Information Obesity

Just as with food: too much made for too few, too much consumed. Information obesity is about the glut of stuff that passes as information, that masquerades as good-for-you info, and that isn’t; that ends up bloating your day with distended periods of nothing doing but consuming the Tweets by twits, the blogs by bores, the stuff not that dreams are made of but killed by.

Once, poetry was the speech of the refined and adhered to strict rhetorical principle Qunitillian or Cicero would have recognized. The Wordsworth and Coleridge and the very greatest of then all, Blake, and the other Romantics rewrote the book of poetry out of the language of the common man. A crime, to the hidebound, this endeavour, for it graced the commons’ dross with nobles’ gold, giving the value of graceful form to gutter content: worse than a mismatch, a kind of counterfeit.

Do I think that the information obesity that elevates the most banal to the level demanding attention the same? That it should stay hidden under the rock of private discourse and not shown the public light of day? Neither information anorexia nor bulimia is the answer; starvation makes you not just weak but stupid. Perhaps a simpler answer, to address information obesity. Be selective.

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