dustin decker dot com

It seemed like it would last forever – the information routine began with someone in the household making a trip to the front porch or lawn to retrieve the daily paper. Breakfast, coffee, and the morning paper had us “ready to face the day.” Later we began consuming the evening news on television and as the Internet arrived the promise of “faster” convinced us that we’re “in the know”.

In many respects nothing could be further from the truth.

In the seven decades since its publication, 1984 has never been out of print. George Orwell’s name has become synonymous with some of our darkest fears. His warning about the way in which language can be corrupted and weaponized seems as pertinent today as it ever has, and he certainly made us aware of the dangers of living in a surveillance state. In 2023, there are several geographic locations that are every bit a saturated with cameras as a Las Vegas casino, yet we’ve come to accept them as part of daily living. The threat within 1984 is a threat that’s entirely external to human society — it’s the overweening censorious totalitarian state that tells you what to think, that tells you what to believe, that manufactures the economy of information.

What was missing in our high school education of the same era was another wonderful author, Aldous Huxley. In his seminal work Brave New World, man has been subordinated to his own inventions — science, technology, social organization. Huxley was far more attuned to the internal dynamics of Western culture being the first to imagine an “attention economy” where people actively seek endless distraction as a means of avoiding the worries and cares of everyday life.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no-one who wanted to read one,” 

— Neil Postman 

So where do we turn in the twenty-first century to achieve what we conceptualize as “properly informed in our own minds? For the most part we outsource this economy to external entities, much like we did before. We’ve replaced the newspaper and television news we once trusted with the rumor mill, conspiracy, and of course the Internet as we know it. When “information” becomes a product, consumers are provided the opportunity to be “brand loyal” in their selections. The personal criteria for self-selection aught to be as unique as the general population is large, even if born largely of “this source has been accurate in the past, and I believe it.” More often than not complacency and a healthy dose of personal bias impact these decisions – and let’s not forget my personal favorite excuse, contempt prior to investigation.

I certainly cannot assuage this phenomenon for my customers any better than I can for myself.

What I can do, however, is provided you with timely, well-curated information that is S.M.A.R.T. for you.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.