the murky swamp of mass atrocity data

3 01 2014

securing rights

Evangelists of “big data,” the possibility of computed knowledge at unprecedented scale, often describe our contemporary world as a “sea” of information. Data scientists have more and better knowledge of how humans behave, how they interact, how they cooperate, and how they conflict, generated as much by our own actions–through the Internet, mostly–as by those who surveil us. For some problems, the dataset is a near perfect match. Commercial airlines use “frequent flyer” programs to track when their customers fly, and to where; electoral strategists manipulate marketing information to infer norms, cultural preferences, and political opinions among likely voters. Amid a unfathomable sea, these data are intimate and human. Sgt. Pepper’s “day in the life,” once framed by a cup of coffee, is now an ever-present data-stream. We wake up, we create data; we go to the bodega, we create data; we set up shop in a six-by-six cubicle. We…

View original post 522 more words




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: