Forgetfulness as a Virtue


Joshua Schachter, the creator of del.icio.us, just mentioned that one of the key methods we have for dealing with too much information is forgetting. He said it in the context of talking about how every time he finds an interesting blog and adds it to his feed reader, he has one more thing to do. Not adding it right away and only adding it if he remembers and goes back saves that effort.

This is a critical survival function in the modern world, I think. We have to be willing to let things fall off our plates--and be more forgiving of others when our stuff falls off theirs. We all have too much to do.

I've started to be more selective about all kinds of things I do--from installing applications on my laptop to responding positively to lunch invitations--recognizing that everything I do today commits me to future action and commits my future attention in some way. So, forgive me if I don't respond sometimes.