Press Release: December 12, 2011
The Information Diet--New from O'Reilly Media: A Case for Conscious Consumption The modern human animal spends upwards of 11 hours out of every 24 in a state of constant consumption. Not eating, but gorging on information ceaselessly spewed from the screens and speakers we hold dear. Just as we have grown morbidly obese on sugar, fat, and flour—so, too, have we become gluttons for texts, instant messages, emails, RSS feeds, downloads, videos, status updates, and tweets.
And just as too much junk food can lead to obesity, too much junk information can lead to ignorance. The Information Diet (O'Reilly, $22.99 USD) shows you how to thrive in this information glut—what to look for, what to avoid, and how to be selective. In the process, author Clay Johnson explains the role information has played throughout history, and why following his prescribed diet is essential for everyone who strives to be smart, productive, and sane.
"2012 aims to be more filled with junk information than any other year in human history," notes Johnson, the founder of Blue State Digital, the firm that built and managed Barack Obama's online campaign for the presidency in 2008. "That's why it's time for an Information Diet."
In The Information Diet, you will:
- Discover why eminent scholars are worried about our state of attention and general intelligence
- Examine how today's media—Big Info—give us exactly what we want: content that confirms our beliefs
- Learn to take steps to develop data literacy, attention fitness, and a healthy sense of humor
- Become engaged in the economics of information by learning how to reward good information providers
Just like a normal, healthy food diet, The Information Diet is not about consuming less—it's about finding a healthy balance that works for you.
New Year's Resolution
O'Reilly Media founder Tim O'Reilly, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, LifeHacker founder Gina Trapani, and The Onion digital director Baratunde Thurston are among those joining Clay Johnson in making The Information Diet their New Year's resolution. Please join them:
"I've decided to be much more selective about what information I feed my head."
"80 percent of Americans suffer from information obesity. That's not true, but it could be!"
"I'm cutting out low-quality information and I feel happier and more productive!"
—Jennifer Pahlka, Founder, Code for America
"My attention is the most valuable resource I have. I can protect it with an information diet."
—Hilary Mason, Chief Scientist, Bit.ly
"Unconscious consumption squanders our precious attention."
—Ev Williams, Obvious Corporation