A Touch Of Whimsy – IT or DT?

I am back from Benares and Allahabad, and I have gone straight into the zone of being completely disorganized. I managed to download my photos, and categorise them in to where and when I took them. I do not think that I took too many pictures – about 2,000. But, I don’t feel like looking at them this week.

However, I have an idea for a post, based on the last two pictures that I took at Allahabad Station.

The data that my brain picked up during the week has left me completely fogged. Rather, it has left my brain completely fogged, and I do think that it coincides well with this time of the year when the mornings in Delhi are filled with smog, leaving the sun almost eclipsed by the smoky delight.

However, as I thought about the data that my brain is about to attempt to process, it jumped to two random thoughts.

Thought number one: I have read reports that say that we receive, or get, as much information in a week that a person living in 1800 received in a year.

Thought number two: Most medium to large sized departments have an IT Department, and the IT business is growing rapidly. “IT”, of course, stands for Information Technology.

Google has been one company that seems to have been relatively more honest in (not) stating that it’s business is founded on data.

In my humble submission, information is data that is processed by the brain, and can be acted upon now, or later. The manner in which this data is processed depends on your upbringing (as in schooling, environment, the kind of friends you keep etc), your attitude, your job. It is also influenced by such factors as the environment. Do you have the time to sit in your office, look out onto the lush green meadows outside, and chew the cud as your brain leisurely works on the problems of the world. Or, are you being bombed, and all that you give a shit about is finding shelter and wondering if that crazy bomber is targeting you specifically. Or, if your concern is just finding that next plate of food.

Of course, if you are a busy executive, and love to centralise information (data), do you have the time to read all those newsletters that flood your various inboxes?

We do have the spectacle, at least in India, of screaming and yowling newscasters, yipping away and frothing at the mouth, more intent on becoming celebrities than providing well thought through analysis.

Can we even trust the ‘data’? There was a little snippet in The Times Of India, about a fashion show being held with the Qutb Minar being in the backdrop. While I abhor the tastelessness of such crass commercialisation, there was this gushing writer who spoke about fashion in a Mughal setting. Evidently, she had no time to brush up her history, else she would have known that the Qutb Minar predates the Mughal Dynasty by 300 odd years!

So, my friends, are we truly in the information age, where text messages and power point presentations present information in a meaningful form?

Or, are we in the age of hysterical data overload, too much for our tired, addled and worn out brains to adequately process?

32 Comments

  1. For me, it definitely is hysterical data overload! I’ll give you an example! I told you how my parents wanted to buy a place in Benares, when in fact, they wanted it in Haridwar!! πŸ˜› May be I got confused because a major attraction at both places is Ganga Arti, or am I still hysterical?!!!! Haha!

      1. I have been to Nainital for a summer camp!! The treks were so beautiful!!! I remember an uphill trek to a point from where we could see the snow capped himalayas in the distance!! Such a beautiful sight!!

        And yes, I do agree with you there. I think Indian tourists are very irresponsible. And some of the most indisciplined ones you could come across!

  2. I humbly think we’re living in an age of too much data OVERload. I’m not surprised that we in our modern era are bombarded with more data in 1 week, than someone in 1800 would have to process in a year. 😦 😦

  3. Information overload is indeed a huge issue and I know my brain discards that which it thinks is irrelevant just to cope. The problem is, the discarded bytes aren’t always irrelevant to me! Result: near senile behaviour! 😦

  4. No information overload at all. Brain can deal easily with all that whatever it faces. It’s just a matter of selection.

    BTW, one should not forget his genetic IT-data which, plays a not too small a role in forming one’s own personality … πŸ™‚

    Thanks for this most interesting read and many greetings from Germany (as usual),
    Salva

  5. If information is the result of processing data, and data is a sufficiently complete set of facts about a specific topic, very little of what we get on TV news or news websites can be considered information. Most of it is opinion which is just someone’s emotional reaction to a fact or event, and the writer often will not report facts that do not support his or her preconceived conclusion. It’s pretty easy to spot a misleading or opinion-based article by the weasel words, hyperbole and absence of citations.

  6. You seem to draw a parallel between the “smoky delight” of the Delhi air to the information overload of the internet. I like this comparison. In fact, another term for information overload is “data smog.” I think to breathe safely through all the smog we must take it slow and easy and be very careful and selective in how much we take in.

  7. HI! This is not dark! I loved this for sure! You are so right. I have decided that you need an executive assistant to organize you! I would apply but I am already taken! However I do offer my assistance in providing fonder for jokes and all things silly and nonsensical! πŸ˜›

    1. Oh, for the most part, you will be disappointed by Benares. It is a dirty, stinking city. What charm the city has, lies in the Ghats, and Sarnath. Even the Ramgarh Kila is sad. So are Munshi Premchand and LB Shastri’s birth places.
      I was there 15 years back, shooting with B&W film an colour. The old colour shots have life. There was too much smog this time.
      Having said that, you should visit.
      No cameras allowed in the temples, especially the Kashi Vishwanath. You cannot even photograph the KV Temple from the outside

  8. Hi Rajiv.. Really enjoy reading your thoughts!
    Yes data overload seems to be the trend with lots of people in overload mode, going through the motions.
    Being still at times is very important if and when we can ( my thought) 😊
    Hope you had a good week away – enjoy goung through your images.

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