Speed of transfer becomes information overload 13:09 on Thursday

Information overload

How about this:

Information overload is the result of information transfer speeds surpassing the speed of consuming the information. In other words, faster than real-time information transfer.

This applies more widely than just for data transfer and the digital domain. Theoretically a daily newspaper with a huge staff could deliver so much information that even the fastest reader on earth could not read the the whole paper in 24 hours. Most certainly I cannot consume all the daily newspapers available to me in a single day.

But in the digital domain this effect is exaggerated further. This is a bit of kindergarten math, but again theoretically, I can transfer 24 hours of music over my internet connection in less than 30 minutes. That’s less than 1/50 of the real-time speed. For text, the numbers are even more staggering. If a longish blog post loads in 2 seconds and I read it in 15 minutes, the transfer takes 1/500 of the real-time speed.

Of course it is not that simple, but it’s fun to play with the thought.

[tags]information overload[/tags]

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