the same rate we do now.
    Only significances have changed.
    I think we categorize it as we have always done – stuff that agrees with us we remember, stuff that contradicts us we forget or ignore, stuff we like we notice, along with stuff we reject that we can serfac on…

  8. The information ” overflow ” starts when the reality or familiarity of your public segment is not taken into account when the information is prepared and delivered, so i say:

    (1) The CIO ( or any person for that matter ) must have a criterion on what his company is willing to deliver and what is familiar to his public segment so he can sell from this properly to his public segment.

    (2) May be the most important could be adressed on a gradient from the familiarity point with small inovations at every step so familiarity can be absorbed.

    (3) The importance would have to be determined by what the person is trying to accomplish

    (4) If familiarity was taken into account in this process, then overwhelm will be small or non existant.

    The individual do not pay attention to the un-familiar and social noise increases.


  9. The MOST IMPORTANT element in managing information overload – people.

    This is as old as time. I don’t study law, I use a lawyer. I don’t know how to use a fancy HP Calculator, but if I REALLY NEED to use one, I can call Geir and pay him a professional fee for help me crack that tricky HP Problem to help me become a master of HP Nerd-Fu.

    Much of information management in an overloading world can be handled with human terminals and maintaining healthy relationships with human beings is crucial to be able to quickly sift and target key information needed at key times. Keeping it all current? Well, that’s what secretaries and research assistants used to do.

    People. They cost money and time and amazingly enough, we used to ONLY rely on people.

    Okay. Time for a triangular concept map cuz we GOTTA have one because it’s an unwritten rule here! 🙂

    1. Interacting Human Terminals
    2. Organized Reference Matter (Online and Offline)
    3. Organizing and Prioritizing 1 and 2.

    1. How many people are hiring people to do the following?

      1. Run and write a person’s Social Networking needs and blogs?
      2. Manage Electronic Communications? (We laugh at non-tech types who delegate all this high tech stuff to their secretaries who verbally ask their boss what to do and he tells them.)
      3. Organize crucial industry information according to relevance at the time?

      Companies have org charts but FEW INDIVIDUALS do. And the difference between those who are amazing and those who are “okay” is their own “Individual Org Chart.”

    2. Interesting Sit-Com example:

      In the sit-com “30 Rock,” Jack (The CEO) has an assistant who shows up with INDEX CARDS and quizzes him daily on the crucial information he needs to know. Jack DOESN’T study. That’s what his guy does. And then his guy DOWNLOADS what Jack needs to know in five minutes a day.


  10. I observed a system for a company that had hundreds of employees. They taught employees to mark their internal email with a code for priority and urgency. Highest priority went to important/emergency communications. Highest urgency went to time sensitive communications. It worked quite well, when they checked their emails they could quickly pick out the urgent and important communications, addressing those first. The rest could wait, be picked up during off-peak times. Personal assistants rated emails from external sources for high traffic executives and service personnel, sorting them for the executives. The assistants also prepared responses as feasible and saved them as drafts. Sometimes they would just send an acknowledgment and let the person know that they would get back to them asap.

    Most of the employees let communications go to voice mail, picking them up and handling them every hour and half to three hours. Execs had assistants who fielded all their calls, handling whenever possible, stacking and prioritizing return calls as needed.

    Only the marketing department handled updating and responding on the social networking sites such as twitter, facebook, etc.

    Assistants also read longer communications and research materials and summarized them, often bookmarking the materials for quick access.

  11. Some thoughts:
    The older the person owning a phone, the more critical it is to actually answer the phone. My mother-in-law. She trips over chairs, and herself, to answer the phone.
    Her mother, 95 years old, would break her hip in an attempt to answer a call. The reasoning is that, if the phone rings, it must be answered.

    I do not observe younger people the same way. The younger, early teenage, the more screening of calls.

    Just this week, two people asked me about Geir not answering his phone 🙂
    They had called him on his phone but Geir didn’t answer. I asked them “Do you think Geir must answer his phone if you call?” In both cases they thought the idea of choosing not to answer to be very strange. They almost seemed a little hurt.

    In answer to your question “what it does to an individual, to our society”
    I think it makes many people find an easier way to significance. We all belong to be significant.
    This is part of the reason why I always say (with a smile) “i’m popular today!” when my phone rings. Doesn’t matter who is calling, but somebody needs to talk with me. I’m popular. If my phone doesn’t ring, I can always logon to facebook, where my real friends are….


