After all, we’ve been complaining about what we now call “information overload” for a long time. In 1685, French scholar Adrien Baillet wrote: “We have reason to fear that the multitude of books which grows every day in a prodigious fashion will make the following centuries fall into a state as barbarous as that of the centuries that followed the fall of the Roman Empire.”22 It’s comforting to know that the idea that information will cause civilization to come crashing down has survived several crashed civilizations. Baillet was not some isolated crank. In 1755, none less than the creator of the first modern encyclopedia, Denis Diderot, reasoned: “As long as the centuries continue to unfold, the number of books will grow continually,” so “one can predict a time will come when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe.”23 And it wasn’t just the French who feared they would drown in a sea of leather-bound volumes. In 1680, the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz wrote of his fear of the “horrible mass of books which keeps on growing”24 that would someday make it impossible to find anything. This did not prevent him from adding his own dense works to that horrible mass. It never does. We can trace it back further, if we want. The Roman philosopher Seneca, born in 4 BCE, wrote: “What is the point of having countless books and libraries whose titles the owner could scarcely read through in his whole lifetime?