Saturday, April 08, 2006
Too Much Information?
A review in the NYTimes of a new book, Programming the Universe, discusses Seth Lloyd’s theory that the universe is becoming more and more complex, that more and more cosmic information begets this complexity. The review ends with these words, “information as thread that binds past and future so that nothing is ever truly gone – not a great idea, not a great man, not even love itself.” If this were true, it could explain why I keep all the information I do – letters, articles, clippings, books I will never read. The information in my grandmother’s chest binds me to her, even though she died when my father was three. My mother’s letters bind her to my grandchildren even though she died when my children were young. To live with increasing complexity, information, and uncertainty requires such a lot of energy. My father said he didn’t agree with Thoreau’s idea of a simple life. I don’t either, although the temptation to chuck all this stuff and go live in a cabin in the woods is certainly great. My husband, struggling with the three Saturday newspapers, just hollered up, “There’s all kind of interesting stuff to read.”