...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Too much information?

Wonderful. We now know far more current detail about what's going on than we could ever need. We know President Bush wrote--or answered--a note about a needed "bathroom break" at the UN the other day, because a Reuters photographer shot it over his shoulder.

We know Senator Coburn from Oklahoma worked on a crossword puzzle during yesterday's Roberts confirmation session, because a TV camera over his shoulder caught him at it.

With email-pals and blogs, not to mention traditional media, these micro-events fly in our faces. Get used to it--we choose to watch the screens.

In the too-much-info market everybody needs a lead every few minutes. Senator Coburn's multitasking sparked a whole column for Max Blumenthal, and comic relief for the WaPost. It's impossible to say how much ink and pixels flowed from Mr. Bush's urgency emergency.

Can we make sense of it all? I offer you comfort. We don't have to process everything, and not every behavior snapshot is significant. Except as material for everybody with a deadline, from Max Blumenthal to Jon Stewart. Hype is a growth industry that recycles its waste.

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