Ask HN (Hacker News)

With the sheer amount of information available in the world today I have simply become overwhelmed. My mind is in a constant racing state. It’s calm but not calm if that makes sense. While I could very well be thinking about nothing or something specific like writing this message. My mind seems to have multiple levels. One of which is directed to what I am actively doing and one below it which seems to process information in a never ending manner. I am not actively thinking about these things but it’s there. Articles and books to read, shows to watch, things to do in my personal life and at work. Career advancement. All of these things just never stop but I could be calm. I can sleep fine, they don’t cause active anxiety. They just linger in the background. Shooting around saying me me.
It’s getting exhausting.

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2 Responses to Ask HN (Hacker News)

  1. shinichi says:

    Ask HN: How can I remedy scatter brain and information overload?

    by coned88 on Dec 6, 2014

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8710006

    This may seem like a silly question but it’s something that’s been affecting me for a while now. With the sheer amount of information available in the world today I have simply become overwhelmed. My mind is in a constant racing state. It’s calm but not calm if that makes sense. While I could very well be thinking about nothing or something specific like writing this message. My mind seems to have multiple levels. One of which is directed to what I am actively doing and one below it which seems to process information in a never ending manner. I am not actively thinking about these things but it’s there. Articles and books to read, shows to watch, things to do in my personal life and at work. Career advancement. All of these things just never stop but I could be calm. I can sleep fine, they don’t cause active anxiety. They just linger in the background. Shooting around saying me me.
    It’s getting exhausting. I like to be informed. I like to know what people are talking about and like to be able to have a point of view. I like to have an opinion and be able to argue it. But I have realized it’s just getting to be too much.

    Currently my instapaper account has some 800 articles I have yet to read. Kindle has about 10 books I want to read. pinboard account has about 100 unread articles most of which are small books.

    Any advice on what I should do? Do I just purge them?

  2. shinichi says:

    Information Sickness: How It Hurts Us And How to Escape

    What happens when information explodes?

    by Charles Chu

    https://medium.com/the-polymath-project/information-sickness-how-it-hurts-us-and-how-to-escape-4a2924800e16

    They call this the Information Age.

    And for good reason.

    If I take all of the information we have today, load it into CD-ROMs (who even uses those anymore?), and stack them, one by one, on top of each other, the pile I make would reach past the moon.

    In The News: A User’s Manual, philosopher Alain de Botton claims that “more data flows into the building [of one major global news organization] in a single day than mankind as a whole would have generated in the twenty-three centuries between the death of Socrates and the invention of the telephone.

    . . . .

    We humans are not built for today’s information-ridden, fast-paced world — there was no Instagram or cryptocurrency to be found out on the African savanna.

    What does all this information do to us? In exchange for what we have gained, what is it that we have lost?

    . . . .

    In the 1990s, the Oxford English Dictionary added a new word to its collection — information fatigue.

    One commenter on Hacker News, I think, describes the feeling quite well:

    My mind is in a constant racing state. It’s calm but not calm … My mind seems to have multiple levels. One of which is directed to what I am actively doing and one below it which seems to process information in a never ending manner. … Articles and books to read, shows to watch, things to do in my personal life and at work. Career advancement. All of these things just never stop … They just linger in the background. Shooting around saying me me.

    It’s getting exhausting.

    I know people who cannot stand to be separated from their phones, to be disconnected from the flood of information that spills out from the Internet. A simple human conversation leaves them nervous. First their legs start to twitch. A few minutes later, their eyes start to race around the room.

    They have become cyborgs, and only another glance at their phone or smart device delivers a moment of false peace.

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