Sunday, June 26, 2011

Insight Versus Information

Most of us read the wrong things for the wrong reasons.

The value in reading isn't in the information we get. There's already too much information out there to read anyway, so the idea that "more information is better" has become a cruel lie. Anyone who submits to this lie will be quickly overwhelmed by information overload.

Information doesn't provide value. Value comes from insight.

And the amount of insight you have is inversely proportional to how much information you ingest.

Insight comes from reading something slowly, closely and carefully. It comes when you earnestly read things with which you disagree. Ironically, almost nobody does this in our culture, which is why we're so deeply polarized, both intellectually and politically. We'd rather steep ourselves in confirmation bias.

Is what you're reading providing you real insight? Is it giving you original thoughts and ideas? Or is it just giving you more data to shovel into your brain--so you can forget it later?