How to Filter the Information Flood with Logos

information overload
There is way too much information out there for you to ever read, let alone process and assimilate. I dare you to click the “Random Article” link on Wikipedia and see how many clicks it takes you to get to a topic you really know something about. It took me 41 clicks before I reached State highways in Virginia (I grew up there).

And that’s just the English version of Wikipedia. German took me 52 clicks (I got lucky); Spanish, 23 (super lucky); French, 48; and please don’t malign me for giving up on Polish before I began. 

Media Ecologists such as Neil PostmanMarshall McLuhan, and evangelicalism’s own T. David Gordon have observed/complained that the amount of available information in the modern West is actually an obstacle to knowledge. How can you determine which information is worth having as the flood rushes by? How can you make sense of the relationships of things when those things are constantly swirling around you?

You need information filters—and don’t get the cheap two-ply ones you can get at Walmart. No, it’s your own brain, your own life: you need quality filters that let oxygen through and not dust.

That’s what Logos is. Think about it: merely by having purchased certain Logos books—and having not chosen to purchase others—you have filtered out certain information you might otherwise get. And that’s good. You don’t want, you can’t process, all the available information in the world on Romans 2:14–15, or the book of Ecclesiastes, or ancient Near-Eastern agricultural practices, or any of the myriad topics Bible students and teachers have to cover. You need quality resources; you need trusted authorities. They constitute an important information filter.

You also need search skills. If you want information that is 1) useful and 2) comes in manageable amounts, you need to know how to deploy the other information-filtering tools that come in Logos. It is very easy to get lost in a sea of information, even within Logos, if you don’t know how to search. Just search “All Resources” for, say, “Jesus,” and you’ll see what I mean.

Searching “All Text” in “All Resources” is a blunt instrument of last resort that you use when you are looking for minutely particular items such as information on an obscure Old Testament character (Jabez, Eliezer of Damascus) about whom little is likely to be written. Don’t let yourself get into the lazy search habit of searching all your resources at once, with no additional filters.

I encourage you to reason backwards, as it were: what you want on any given exegetical or theological point is to get a manageable number of useful search results. So ask yourself every time you search: what’s the best information filter I can use to get me to the knowledge I want? Learn how to limit, focus, and winnow your searches. Take the time to learn about speaker data, clause searches, morphology searches (for Greek and Hebrew), and all the other tools in Logos.

The Logos Pros are here to help. And one of the ways we do that is by producing training videos that actually pursue some piece of exegetical or theological knowledge. We focus on real-life use-cases, in other words. We’re information filter people helping you use your information filtering software to capture things you want to know.

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