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Ideas on HOW to consume information

What are the faculties we need to process information?

Would making information visual and interactive make up the ingreedients to inspire hunger / motivation for a 'boring' topic?

Are the diseases and toxins in how we consume information things such as adverts and false ideals/unuseful information. How can we learn the skill to filter this out?

I understand that consideration of the production and preparation of information like food could be like createing a nice recipe for the presentation that tantilises the interest of the consumer. But what if we are not the creators?

  • Dan F

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    May 10 2012: Is this not central to TED's mission?

    Ideas worth spreading are not all equally worthy of that umbrella as viewed on the posted comments and conversations following any given TALK. People who can affect how we consume information realize there are often barriers beyond logic, charisma, etc. Center stage is not for the faint at heart.

    TALKS and the criticism that follows can help us see things more clearly. The copy right TALK comes to mind and involved sophisticated issues of the modern era that are at the very least complicated.

    But I think there is something more valuable to TED's contribution on this topic than the more lofty notion of HOW to help us decipher exotic information via inspired speakers. It is HOW to expand our community to be more inclusive of the more isolated geographic areas and less tolerant societies by engaging more in this social exchange and network of information.

    It appears to me, TED is acknowledging this real world reality by encouraging participation, even to the extent of no thumbs down and allowing a more open stage than some members would prefer. One of the attractive things about private enterprise is the gutsy element of leadership that can come into play. I have not doubt there are some lively discussions in the TED board room regarding operating policy. No doubt this is information that is throughly consumed, digested and monitored in an effort to be more successful.
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      May 10 2012: Hi Dan,

      Brilliantly said!

      The thing I most like about TED is that the speakers are accessible via links so we can research their work to get a better understanding that a 9 or 18 minute talk cannot deliver.

      However, it still remains primarily broadcast information. We have the limited mechanism of just discussing amongst ourselves about the talk, however, the speakers themselves seem reticent to join in. This devalues their talk in my eyes - because I, as a seeker of knowledge and truth, am excluded from their benefit - and their talk remains just idle speculation.

      We commenters seem to generate more value than the speaker - because we are willing to interact, argue and refine our own belief systems. And all the speakers value resolves to frames of perception. I suppose this is OK, but it seems like the long way around, and I most appreciate when the speaker responds to the discussions - to converge mutual understanding..

      Broadcast information must be treated as lies unless the broadcaster opens themselves to question. Without question, it is all just assertion and falls into the "E" part of TED - which is, at it's base, the economics of addiction.

      So yes - TED has a value - but nowhere near what it claims for itself - the window of reality is through the willingness of the talkers to talk - to us. I have written directly to many of them with no reply. Fame has its cost, but honesty does not.

      Central in dEEd.

      It is most informative how TED redacted the talk about the privacy tracker in Firefox. TED is as corrupt as any other broadcasting assertion machine.

      Go cautiously.
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    May 31 2012: In small bites with great relish!
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    May 10 2012: I think scepticism is required.
    I am not talking about the automatic rejection of things that do not conform to your own beliefs, but the conscious effort to demand proof.
    If something is presented as observable - observe it before you accept it.
    Identify all assumptions included in the information - and test them.
    If you cannot observe, and cannot test, keep trust on hold. If it's important to you, find reliable sources who can observe or test. Peer review and teh scinetific method is helpful - but check sources.
    If the information cannot be reliably tested or observed. Treat it as rubbush.

    Treat all stories with suspicion - be aware when you are suspending disbelief. Stories can become part of your belief system and circumvent teh process of experience. This has the power to skew your expectations and lead to mistaken actions.

    Information acquired by direct observation is the most reliable - and becomes more reliable with experience.
    Information acquired through communication is not pre-pared like food, it is pre-digested. Without direct observation it will not become more reliable.
    Communication is conducted between proxy-selves in our own heads, these proxy selves lay-down secondary belief systems that are used for medium/long term decision making. In a very rich communication environment it is easy for identity to become lost in the proxies. Return your identity to your core self before accepting pre fabricated belief systems - some of them are designed to keep you lost.

    Above all remember: Communicated information is not a rendition of teh other person's senses - it is a rendition of their perception - perception is constructed of belief systems, belief systems can be corrupt or untested. If you accept the communication - you also accept the belief system that produced it.
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    May 9 2012: All info, all the time is leading to the significance of trusted sources. How can I find those reliable sources with intimate knowledge? Klout, wiser earth, personal encounters at conferences, others?
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    May 9 2012: Joachim Stroh, after seeing the video, created this "nutrition" label....

  • May 9 2012: I think to register information into your head is to try finding something you can relate it to your own personal experiences or the people you know. Only then it will leave an impression.
    As you suggests, visual learning helps a great deal as well. More visual interaction and less of text makes a topic interesting.
    Or another way is to play a game with yourself or someone else about what you have learned, like asking question (Q&A) and see who scores. :)
  • May 9 2012: Let me begin by continuing with the parable of food. We need food for various purposes like tickling our taste buds, observing a ritual, appropriately dealing with the social occasion, maintain our health, etc. In short for the purpose of `living'. Switching over to information, we need information for same purposes. Yes we need something interesting, and useful in the short run as well as in the long run. Cognitive scientists tell us that we have two types of cognitive abilities (read information processing setups). Type 1 relies on reaching quick judgement conveniently and without much efforts. It answers questions like whether the person in front of me can be my friend or not or is she or he honest or not. Type two is the logical reasoning variety that require efforts. It typically is employed when we want to find out answer to questions like what is 23x13? We are warned that Type 1 is inaccurate but fast and Type 2 is more accurate but slow and requires more effort. We are also warned that we are lazy type of people and fail to double check what our Type 1 lead us to believe, often to our dismay. I think we should be better off if we look after our preferences and our requirements, both short-term as well as long-term, just as in food.