Info Capacity| One in a Million: Information vs. Attention

Michael Lesk


Aristotle could write that we ascribe “universal education to one who in his own individual person is thus critical in all or nearly all branches of knowledge, and not to one who has a like ability merely in some special subject.” Today nobody can know about everything. The flow of information so far exceeds what anyone can observe, learn, or appreciate that we must look at methods of compression, summarization, and filtering. These methods must achieve reductions of a million to one to cope with what is now routine. Fortunately, technology is making this possible.

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