Information explosion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The information explosion is the rapid increase in the amount of published information or data and the effects of this abundance.[1] As the amount of available data grows, the problem of managing the information becomes more difficult, which can lead to information overload. The Online Oxford English Dictionary indicates use of the phrase in a March 1964 New Statesman article.[2] The New York Times first used the phrase in its editorial content in an article by Walter Sullivan on June 7, 1964, in which he described the phrase as "much discussed". (pE11.) The earliest use of the phrase seems to have been in an IBM advertising supplement to the New York Times published on April 30, 1961, and by Frank Fremont-Smith, Director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Interdisciplinary Conference Program, in an April 1961 article in the AIBS Bulletin (p 18.)

Techniques to gather knowledge from an overabundance of electronic information (e.g., data fusion may help in data mining) have existed since the 1970s.

Growth Patterns[edit]

  • The world's technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1986 to 15.8 in 1993, over 54.5 in 2000, and to 295 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007. This is equivalent to less than one 730-MB CD-ROM per person in 1986 (539 MB per person), roughly 4 CD-ROM per person of 1993, 12 CD-ROM per person in the year 2000, and almost 61 CD-ROM per person in 2007. Piling up the imagined 404 billion CD-ROM from 2007 would create a stack from the earth to the moon and a quarter of this distance beyond (with 1.2 mm thickness per CD).[3]
  • The world’s technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 432 exabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 715 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1993, 1,200 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2000, and 1,900 in 2007.[3]
  • The world's effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was 0.281 exabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 0.471 in 1993, 2.2 in 2000, and 65 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007.[3]

Related terms[edit]

Since "information" in electronic media is often used synonymously with "data", the term information explosion is closely related to the concept of data flood (also dubbed data deluge). Sometimes the term information flood is used as well. All of those basically boil down to the ever-increasing amount of electronic data exchanged per time unit. The awareness about non-manageable amounts of data grew along with the advent of ever more powerful data processing since the mid-1960s.[4]

Web servers[edit]

As of August 2005, there were over 70 million web servers.[5] As of September 2007 there were over 135 million web servers.[6]

Blogs[edit]

According to Technorati, the number of blogs doubles about every 6 months with a total of 35.3 million blogs as of April 2006.[7] This is an example of the early stages of logistic growth, where growth is approximately exponential, since blogs are a recent innovation. As the number of blogs approaches the number of possible producers (humans), saturation occurs, growth declines, and the number of blogs eventually stabilizes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hilbert, M. (2015). Global information Explosion:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-AqzPe_gNs&list=PLtjBSCvWCU3rNm46D3R85efM0hrzjuAIg. Digital Technology and Social Change [Open Online Course at the University of California] freely available at: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/949415
  2. ^ “Information.” http://dictionary.oed.com. accessed January 4, 2008
  3. ^ a b c "The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information", Martin Hilbert and Priscila López (2011), Science (journal), 332(6025), 60-65; see also "free access to the study" and "video animation".
  4. ^ Google Books Ngram viewer for the terms mentioned here
  5. ^ Robert H Zakon (15 December 2010). "Hobbes' Internet Timeline 10.1". zakon.org. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "August 2011 Web Server Survey". netcraft.com. August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth". Sifry's Alerts (sifry.com). April 17, 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 

External links[edit]