Sunday, May 20, 2012

Too much data

                     "Data,data everywhere,nor any byte to devour".A modern Mariner navigating the high seas of the web, would have this cried out in desperation.It is estimated that the data generated by us doubles every year.Creation and dissemination of data has never been so easy and so instant as it is today.Everyday we produce millions of smses,emails,blogs,tweets, videos,news articles with accompanied comments in their billions and all other forms of digital junk.From being on the lips of buzzword-savvy IT industry, "Big Data"entered the policy discussions of powerful governments.Let us here understand how this data deluge affects our mental harmony.

                        As Jeffery D sachs observes in his book The price of civilization, "Our brains hence personalities,decision making capabilities,and values are subject to extensive and continued neural rewriting over time.We are also what we see and hear,since these literally change our brains,minds and future judgements".

                       We are consuming more trivial information than is necessary for the sane functioning of the mind.A forwarded mail flashes until you are forced to open it.We are  exposed a portion of a shared video even we are least interested in viewing it.As over exposure to easily available porn induces men(includes woman) to crave for more of it,for the same level of short-term dopamine boost  which affects their social behaviour,or just like the ubiquitous availability of  fatty foods and refined sugars that appeal to our tongue and assault our health,overexposure to digital information affects our mental make-up.
                       The interconnected maze that is the web,makes us difficult to seek the content selectively without consuming some of the related offerings.When you search the you tube for a particular video,you seldom come out without watching at least one of the suggested video.Cometh the digital social network,that promises to turn each of its member into an ego maniac narcisst,where maintaining social relation reduces to performing in a circus show organized in a vanity fair.In this virtual world you are measured by the size of your uploads.You are what you brag.Every one can become an armchair-anything.You can be an armchair patriot,an arm chair social activist,an arm chair humanitarian,an armchair art afficinado,an arm chair sports analyst,an arm chair economist,an arm chair culture critique,in short a life size hypocrite.Only here you  will have the opportunity to experience the sort of tranquil bliss when you are instantly made aware of "what's on the mind" of your friend's friends's friend's distant relative.When you are greeted by  many on your birthday,you would start wondering for some time(if not, it is not your mistake),what made your birth worth remembering its day by so many friends.No!, I don't say it is the remainder that starts flashing on the dashboards of every one you befriended that alerted them in advance.Because,be it is in fact a daemon they configured,that greeted you automatically.You return their(the automatic programmes') well wishes with a heartful thanks for "making your day".

                               You would naturally "like" in a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling" a few among the million  photographs of your friend's puppy uploaded on the occasion of her(the dog)finding her mate.Oscar Wilde would have attributed this reflex action to "emotions recollected in the rebirth".            

                                Reading news paper was once a simple and short affair of reading some  news,editorials and op-Ed.Not any more in their electronic avatar.Lot of news on the homepage,with loads of trivia.With links to videos and blogs by experts.pop up of news items related the one being read.some analyses like five ways to  impress your boss to 10 ways to endure this crap sold in the name of news et cetera.
                              In an increasingly philistine world that storms us with information,what we need now are effective filters to save us from junk.Wish my browser intelligently alerts me if I navigate deep into the interconnected links from where I have begun.Pray my conciousness guides me in limiting my web usage to moderation.

Disclaimer:This writer is found to suffer from delusions of supreme grandeur,hence rightfully considers himself not only an expert on everything but also as the brightest beacon whose light  will illuminate the oncoming world civilization in the moments of its darkest moral crisis.He is not in anyway responsible if your mental harmony is afflicted beyond repair after your reading this blog post.




  1. Awesome blog Veera. Loved the sarcasm. Yes, we are living in a digital swamp and the spider is casting its data web everywhere. Our minds are getting skewed by the data we come across and we are product of what we see and experience. Hence the phrase- what we see is what you get(WWSIWYG).

  2. Thanks Abhishek.
    It looks quite difficult to escape the trapping of this spider than we imagine.