Book Review: The Velocity of Information
This is written by guest poster Melonie Kennedy
How can the prepared individual understand how they, and those around them, deal with chaos and handle crises in their aftermath? Can understanding how the human brain processes information on the personal level, as well as how groups of humans will collectively react to a situation, help us be better prepared for emergencies? Yes, it can!
David P. Perrodin, author of The Velocity of Information: Human Thinking During Chaotic Times , offers readers an in-depth look at exactly this. Upon realizing a crisis event is taking place, there are steps we can take to assess the information we’re taking in, in order to formulate the appropriate response(s). Not only that, there are even ways to assess that we’re getting valid information in the first place, by building a trusted network of personal and media sources for our preparedness efforts.
Having such information at our fingertips, gathered through a mix of first-person interviews and assessments of historical situations (from use of propaganda during World War I and II up to the COVID-19 pandemic), gives the reader background and advice on a variety of scenes where we need to look past our biases and any tendency toward over- reaction or hysteria and step into an impartial frame of mind to make judgements.
Chock-full of scholarly insights, The Velocity of Information is not a light read nor is it one for those focused only on the more glamorous sides of preparedness such as buying gear or stockpiling canned goods. On the surface, the book actually has little to do with “emergency preparedness”; the reader who will best benefit from Perrodin’s work is the reader who wants to know how the human animal sees (or doesn’t) information and why they react (or don’t) in short and long term emergencies.
Understanding the psychology behind human behavior, particularly through assessment of historical occurrences from individuals and community to media and government levels, provides deep insight into how to actually engage in preparedness-focused behaviors.
For the reader who wants to get into the dirty nitty-gritty of how people have behaved in crises across many years, to prepare for how they will most likely behave in future crises, The Velocity of Information is a must-have title. If you’re the sort of reader who avidly takes notes in books, plan to have pens at hand; I personally highlighted many sections with stories and terms that fascinated me. If you enjoy audiobooks, the upcoming release in audio format is a good option for longer listening periods when you can focus on and absorb everything. (That said, non- auditory learners will still be able to enjoy the audio format as narrator Ben Hauck’s cadence and tone keep things friendly and informative, rather than making the work into a dry lecture as lesser speakers would do.)
*Editors note: Rogue Preparedness makes an appearance in this book!
Know someone who geeks out on the human brain? This may be just the title they are looking
Check out The Velocity of Information today!