Flash of genius: The dark side of the information revolution
Author, "The Shallows"
The era of big data presents incredible opportunities -- smarter cities, stronger companies, faster medicine -- but just as many challenges. Storage is scarce, systems overloaded, governments and businesses know too much. The world now contains unimaginably vast amounts of digital information, which is growing exponentially. Managed well, this data can be used to engineer new engines of economic value, unlock scientific breakthroughs, and hold politicians accountable. Managed poorly, it can cause great harm.
The financial crisis showed that complex models that analyze large quantities of data do not always reflect financial risk in the real world. The financial crisis was sparked by big data -- and there will be others. But the data deluge will also generate millions of new ideas for how to solve big problems, build new markets, and expand existing ones. Ideas Economy: Information is a fresh look at knowledge management for the information age.
The Economist will bring together theorists, strategists, and innovators who understand how to harness data to create value and advance individual, corporate, and social good. We will sift through the vast quantities of current thinking on data to uncover the best ways forward. And we will apply the lessons of the Ideas Economy, about innovation, human capital, and intelligent infrastructure, to uncover new sources of growth and accelerate human progress across the globe.
A former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, Nicholas Carr writes and speaks on technology, business, and culture. His intriguing 2003 Harvard Business Review article "IT Doesn't Matter," was an instant sensation, setting the stage for the global debate on the strategic value of information technology in business. His 2004 book, Does IT Matter? : Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage, published by Harvard Business School Press, was a bestseller and kept the worldwide business community discussing the role of computers and IT in business. His 2008 book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, examines the future of computing and its implications for business and society. The Wall Street Journal says The Big Switch is "destined to influence CEOs and the boards and investors that support them as companies grapple with the constant change of the digital age."
A prolific and nimble thought leader, Mr Carr has written more than a dozen articles and interviews for Harvard Business Review and writes regularly for the Financial Times, Strategy & Business and The Guardian. His articles have also appeared in the New York Times, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wired, Business 2.0, Boston Globe, Industry Standard, The Banker, Director, BusinessWeek Online as well as in his popular blog, Rough Type. He also edited The Digital Enterprise, a book of HBR writings on the Internet. Nick's newest book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, examines the intellectual and social consequences of the Internet. It has received unprecedented international acclaim and has been reviewed in all major news publications.
Mr Carr has served as a commentator on CNBC, CNN, and other networks and has been a featured speaker worldwide at industry, educational, and government forums. In Spring 2008 CIO Insight named Carr's Does IT Matter?, one of the all-time "Top 15 Most Groundbreaking Management Books" and Ziff Davis included him as one of only a handful of IT management thought leaders on their "100 Most Influential People in IT" list. In 2007 eWeek named him one of the 100 most influential people in IT and in 2005, Optimize magazine named Carr one of the leading thinkers on information technology. Earlier in his career, Carr was a principal at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A., in English literature, from Harvard University.
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, explains why the human brain struggles to process information that is presented "with the intensity and the quantity and the speed we find ourselves surrounded by today." Revising the 1956 psychology paper, "The Magical Number Seven," Carr explains that our working memory -- everything comprising the consciousness at a given moment -- can only hold between two and four items at a time.
Weekly magazine of news and opinion, founded in 1843 and published in London, generally regarded as one of the world's preeminent journals of its kind. It gives thorough and wide-ranging coverage of general news and particularly of international political developments that bear on the world's economy. In accord with the views promoted by its founders and conveyed by legendary Economist editor Walter Bagehot, the publication maintains the position that free markets typically provide the best method of running economies and governments. North America accounts for about half of its total readership.
Yes it is disappointing to see that information that should be accessible for educational purposes - which is what I would use this video for - is out of the reach of educators such as myself because of the cost. How is it that an hour long recent drama from HBO cost $2.50 on itunes and this video of Nicholas Carr would cost me $10.95 every time I want to show it to my University students!!
I think you do have, at least in part, a good point there. Great information should realistically available for all and right now most on here is overpriced. This defeats the purpose, or at least my purpose of sharing good info and helping make people aware of certain topics.
This somehow becomes a bit elitist which is what the majority of messages are trying to fight against. :-/ hmmmmm
$199.00 to watch this guy and what? Have 60 days of "free" access to what, exactly? Some kind of "conference" while I sit at home in front of my computer watching recorded people talk? This is a conference? And for two hundred dollars? I don't even like this guy!
I think your ideas are very valid. However, I don't think equating conscious with working memory is quite accurate. Consciousness does not rely on memory once established. I don't remember not to smoke, however I am conscious about the dangers of smoking and so my behaviour is acted out through my consciousness and I do not smoke.
All behaviour is acted out through our consciousness. awareness is the first step, understanding the second, and as understanding grows, consciousness blossoms. Working memory in fact facilitates just the immediate and can be quite void of consciousness.
Information derived through our natural state, our unmediated state, contributes more to the growth of conscious than any information derived through the digital world. The distraction of the information overload diminishes our consciousness which takes place in real time ... Right now. The level and intensity of distraction has reach a point were people can literally fall asleep to their lives and thus inhibit their evolutionary growth in their own consciousness.
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