Information Diet


Senior Member.
I stumbled upon an enlightening interview on a well respected (German) newspaper's web site.

The guest was Clay Johnson who has just released his book "The Information Diet". To put it in a nutshell, he draws an analogy between attractive fast food and the necessity to resist it on one hand, and on the other hand the ease of finding information bits in the Internet which confirm one's own point of view, no matter how far out that lies.

It seems strange to autotranslate an interview to English which was most likely conducted in that language originally, but here you go:

Direct link to translation

I found an English interview on the NPR site, with some transcriptions and an excerpt from the book. I have not yet listened to the whole thing, but in the transcripton he offers obvious but still valuable advice:

"Seek. Not too much. Mostly facts. Eat low on the sort of 'information food chain,' and stick close to sources. If it's an article about a bill in Congress, or even at a statehouse somewhere, going deep and actually trying to read the bill itself is really, I think, advantageous."

Here is the NPR page:

IMHO, the "fast food" analogy can be enlightening when trying to make sense of the growing pile of bunk out there, and how people react.

Mick West

Staff member
Very interesting. I wonder though if you might extend the analogy, and note that some people have a greater tolerance (or even need) for food than others.

Some people might have allergies to certain types of food, and not even realize it.

Some people might have a very mundane diet, lacking in certain nutrients.

People get a lot of their eating habits from those around them, and are influenced by the media and marketing.