There’s variations of this quote floating around everywhere at the moment, but it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to come to the conclusion that something close to this figure is true.

All the data collected from year 0 to 2003 is the same amount of data we now produce in a week.

I’m not sure how this is being measured but I’m guessing it’s the amount of recorded output from humans over that time. Books, Newspapers, TV, Radio. Also, a common measurement is the amount of bandwidth the internet uses now compared to 10 years ago. Video is a monster.

It would be interested seeing the calculations behind these claims, but despite that, this huge increase in information lends itself to some questions:

– How much of it is “useful”? (and how do you even define “useful”?)
– How do we make sense of it?
– Should we even bother?

I’m inclined to think that all information is of use to someone, given the right interpretation and the right context. Given clarity of that context, some information just requires more abstraction than others.

What’s exciting to consider is what we’re now able to learn that we’ve never be close to knowing before.

All it would take is the right tools in the hands of the right people and some amazing insights could be made.

What do you think?


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