Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Information overload

  1. Jun 2, 2005 #1
    hi all,

    years ago when i first got into physics i imagined that many years down the line i would be starved for resources. i'm going to be a senior undergraduate next year and it seems to me that the further along i get in the field of physics the more information i come across. and not just information but many many resources. perhaps i'm a bit too eager, but i find myself worried at times when i'm thinking about plasma physics, quantum, gravitation, classical, e&m and all these little tidbits from all over that i want to try and read and learn about, not to mention the mathematical topics. i hop online and look around, discover physics forums and have yet another huge list of resources dumped on me. in a panicked fashion i save many bookmarks and create nice organized folders on my computer for all the PDF documents i come across, free e-books, papers, etc. i have a feeling as the time goes on this information will only continue to overwhelm me. i feel that in some respect this is a serious problem, it's hard to concentrate on one topic and i feel that it is necessary when getting down to business to really focus on a topic and get involved. i'm wondering if anyone has similar thoughts to these and if there are any suggestions in terms of working with this information overload.

    -wintercarver
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2005 #2

    Mk

    User Avatar

    When I get into a situation like that, I dump some of it. I don't want to, but I'm better off when I do. I feel better afterwards.

    If I can't do that, I store it in folders on my computer, and read a few PDFs on a rainy day. :biggrin:
     
  4. Jun 3, 2005 #3
    funny you mention that -- i have a folder on my desktop named "things to read" which i place pdfs i can't bear to dump. i pick them up on my moments of non-direction :)
     
  5. Jun 3, 2005 #4
    I suggest you to avoid html links and other unstructured resources but just use pdfs or preferably printed books.
     
  6. Jun 3, 2005 #5

    What's a rainy day?
     
  7. Jun 3, 2005 #6
    a couple minutes of free time.
     
  8. Jun 8, 2005 #7
    Just take everything one step at a time. Eventually you will be able to cover everything and will find that things begin to get a little redundant. You will probably then look at the style of the presentation of the material.
     
  9. Jun 8, 2005 #8
    If you can take some moral from my side:

    I am really into physics in a way that i always want to keep my knowledge uptodate.I also sometimes end up getting stuck with so much of information that sometimes I wonder at nights that 'whats the use?'.

    Now what I do is that.I just take one good book (presently reading feynman from last 2 years ) or for that matter one good .pdf file or 1 online e-book and read it thoroughly , try my inferences on materials, sort my own questions, discuss my eagerness on PF and i am always regular with my physics.
     
  10. Jun 16, 2005 #9
    I’m a software developer, but there’s a similar desire to keep up to date on all the latest languages and stuff. Go to a big bookstore and see how many languages there are nowadays! And job seekers always want specific ones. In my 20s I subscribed to a bunch of computer magazines and read them from cover to cover. Then as I got older I realized that even if I knew twice as much, say, I’d get paid the same; there’s only so much knowledge that can be used in the daily grind. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake can be fun, but there’s a lot more to life and you can get too wrapped up in your profession. So now I learn something new job-wise only if required, and otherwise I leave work at work. When learning something new, I focus on the goal so that little time is wasted. I generally don’t care about anything beyond the goal. I probably know only 1% of what there is to know about software development; that’s enough it seems.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook