Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reading and the Web - Texts Without Context - NYTimes.com

A timely round-up of some important themes

WORRYING ABOUT the public’s growing attention deficit disorder and susceptibility to information overload, of course, is hardly new. It’s been 25 years since Neil Postman warned in “Amusing Ourselves to Death” that trivia and the entertainment values promoted by television were creating distractions that threatened to subvert public discourse, and more than a decade since writers like James Gleick (“Faster”) and David Shenk (“Data Smog”) described a culture addicted to speed, drowning in data and overstimulated to the point where only sensationalism and willful hyperbole grab people’s attention.

Now, with the ubiquity of instant messaging and e-mail, the growing popularity of Twitter and YouTube, and even newer services like Google Wave, velocity and efficiency have become even more important.

Reading and the Web - Texts Without Context - NYTimes.com

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