Just a small note about improvement leading to overwhelming leading to failure.
The problem is simple. There are millions of people and computers creating ever more media, content, and information. I am only one person. Adding systems to enhance data gathering and management results in much more being handled, so ending further behind. It seems to be a general property.
I first was thinking this as I looked over my 15 to 24 TB of disks. Only a few years ago, I had a 500 MB main disk and some backups. Buying the first TB disk seemed far too much. Now I’ve reached the point where the time to manage it all is nearing the value of it… Some disks holding backups of that 500 MB disk, now long gone to disk heaven. Is it worth the time figuring out what is worth keeping, what a duplicate, and what trash? But just buying more disk exponentially increases the problem…
Most recently, I bought a Roku. ONLY to be a cord cutter. We had Netflix. Amazon Prime for shipping costs brought that video service functionally for free. Pluto has a bunch of movies and news too. So 345 channels on Roku AFTER I selected only the ones that looked interesting. Some of them, like Amazon, Netflix, Vudu. Hulu, etc have, themselves, subchannels, categories, and/or lists of shows. Then the Yahoo and Youtube channels bring the internet flood.
So what is the product of devices (computer plugged into TV as well) x channels x stations x shows x series x features x …???
I have no idea.
And that is the point.
I realized tonight that it is impossible to manage. I picked one of the 300+ Roku channels I had thought might be interesting, but had yet to actually watch, and watched it. I set the goal to do one every day or two so as to actually pick keepers and tossers. TubiTV is now in the keeper group. Watched a Denzel Washington movie “Out of Tine”. A very good cops flick set in Florida. One down.
Started it about an hour before dinner, paused to cook and eat, finished it a half hour after dinner. Marked the channel as good, looked at the dozens more movies to watch on that channel, and moved on. Looking at Amazon Prime TV, I decided to cruise some of the categories and see what was new, I.e get off the “watch list” I’d picked a week or two ago. I’ve watched maybe 4? things from that list. That was about an hour ago… More stuff showed up than I’d watched. On just one device, one “channel”, more new hours of content were created than I could consume.
That raised this dilemma to the front.
If it takes me 6 months just to check each channel once, and say 1/4 of them each individually create more content than I can watch in that interval, then I can never watch even a fraction of the content offered.
Buying one cheap device has assured I can’t ever “catch up” on entertainment alone. It has imposed a new burden to filter, prune, and select. With enough devices and sources, that burden alone will consume all available time. The necessary conclusion is that much must be discarded without evaluation.
I’m going to be resorting to channel description sites and “voting” or “stars” rankings for many channels and shows, just to toss the junk faster if nothing else. Yet I hate reputational rankings as my tastes often diverge from the crowed.
Basically, I now know why people pick a favorite and stay with it, even when better exists. The search and sort cost is too high. Why people depend on gossip and what’s trending. It avoids the work and cost of search and validation. In the face of impossible selection times, rolling loaded dice becomes a reasonable strategy. Watching something likely to be good enough is better than searching for an optimal choice that never is found.
So we pick politicians that are tall and look good, or that shout our own biases and wants at us. Why spend time looking at track records or actual ability?… We buy the hot album our friend played, believe the religion our Mom followed, eat the foods we grew up eating, wear the current “fashion” and never check on why; or even does it make sense. Just too much work and time to do do.
Thus the herd following Algore and “The (fictional) 97%”. Getting them to change requires them to invest time, to think, to care about doing better. They won’t, because the are happy just doing what their friend does. Even scientists know Science advances one funeral at a time. Because once we have decided a choice, new stuff shows up faster than we can possibly search it, so we just ignore that stuff. We are busy looking at some other, more familiar, Shiny Thing…
Lessons from the Roku… who knew?
Well, I think I’ll watch the news now. I usually watch the news…