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  • Vipul Maheshwari

Information Apocalypse




What?

According to some scholars, living in the 21st century is the best time to be alive. I mean, think about it, we have everything at our disposal. You can talk to a person living on the other side of the world, hear an orchestral musical performance that happened decades ago, watch a sport that being played thousands miles away, learn anything from anyone you want if you don’t like your imbecile college classes.


In particular, as of now, as a species; we have more resources to read, reflect, process and interpret than any of our ancestors counterparts from the history. But there is a cache. This environment gives us more materialistic resources and longest lives than those enjoyed by any of our previous generation, but somehow it often makes us feel alienated, confused, overwhelmed, depressed and pressured.


But why is it so? Why can't we get enough of all the resources. Why can't we remember that tip from a wellbeing article describing about the progressing ways to be focused and more productive. Why can't we read an entire article without getting distracted? Why many of us can't recollect the facts from a book we just read recently!? Why we have a colossal desire to look at what others are doing in their life through the social media! Why our YouTube watch later playlist contains enough videos to answer all these whys but we are still searching for that one magic pill to solve all our problems. The answer is the behemoth amount of information available on our fingertips and our brains haven't evolved to be able to process it all.


From a YouTube recommendation of “How to become a successful entrepreneur,” to an influencer teaching you the fundamentals of cryptocurrency; Never ending feed on Social media platforms, or an article about the benefits of yoga somewhere on the deserted internet site; a morning newsletter from a productivity guru telling you how reading books can make you next Bill gates to a notification pop-up on your phone screen from a premium porn site telling you about their newest state-of-the-art. The list goes on and it never intended to stop.


Why?

But isn’t the very true instance of the 21st century? Of course, the amount of information contained and distributed within few clicks helped us a lot to grow in our respective domains. But since the German artisan Gutenberg invented a printing press in 1468, human minds absorbing the information like a sponge. Later on, when information was digitalized, you could virtually get any information within clicks.


To understand it in particular, let’s hop in to our primitive ancestors from the prehistoric time. Some anthropologists are not sure if our DNA is too much evolved for the last some thousands of years. That means our genome is very much similar to our ancestors dated back to ancient human relatives such as Neanderthals (Homo Sapiens’s closest biological relatives). That conveys we as a species bypassed the original wall of biological evolution, the way we do the things, the way we react or the way we process the information hasn’t been changed a lot for the last some couple of millennia. From the hunter gatherers of Africa to the farmers in the Indonesia and now the modern us, we all three kinds share very similar brain structure besides the progression in technology and lifestyle changes.


Which brings to our reasoning of why can’t we process a lot of information!!

From the studies, the human body sends 11 million bits per second to the brain for processing, yet the conscious mind seems to process only 50 bits per second. That’s 0.00045 percent somewhere. That certainly means you can’t remember what I told you at the beginning of this article. See, you don’t!!


Whom?

From picking your phone in the morning to set an alarm for the next day, information is flooded in your brain and the content rushes at us in the countless formats. A tweet from Elon musk about his new pet, Facebook birthday alerts and mails from Amazon about your recommendation. They all are the part of this. So it’s a lot of stuff, but what’s the problem ?


Just as a detour I would like to mention lithium ion battery (The one which is used in most of our electrical appliances) Lithium ion batteries degrade over time even when they are not used, and when I say degrade I am more into its efficiency to provide your appliances the better battery life. If you use your appliances more harshly, the Li-on battery will degrade much faster. We charge our appliances; we use them; they discharged again and that vivacious circle repeats and in meantime our Li-on batteries degrade. Cool. So what is the point?


Hypothetically, our brains are very much similar to the Li-on batteries. When the abundant amount of information arrives combined with the personal and the societal expectations to answer to every message and text spontaneously, it’s like Li-on batteries in our appliances are rushing at their full throttle, and if you do so repeatedly, your battery, I mean your brain will degrade much faster than you can ever imagine.


How?

Better asked, it’s not about the information apocalypse. Its failure of having a filter. Create a filter which abides by your needs, your domain, your work, your entertainment, your curiosities, your intellectual pursuits, your boredom, your problems and your solutions and examine those filters on the regular basis. I tried to come up with an acceptable or righteous filter model for everyone, but I guess everyone has different priorities and different lives, which means it’s only you who can decide what suits you best. But still, I am attaching something as a reference if you would like to ponder about what the filters are. That’s all for this time. Until then follow the official social media handles on Instagram and Twitter.

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पर्यावरण बचाओ पृथ्वी बचाओ. आवजो.



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