Friday, April 15, 2011

The noise of nothingness.

Now that we live amid an information explosion, a time in which one-billion videos are streamed every day on You Tube (that's a lot of cute kittens) and 500 billion digital images were snapped just last year--about 80 images for every human on earth, the floodgates of informational diarrhea are spewing.

How does this information tsunami effect agency life? What I've noticed is this: insecurity is masked by quantity. The less people know, the longer the deck, the greater the volume of speech, the bolder the assertions of speciousness.

Here's one symbol of this effect. Insights, which used to be rare, astute and almost magical, are now as populous as fat people at Disney World. The word itself has become demeaned almost to the point of meaninglessness.

As TS Eliot (toilets spelled backwards, nearly) wrote in his 1934 poem "The Rock,"

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

Or to put it more directly in an agency context,

They all have their ways of hiding their insecurities.
They have always to speak the most, the loudest and the longest.
That's not a sign of brains, it's a sign of fear.
These people are really afraid.
They're phonies who have never done this before
and to mask their fears they act with bombast.

7 comments:

Sean Peake said...

I think it is more a case of wanting to avoid responsibility (and ass-covering) than insecurity, though both result in multi-page, kitchen sink briefs that contain everything but what I'm supposed to writing towards.

bob hoffman said...

"The less people know, the longer the deck, the greater the volume of speech, the bolder the assertions of speciousness."

Geo, you nailed it.

dave trott said...

Similarly, I've always thought the quality of thinking is inversely proportional to the length of the words used.

geo said...

I have a big vocabulary and I use it because I love playing with words and I love language. However when I write, I try to keep things just simple enough.

dave trott said...

I was talking mainly about the brief George.
As Einstein said, "If you can't explain it simply then you haven't really understood it."

geo said...

The sad thing is, Dave, I've pretty much given up on briefs. They seem more like academic exercises these days, esoteric and strange, rather than pragmatic and real.

Sell! Sell! said...

"They seem more like academic exercises these days, esoteric and strange, rather than pragmatic and real."

This is so true George.