Info Wars: Signal-to-Noise Ratio

There’s a technical calculation that is used in both science and engineering called signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). It’s basic premise is critically important today on a universal scale in ways that have nothing to do with science and engineering.

The SNR is the relationship between twos part of any signal: the meaningful information and unwanted noise. A good SNR is stronger in important information and the weaker in the extra noise. The information age has surely magnified the ease and fluidity of meaningful information in our lives. I think we’d be lying, however, if we didn’t recognize that the velocity and volume of information being shared hasn’t increased the amount of unwanted noise, too. This, of course, is compounded by the ubiquitous usage of social media.

As someone who finds himself reading a third book for the week or listening to yet another podcast without really knowing why, I think it’s critically important to place significant weight on your SNR rather than the volume of information you’re ingesting.

It would be ironically counterproductive to ramble beyond the minimum effective dose of this message, so I’ll leave you with this. There are two variables at play here to improve this. We can increase the meaningful information we take in and/or we can lower the noise. In 2019, you may find that lowest hanging fruit you can take action on is to quiet the noise. 

Logan Gelbrich


5/17/19 WOD


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