Information Over Load in the Computer Age – Lifestyle Book Review

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the onslaught of information day in and day out? You get it in your car listening to the radio and hear the inew news you turn on the TV and you have 360 channels to choose from, you open your e-mail to find a 300 incoming pieces of information, online newsletters, spam, business contacts, friends that you send you those stupid jokes, and even notifications from places where you do business.

And we all have smart phones now, with far too much information, more features than we ever care to learn, along with text messaging, Internet surfing, twittering, news alerts, and who knows what’ll be on the next set of personal tech devices. No wonder people feel overwhelmed. But it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. In fact, if you’d like to think about this a little more I’d like to recommend a very good book to you. One that, certainly made me think the first time I read it, and things have only gotten worse since. Today the book is;

“Data Smog; Surviving the Information Glut,” by David Shenk

Although the author is somewhat of a left winger, he’s absolutely correct in his summation of information overload and the computer age. And being from New York, I imagine his level of information is even more than mine out here on the West Coast where things are more relaxed. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wishes to ponder the reality of the world we have built with this technology, and the greatest communication device ever devised; the Internet.

Indeed, I’m going to recommend this book to you one last time, as it will make you stop and think about your lifestyle, and what it all means. I hope you will please consider this.

I need you” may not have been the first chatter between a genius and his helper, but it is one of the best known. Here it serves as our example of recent science findings. Healthy lifestyles studies confirm that a ten minute conversation can make you smarter just prior to deciding moments.

So concludes a study by a team of U.S. researchers, who found that college students who discussed a social issue prior to taking a memory and mental-speed tests scored significantly higher than fellow students who did not talk before the exam. This may explain the increasing brain power that more communicative women are displaying, and how with more easy they may communicate their ways through medical school. The strong silent male will end up the janitor if he does not chat up, listen up, learn up, and climb his way up, the way the ladies are doing more naturally.

This is powerful news and deserves more attention than the small notice given it. You ladies may already know this innately for thousands of years, and it is long since time we relearn this lesson that somehow we become smarter by becoming part of the group and discussing life in general, all at ease.

Study author Oscar Ybarra, Ph.D., suggests that social interaction activates the brain structures that allow us to store and sort out information.

This information should encourage men to actually talk to each other, and if not in the way that women do, at least in more comfort and ease about any darn thing, it sounds like. Us males, and I am one, who can sit in a canoe for hours without speaking to our buddy, yet we’re both content, are staying dumb. This will be painful news for men, who are content to stay in a sate of silence quite comfortably and say, watch a game together, give cheers and boos as needed, but not much conversation between them other than did you see that or oh get that umpire a cane and a dog.

While any two women in a boat on that lake might come to shore with less fish, or maybe not, but they would come back smart, and with a lot of new information. Making them smarter. While their husbands will drive them home in silence. Dumb and dumber, both driving home smart and smarter.

So fellows, before the big meeting or presentation, do not silently meditate or go over your notes. Hit the water cooler or the tea wagon; one cup of black tea will make you calmer and more alert. Remember to incorporate tea after your coffee for the additional anti oxidant power in tea. So talk and sip and win.

Too much coffee as you know gives us all the jitters. Tea has the amazing capacity to make you feel more calm and yet more alert. So keep chatting between sips. Then brain ignited, go get the pussycat, Tiger.

doing well. Nearly two-thirds are too heavy, underfit and over-medicated. Most are way too dependent on physicians, prescriptions, pundits and preachers. People are too little resistant to baloney and superstition but overly resistant to science, reason, responsibility and the fine art of living well. In short, things are out of whack and somebody has to do something. What’s to be done? By whom?

Well, the last part is easy — it may be just incredibly pathetic but the late, great guitarist of the Grateful Dead was right – it has to be us. But what? What’s to be done?

Well, there is no instant or near-term panacea, no single fix, no sweeping solution for the boundless attitudinal and behavioral problems that brought about the fixes we’re in. But, I do have a few reform ideas — and this essay deals with one of them.

I suggest a change in the way we get our news. A reform in this one area might be helpful in getting more people to realize that their health status and so much else is up to them. My idea is this: Give the people NUDE news.

No, I don’t mean NUDE as in naked, ala the bare Russian bimbos reading sports scores and such on slimy Internet shows, acting like Katie Couric or Barbara Walters or someone talented while wearing nothing, an obvious ploy to trap and weak-minded males to tune in. This is exploitative, disgusting and one more example of women taking advantage of naive, innocent guys. However, it’s not at all the nature of my call for NUDE news.

NUDE is an acronym for news you deserve everyday. The focus of news you deserve everyday is upon content, not appearance.

NUDE news would present stories about people, places and things, changes and themes that connect with the reality of Americans not living or aging well. Of course, not all news would fit this connection, but time would be set aside if my idea were implemented for news that relates to people struggling in being too heavy, underfit and over-medicated. It’s a huge crisis — the media should not ignore Americ’s disabling dependencies. The citizenry deserves NUDE news –everyday.

While every news story need not address reforms for an unhealthy population (i.e., REAL wellness skills based upon secular, rational and positive outcome associated facts), I’d certainly like to hear a few such in most broadcasts. It could be called something like, NUDE news now — breaking news you deserve today. Such programming would be refreshing and highly appreciated by the converted, the savants of REAL wellness. The latter would be nice and good for the station’s that want to add viewers, but the most important consequence would derive from the boosts to the health and sanity of the viewing audience.

In his book, The Assault on Reason, former Vice-President Al Gore identified two kinds of pollution — that of our planet and of our politics and culture. A New York Times reviewer called Mr. Gore’s two-part focus, an obsession with the toxicity of the atmosphere and the toxicity of the public sphere. Well, I think Mr. Gore and others should also focus upon (or obsess about) the pollution and toxicity of worseness lifestyles, that is, the fact that Americans are too heavy, underfit and over-medicated.

But until they do, I will. That’s why I’m calling for NUDE news.

REAL wellness values are not the norm, as most will readily acknowledge. The reality is that daily news reporting is geared to bad news, problems, not inspirational wellness solutions. A NUDE perspective would modify that situation – such newscasts would include reflections on how things might be, from a healthier, saner point of view.

Of course, some shows are exceptional, offering unique versions of NUDE news. Saturday Night Live, The Rachel Maddow Show and Stephen Colbert, for instance. These shows provide daily wellness perspectives. All serve up invaluable wellness qualities — they are veritable gold mines of doubt, skepticism, reason, ethical insights and, of course, humor. Imagine how desirable it would be if such wellness perspectives were represented in network news programming.B esides the educational value, more folks would become better informed, more skeptical and wiser about the world around them and what they might do for themselves and others to become healthier and happier.

Here’s an example of how NUDE reporting might work. An organization called Epocrates conducted a survey of 580 physicians in 2007. A summary report of the findings revealed that physicians consider obesity, chronic disease and smoking to be the top three public health issues in the U.S.

That’s a normal news item. If it were NUDE news, a commentary would follow that introduced a REAL wellness perspective that challenged the limited analysis of the data, the focus of the 580 physicians. The physicians may have been well intended but they were shortsighted — they missed the three top issues, namely:

1. The absence of a culture that makes everyone aware and supportive of positive wellness choices that lead to habits that prevent obesity, lower risk of chronic disease and make smoking almost an unthinkable form of self-ruin.

2. The presence of educational systems that teach what, not how to think; and

3. Poor leadership, particularly from politicians who fail to enact effective and efficient policies.

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