information nutrition

We have access to a lot of information these days, way more than our ancestors. Our minds may not be well-suited, evolutionarily, to this new environment.

When food shortages in the united states vanished, and when the food industry figured out what the human body craves (fat, sugar, salt), obesity has become a problem. As our ability to access and distribute information increases, and as we get better at finding and creating the media we crave (OMG, LOL, H4WT) , depression, anxiety, and hopelessness are potential results.

I would never suggest that we prevent people from distributing or accessing consumer media -- McDonald's should not be outlawed. Having too much food is a much better problem than having too little. But I'd like to see a rating system for the nutritional value of consumer media. Have you had your recommended daily value of fear? Inspiration? Wonder, Science, Spiritualism? Funny?

Does anyone know of an existing rubric or set of metrics for measuring the content of media? Does anyone know of research that establishes the mid- or long-term effects of super-saturating a human mind with a certain cognitive aspect?

Handling our new media landscape, culturally, is a problem that we're going to have to address pretty soon, implicitly or explicitly. I think most people will be fine just by managing their own consumption (see: food), but some research might not be unwarranted. And also I think that seeing mental nutrition labels at the top of every webpage would be hilarious.

Oh I'm pretty sure I have an unlimited supply of cheap futurism.

1 comment:

  1. Love the analogy. I'm so used to overeating I can even binge on fiber (overly technical rough stuff, research papers, ideas).

    I imagine instead of using calories you could measure content in minutes and hours.