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Now we can select information by some kind of pre-arranged preference and/or selection.  Due to the  capability to process data and analyze huge amount of data accumulated, we often receive the recommended books/DVD etc. once we become “regular” customers of some service.

Now that we can read articles of newspaper, periodicals, website, etc., as we can designate the topics of interest so that they are automatically sent to us.

Recently I started wondering whether this  is good or not.  It is very convenient that we need not search and screen so much information available.  We can receive “relevant” information only, without spending enormous time and energy.  But at the same time, if we keep on doing this, our world may become so limited that we are not exposed to a “new” and “different” world, unless we make conscious effort to explore.

I have recently had an opportunity to get exposed to the world which was almost totally alien to me,  such as history of Islam in relation to that of Japan, art, in particular photo and movie,  and the structural view of the Japanese literature, just to name a few.  As I came across with authorities in these fields who had been remote to me AND  found them very exciting and intellectually stimulating, I began reading books in the “new world” to me.

At the beginning, I have a hard time just reading the books etc. Names whether in Japanese or in English are so strange and the concepts “foreign”.  Sometimes I cannot distinguish whether this term is the name of a person or of a place!  But as I read on, I start capturing the context and general background.  It opens up a completely new and exciting world for me.  (It is sometimes interesting that you find similar concept in these “strange” worlds with that in your own.)

Should we go for depth by accessing only “relevant” information or go for breadth, as it can never be done by the search engine?  What do we do when we have so much to follow, even in our own field.  It seems this is the question for us all.

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