    1. “If my phone doesn’t ring, I can always log on to facebook, where my real friends are….”

      Or we can check out our email from friends – or check the blogs for replies to our comments or to see which comments we want to reply to and maybe get an exchange going. I’m not as familiar with chat and texting or the social networks, but I’ve wondered what the basic appeal is to all this electronic type of communication (which can even be addictive – literally, it seems).

      But, Bren, you include the old-fashioned phone and say it’s about the desire for significance. I was thinking of it in terms of the desire for communication, but that probably also comes down to something like “significance”. We all want to be recognized in the sense of being “duplicated” or “seen” as to who we are, and vice versa – i.e. we want to have real contact with others, to touch and be touched in the spiritual sense. And too, there’s a certain type of creativity to communicating in writing vs. live speaking – each has its appeal, as with all varieties of creativity. But this is a whole other topic.

      On the subject of inflowing information in general – the driving force is probably the same basic one of a desire for significance or to be in communication with others. Even the one-way flow of inflowing information seems to come down to how it will ultimately promote significance and communication between individuals. And this gets back to the principle of – what is most relevant to one’s purposes. That seems to be the thing to focus on and organize one’s time and attention around. It’s a stable datum to keep from being overwhelmed.

      1. p.s. Come to think of it (duh) have you found that either of the other two needs for study tech, MU’s and skipped gradients, have been a problem with execs as relates to information overflow (or whatever)? And if so, have you been able to help them out in a way that was acceptable to them (i.e. probably not presented as Scientology)?

        1. Sorry, this should have gone other my post about lack of mass. But if you like, you can answer too, Bren!

        2. Evaluation of data is more important than skipped gradient or lack of mass in most instances since those two barriers are rarely encountered compared to actual evaluation…

    2. Nice Bren, this is really well observed. “… makes many people find an easier way to significance”, wish I’d formulated that sentence myself …

      My boss asked me why I tended to put read-receipt-requests on my mails. I said that I would never bother call him or anybody else to follow up a request if I knew that they hadn’t read it in the first place … I try to allow people to take the time to answer my mails properly, when they have the time. If the issue was really critical I wouldn’t have relied on mail at all …

  12. Quite many approaches can be taken to this subject I guess, this only one :

    I will claim that the overflow has always been there, it has just changed,
    our skills of perception and also discarding info has done the same.

    Eg., think of a native (red) indian living in the jungles by the Amazonas.
    His/her infomation overflow is (as for us) in the surroundings, but their’s are in the form of smells or lack of smells, sounds or lack of sounds, colour of the plants in the jungle, how hard the path is to step on today etc.

    From all this information they sift out something and search for other things.
    They also interprete this info for their life : Are there dangerous animals close, is it the time for looking for plant X that be eaten or anything.

    All that knowledge they have gained through learning as a need to survive.

    Most of this knowledge is no longer important to the modern man, you’re not afraid of being attacked by a tiger if you’re walking in Hyde Park, but if you’re a walking in a alrge park in say Berlin, you may notice a sign saying “Beware of boars” and may step a bit more careful …

    I think it is the same way about all our computer based information, we sift out some, search for others, and all this due to a more or less conscious knowledge of what need or not, what is credible or not …

    Myself, I’ve found (after some thinking) that I sort info in three dimensions :
    Relevancy, intent and credibilty.

    The first is highly is highly subjective. I don’t care about knitting or baseball or cricket, so that I discard, (but at the same time I sub-consciously notice where this kind of can be found and what it looks like). I’m interested in soccer and music, so I read some about this, and notice carefully different places where this can be found.

    The second is a bit more obscure, I try to notice what I feel about a certain page, on whether the “publisher” is seriously trying to convey some piece of information or if he/she is mainly trying to catch my attention for some other reason, to be able to count clicks as means of selling ads on that page or getting to buy something …
    I believe my “feelings” come as a sub-conscious analysis of all those things I see without really noticing them, like headers, ads, formatting, layout, younameit …

    The third is more of a subjective evalution of the publisher’s general credibilty, meaning to which degree this actual info can or should be trusted or not. Eg the tabloid papers or a statement from certain politicians do not hold a very high credibility with me, but other sources can be trusted to a certain level.

    Some of these dimensions also do have the in-betweens, like the semi-relevant or sometimes-credible stuff.

