01 April 2008

Selective Information Overload

The title above links to an article on the David Suzuki Foundation website which deals with the problem of information overload and its effect on decision-making. A couple of paragraphs from the article:
When I began my television career in 1962, I thought that all the public needed was more information about science and technology so it could make better decisions based on facts. Well, people are getting far more information today than they ever did 45 years ago. Although there are more facts, there are also more opinions. And we still make ill-informed decisions.

I now believe we are experiencing a major problem in the early-21st century: selective information overload. And by this I mean that we can sift through mountains of information to find anything to confirm whatever misconceptions, prejudices or superstitions we already believe. In other words, we don’t have to change our minds. All we have to do is find something to confirm our opinions, no matter how misguided or wrong they may be.

Read the rest at the Suzuki Foundation website.