Imbalance causes problems—just ask the leaning Tower of Pisa. Nations around the world are facing two crises of imbalance: rising levels of obesity and national and personal debt. While the simplification that follows can’t address every instance of these problems, the cause and solution to both problems perhaps is less complex then primetime pundits want you to believe (obfuscation is the punditry’s form of job security after all).
Obesity is a natural consequence of eating more than one burns, debt is a natural consequence of spending more than one earns. Biologic, economic and social systems function most smoothly when inputs equal outputs; excess in either direction can disrupt the system. While both of these problems are blog-worthy enough, I’ve actually been most interested by a problem that parallels them in terms of excess and imbalance.
As much as the wealth of information/receptive stimulation presented by modern technology equalizes access to knowledge and entertainment in ways previously unimaginable, I fear that our steady and often indiscriminate diet of information in mass daily quantities will do to our minds what fast food has done to our bodies, and to our collective intelligence quotient what consumerism has done to our bank accounts.
Taking issue with what’s ‘going in’ is a post for a later day. The complaint here is about what is or rather what isn’t going out. We peruse too much and produce too little. The generations that follow will never know how much their predecessors knew because so many of us leave so little behind. While from our deathbeds we could whisper to them our log-in name and password to Google Reader and they could check out the feeds we subscribe too, how will they know what we thought about any of it and why we thought it worthy of our attention?
Not only should we give back to the communal well we draw from, what we get from what we take in is more substantial when we do something with it. Articulation facilitates acquisition. Before you cross stitch that and hang it on your wall, blow the dust off your keyboard and give your mouse a break.
Take a second and let me know what you think about Info-besity.