Authority Unloaded: No Limits to Information Overload

“The forward-thinking librarian understands that Shirky’s ‘everybody’s coming’ is the future. We are now living in the chaotic world, and we do not have a choice regarding where we can position ourselves. Our choice lies in how we respond. If we continue to respond to chaos using tools from the old world of control, then we will always fail.”– Michael Stephens, “Embracing Chaos,” Library Journal

“…algorithmic authority handles the ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’ problem by accepting the garbage as an input, rather than trying to clean the data first; it provides the output to the end user without any human supervisor checking it at the penultimate step; and these processes are eroding the previous institutional monopoly on the kind of authority we are used to in a number of public spheres, including the sphere of news.”–Clay Shirky

“Filters no longer filter out. They filter forward, bringing their results to the front. What doesn’t make it through a filter is still visible and available in the background. …filters have been turned inside out. Instead of reducing information and hiding what does not make it through, filters now increase information and reveal the whole deep sea. … There is no hiding from knowledge overload anymore.”–David Weinberger, Too Big To Know

“I think that information overload has nothing to do with filter failure and everything to do with filter success. We have developed filters that are very good at bombarding us not with extraneous, uninteresting information but with information that is immediately pertinent to us. So I think we’re going to get more information overload with better filters, because there’s no limit to the information out there that is interesting to us.”–Nick Carr

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