One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Information overdose

Before defining what I mean by “information overdose”, let me bring
to you the context of information overdose,
In most of nations (At least few that I know ) there are two groups of
people, those who see everywhere corruption and evils ruling over
nation and those who look at the nation as an invincible force that
has bright future and picture even the dark sides as strength of the
nation. If you are familiar with current Pakistani media, you may
know two names; Hassan Nisar… who is famous for seeing
darkness ruling not only on current Pakistani society but was also
ruling on the whole Muslim history. Opposite fit to Hassan Nisar is
Zaid Hamid…who is notorious for preaching invincibility of
Pakistan and Muslims. This is not just the case for Pakistani
media….you will find similar groups of people in US, India and Iran
and so on (I am talking about Pakistan, US, India and Iran because
I know intellectuals from these countries with skewed world
views...mostly because I know the dominant languages spoken in
these countries).
This is not just true for national level media but also prevail among
common people.
When I was teaching at high school, I had regular argument with
one of childhood friends who was telling that all our youngsters
have corrupted with all sort of evils (he was witnessing all these
happening) and I was arguing that our youths are excelling in all
spheres of life (and I was witnessing all these). As we both had
ample evidences so none of us were convinced at the end. The
difference was our sources of information.

Similarly, some of older generation complain, how our nobles are
corrupted with all sorts of evils. I can’t argue with them (they know
more than me) but I see good and bad people both among youngster
and elders.

Whenever I face these situations, I remember these three
paragraphs from 1st chapter of JEROME K. JEROME’s book,
read in my college time… (I am sure you will enjoy reading it..
though the language is more than a century old)……

“I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the
treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch—hay
fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to
read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves,
and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which
was the first distemper I plunged into—some fearful, devastating
scourge, I know—and, before I had glanced half down the list of
“premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly
got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the
listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to
typhoid fever—read the symptoms—discovered that I had typhoid
fever, must have had it for months without knowing it—wondered
what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance—found, as I
expected, that I had that too,—began to get interested in my case,
and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically
—read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the
acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s
disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so
far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with
severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born
with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and
the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s
knee. I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be
a sort of slight. Why hadn’t I got housemaid’s knee? Why this
invidious reservation? After a while, however, less grasping feelings
prevailed. I reflected that I had every other known malady in the
pharmacology, and I grew less selfish, and determined to do without
housemaid’s knee. Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would
appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I
had evidently been suffering with from boyhood. There were no
more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else
the matter with me. I sat and pondered. I thought what an
interesting case I must be from a medical point of view, what an
acquisition I should be to a class! Students would have no need to
“walk the
hospitals,” if they had me. I was a hospital in myself. All they need
do would be to walk round me, and, after that, take their

Though Jerome wrote this book in 1889 but the way he described
information overdose is still valid (I would rather say, it is more
relevant to our age than Jerome’s time). After having the context, I
think you are ready for definition of information overdose,

“Exposure to definite sources of information skews our opinions
and world views. And we start looking at things distorted and this is
the biggest symptom of information overdose”………………….

If you start reading a book on symptoms of diseases, you will
definitely find some of those symptoms in you. I am sure that you
have come across comments filled with hatred (I am sure because
you read news on internet and you see these comments at the end).
People from different cultures, regions and religions talking (with
evidences based on News!!!) about evils in others… I have only to
say, “You guys are suffering from information overdose…. Stop
reading the book of symptoms or you will start seeing it
everywhere”… I wonder in an age of information, people do not
diversify their sources of information and let their minds get
skewed by information overdose (They see all the darks in others
and all light in themselves…. I call the information overdose as the
neo-ignorance… to make it look philosophical – Philosophy is what
I have overdosed myself LOL……..)

Well, as it is the age of information so is the age of democracy
(freedom of information and freedom of expression)…. People are
free to stuff their brains with whatever they

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