InformationWeek's new department is called "Thinkernet," and it consists of short essays about the future of the Internet's evolution. I wrote a piece for it about the coming suite of tools that make it easier to ignore stuff:
Take email: Endless engineer-hours are poured into stopping spam, but virtually no attention is paid to our interaction with our non-spam messages. Our mailer may strive to learn from our ratings what is and is not spam, but it expends practically no effort on figuring out which of the non-spam emails are important and which ones can be safely ignored, dropped into archival folders, or deleted unread.
For example, I'm forever getting cc'd on busy threads by well-meaning colleagues who want to loop me in on some discussion in which I have little interest. Maybe the initial group invitation to a dinner (that I'll be out of town for) was something I needed to see, but now that I've declined, I really don't need to read the 300+ messages that follow debating the best place to eat.