This is a pretty simple, encouraging and practical book by John Naish. It has lots of amusing personal stories, statistics and pop science. A little smug at times, but in a lighthearted rather than nasty way.
It’s an exploration of how we always want more. More information, food, stuff, work, options, happiness, growth. If we like something, we try to get more, but now we have so much of everything that we can’t use it. Yet we’re still striving.
He shares his opinions on how to break free from the world of more, for our sake and the earth’s.

Enough information.
We are being drowned in our own data, we are info-hoarders. John Naish loves numbers… “We are bombarded with 3,500 sales shots a day… 6 trillion business emails were sent in ’06… More new information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000.”
He suggests evolutionary psychology as a cause of our insatiable drive for more information, not to mention food, work and possessions too. Our brains are wired to survive in dire times where there was never enough information, food, etc, so we instinctually gather and stock up more.
That ‘click’ feeling of comprehension, is rewarded by a release of heroin like opioid chemicals in the brain.
As other priorities like food and safety are easier to achieve now, infomania can run wild.
The problem is that too much information causes stress, confusion, addled brains, short attention spans, and a great deal of wasted time. We are so wired to gather information, that we no longer do anything useful with it. Instead of filtering for relevance and quality, we digest a heap of things but only vaguely comprehend them. Then rush to try to make sense of it all…by geting more information. His remedy?

Take a data diet.
What’s the optimum level of information you need to thrive? Anything more can create mindfug. Treat infotainment warily, as habit-forming substances to be consumed only when they offer potential to enhance life.  Treat ads and marketing as toxic, they intend to make you dissatisfied with the life you already have.
I am going to stop channel surfing, buy less books, download less articles and go online only twice a day.

Rediscover Space.
Find new enjoyable productive things to fill in your spare time. Your personal downtime is so precious that marketing companies and multinationals spend billions of pounds every year trying to take it away from you.
Use my time to read more books and draw!

Go for local news.
Our thirst for knowledge can keep us glued to 24 hour global news channels…which is really about our ancient human need to know all about the people immediately around us. Watching constant news has become a replacement for gossiping with our neighbours. Seeing catastrophe makes us fearful of the world outside. Knowing the locals extends our sense of security beyond our front door.

Human contact fosters warmth and trust, try to aim for face to face contact rather than email, and email rather than mobile, mobile rather than text. “Delete any email with a red exclamation mark – if the sender is so devoid of social skills that they think they can barge into the queue for your head space just by wielding brightly coloured punctuation, then they have nothing useful to communicate.”

Limit interruption.
It takes about four minutes to recover from an electronic interruption and regain your train of thought. So if you have 30 emails throughout the day…you get the point. By age 75, most of us will have spent 12 solid years watching t.v.

I learned a new word today,
ennui: Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom.
That is often what i feel, which i think has led to my infobesity. Checking my emails, facebook, ebay, sufing the web, gathering up interesting sites and blogs i come across. I have folders and subfolders of research articles that will take half my life to read! Yet i still collect them! I do feel overwhelmed by all the information that exists. So now i will try to filter , and to use it more wisely.


About cornstalk
Corn. Singer. Nurse. Lover of music. Pursuing God (trying...). Secluded. Pianist. Wannabe gypsy. Silly.

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