Like Hamsters In a Wheel

By December 3rd, 2013

Like Hamsters In a Wheel – The Impact of Big Data Upon Our Capacities to Assimilate New Information; Number of Published Magazines in U.S.


The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current America

by Mack W. Borgen

Stimulating, refreshing, and original…” Wayne S. Bell, Chief Counsel, CA Dep’t of Real Estate, Sacramento, California

“…(A)stonishing undertaking…” Brigadier General Dulaney O’Roark, (Ret), Louisville, Kentucky

“…(R)e-opens the doors to civil dialogue,’ Martha Lange, The Aspen Institute, Santa Barbara, California

A Set of Two Companion Books:

Vol.1 – The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics (408 pp) (2013) 

Vol.2  The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture (438 pp) (2013)



or Ask for These Books at Your Local Bookstore

Order The Relevance of Reason - Business and Politics (2013)

Like Hamsters in a Wheel — The (At Times, Adverse) Impact of Big Data

Upon Our Capacities to Assimilate New Information and To Separate Facts from Fiction

America is difficult to see. It is almost impossible to know. Our country is vast and our society is complex. The way forward is rarely obvious, and the underlying issues facing our country are confusing, and at times frustrating. For all of its wonders, technology itself has dangerously accelerated both history and our lives — what we do, what we read, what we “see,” and what we think about. Technology has affected the manner and the extent of our absorption and our assimilation of information. Prudence to the wind, our desire for understanding is too often supplanted by our desire for speed. As a people, we too often pride ourselves on our to-the-point brevity; for our get-er-done impatience.

In this age of Big Data and rampant impatience, speed is oftentimes more honored than accuracy. Precision is left for the clean-up crews. However, especially in an age of complexity, this may be dangerous. The same technology that has opened up our world is overwhelming us with data. In a sense, we are getting more than we asked for. We are receiving more information than we can absorb.

Each day we are asked, in some cases even expected, to read, understand, assimilate, and apply a diffuse amount of news, data, statistics, projections, and warnings. Ever since Bill Gates left his garage, the volume of data and the speed of ready access to it have been accelerating. At times, it seems that information and knowledge are themselves components of a zero-sum game–the more information that is available, the less knowledge that is assimilated.

In our prior lives, we were allowed some time to separate fact from fiction. Now, overwhelmed with data, we spend our time caged like hamsters on a wheel, trying to keep up. In both our personal and our professional lives, we try — with hint of near desperation — to not be oh, so, 5-minutes ago.

Adapted from Borgen, M. The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics (2013), pp. 23-24  and The Relevance Of Reason – Society and Culture (2013), pp. 23-24.


The Fact of the Day

The Number of Magazines – By Separate Category — Published in the United States

The Association of Magazine Media identifies appr. 275 separate categories of magazines. The ranking of the top ten categories (by number of magazines in such category) and the number of magazines in such respective categories are as follows:

Ranking     Category                   Number in Category

1.                       Medicine                               1,100

2.                      Ethnic                                       978

3.                      Regional Interest                   939

4.                      Travel                                       829

5.                      Religion/Theology                 784

6.                     Business and Industry           613

7.                     College Alumni                        569

8.                    Health and Fitness                  508

9.                    Automotive                               468

10.                  College Student Press             425

Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics, (2013) p. 293 (Ch. 13 (Media and Journalism)), Citing The Association of Magazine Media; See Borgen M., The Relevance of Reason, pp. 293 for data on  top 20 categories of magazines.


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