How To “Eat” Information

“Information, if viewed from the point of view of food, is never a production issue. … It’s a consumption issue, and we have to start thinking about how we create diets and exercise,” said JP Rangaswami in his TEDx presentation.

For a man who currently has 38,000 books in his collection and lives in Calcutta, India where they are known for their rich, savory and sweet Southern Indian cuisine, his is a theory that could very well make sense!

Since most of us consume food according to a certain diet, minimize our surrender to sinful indulgences, measure our nutrition intake to make sure we have enough of everything; it’s possible that we’ve been doing the exact same thing all along with our consumption of data – or perhaps we should. As Plato the philosopher once said, “Knowledge is the food of the soul”.

“When I saw Supersize Me, I started thinking, now what would happen if an individual had 31 days of nonstop Fox News?” joked JP Rangaswami.

What do you think? If you saw information the way you see food, what would you do to digest the knowledge differently – nibble, bite, scoff or binge?” via How To Eat Information | FinerMinds.

Long before I saw this TEDx talk on eating information, my thinking on the topic was galvanized by Clay Johnson’s book The Information Diet which I highly recommend if you are intrigued by JP Rangaswami’s thoughts and are looking for more on the topic…

Me? I ‘eat’ information via Gmail, Google Reader and Gist and then share the best of it here and at, Twitter, Twylah, etc. Johnson’s book and Rangaswami’s statement about “Information overload or ‘filter failure’?” address the heart of the matter — just because I can track almost anything or anyone in Google Reader or Gist doesn’t mean I should in the same way that I shouldn’t eat everything I find at the Piggly Wiggly and I certainly shouldn’t eat it all at the same time! As the Apostle Paul said “All things are possible but not all things are beneficial” — tools without forethought result in poor tactics. Johnson and Rangaswami’s thoughts can help us ‘eat’ information on purpose instead of by accident…

If you want to ‘eat’ better, I suggest you need better thoughts, tools and tactics. One way to do that might be to read my free ebook on ‘personal news aggregation’. Register at

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