An overabundance of junk information

David Eaves wrote a great review of Clay Johnson’s new book The Information Diet:

With information, our problem isn’t that we consume too much. What’s dangerous is consuming an overabundance of junk information – information that is bad for us. Today, one can choose to live strictly on a diet of ramen noodles and Mars bars. Similarly, it’s never been easier to restrict one’s information consumption to that which confirms our biases.

In an effort to better serve us, everywhere we go, we can chomp on a steady diet of information that affirms and comforts rather than challenges – information devoid of knowledge or even accuracy; cheaply developed stories by “big info” content farms like Demand Media or cheaply created opinion hawked by affirmation factories like MSNBC or FOX News; even emails and tweets that provide dopamine bursts but little value.

In small quantities, these information sources can be good and even enjoyable. In large quantities, they deplete our efficiency, stress us out, and can put us in reality bubbles.

It looks like a considered, non-alarmist analysis of the problem, with some good practical advice on how to address it. I just bought it – here’s theĀ Amazon link if you’d like to do the same.