Our Daily Bleg: What to Do About Too Much Data? - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

A reader named Evan Schumacher wrote in with an interesting bleg. (Read about blegs here and send your own here.)

Tucked inside his bleg is the part that tickled me the most: a website Evan created to tell him whether it’s worth it to watch a basketball game he’d recorded. Anyway, I’ll give my answer below, after his bleg.

"I was wondering if too much data is ever a bad thing? I ask because I thought one of the rules of life that I’ve learned is that it’s best to have as much data as possible.

Whether it be hard numbers or smart people around, and at least when you are starting, you want as much information as you can get. The smart guys are the ones who know how to analyze it.

However, in my personal life I was having a problem with too much data. I watch all of the Warriors basketball games on DVR. However, nothing is worse than watching for 1.5 hours and in the end your team gets blown out. However, I never want to see the score before I watch because that ruins the game. To solve the problem I created a little website to warn me if the games are bad (www.shouldiwatch.com), but it won’t tell me anything about the outcome (who won or the score) if the game was relatively close. Trust me, as a Warriors fan this is a huge time saver. It’s a stupid little example, but it makes me wonder if there are other cases when you are doing research when you need to turn away from some information.

Anyway, it’s a little bit backwards to think of, but I thought it might be interesting to explore."
Evan is my nephew. Apparently he is a true child of the Internet.
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