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?