Short and concise for the Internet

Bullet-style Writing Icon

September 21, 2020

The advent of the internet allowed information to be shared globally, resulting in ‘information overload’. However, this increase in the quantity of information being perceived did not really come from new information, but instead came from already-existing information from various sources being made accessible to the user or perceiver.

Assuming that there are 100 million people in a country, and a person creates his own information and interacts with 100 people in a day, then he can perceive up to 100 units of information. But through a nationwide internet-like system, he can perceive up to 100 million units of information from everyone in his country, of lesser quality.

Assuming that his brain can handle 100 units and a maximum of 1,000 units of information, then he will naturally be overwhelmed by 100 million.

Since brain and mind* cannot change drastically overnight or even in a few years, the information must be made more efficient and reduced to fit into human limitations. If each information can be reduced to 0.000001, then 100 million of it can be squeezed into his capacity of 100 units. 100 000 000 * 0.000001

*The nature of the brain as a physical entity is different from the nature of the mind as a metaphysical entity

In this way, by reducing the superfluous data or noise, he can still have a piece of the information from his fellow-countrymen and really know all of his country to some extent.

How it Works

Since recorded information usually manifests as written text, then the style of writing can be optimized to reduce the noise and unnecessary data. This can be done by breaking down complex ideas into basic ones, and by grouping similar or contiguous ideas*, as described by David Hume:

It is certain that distance diminishes the force of every idea, and that, upon our approach to any object; though it does not discover itself to our senses; it operates upon the mind with an influence, which imitates an immediate impression. The thinking on any object readily transports the mind to what is contiguous; but it is only the actual presence of an object, that transports it with a superior vivacity. Enquiry on Human Understanding, Section 5, Part 2

*This follows the maxim that all ideas are connected

For example, we implement Hume’s metaphysical ideas in re-organizing a news article on Yahoo to make understanding it faster and easier:

Bullet-style writing

Positive Response

I’ve posted the above article on social media and so far most have preferred bullet style as more convenient and quicker for comprehension.

This style of organizing information will be implemented in our simplifications of enlightenment-era works, such as those of David Hume and Montesquieu in order to make the more understandable.


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