    It might be obvious that I prefer relevant info with high credibility and a “pure” intent, and that I will shut a lot of the other things out …

    And, one must be aware that even the most credible source at any time may be wrong, eg. I am quite certain that one billion chinese must be wrong about at least one thing at any time …

    On top of all these, I sometimes go randomly about just to override alll the “need-based” sifting and to try to maintain an open mind …

    1. I believe that any overload of information can be handled easily when one knows how to sort out data rapidly. Here the knowledge of Data Series may help greatly.

      (1) Look at the purpose of the activity of which the data is all about.
      (2) Rapidly work out the ideal scene for that activity from its purpose. This may be a recursive action as one proceeds.
      (3) Knowledge of ideal scene shall now help one notice the outpoints of omitted data, altered sequence, added falsehood, dropped out time, altered importance, etc.
      (4) Narrow your attention to the area where the density of the outpoints is the greatest.
      (5) Repeat steps 1 to 4 for the narrowed down area.
      (6) Continue steps 1 to 5 until you find the why that is causing all these outpoints.

      This is the fastest way that I know of in understanding the area I am confronted with. One should not waste time with what is consistent. It is the resolving of inconsistencies observed that helps one rapidly go through a massive amount of inflow.

      Once I understand what is going on, I have more freedom to address what I want to.


        1. Outpoint is simply a point that is out on a scene. I don’t know how much you are familiar with Scientology materials. But I would certainly recommend studying Data Series written by Hubbard.


    2. “It might be obvious that I prefer relevant info with high credibility and a “pure” intent, and that I will shut a lot of the other things out …”

      Hi, Tor. (BTW, are you called “Tor” or “Tor Ivan”?}

      Geir mentioned that he used “evaluation of data” as regards information overload, and I remembered a recorded lecture by L Ron Hubbard called “Evaluation of Information”. And then I realized that the method you describe above captures every point LRH made in that lecture, from what I recall of it. So, in my book, you are in very good company with your “evaluation”. 🙂

      Plus, I like your additional “I sometimes go randomly about just to override all the ‘need-based’ sifting and to try to maintain an open mind …” Great point there too.

      1. Thanks Maridi, I really had no idea about that LRH-approach … 🙂
        I was just trying to analyze my own “filtering” …

        Else, the name is Tor Ivar, the rest is the family name but I guess you’ve figured that out … Ivar is a relatively usual name in Norway.

        Also, the biggest trouble with all the info is prioritizing one’s time I guess, for me it’s a kind of cost/benefit-trade-off, how much time am I iwlling to spend compared to the benefit I can gain from getting the info. But I’m sure most of you find all this is rather obvious …

        1. Oops – I see I accidentally changed Ivar to Ivan. I just meant to ask whether you are called “Tor” or “Tor Ivar”.

          Yes, the big question is about time, prioritizing it. I think again of something LRH said in a lecture – he had realized that all of his problems came down to time, and that with enough time absolutely nothing would be a problem! I thought that was pretty interesting – and true.

          Where you mentioned above about your analysis being “sub-conscious”, I wondered if you were using some of that intuitive ability that runs in your family. 🙂

          1. Hehe, NP, I use both both names, yes, so it’s Tor Ivar … 🙂

            I’m not sure of what I do, it’s really trusting one’s gut feeiling, which I again believe is my brain analyzing all those things one sees, but don’t articulate or quantify … I guess a bit like my native indian who realizes all is quiet, too quiet, and concludes that some wild animal (eg a Puma) pbbly is present … 🙂

            … and with enough time, alas … 😀

            1. Tor Ivar – had a hunch the two names might be what you normally answer to. Okay, cool.

              Well, I’m not sure that it’s just the physical brain at work but the mind as well – as a non-physical entity. Or it is physical but of a lighter energy than that of the physical universe, the same way emotions are energy but are non-physical – i.e. smaller wave lengths than any of those in the electromagnetic spectrum. (Yes, these are Scientology ideas. I’m indoctrinating you, watch out. :D)

              Speaking of emotion (and since you seem to be a right brained kind of a guy), ever felt not your own but someone else’s emotion – so strongly that it seems palpable? It can actually feel like something has “hit” you or impinged on you physically but in a different way than your own emotions do – and you can tell it’s coming from the “outside’. Or maybe what is being felt is the being itself, its “presence” – which I’m not sure equates to his or her emotion. It might, though…

              But as for thought – like your native Indian, I think all of us at times shuffle so fast through the mind’s data base of energy recordings as to not even know we did so. But alas, we can’t always beat out time that way. 🙂

