Friday, March 10, 2006

Why is information expensive?

Everyone should subscribe to A Word A Day. For more info see http://wordsmith.org/awad/subscriber.html.

In addition to a new word every day, the service also provides a new "random" quotation every day. Here's the one from today:

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. -Herbert Alexander Simon, economist, Nobel laureate (1916-2001)
The idea that information "consumes" our attention (and even ourselves) us is interesting to me, and it is one of the primary reasons that we need to teach our students how to make good decisions about what to pay attention to, especially since our popular culture is infatuated with "information" that is of little educational value.

1 comment:

Angie D said...

In response to your comment about the "natural selection" of teachers, I must disagree. I think that although there are many CPS teachers in these underserved areas that are "stressed out" and unhappy, I personally know several teachers that have talent, energy and vision, despite the tough conditions they face. Many of these teachers choose to continue to work for CPS because they believe that their students ought to have a high quality educational experience. Some teachers do not feel “doomed” to continue working for low achieving CPS schools. In actuality, they feel committed to these schools, their students and their families. They have made a choice to work for CPS because they personally believe that all students, even those in poor ghettoized communities, deserve the right to have talented teachers. They make the choice to stay.