How to Intellingently Ignore Unimportant Information

A four minute excerpt of a longer address by the great Perri 6.


Most information management systems being sold to governments are designed for providing access to more information, faster. However, a good information management / decision-support system better allows you to intelligently reject information not useful for making decisions. I’d slightly nuance that a bit – the trick is to keep all the information, but allow the decision maker to focus on the crucial bit.

Later observation (December 10 2008): at a conference in Ottawa, I asked one of the chief hucksters for these “more and more” information systems firms whether he thought Web 2.0 was failing to help us “intelligently ignore unimportant information” (IIUI) – his response, not surprisingly was that it allowed us to do precisely that. I’m not saying that Web 2.0 tools cannot or do not help us in IIUI, I’m just puzzled over whether they do, and how.

The full audio is available at: The Digital State at the Leading Edge Conference February 22, 2007 (Ottawa).

See also: E-Governance : Styles of Political Judgment in the Information Age


Congressional Budget Office: innovations in presenting uncertainty?

The CBO Director’s blog has an entry on “Long term projections for Social Security: innovations in presenting uncertainty” where he highlights the innovative use of what are essentially the “fan charts” used by the Bank of England over ten years ago (which at least incorporated shading to delineate the probability distribution):

CBO Charts

Bank of England Charts

Plus ca change …