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The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption [Kindle Edition]

Clay A. Johnson
3.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Kurzbeschreibung

The modern human animal spends upwards of 11 hours out of every 24 in a state of constant consumption. Not eating, but gorging on information ceaselessly spewed from the screens and speakers we hold dear. Just as we have grown morbidly obese on sugar, fat, and flour—so, too, have we become gluttons for texts, instant messages, emails, RSS feeds, downloads, videos, status updates, and tweets.

We're all battling a storm of distractions, buffeted with notifications and tempted by tasty tidbits of information. And just as too much junk food can lead to obesity, too much junk information can lead to cluelessness. The Information Diet shows you how to thrive in this information glut—what to look for, what to avoid, and how to be selective. In the process, author Clay Johnson explains the role information has played throughout history, and why following his prescribed diet is essential for everyone who strives to be smart, productive, and sane.

In The Information Diet, you will:

  • Discover why eminent scholars are worried about our state of attention and general intelligence
  • Examine how today’s media—Big Info—give us exactly what we want: content that confirms our beliefs
  • Learn to take steps to develop data literacy, attention fitness, and a healthy sense of humor
  • Become engaged in the economics of information by learning how to reward good information providers
  • Just like a normal, healthy food diet, The Information Diet is not about consuming less—it’s about finding a healthy balance that works for you

    Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

    Clay Johnson is best known as the founder of Blue State Digital, the firm that built and managed Barack Obama's online campaign for the presidency in 2008. After leaving Blue State, Johnson was the director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation, where he built an army of 2000 developers and designers to build open source tools to give people greater access to government data. He was awarded the Google/O'Reilly Open Source Organizer of the year in 2009, was one of Federal Computing Week's Fed 100 in 2010. Media Appearances include: * CNN TV -- Expert on Open Government Data * NPR Weekend All Things Considered * NPR All Things Considered * Regular on the Leslie Marshall Radio Show (nationally syndicated) * Kojo Naamdi Show (WAMU, Nationally Syndicated) * Appeared in Fast Company, Wired, The Economist, the New York Times, USA Today and other major newspapers. Johnson's combination of experience as a developer, working in politics, entrepreneurism, and non-profit work gives him a unique perspective on media and culture. His life is dedicated to giving people greater access to the truth about what's going on in their communities, their cities and their governments.

    Produktinformation


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    Kundenrezensionen

    3.3 von 5 Sternen
    3.3 von 5 Sternen
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    1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
    Clay Johnson macht uns mit seinem Buch wieder Mut und Lust, sich für politische Ziele einzusetzen. Er erklärt uns, warum wir beim Einschalten der Fernsehnachrichten oder beim Lesen von Massenmedien den Eindruck bekommen, dass die Welt sowieso böse ist und dass man eh nichts ausrichten kann. Das ist Prinzip. Dabei handelt es sich nicht um eine Verschwörung, sondern Massenmedien haben sich so optimiert, dass sie uns das liefern, was wir hören wollen.

    Das Buch ist aus mehreren Gründen sehr lesenswert: Der Autor verurteilt nicht pauschal unseren Umgang mit Medien, sondern er macht seine Leser auf die verschiedenen Mechanismen des Medienbetriebs aufmerksam. Dabei zieht er immer wieder Parallelen zu unserem Umgang mit Essen. So, wie man sich nicht ausschließlich von Cola und Chips ernähren sollte, so ist es auch gesünder, seinen Informationsbedarf aus verschiedenen Quellen zu decken.

    Interessant sind die Hintergründe zum amerikanischen Mediensystem (Fox News, MSNBC, Huffiington Post etc.). Sicherlich nicht 1:1 auf Europa übertragbar, aber wenn man die Tendenzen einmal versteht, kann man auch hier besser auf Veränderungen achten.

    Mir gefällt der lockere und persönliche, aber nicht moralisierende Schreibstil. Die Vorschläge zu seiner Informationsdiät finde ich sehr gut. Der Autor übrigens bloggt und berichtet über das Buch hinaus auf seiner Website [...]

