[Editor's Note: This guest article comes to us from Dr. Nathan Wilson, CTO of Nara. ]

Photo of Thomas Jefferson statue and modern person with smart device The Problem: Information has run amok.

There once was a time when the busiest and greatest minds –the Jeffersons, Hemingways and Darwins – would have time in their day for long walks, communion with nature, and leisurely handwritten correspondence. Today we awaken each day to an immediate cacophony of emails, tweets, websites and apps that are too numerous to navigate with full consciousness. Swimming in wires, pixels, data bits, and windows with endless tabs is toxic to you and to me, and the problem continues to escalate.

How do you connect to this teeming network without electrocuting your brain? “Filtering” is a simple, but ultimately blinding, approach that shields us from important swaths of knowledge. “Forgetting faster” is potentially a valid solution, but also underserves our mindfulness.

A History of Attempted Solutions So Far: How have we tried to solve information glut so far, and why is each solution inadequate?

Phase 1 – The Web as a Linnaean Taxonomy (1994-2000)

The first method to deal with our information explosion came in “Web 1.0” when portals like Yahoo! arose to elegantly categorize information that you could explore at your leisure. For instance, one could find information on the New England Patriots by following a trail of breadcrumbs from “Sports” to “Football” to “AFC East” and finally “New England Patriots” where you were presented with a list of topical websites.

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