There’s too much of everything

The amount of new content created every day on the internet is astounding. It goes without saying that a lot of it’s nonsense, but there’s plenty of good stuff. It probably takes a few months to consume what you liked and saved just today. It’s either that or I’m bloody lazy 😅

This has become such a problem that “curation” has become the new buzzword and a business model unto itself. At the risk of sounding like a snobby douche, I’m fascinated by this “problem” of overload. I was reading Curation: The power of selection in a world of excess by Michael Bhaskar, and here are a few quotes that kinda stuck with me:

We solved the problem of insufficiency, only to find it was replaced by abundance. As a result we’ll have to curate far more effectively. In order to prosper we’ll start to appreciate the value of less, of simplicity in a complex world.

In the context of excess, curation isn’t just a buzzword. It makes sense of the world.

‘We live in an age of electricity, of railways, of gas, and of velocity in thought and action. In the course of one brief month more impressions are conveyed to our brains than reached those of our ancestors in the course of years, and our mentalising machines are called upon for a greater amount of fabric than was required of our grandfathers in the course of a lifetime.’

Each person alive now has 320 times as much information available to them as in the whole Library of Alexandria which would have so concerned Seneca. If James Crichton Browne worried about information overload in 1860, it’s difficult to sense what he would make of it today.

It’s true. We live in an age of abundance, and we’re losing our minds.

You know something is a problem and an opportunity when VCs start paying attention to it and writing glossy takes. The VCs have been trying to pump up this notion of curators as creators. Here’s Gaby Goldberg of Bessemer:

Curators are the new creators, and as consumers, we’re going to be willing to pay someone with good taste to help us sort through the ever-growing mass of information at our fingertips.

I kinda agree. Also, now that the VCs are paying attention, the idea of “curation” will probably to shit very quickly. Pretty much like the notion of the “sharing economy”, which was nice of saying we’re exploiting cheap labour, but those are arguments for another day.

I think this notion of curation will increasingly become popular and mainstream as the internet becomes an ever-larger firehose of content.

There’s an incredible opportunity for people with a knack for reducing choice by culling things, and I think there’s a huge audience willing to pay. But I also think that we’ll pretty quickly reach the stage of curating the curators. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong.

In any case, I’m utterly fascinated by the problem of abundance of information. I think It’s a fun problem, one we keep talking about at work as well.

Consuming information on the internet has become an adventure in itself.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

This blog was originally a place for me to keep track of how this notion of curation shapes up, and to share interesting things I come across. Will start trying harder to force myself to share and write about interesting things in the adventure I’ve chosen—mostly finance, markets, astrology (economics), and some assorted stuff.

That’s it. I got no other sales pitches are anything. Doing this because it’s bloody fun! 😀

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