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Arts and Culture

Americans Bingeing on Internet’s Info-Buffet

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Posted on Jan 26, 2010
buffet
Flickr / Flair Candy

If it is true that “how you do one thing is how you do everything,” then Americans are right on track with their consumption habits, both in terms of food and information. Among his observations, The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson points out how the info-glut on the Internet doesn’t exactly lead to a more accurately informed public.  —KA

The Atlantic:

I think there are two things going on here. The first part is demand. Our willingness to pay hundreds of dollars for Internet access—and often not a penny in exchange for specific pieces of Internet content—depreciates the perceived value of the newspaper articles and songs we access “for free.” As a result, the same way an all-expenses-paid resort encourages over-eating, our all-content-paid access to the Internet encourages us to gorge on both high and low quality information.

The second part is supply. The same way our obesity epidemic is fueled by outrageous oversupply of corn products, our information addiction is goaded by the Internet’s superabundance of content that free software and low barriers to entry make incredibly easy to produce online.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, January 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Don’t you love the way the elites are always attacking the internet and saying that its bad that we get information from it.

What disturbs them is what disturbs every ruling elite that likes to control information ... from Russia to China to Washington.  What disturbs them is that they might lose control over the information that we can get.

When someone is ranting about an ‘over-abundance of information’, what they are really complaining about is that they can’t control the information you get any longer.

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