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The quantitative estimation of the information value of the messages transmitted in the various ­communications channels, and the identification of a human capacity for information handling by experimental techniques, suggest that the problems of widespread saturation in communications flow may arise within the next half century.--Richard Meier

Meier, an urban planner who died in April, wrote these words in Communications Theory of Urban Growth , published in 1962, in which he also put it much more succinctly by coining the phrase information overload . Now here we are, not quite a half century later, and his phrase has almost become a cliché. In fact, some say we have gone beyond mere overload to the point of wallowing in information pollution , the contamination of a culture or of a person’s life by excessive data. Some people respond with information environmentalism , a movement that seeks to reduce information pollution and its effects on people.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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