Friday, December 09, 2005

Information Overload

In last night’s episode of Star Trek Voyager called The The Voyager Conspiracy, Seven-of-Nine, the half-human and half-Borg has downloaded the entire ship's database in her memory and trying to process the information. Each time she interprets the data she currently has, she comes up with conspiracy theories about various crewmembers’ agendas. She always has facts to back up her theories. It gets to a point when the First Officer starts to suspect the Captain’s motives; and vice versa. Seven-of-Nine ends up fleeing the ship in a delta flyer because she believes the Captain is manipulating her for her own selfish ends. The doctor notifies the Captain that Seven-of-Nine is suffering from information overload. The Captain pursues Seven-of-Nine and reminds her of how much she is loved and admired by the crew.

This episode is mirroring life as we know it. There is so much information. There are books constantly being produced, and masses of information on the Internet. I am also doing my part to add more information on the Internet. It’s not my fault I am constantly inspired. (grin)

As there is so much data around, it is easy for anyone to come up with new theories because there’s always something to back them up. Theories give rise to conflicted beliefs and conflicted beliefs give rise to conspiracies theories. Conspiracy theories and conflicted theories create fragmentations where people find it difficult trusting one another; or form alliances with those who share similar beliefs so they can oppose others with disparate beliefs.

Where did all this information come from? There is only one source but there are many interpretations of that source. Similarly, there is only One Life but there are infinite variations of the One Life. You could say that your life is an interpretation of the One Life.

What to do with so much information? How does one avoid creating conflicting theories?

I find the best way to avoid information overload is by information under-load. This means that I am only interested in data that makes sense to my life now; otherwise, my mind is a blank.

I believe the most important information is the One Love we all share. Nothing else matters.