Information Overload

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The icons above correspond to the applications I use to get information: podcasts (iTunes), email and the web (Firefox), email and source code changes (Thunderbird), IRC conversations (Colloquy), instant messaging (Adium), and blogs (NetNewsWire). (Then there’s meatspace information channels like conversations, meetings, newspapers, books, etc., but they don’t have pretty icons like the above).

I’m a pretty sophisticated user of each of these technologies. I spend a lot of time reading. But even if I spent every single minute reading, there’s no way I could know what I want to know.
I could spend a week or so triaging, sorting, prioritizing, filtering, subscribing and unsubscribing, building custom search engines and the like, but then I’d only be more behind!
Don’t mind me, just ranting…

What happens when you cross a lawyer and a statistictian?

You end up with licenses that read like:

CASUAL USE BY USERS NOT TRAINED IN STATISTICS, OR BY USERS NOT SUPERVISED BY PERSONS TRAINED IN STATISTICS, MUST BE AVOIDED. USERS MUST BE TRAINED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE TO LEARN TO USE THE PROGRAMS. DATA ANALYSIS PROGRAMS MAKE MANY ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT DATA, THESE ASSUMPTIONS AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF CONCLUSIONS MADE BASED ON THE PROGRAMS. REFERENCES TO SOME APPROPRIATE STATISTICAL SOURCES ARE MADE IN THE |STAT HANDBOOK AND IN THE MANUAL ENTRIES FOR SPECIFIC PROGRAMS. |STAT PROGRAMS HAVE NOT BEEN VALIDATED FOR LARGE DATASETS, HIGHLY VARIABLE DATA, NOR VERY LARGE NUMBERS.

(from |STAT, one of my favorite antique but still useful pieces of software).