You know you’re cramming too much in when…

by Yule Heibel on July 19, 2005

You read something terrifically interesting somewhere — on a webpage, in a book, or was it in a magazine? It’s inspirational, and it slightly angles a familiar subject in such a way that new insight reveals itself to you. Because it is tied to something quotidien, something you’ve given thought to in the past, you “bookmark” the passage in some mental in-file, for possible future consideration. It’s not a pressing matter, in other words.

Later you wake up in the dead of night, convinced that this passage is somehow portentous. You remember almost the entire passage, but you’re no longer sure where you read it. Then, as the minutes tick on and you try to get back to sleep, you convince yourself that it’s on a webpage from your local library, which has a “look-into” feature for some of its newer books. That must be where you read it — you were looking to see if so-and-so’s newest book was in the library, and the feature was available, so you read the first chapter. That must be where you read it!

After what seems like an age, you finally manage to go back to sleep.

The next day, a million things need attending to. You don’t get back to checking up on that passage, although you’re quite convinced that you can still remember what it was about. Another day goes by, and you finally get to check that library webpage again. Shoot! The book you thought contained the passage doesn’t. The library and its “look-into” feature was not the source of the passage.

In fact, because you were so fixated on locating the source, you now can’t for the life of you remember the passage at all. Not what it was about, what it might have been about, or what it was about it that you thought made it something relevant about your life. You are in fact utterly aboutless. Information overload (along with all the other attendant overloads, our current overlords) has deleted your “” account. Poof.

You feel robbed by loss. File deleted, hard disk crashed, sorry no-can bring back. I must be spending too much time on my computer…

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