            2. Oooooh, my God I’m scared … (by the your indoctrination … 😛 ) 🙂

              Personally I believe that the MIND actually, whereas the brain is a part of, is doing this, collecting all kind of images from the “outer” world and look for patterns. If there’s one thing mankind really is good at, it’s recognizing patterns I think. But HOW alll this actually happens, I don’t know really …

              Else I’ve never really FELT other people’s emotion, not that I can say. But, I think I am quite sensitive at picking them out … ‘f you see the difference … Maybe that’s why I tend to be talking all kinds of crazy (or rather say depressed or with a disturbed mind) people every now and then … … if they believe that I can sense how they feel ? I’m really not sure, I’ve just accepted it … 🙂

            3. “But HOW all this actually happens, I don’t know really …”

              You can find some answers to that in…Scientology :P. I think you would find that your idea about patterns is right on the mark. You might even find out that your sensitivity at picking up people’s emotions can be explained.

              But, lucky for you, I no longer feel that everyone should or needs to do Scientology. So don’t be scared 😀 (and thanks for the chuckle).

            4. Hehe, like one of my daughters usually say : “Lead me not into temptation, I will the way all on my own … ” 😀 … But, seriously, I am not afraid of indoctrination. That is one of the dangers of a open mind, that somebody wants to “set” it. So thus I question most things I get into. There is a fiiiine balance between experiencing and accepting. One may experience things without accepting and one accept wihout experiencing … The trick I think is to always hold these two options open : “I may be right, but I could be wrong” …
              In another context I’ve described as ” … committing sins with open eyes … ” 🙂

            5. Your daughter seems to have a similar sense of humor to her Dad’s. 😉

              On the more serious note, what you described sounds like the scientist’s approach – maintaining an open mind while at the same time being critical (you called it questioning). I try for that approach too. 🙂

            6. “gymkhana”

              Horses, motorcycles, or cars?

              Actually, I know nothing about it, but I did check out a video – whoa! Don’t tell me your daughter….???

            7. Hehe, my daughter did some like this when she was 15-16 … 🙂
              … on horses, mainly ponies … 🙂

              But she had read somewhere, and I hear her refer this to her friends (at an age of 15) a desciption of Gymkhana :
              “Two people on a horse, looking like they are doing something from Kama Sutra but where only one of them has read the book … ” 😀

            8. LOL

              I guess there was no dearth of information back then either (keeping it on topic, ha ha :-D).

              And I get the idea there was freedom of communication in your household. Very cool. 🙂

            9. Well, so much for my English, it’s taken me a week to realize that’s a real word and not just a typo error … 😛

              Also I had to go via Italian to get it xlated into norwegian … 😀

            10. Oh wow – that’s funny :-D. Actually, I don’t remember the last time I came across that word. It just popped to mind. Even Chris commented on it to the effect of how uncommon it is. But I figured you might know it with all that classic English literature you’re into (a likely place to find it). And if not, I assumed you had an English dictionary – no?

              Anyway, your English is already pretty good but stick with me, kid, and we’ll grow your vocabulary. 😉

            11. Thanks m’Lady ! (Deep bow)

              Actually it doesn’t translate to Norwegian in Google Xlator …
              … so I just assumed …

              But thanks again …

              .. and yes, there no lack of comms between me and my girls, and at times quite open … … like some months ago when my youngest came along and asked if she and some friends from her class could sit in our apartment on the coming Thursday, …
              ” … because are going to DO some biology … ” -^ 😀

  13. As long as attention can be kept close to its optimum level, no information overflow will occur.

      1. 🙂
        I guess aberration ( A-B errare) can result from nformation overflow.
        An engram or trauma can be seen too as result of information overflow

        1. KHTK has nothing to do with handling an engram or trauma. If KHTK is practiced, any traumas will simply dissolve gradually in the background.


  14. Totally contrary to my original post and point of view, I got this on an email this morning:

    “Companies are increasingly relying on social networks such as LinkedIn, video profiles and online quizzes to gauge candidates’ suitability for a job. While most still request a resume as part of the application package, some are bypassing the staid requirement altogether.” – Rachel Emma Silverman,

    The Wall Street Journal, No More Resumes, Say Some Firms.

    I will likely have to catch up with the times soon.


  15. Geir, I think in your speech you should in some way advise (with the appropriate R) keeping a balance of mass and significance. In fact, one way to choose sources of info would be with preference to those with photos and such. If nothing else, one might at least know to alternate between taking in a lot of info and doing other activities that involve a degree of mass.

