Great article in the Economist on the Information Explosion.
This has huge implications for human learning and performance.
Here's what Bob Cialdini wrote in his masterful book, "Influence: Science and Practice."
More and more frequently, we will find ourselves in the position of the lower animals—with a mental apparatus that is unequipped to deal thoroughly with the intricacy and richness of the outside environment…The consequence of our new deficiency is the same as that of the animals' long-standing one: when making a decision, we will less frequently engage in a fully considered analysis of the total situation. In response to this "paralysis of analysis," we will revert increasingly to a focus on a single, usually reliable feature of the situation…The problem comes when something causes the normally trustworthy cues to counsel us poorly, to lead us to erroneous actions and wrongheaded decisions. (p. 232)
As learning professionals, our clients—our fellow workers—will be more and more confused and duped by information overload. To be successful, we'll have to figure out ways to help them fight their way through the accelerating storm of information.
Again, read the Economist article.