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Overload!: How Too Much Information is Hazardous to Your Organization by Jonathan B. Spira

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EPILOGUE

2084: OUR FUTURE?

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.

—Hannah Arendt

Hank Jensen wakes up in the morning in his hotel room in London at 6:30 a.m. and an information beam silently reminds him of his important meetings that day. As he washes, an information beam transmits important news, customized for his interests, without his having to lift a finger. As he slept, a sleep beam, a relatively recent innovation also found in some of the better hotels, gave him a brush-up course on business Spanish in preparation for an upcoming meeting in Madrid.

While most executives don’t travel for business meetings anymore, Hank, at age 50, still likes the more personal touch of face-to-face meetings, and he remembers a time when it wasn’t technologically feasible to send your avatar halfway around the world to represent yourself in a meeting.

Hank’s home, in a Manhattan tower near Central Park, is typical of a Generation Ier. Smart sensors abound and walls can display color or images upon command. With the introduction of the food replicator in 2060, the need for a separate kitchen space diminished greatly. Once Knowledge Acquisition Corp. (“We own it all so you don’t have to”) had completed digitizing all of the world’s knowledge (a project begun by Google, a search engine company founded in the 20th century that became obsolete with the advent of information beams), bookshelves were no longer required because Generation Iers didn’t own books. ...

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