Magazine article The Futurist

Dealing with Data

Magazine article The Futurist

Dealing with Data

Article excerpt

Fifteen years ago, Future Survey editor Michael Marien organized a debate at the World Future Society's annual meeting to address the issue of whether the ongoing Information Technology Revolution would turn out to be all that good for us. In other words, is more information coming at us a good thing or a bad thing?

I've always felt that more information is better than less information, but now I'm not so sure. As Marien said, "having much more information is bad for our heads. ... It produces infoglut, which may well be the greatest under-studied problem of our time." ("Information Technology Revolution: Boon or Bane?" THE FUTURIST January-February 1997, page 11.)

Among the consequences of infoglut that Marien forecasted were the devaluation of information and increased stress and workloads. All of these problems have largely come to be. So now the question becomes, what do we do about it?

In this issue of THE FUTURIST, business trend analyst Erica Orange offers a "data abacus" to help organizations to assess and leverage the increasingly digital lifestyles of consumers and citizens (page 37). One aspect of that digital lifestyle involves our money, so David R. Warwick, an advocate for the cashless society, shows what governments need to do to advance digital transactions that improve society's safety and security (page 46). …

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