Monday, October 14, 2013

The Need for None Information

Is having the right data at the right time by the right people the right thing? What is the right thing? business prosperity? personal prosperity? Legacy? Happiness? - this gets very personal very quickly.

The real question is how do we balance a diverse set of needs for similar and connected information between different stakeholders? Some information we want to share with others, some we do not. Some information has no relevance to us and some we cannot live without. I spoke about context and measures as ways to impose relevance and controls on data. But in this post I also want to explore the need for none information.

It is quite clear that having all the information you need, does not necessarily make you successful. Sometimes, in order to succeed, you need to not have information. It might be in the form of isolation in order to provide focus (are you wearing earphones to block out the audible information?); It might be to create an environment where controlled parameters are used to study or impact the outcome. It might sound like this is only applicable to scientific research, but the term "manipulation" or "influence" comes to mind. How many outcomes in the history of man-kind or in your life have been a direct outcome of choosing to share, or to block certain information.

So is our near-instant access to information today a perception only? Is there, or isn't there a bigger conspiracy on our lives at play? Well this becomes very personal very quickly again.

We sometimes get caught up in the belief that more information, and better processing of information is ultimately what makes us more productive - but that is false. When machines supersede humans in processing and determining outcomes based on information, our only true value will be the innovation on capitalizing on opportunities. I am not saying there is no need to manage information, we are far from conquering that quest. However, along the way, we need to ensure that we grow ourselves to become true governors of the information. Carefully learning how to respond to our environment, releasing and blocking information (regulating in other words) the flows of information to advance our goals.

After all, history will be determined by what we have, and have not done with information.

So I ask you now, who really needs all that data?

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