Great concept — that is exactly how I sift through the daily deluge of data: Information Triage:
n. The process of gathering, sorting, and prioritizing information to identify what is relevant or important and to discard everything else.

Information triage is the continuous process by which we refine the information we gather, paying most attention to the information that is most valuable and identifying additional information we want to procure.
—”Information Triage,” Notes About Notes, January 1, 2010 (approx)

Source: WordSpy

Category: Data Analysis

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

7 Responses to “Information Triage”

  1. Alex says:

    But what is your specific process?

    To use the simple triage concept in its literal sense, one would divide everything into three general categories.

    Those who would recover regardless of treatment level.
    those who are likely to die regardless of treatment level.
    Those who may live if prompt treatment is applied.

    And so the third category is treated first.

    What is the triage for information?

  2. KJ Foehr says:

    What is the triage for information?

    Information that prior experience with the source indicates is almost always irrelevant/useless, inaccurate, or pure BS.

    Information that prior experience with the source indicates may be relevant/useful, factual, insightful, or at least entertaining.

    Information that experience with the source indicates is likely to cause serious negative consequences if ignored, such as messages from the wife, email or other material sent by superiors at work, and mail from the IRS or the DMV.

  3. Alex says:

    So which one is first? What is last? There is no absolute standard, everyone has their own way.

    In the case of your three, it may seem obvious from the value judgments you assigned. But, for example, is irrelevant or “bad” information always last? What if an economic report came out that was nonsense (I know, never happens) and you ignored it while other actors did not. Would that always be in your interest? Many of Barry’s entries here show he reads nonsense quite regularly, and then goes about demolishing it to make sure he is on signal and they are not. I often make time to read “bad” information, just to make sure it is just that.

    Why do I first need to read what I have already decided is good information, if I have already decided its “good”?

    I agree that critical information always is first. But what type of “critical” information? That is my general critical info priority level, but I might change it after some more thought. Critical would be defined as information I need to continue to make good decisions and take successful actions in each category:
    1) Family / Friends
    2) Work
    3) Investing
    4) World developments

    Of each of these, I have the next general group:
    1) Easy / quick to digest updates /action required.
    2) Takes more than few minutes to understand and act upon.
    3) Takes a LONG time, requires understanding a relatively new concept.

    Then entertaining, mildly interesting, etc. I admit my filter is not that structured for these relatively unimportant items.

    But my point is that its a complex, inter-dynamic process, and I am curious how other people do it. My way probably works for only me. But I bet a lot of the smart folks here have some things to say about their own versions of information triage.

  4. Alex says:

    P.S: I brutally filter out all sources of pseud0-information unless I can view it as purely entertainment. In my opinion, my filters here are very effective and give me much more time to focus on more critical facts and ideas. Examples:
    1) TV News…all of it (sorry BBC, not enough content. Everyone else, you are bad entertainment)
    2) Newspapers except the FT, and that is because its a trade paper for me.
    3) Television. I watch about an hour a week at most while I am exercising.

  5. lunartop says:

    The decision is

    Read now.
    Read Later.
    Don’t Read.

    What falls into those categories depends on my current context and obligations as well as the continual feedback loop of making that decision.

    It is of course only part of the process of actual comprehension.

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