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Book review: The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption

I read “Information Diet” by Clay Johnson last Christmas. Central ideas of the book:
– information is like food – bad consumption habits are bad for your health
– it’s too easy to get yourself into information bubble: “When we tell ourselves, and listen to, only what we want to hear, we can end up so far from reality that we start making poor decisions”
– fight your addictions: disable all notifications on your computer and check email only once in a while, not every 5 minutes to improve your attention span
– media serves what people want to consume, if you want to et objective picture – learn to go down to the facts instead of relying on pre-processed information

I’m conflicted about recommending this book. On one hand – it’s 4 hours of your time that can be spent on better. On the other hand – it made me reconsider my own information diet and I see how I can now do more in a day because of that. So next time when you want to open IM, GMail, Twitter or Facebook, consider reading this book instead.

Update: after  months trying to follow the recommendations of this book – I have noticed that I have significantly improved my productivity. Topic of responsible information consumption also came up many times in conversations I had with many smart people in the past few months. There’s definitely a tectonic shift going on when it comes to information consumption habits.


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