Friday, February 20, 2009

Cycling planned

Tomorrow I’m planning on getting out on the cycling path early to see if the old legs are in any condition to consider the May MS150 out in Dallas.  Getting into shape to pull off that ride may be a good idea if I’m going to seriously consider running in the marathon next year.  Of course, many will rightfully question the wisdom of 1. Continuing work on my MBA (coming up on the final stretch!!), 2. Being properly attentive to my wife, 3. Being properly attentive to my child, 4. Continuing to be an attentive and responsive elder at my church, 5. Giving my dog the attention that he’s apparently being starved of, 6. Remaining committed to doing the best possible job at the office, 7. Properly tending to my garden and household, AND oh yea, by the way, sneaking in 300 miles or so in cycling to prepare for the MS150 and, you know, about another 150 or so to train for the marathon.  I mean, after all, what’s another couple of endurance challenges on top of all the other endurance challenges I’m already doing?  Because, you know, sleep is for pussies.

After all, about 60% of the time I’m honestly about THIS CLOSE to completely losing my grip.  That means I have about 40% of my sanity to give.  Those are pretty good odds.


Have you seen the “shift happens” videos?  They’re neat.  They talk about the exponential growth of knowledge based data and infrastructure and how gobs and gobs of information is being produced on a daily basis and it’s growing and RUN FOR THE HILLS WE ARE SO UNPREPARED!!!  Wait, scratch that last part.

I don’t disagree with the basic premise that the world is changing in ever faster clips.  However, I disagree that new INFORMATION is being created every second.  DATA is being created every second, but INFORMATION isn’t necessarily being created.  This blog post is data that equates to “BLAH BLAH BLAH”.  It has been organized into a formal, formatted template, which some may consider to be INFORMATION, which is data that is useful.  But generally speaking, the preceding information is generally useless to just about everyone.  It may provide entertainment, it may provoke thought, it my simply provide a space during the day when you don’t have to think about something more significant.  But more likely than not it’s just empty space that has been filled with useless data, formatted to look like information, but generally useless and worthless all the same.  So that’s where I depart from the buy in of the future of information generation.  There may be lots of data produced, but I don’t think lots of useful information will be produced. 

Maybe the great challenge of the next generation is to figure out how to sift out the good data and potentially good information from the junk data and useless information.  And that’s not really a challenge that’s different than what we’ve always had to do, ever since forever.  The only difference is that there will be a LOT MORE useless data generated thanks to the ease of creating and disseminating that useless data and the relative impossibility of removing old, junk data, and all that garbage has the potential of overwhelming the truly useful information that is generated.  The answer to life, the universe, and everything could pop up and nobody would even know it for 2000 years.

Take facebook as an example.  There are over 200 million users of that service.  You may only know 50 of them.  You’ve got to figure out a way to sift through 200,000,000 profiles to determine the 199,999,950 useless profiles to find the 50 that matter to you.  To make the challenge even greater, there may be more than 50 that matter.  There may be less.  You could be sitting on 45 profiles and racking your brain trying to figure out where the other 5 are that just simply don’t exist.  Yet.  That’s a helluva challenge.



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