Internet Distractions – Infographic and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

No wonder people feel overwhelmed. This infographic shows what happens during one minute on the internet. It appeared a year ago; it’s likely the numbers have increased since. Ever wonder what impact this has on your creative abilities?  Me too.  Still chunking that one, thinking it through.

internet minute information saturationThe late author Ray Bradbury wrote about our state of information overload or saturation over 50 years ago in his book Fahrenheit 451 when Arthur Godfrey, I Love Lucy and Dragnet were the top TV shows.  Is this an example of monkey see monkey do, like the TV show Star Trek? I’ve heard people say the 24th-century science fiction program influenced today’s engineers to create tricorders, transporters and tele-communicators for the 20th and 21st centuries.  Do insights lead the future or report it? Did Ray Bradbury foresee the future, or did he invent it?

Poignant Lines from Fahrenheit 451

On Media:“Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap “Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click? Pic? Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!”

On Politics: “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, topheavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.”

Ten years ago, while being interviewed about Fahrenheit 451, the late Ray Bradbury said,

“Fahrenheit’s not about censorship. It’s about the moronic influence of popular culture through local TV news, the proliferation of giant screens and the bombardment of factoids. We’ve moved in to this period of history that I described in Fahrenheit 50 years ago.”

Thanks Roy H. Williams, The Wizard of Ads® for the head’s up.  Roy’s organization, the Wizard’s Academy say they have a fix for it, a workshop called How to Advertise in a Noisy World: Piercing Information Saturation with Third Gravitating Bodies. January 23-24, 2013. Let us know if you get the chance to attend.

Marci Segal
freeing leaders’ thinking so they can create new futures