Book Cover - Book Review: Information Anxiety 2

Information Anxiety is what happens when you are submerged by more information than you can absorb (or think that you must absorb), and as a result, you are afraid to say “I don’t know.”

If information anxiety was a problem three decades ago, it’s now a reality. Information anxiety is even more subtle than before. Our desks are mostly empty, no more stacks of books, magazines, or letters. We live in a digitalized world, where information expands invisibly.

Information Anxiety I & Information Anxiety II are not presented as different editions but have a lot in common (~ 200 “identical” pages). What differs is the audience for the divergent chapters. Volume I targets the receiver (how to survive the information tsunami), and volume II targets the sender (how to create meaningful information). The key in both cases is to focus on understanding. Information should inform; otherwise, it’s just useless data. The challenge is to understand more, and that doesn’t mean exposing ourselves to more and more information, but developing interests and nurturing our curiosity.

A lot of things have changed since the original publication of this book (or a lot of things have worsened to be exact). We need books like this more than ever. Cal Newport is doing a good job on this topic. However, Information Anxiety challenges me on the role of information like no other book, except maybe the final book of Richard Saul Wurman, Understanding Understanding, a masterpiece where the essence of Information Anxiety is still present and illustrated by the lessons of many world-class contributors.

About the author

Julien Sobczak works as a software developer for Scaleway, a French cloud provider. He is a passionate reader who likes to see the world differently to measure the extent of his ignorance. His main areas of interest are productivity (doing less and better), human potential, and everything that contributes in being a better person (including a better dad and a better developer).

Read Full Profile