    Another principle is the one of inflow and outflow – alternating between those two so as to not get a stuck flow that pulls in mental mass and makes it difficult to get through a lot of data. If, for example, the executive has an assistant who sorts and summarizes information for him, any 2-way comm between them might be helpful in itself.

    For the same reason, participating in peer forums could be a good choice for sources for information, as there exists the outflow/inflow principle of 2-way comm. And this, as with an assistant, also amounts to a kind of sorting and summarizing – as well as getting a variety of viewpoints. Even on a flow 3, reading comments between others, there are these benefits – possibly including the one of balance between inflow and outflow (the same way photos and the like can substitute for the real thing as regards mass). Besides, with 2-way comm there is a synergistic bonus of some kind, IMO.

    Now, if you were somebody else, I would also be suggesting such things as working out a “process” and sticking to immediate relevance, etc. But, obviously, you have all that covered in your speech already. 🙂

    1. hehe

      Nice contributions – yeah from everybody here.

      I am looking at doing some crazy drills with the crowd – as suggested by bren in the office today. I want to get them moving. Any suggestions for some rattling drills?

            1. I can picture you and Brendan up in front – improvising in wild abandon :-D.

              If you do like the idea, here are a couple of verses that the video left out, which further break the ice:

              You put your nose in,
              You put your nose out;
              You put your nose in,
              And you shake it all about.
              You do the Hokey-Pokey,
              And you turn yourself around.
              That’s what it’s all about!

              You put your backside in,
              You put your backside out;
              You put your backside in,
              And you shake it all about.
              You do the Hokey-Pokey,
              And you turn yourself around.
              That’s what it’s all about!

            2. Chris, I figured that Geir would either laugh out loud or smartly realize that this simple little kids’ song and dance can work for adults just as well – to get them moving and the circulation going. It would have to be done right, I know, but I can easily imagine Geir and Brendon leading the group with contagious enthusiasm – calling out the body parts in Norwegian, as needed. Even the stodgiest and stuffiest of businessmen would come up tone.

              I think it was Gabby Hayes in those old, old movies on TV, who would say: “It’s so dern crazy it just might work.” 🙂

  16. “Look at an email”
    “Assign its importance”
    “How does its importance compare with lunch?”
    “Now reassign it”
    Repeat till cognites that none of it matters a damn, usually.

    1. Agree Roland. I routinely receive emails from people who use email as a substitute for doing work. “Useless rogers and wilcos” and all manners of non seq BS which waste both my and their time.

  17. It is funny the one that is done holding strings or ropes between two or more participants . As a group activity it teaches phisically about the existence of communication lines and increases the willingness to reach each one of the participants. The distance can be shortened to increase tolerance of proximity till the point in wich they can be hugging each other freely . You can add a ” hello ” or a name or post title to this actions.

  18. ” With such a massive amount of data, how do we cope? How do we sort? How do we sift? What to trust, and what to ditch? ”

    I prioritize incoming communication. If it is an emergency or directly has something to do with the task at hand, I will look at it and act. Any other communication in a business setting is filed and I decide when & how or if I will act upon it at all.

    Trust, truthfulness and intent when it comes to social media to me is a wild card and a judgment call. In the absence of ‘live’ communication all manner of mis-duplication can occur. Failures to spot tone, lack of intonation, body/theta language can result in arcx’s.

    When I look at my kids and the time spent texting, I see a world going out of comm – I mean real communication. When a 2 or 3 or even 10 minute phone call would swiftly cover what needs to be said, they will sit & text for hours. My daughter was even texting her girlfriend while sitting on the same freekin’ couch … :-(. Yes, I know – turning one’s head 90 degrees and actually speaking must be a real chore. I guess she is saving her neck muscles for some other purpose. 🙂 As an aside, we have a rule in our house that texting, etc are suspended while eating – hell, it’s about the only chance I get to actually talk to these guys.

    Another pet peeve of mine is people talking on cell phones in restaurants or on the bus … man, some of the conversations are wild. To me it is simple etiquette and manners. I don’t want to hear about Grandma’s hip being replaced while eating my prime rib.

    When I see some chats where Person A posts ‘I have to go to the washroom’. Then, the person posts that he/she has returned from the washroom and you get a pile of posts saying ‘WB’ (welcome back). I’m rolling my eyes. – like … do I need to know this?

    While some types of communication like email and Skype have really enhanced one’s sphere, some of the other media to me has pulled the general public into a world devoid of one’s surroundings & environment.

