Saturday, May 15, 2010

Freedom from Information

This is my first post with a restricted blog. I took a poll a few weeks ago which is still posted on the right. No one voted for this level of secrecy, but I had some advice from some people that the information in this blog would only serve not to get me hired and to prevent me from getting an interview.

There is so much information in the world. I believe that no human in the world can even comprehend how much information there is in this world. This blog has always been my attempt to contribute to the information in the world. Wether that was engineering help or running or just social musings. It's my website and I've done that.

People sometimes complain of too much information. Usually it is in regards to something personal, private, or otherwise disgusting. I think this peaks in the teen years when kids are competing for the best story and ultimately attention from their peers. That is another whole topic. I used to think this was a phase that people would grow out of but interacting with people twice my age I'm not so sure any more.

In all of my travels I have been extraordinarily fortunate to experience a lack of new information. What I mean is that I have spent six consecutive weeks without the internet and only sporadic emails. I've spent three months without a tv. I've spent three weeks with no form of audio communication besides my voice. I've driven 17 hours alone multiple times without a radio or other music player. I have taken this experience into my day to day life and learned how to shut off the noise.

I'm not sure if this is a new phenomenon or something that has been around awhile. The concept of trying to absorb more information than one person can handle. What does this mean? I rarely run while listening to music any more. I more or less quit reading the news or listening or watching it for that matter. People get really offended when I say that I quit reading the news. How is it possible for me to survive, you ask? Easy, if it's that important everyone will be talking about it. Second, some news stories I search out such as the running and mountaineering and aerospace news. Did you know Black Diamond Equipment and Gregory were bought out this week by a company in Connecticut? Third, the evening news is depressing. I don't care to hear about the newest government corruption scandal or murders or gang activity. How does hearing about two people getting killed in a shooting enhance my life?

60-80% of my emails I do not read more than the subject line. Now much of that is related to the workouts for this week for the track team at WPI or the latest biomedical thesis defense at WPI or the weekly sale at some company. Then the emails that I do read are along the lines of "your statement is now available", "your bill is now available", "you are no longer under consideration for for this position", or "jobs matching your preferences" (inevitably software engineer or administrative assistant because I am trying to keep my options open).

I consume information with the best of them. I love learning. I like gathering knowledge. It would be nice to know 1% of Wikipedia. However, I can not consume or produce information all of the time. I enjoy running because it is some of the rare time for me to digest what I have learned and figure out how I will move part of that on to others. On most runs there are no complex concepts to try and learn. There are memories to make. There is my mind to focus and clear of distractions.

Life, at least my life, needs a mix. My RAM only works so fast, there are limits to how much and how quick I can take it in. I learned recently that the turnover rate for nurses is four years. They average getting burnt out in four years. Everyone needs a sustainable mental draining and mental recharging cycle.

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