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informavore

from Wikipedia: Informavore:

The term informavore characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger). Miller states, “Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores.”

from The Age of the Informavore: A Talk With Frank Schirrmacher:

As we know, information is fed by attention, so we have not enough attention, not enough food for all this information. And, as we know — this is the old Darwinian thought, the moment when Darwin started reading Malthus — when you have a conflict between a population explosion and not enough food, then Darwinian selection starts. And Darwinian systems start to change situations. And so what interests me is that we are, because we have the Internet, now entering a phase where Darwinian structures, where Darwinian dynamics, Darwinian selection, apparently attacks ideas themselves: what to remember, what not to remember, which idea is stronger, which idea is weaker.

Gerd Gigerenzer, to whom I talked and who I find a fascinating thinker, put it in such a way that thinking itself somehow leaves the brain and uses a platform outside of the human body. And that’s the Internet and it’s the cloud. And very soon we will have the brain in the cloud. And this raises the question of the importance of thoughts. For centuries, what was important for me was decided in my brain. But now, apparently, it will be decided somewhere else.

The European point of view, with our history of thought, and all our idealistic tendencies, is that now you can see — because they didn’t know that the Internet would be coming, in the fifties or sixties or seventies — that the whole idea of the Internet somehow was built in the brains, years and decades before it actually was there, in all the different sciences. And when you see how the computer — Gigerenzer wrote a great essay about that — how the computer at first was somehow isolated, it was in the military, in big laboratories, and so on. And then the moment the computer, in the seventies and then of course in the eighties, was spread around, and every doctor, every household had a computer, suddenly the metaphors that were built in the fifties, sixties, seventies, then had their triumph. And so people had to use the computer. As they say, the computer is the last metaphor for the human brain; we don’t need any more. It succeeded because the tool shaped the thought when it was there, but all the thinking, like in brain sciences and all the others, had already happened, in the sixties, seventies, fifties even.

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