Inside Higher Ed published (March 23, 2009) a viewpoint by historian Ken Coates (University of Waterloo), describing the problems of keeping up with the scientific literature and information stream in general. The piece is not even called ‘Information Overload’, but ‘Knowledge Overload’. This is a view one encounters often. But ‘knowledge overload’ is a bit of a difficult notion for me. Though I do see the problem of being able to deal with all the information and knowledge that comes at us.
Instead of seeing the increasing amounts of knowledge available as a problem, we should start seeing it as a serious opportunity. But of course the tools to be able to navigate the ocean of knowledge need to be built. That’s one of the tasks we hope the Concept Web Alliance and its members can take on.