    I have a blackberry – I use it to talk when I need to. I don’t like texting – my thumbs are too big for those miniscule buttons and I spend more time correcting mistakes when I could have simply called and answered.

    To me, live communication is where it’s at.

  19. I also noticed that all these different types of media are flows and different types of flows.

    If I spend days and days only on email and the net surfacing, I tend to go crazy.

    I have to talk to people, especially someone of comparable magnitude to me.

    Now that being said of me, I heard some where and I think it was on TV, that the kids who use texting primarily instead of talking to people do not develop their personalities and speaking skills properly.

    Same with kids who do not socialize but spend all their time on line, they do not develop their personalities and social skills and people skills.

    That brings to mind another experience of mine on the topic of flows, which I did not realize until now, were “flows” problems. I used to work in remote drilling camps (bush camps) in my 20s and 30s. We used to have 6 week shifts of 24/7 12 hour shifts, then two weeks out.

    Coming back into civilization was a weird experience. You did not know how to talk to people or socialize with people. It was an awkward experience. It took a week or so until a person got used to it. We called it being “bushed”. It just occurred to me that they were “stuck flows”, I guess.

    ( I did not do any official study in scn on flows (I have not the bridge, but only studied the books and been on fz lists since they began) , so I only that the problem would be called a “stuck flow”. Correct me if I am wrong.)

    I also just thought the astronauts who spend months in the space station likely experience something similar. But the difference is that even though they are in the space station, they are always talking to mission control and probably their families too. But coming back to earth, will still take some time to adjust to normal life.

    But in the bush camps, we had no easy communication with the outside world, at least in those days. The supervisor had a radio in his office, that one could use in emergencies, if needed, but normally we would not talk to anyone outside the camp for the six weeks or even sometimes a twelve week stint.

    So my point is that these are all flows and in the case of surfing, email and texting, if we ignore verbal comm, it will cause maldevelopment or and aberration on other flows.

    I can see these kids who grow up with texting and etc. ( I will call it extreme electronic non verbal comm) developing into a different kind of being. They will be difficult to communicate with, for parents and other old timers.

    I have heard parents on tv discussion panels, complain about their kids, about them being unable to sensibly comm with anyone, or something to that effect.

    So I think you should mention those points in your presentation.


    1. Wow, Dio, you made it more real with your bush camp example and the other data too, as to the effects of this modern-day communication scene.

      Here’s what LRH says in Dn 55 (the book on communication) about stuck flows:

      “There is the manifestation, then, known as the “stuck flow.” This is one-way communication. The flow can be stuck incoming or it can be stuck outgoing….

      “A failure to complete a cycle of communication will leave some part of that communication in suspense…. And this will stick on the track, it will float in time, it will restimulate. It will attract and hold attention long after it has occurred.”

      It makes sense that it took you about a week to destimulate, after being 6 weeks in the bush (I believe LRH says that destim takes 3-10 days). You had plenty of inflow (of your surroundings) but no chance to outflow.

      1. p.s. Here’s another quote, from the Tech Dictionary. Stuck flow: “A flow which runs too long in one direction can ‘stick.’ It will not flow longer in that one direction. It now has to have a reverse flow run.”

  20. Miraldi,

    Thanks for your commentary and the data on flows.

    The new generation of tech kids, will create a very different world.

    They will need scn tech for some different reasons than we did.


  21. Someone may have mentioned this in the 96 comments already posted, but faced with more information than we can possibly assimilate, we are forced to reject or ignore most of it and be selective about what we focus on. And what new information do we accept? Usually that which agrees with our already accepted paradigm.

    The ironic result is that the more information that is available, the less likely we are to change our minds, and society is becoming increasingly polarized because of it. This is reinforced by Google trying to anticipate what we are most likely to want to see and optimizing our search results for us.

    Back in the 50s and 60s there was a very successful entrepreneur named Joseph Cossman, who sold ant farms and shrunken heads through ads in comic books. He made it a practice to go to the library, pick a shelf at random and find a book on that shelf to read. That way he came across information that otherwise would have eluded him and he attributed his success to this rich source of new ideas.

    I think in this age of information overload we need to make an extra effort to let in information that doesn’t fit with what we already believe. It’s the only way to grow.

  22. He he, Geir, what you ask here is pure theory. In practice, when you will be in front of a real auditorium, you’ll see how the flow of your ideas will come and your tongue will be linked to your brain. Nobody, even you, will be able to tell the source of your ideas: Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. It’s something natural, without a logical explanation.

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