    Klare Kaufempfehlung für engagierte Bürger aber auch für die, die wissen wollen, warum es so schwierig geworden ist, mit gutem Journalismus Geld zu verdienen.
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    1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    2.0 von 5 Sternen A Book from an American for Americans 24. Juli 2012
    Von hirte_7
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
    Although the idea and content is interesting the author focuses only what is happening in the US. If you are not living in the US, you will loose your interest pretty fast. That is a pitty as the topic might be handled radically different throughout the worlds information companies and governments.
    War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
    3.0 von 5 Sternen Nette Ideen, aber nichts weltbewegendes 20. September 2014
    Von Rüdiger
    Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
    Generell beinhaltet dieses Buch ein paar nette Ideen, wie man mit dem Medien-Overkill umgehen kann. Allerdings gibt es hier nichts bahnbrechendes. Jeder der sich schon mal mit Selbstorganisation oder Zeitmanagement beschäftigt hat, kennt ähnliche Ideen. Die Beispiele sind in der Tat stark an den amerikanischen Markt ausgerichtet. Jedoch könnte man amerikanische Fernseh-Sender durch private deutsche Sender ersetzen, und dann ergeben die Beispiele wieder Sinn.
    Wichtigste Erkenntnisse aus dem Buch für mich: 1. Weniger Informationen konsumieren, und dafür lieber selber Informationen fabrizieren. 2. Wenn schon Informationen konsumieren, dann bitte möglichst aus erster Hand und nicht aus dritter Hand.
    War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
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    Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  62 Rezensionen
    102 von 110 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    3.0 von 5 Sternen Cute metaphor but misleading and incomplete 23. Januar 2012
    Von Ilya Grigorik - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
    Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
    "Information Diet" is a clever metaphor, and there are some interesting parallels, but ultimately the author stretches it too thin.

    The first great observation made by the author is that the problem we face today is not "information overload" but "information overconsumption". The information doesn't automatically enter our minds, instead we deliberately engage in behaviors that deliver it to us - in other words, we are not victims, instead we inflict "information overload" on ourselves via our day-to-day habits. Second, information just like calories can be "refined" to peak curiosity: shocking headlines, tabloids, notifications of all kinds, and so on. These "empty calories" are easy to consume, but deliver little in terms of useful information.

    However, this is where the author's analogy begins to disintegrate. Yes, all information has a consumption chain: raw data, facts, trends, expert analysis, headlines and tabloids. However, to say that a "healthy information diet" is one that gets all, or most of its data at the source ("raw"), is simply misleading. Yes, experts add their own "seasoning" through their analysis, but unlike a refined carbon chain, which is only broken down the further it is processed, information and knowledge has this curious potential property of being enriched with further analysis! Not always, mind you - potential, is the key word.

    In fact, the very reason I bought this book (and likely, you are considering as well) is that I implicitly assumed that the author has spent the time and effort to process, assimilate, and think through all the implications of his metaphor. In other words, we expect a "highly processed" work, distilled to its very essence - nothing but the good stuff. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, we are treated to several chapters on food processing with a weak connection to our "information diet", and a few examples of CNN vs. Fox in the news. Disappointing.

    With the fear of stretching the metaphor too thin, how about answering the following questions:
    - what are, or should be, the nutrients in our information diet? Politics vs. technology vs. hundreds of other topics.
    - how does one not over-consume and optimize each category?
    - how does one seek out new sources and fields that you may not be easily exposed to?

    And the list goes on... Unfortunately "Information Diet" answers none of it.
    39 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    4.0 von 5 Sternen Take care of your information consumption 5. Januar 2012
    Von Zoltan Varju - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    According to Johnson there is no such thing as information overload. Rather, we consume junk information produced by contetnt farms. He proposes conscious consumption of information which is not about consuming less, but developing a balanced and healthy habit just like when you go on diet. Although, I don't agree with every word of it, I really enjoyed reading the book as it is full of stories and clear descriptions of various scientific studies.

    In the first part, Johnson gives a vivid explanation of the obesity metaphor and describes the symptoms of information obesity. The second part contains practical advices about improving data literacy and how to consume information and attention fittness in chapter 8 which is the weak point of the book. The method describe there is very similar to the Pomodoro techinque, and although there are plenty of great books on how to manage your tasks and stay focused (GTD, Personal Kanban, Pomodoro) and the author mentions a lot of studies in the book somehow he forgot to search in this area. The last part is my personal favorite. If we really want to act against information obesity, changing our habits is just the first steps. Johnson calls us for some sort of activism by demanding access to government data, forming local interest groups and start discussing what we can do to change the present situation.

