H+ Elbow Information Diets

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  • who we are, where we come from, what our interests are


  • where it’s going, permission, protocol (say your name, mic passing, time constraints and keeping points on paper instead of shouting them out)

Topic for the Day

  • information diets, how what we consume and how we consume it affects the way we think in general (clocks, industrialism, now machines and internet) “paraliteracy” - Strand
  • wikipedia view of the world
  • interactive
  • scanning
  • large amount of stimuli
  • instant feedback v contemplating (Nietzsche, Photoshop)
  • what is legitimate? What do you choose to spend your time on?
  • linear v nonlinear

What else do people want to cover? Where would they like to cover it? AND GO!

  • E-mail out to people, get short profiles/links, have them fill out when they were talking (in another color) with references, detail, etc. link loop together
  • Future discussions?


00:17 to 04:57 introductions, synopsis of things to talk about, etiquette, elephant

04:57 to 06:26 Kaleen on the evolution of communication and “catchiest” thought instead of best thought

06:26 Alice on subliminal messaging, marketing; the way the MTV and video game generations enjoy in culture, we are affected by the media around us

08:16 Nick joins us

08:55 Cody on Is Google Making Us Stupid? On surrounding facts with linear context, motivation to read going away as weighed down. Extraneous information, filler. Deciding what’s worthwhile, not wanting the bullshit. Primary and secondary sources; wanting

11:17 The other Nick joins us

11:40 Willow on reliable sources, information more accessible online so easier to get bad (and good) information

12:19 Sarah on participatory culture

13:15 Nick on user generated content versus user generated context, amateurs having great taste but not necessarily the skill to produce good material

14:11 Nathan on everyone having a voice instead of needing an infastructure to reach a big audience; what is a reliable source? What is parody, what is real, cross referencing

15:13 degree of responsibility to be sure of something’s intent before you pass it on

15:45 Strand on paraliteracy, telling what’s good and what’s crap, getting that level of literacy in

16:56 Other Nick on determining what’s true online and how it’s more likely that people will actually check on it as opposed to “Real” News. Encouraging widespread critique

17:54 Kaleen on Information Diet; abundance of information is similar to an overabundance of food – had always been an issue of “do I have enough” instead of having to determine amongst. Hardwired to enjoy getting new knowledge, so we’re up until 3a looking at YouTube videos – Twinkies of the internet. Also, food processing and information processing. “Don’t want to say the Internet is controlling what we think anymore than the supermarket controls what we eat, but I want to own it…” What’s valuable to carry around in my head, how do I want to get it. Slow information like the slow food movement.

20:46 Alice on useful education versus useless entertainment; television as “forced information”; Transindentalist movement and finding information on the topic when it wasn’t readily available in her Kansas Library. Education, block scheduling, preparing you for factory job

23:15 Strand on Taylor Gado’s Underground History of Education

23:23 Willow on YouTube video Are Schools Killing Creativity?

23:38 Nathan on diets, guidelines on what are good foods for you, suggestions for what would be a healthy information diet? “If you are what you eat, can you be what you think?”

24:47 Kaleen on readers deciding instead of a government entity

24:36 Nathan, things that are and aren’t good for you

24:47 Kaleen deferring

24:54 Cody on personal responsibility and what you go out to look for, how you respond, etc. Being immersed by choice in the worldview you already have.

26:21 Theo joins us

26:41 Willow on seeking out information. Marketing online doesn’t create a perception, only magnifies what is there, so people are magnifying beliefs they already have

27:23 Theo asking for clarification, people only being around people like them, feedback loops

27:34 Kaleen with a bunch of Transhumanists hanging out

27:39 Cody with emmersing yourself due to geographic location

28:26 Theo clarifying

28:36 Willow on loops, context versus content. Lack of serendipity because you’re calling on information instead of finding it, much easier to reinforce a preexisting belief instead of finding a new one

29:18 Strand on information diets not being anything new, binging on library books; there has always been more information than we can consume, it’s how we parse the information; Dewy Decimal system is a crap way of ordering information; less hierarchical structures now but instead we have tag structures

31:15 Sarah on social interactions based on seeking out information, now we can get it on our own so we lose that excuse

31:59 Strand on the difference between information binge at the library v online is the immediacy of it

32:25 Theo on RSS feeds, seeking out opposing viewpoints to his didn’t actually help his information view. Finding places that provide serendipity like Delicious popular

34:04 Cody on needing sounding boards for his ideas, interaction with other ideas in order to spark new ideas, get conclusions

35:15 Kaleen on serendipity and choice, these are things we’ve sought out, we get to pick our pattern. You can immerse yourself or you can seek out something new – there is a choice

36:07 Willow on social interaction based on finding a search term rather than an answer to a question (response to Sarah)

36:44 Libby on going shopping for friends, pulling from your different resources for best result

36:46 Joined by Rob

37:13 Willow on serendipity and we seek it out because we’re geeks. We’re the exception in seeking out new ways and things to learn

37:45 Sarah “no such thing as a nonconsensual geek?”

37:59 First Nick on 2 degrees of separation for information consumption. Of so many sites available, you link off of that, and maybe off of that, but that’s it. You don’t look beyond that. You choose your internet based on where you started

39:03 Cody on deciding what you study allows you to go more in depth, MIT courses available online from past semesters. Then the issue is how quickly you can process, filtering out the extra stuff so you’re just getting the meat of what you want

39:58 Libby on generating content, read a lot of content but also generate. Takes longer to generate one than to skim 700. “Are you growing your own food?”

40:43 Cody on bringing new information to the table instead of recycling information that’s already out there

40:53 Libby on doing things in real life to generate content for fake life. Self-marketing online “so that other people trust you as a real source of information”

41:27 Theo on processing large volumes of information daily. Getting Things Done, skim first model. What are your processing methods?

42:10 Kaleen on concentrating on modes of accessing rather than specifics – reading a long post, contemplate, etc. List of things to know without the internet, not have to use Google to understand something

43:02 Cody on difficulty concentrating, multitabs to reference across things, inefficiency of bookmarking, taking information out of original source to put in own system. Atlantis research has a lot of material, needed to create a new way of organizing

44:50 Sarah on Kaleen’s idea of not needing to know the information but just how to access it, becoming reference librarians. How do we talk to other people if we don’t actually know what we’re talking about?

45:13 Willow on concept rather than facts. Following a process and the ideas behind it, but not necessarily the exact name or date

45:53 Strand on keeping facts of paper as a tool

46:02 Theo on amount of information available growing exponential, “pretty much all the hard sciences can be summed up in quantum mechanics plus game theory, you can talk pretty intelligently about things so long as the models hold up” (approximately). Finding smart people and listening to what they have to say makes him confident in his consumption of serendipity

47:22 Cody on accessing information, becoming more than human on a spiritual side rather than mechanical/technical terms; taking on the attributes of the people around you, the local consciousness

49:05 Kaleen on getting information from the ether, to be oldschool

49:52 Bringing things to a close as we can’t debate for the sake of transcription, podcast

50:40 end