Friday, January 09, 2009


Ran across an interesting reference to " Food variety-seeking in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)" - and no, I'm not a biologist or animal behaviorist, so it was totally serendipitous.

From the abstract:
Variety-seeking is a central issue to consumer behaviour research and a phenomenon of crucial relevance, both for human and animal nutrition. Variety-seeking increases the probability of nutrient adequacy in omnivores, and in humans it may also contribute to obesity epidemic by diversifying food selection and leading to excessive food intake.
Replacing the references to food with ones about information makes for an interesting perspective on the place of tools like Twitter.

Following the tweets of a people from a spectrum of backgrounds and interests provides an "information omnivore" with a variety that would be much more time-consuming to find on one's own. And "increase the probability of informational adequacy" -- with more sources of input, you're less likely to be informationally deficient in a given area.

On the other hand, there's probably a challenge in making sure that it doesn't lead to an "information obesity epidemic" through "excessive data intake" :-)

When's it time to go on an information diet?

Labels: , , ,