The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption

The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption - Clay A. Johnson I picked this book up out of curiosity mostly. I found it somewhat underwhelming. Part of the reason I found it falling short is that, to be honest, a lot of what Johnson preaches is information literacy repackaged. It's what good instruction librarians, and just good librarians in general, have been doing for years, even long before the Internet that he seems so fixated on. That was the other thing that did not endear me to the book: the often elitist assumption that Internet access is easy to get and that everyone can get it. There is such a thing as a digital divide, and the author just seemed to either miss it or ignore it. Also, he tries a bit too hard to remain neutral, and I have to say, there are times when one side is wrong. Pure and simple. This is not something we need to get relativistic about. In addition, if you are well-read already, and you keep up pretty well, then a lot of the book up to the point he gets to the actual information diet is a backgrounder that you can either skim or skip. There are some interesting things now and then, but unless you don't keep up much, they are not really new. As for the plan itself, let me save you time: be selective of your information sources, be balanced, cancel your cable, get it all off the Internet (because we all know broadband is easy to get and ubiquitous). I did take some notes as I read, so I will likely do a longer write-up of the book in my blog. For now, I will say I was not really impressed. This book could have just been a long magazine article. Or the content could have just been left at the companion website.