    I'd recommend the book to anyone who's interested in media (so virtually everybody). But be warned, this book is not about the practical side of handling the problems of information, but a pamphlet and call for change.
    202 von 258 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    2.0 von 5 Sternen A smart idea for an article, perhaps for Huffington Post 26. Dezember 2011
    Von M. E. Taylor - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I was interested in the book, and the central metaphor--that we are awash in cheap and unhealthy information in a way not unlike the glut of cheap and harmful food calories--is an intriguing conceit. However, that simile gets expanded so epically that the book's focus gets diffused. Why am I reading about factory farming and the overuse of corn in our diet for page after page? It's not even remotely because the author is adding anything new to the discussion. It's just rehashed and oversimplified summarizing of books like Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma. And here's the problem: not only has everyone heard all of this criticism of our American diet endlessly before, but the only reason it gets rehearsed for far too long here is because of the author's central conceit, which, as analogies go, is too obvious to require it anyway. As soon as he says that the central analogy is that we consume information like we do food, with all the attendant problems, he hardly needs to repeat for us all the problems with obesity and empty calories.

    So the first irony is that the book is fat. It could be a lot leaner. It feels like sections have been added to pad it up to a slim little volume you could call a book, when everything interesting here could be said in a magazine article. Too many empty calories, alas.

    The second problem, and one I would hope most readers would care about, though I have my doubts, is the painfully obvious bias the author exhibits when he divides up information into "health food" and "junk food." Kudos to the author for at least acknowledging that he's a liberal who has worked in Democratic politics for years, but that still doesn't excuse the exquisitely obvious way that he divides up the landscape. For pages, I literally dreaded his first mention of Fox News (a station, I must note, that I never watch), for I knew it was coming, and I knew exactly what he would say about it. I won't bore the reader with the details--if you're honest, you know exactly what the most predictable leftist take on conservative media would be. Yet when you have high hopes for a book, to cringe, literally, as it becomes obvious what kind of flatulent, flat-footed bias will be passed off as objectivity... well, it was disheartening.

    I could add that, while I don't like any television news stations, what made the predictable Fox-bashing seem more horrible was the way it was couched in a defense of CNN as "the facts." For you see, Fox (and later MSNBC, cynically following Roger Ailes' model) is serving up the "cheese fries in gravy" equivalent of information sustenance, whereas CNN is just "the truth" and "the facts"-- a well-balanced, healthy diet of Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper. And THAT'S why CNN's ratings are so low. It's the information equivalent of broccoli.

    Maybe if CNN confirms YOUR bias, it can seem to you like just the "truth" and the "facts." But the idea that it is merely objective is, to put it mildly, absurd.

    And so there is your second irony. The author says the problem with information consumption is that people only will watch or read what they want to hear, what confirms their bias. Especially those Fox-watching neo-cons, of course. Whereas those of us who get the objective "truth 'n' facts" from Anderson Cooper, et al., at CNN are open-minded people who can handle the truth. Any mainstream progressive who reads that claim will be flattered and have his biases confirmed.

    There are lots of other silly things wrong with this book, such as when the author claims that the printing press ushered in the renaissance (a neat trick for Gutenberg to bring about Petrarch and Pico della Mirandola). But to sell a fatty book that's padded with excess and unnecessary verbiage as if it's an information diet, and to flatter readers that, unlike people who want to be flattered, they're truth-seekers--these things make the book especially disappointing.

    Maybe it gets better after the first third. That's how much I could take before I decided to cut my losses and read something more nutritious.
    9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    1.0 von 5 Sternen Make this the first thing you omit from your information diet 23. August 2012
    Von 5-Star Consumer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
    Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
    As another reviewer stated, the book reads like a really long essay. Its bloated, slow reading, and doesn't progress at all. There is no "aha" moment and no opportunity to gain a deeper understanding or appreciation for the subject matter. The author continually returns to the metaphor of physical diet which he absolutely beats to death. There were several times where I had to actually think about what book I was reading because he went on for entire chapters about the history of food and obesity in the United States. Complete waste of time and energy.

    If I were to distill the book down into one sentence it would be:
    An information diet isn't about consuming less, its about consuming the right things.

    Start by not consuming this book.

    P.S. If you're having a hard time culling the information overload you experience on the internet, the author's website lists a couple of software tools that might help: [...]
    8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
    1.0 von 5 Sternen A Lost Opportunity 24. März 2012
    Von tjain - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
    Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
    The Information Diet is an smart idea but presentation is not up to the mark. Clay repeatedly compares information with eating habits. Though comparison is good but same idea is repeated throughout the book.

    I started reading this book with high hope but ....

    The contents of book might be fit for 30 page booklet but surely not for 182 page book.
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