We have seen the future, and it sucks.

A Little More Signal, a Lot More Noise

30th May 2012

Read it.

Because we humans seem to be natural-born signal hunters, we’re terrible at regulating our intake of information. We’ll consume a ton of noise if we sense we may discover an added ounce of signal. So our instinct is at war with our capacity for making sense.

2 Responses to “A Little More Signal, a Lot More Noise”

  1. Dennis Nagle Says:

    What is ‘signal’ and what is ‘noise’ often changes over time–or rather, we are often incapable of accurately picking out what is significant from what isn’t until after things take shape, sometimes long after. What appeared at the moment it happened to be noise was, in fact, signal, and/or vice-versa. This is the foundation and basis for ever spy/murder/thriller story ever told.

    Sadly, the above fact renders the information in this article as being “valuable, but not useful” as someone once said. At some point in the future, we may decide it proved to be noise rather than signal. Time will tell.

  2. Tim of Angle Says:

    The knowledge in this article is supremely useful, although typically appreciated and used unconsciously, as everyone who has used a moving average in preference to raw data can testify.