By blather and its sibling clutter, I refer to the colossal, growing mess of words, images, numbers, noises, and physical object that roll over us every day like the Blob from the 1950s horror movie. This stuff oozes out of televisions, radios, magazines, billboards, books, mail, and other printed material and congeals in the piles we put it all into, along with the other junk modern life upchucks like mountains of used tires. The piles tumble down around our work and living spaces and ominously remain, waiting for the signal to organize and unite into one gigantic Megablob the size of earth, protruding like a horrific tumor so big that it will set the world off its orbit.
I just started listening to this book and had to post this amusing snippet. Lest you think the book is out of date in referring to piles of print, it also addresses the fire hose of information spewing out of our computer screens. I confess I’ve been drowning in information, or as Clay Shirky would put it, experiencing filter failure, for some time. This is challenging time for information addicts, especially those of us grew up with a scarcity of information. Young people have little idea of how hard us old-timers used to have to work to get information. Now I’m like a Depression survivor who saves every piece of tin foil and scrap of fabric. Saving things may be good for the environment, but trying to save, or at least catch and read, every interesting bit of information is a great way to drive oneself crazy. I’m hoping this book will help me embrace information abundance in a healthier way.