As a society, we human beings now generate new information faster than anything else that we've ever produced in history.
People generate new information all day long, not just by writing and posting videos, but also through our consumption, our reactions, our trackable behavior and our habits. We even generate new information when we are asleep, in the form of brainwaves!
And humans aren't the only things that generate new data. Our machines, buildings, automobiles and infrastructure are becoming network-aware. Even livestock, oceans and the sky above our heads have been wired to transmit data. The entire planet is being wired together, extending our human perceptive apparatus to global scale.
The sheer amount of information generated by humans and our mediated environment is increasing at a staggering exponential rate, doubling every two days. And that's just the beginning of an incredible transformation.
Most people experience this increase as "information overload" because it's hard to adjust to a world where everything we knew (or thought we knew) is changing so rapidly. And that's why many pundits decry this change as a bad thing.
But it's possible that the surfeit of information is a very good thing. In fact, it's likely.
Historically, every major advance in human civilization has been triggered by new ways to communicate and share information. And now the number of ways we have to communicate is about to explode.
Those who complain about shortages of resources, water, energy, are missing the point. The resources that we have on this planet have always been here. There is no shortage of resources: there's only a shortage of information. New information yields new, more efficient ways to manage resources and obtain the results we seek. A quick look back at history reveals massive inefficiencies that were surmounted by a breakthrough in information (not an increase in raw material).
Today we're producing information faster than ever. And therefore the odds are greater every day that we'll discover new breakthrough technologies and more efficient means of managing society.
Every aspect of human society will eventually be transformed by information, from law to education to health care, media, entertainment, democracy and manufacturing.
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