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Word Count: 712
Scientific and technological developments have real and direct effects on everypersons life Some effects are desirable others are not Some of the desirableeffects may have undesirable side effects In essence there seems to be atrade-off principle working in which gains are accompanied by lossesExampleAs our society continues to increase its demands on energy consumption andconsumer goods we are likely to attain a higher standard of living whileallowing further deterioration of the environment to occurToday we are often told we live not simply in an age of information but in anage of excessive information The amount and availability of information seem tobe increasing at an exponential rate We feel that our entire world is movingchanging mutating at an accelerated pace Our interactions with this world ofinformation seem plagued by an increasing sense that we cannot keep up canttake it all in that we are being overwhelmed by information deluged by datathe sense of an information overloadOne of the first attempts to represent this kind of information overload appearsin Ted Mooneys 1981 novel Easy Travel to Other Planets There Mooneydescribes A Case of Information Sickness in the following termsIf information was once considered the solid ground the factual basis on whichto make decisions and take actions it no longer seems to be so Indeedinformation no longer seems to be solid at all Not only does it not provide agrounding a foundation from which to see know or act it comes to be seen asobscuring our vision our attempts at knowledge our ability to control theforces of the world Information it might be argued has become precisely whatall that is solid melts into Information flows it spreads it dissolves allboundaries all attempts to contain it Thus it is hardly surprising that weincreasingly feel ourselves enveloped by a rising tide of information immersedwithin it feeling at once exhilarated and overwhelmed Whether we figure it asgaseous or liquid--an atmosphere or an ocean smog or muck a cloud of chargedplasma or
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