Too Much Good Stuff? LO3673

Jim Michmerhuizen (
Sat, 11 Nov 1995 21:08:37 +0001 (EST)

Replying to LO3667 --

[...Subject line changed by your host. Jim had "Re: STIA- The Natural
Step LO3673"]

On Wed, 8 Nov 1995, BARAK ROSENBLOOM wrote:

> This brings up a frustration I have with this listserv - there's too much
> good, thoughtful material! I'm already about 400 messages behind, and I
> find myself zipping through all too many of the discussion threads, using
> tests such as "This seems self-evident" or "Don't see the big deal" as an
> excuse to hit the delete key. I hate knowing that perfectly good learning
> is passing me by!

Why did this catch my eye? I got onto the Internet almost two years
ago. There is too much good material. There is always too much good

But there has always been good material: in the libraries, the collegiate
pubs, the coffeehouses. Why do we all experience the informational
exuberance of the Internet so differently, I wonder.

Isn't this one of those cases of an emergent difference? Of a
quantitative superabundance of information triggering a qualitative shift
in our notions of what information _is_ and _is_for_, and therefore
finally in our handling of it?

I've felt what you so crisply express: "I hate knowing that perfectly good
learning is passing me by!" I suppose all of us do, sometimes. As a
source of information, the Internet (and all of its constituent threads
such as this list) is like pressing the button on a hallway water fountain
and getting a firehose everytime. Under these circumstances, don't we all
experience a jarring kind of collision in values? The information we
want, the wisdom that is always just around the corner, the critical bit
of advice or shared experience that will complete our Enlightenment -- is
EVERYWHERE, it's CHEAP, it's on EVERYBODY's WEB PAGE, it's somewhere at

In my own life, this is the biggest perspectival transform of the past
fifteen years or so. Partly because it's _not_ a theoretical one: it's a
_practical_ one. It affects our decisions, not our understanding.

Perfectly good learning is indeed passing us by. And we, and our
leisurely emailed discussions of these things, are passing someone else
by. How many ways are there to learn what we must? They cannot be
counted; and every one of them is a story, and most of those stories we
will never know. The world is CONCURRENT.

Four hundred [msgs] is a big backlog, alright.

     Jim Michmerhuizen
     web residence at
. . . . There are far *fewer* things in heaven and earth, Horatio,  . . . .
 . . . . .       than are dreamt of in your philosophy...        . . | _ .