Information might want to be free; but, why should we free it? We've got enough trouble keeping track of all the petabits that already run around untethered, and risk a computer counterrevolution if we let the situation get much crazier. Information architect Richard Saul Wurman swept the field clear in 1989 with his groundbreaking book that foresaw the problems of data clutter and proposed a radical new means of organizing and presenting knowledge humanistically; for the new century, he has revised it substantially as Information Anxiety 2. This book is sparklingly clear and readable--it'd better be, after all--and offers insight not only to designers, educators, and content developers, but also to anyone who needs to communicate effectively through dense clouds of facts. If Wurman occasionally indulges in New Age-y pop psychology, his analysis is never muddy, and the more hardheaded reader will forgive him soon enough. The discussion alternates between describing the deeply stressful task of absorbing poorly organized data and exploring solutions that require a bit of rethinking, but that reward such an investment with improved understanding and, maybe, a state change from information to wisdom. We could do worse--if we don't pay attention to Wurman and his colleagues, we almost certainly will. --Rob Lightner
A follow up to the first edition, Information Anxiety 2 teaches critical lessons for functioning in today's Information Age. In this new book, Wurman examines how the Internet, desktop computing, and advances in digital technology have not simply enhanced access to information, but in fact have changed the way we live and work. In examining the sources of information anxiety, Wurman takes an in-depth look at how technological advances can hinder understanding and influence how business is conducted.