Ice cream day again and time to finish off the old tabs. Another pleasant morning that belies the misery that summer will too soon bring.
First, an article [Link] in the New Yawk Times entitled “Data Science: The Numbers of Our Lives”. The article is about the analysis of all that data that is collected in modern life by corporate parasites. Yes, parasites – animals that live by stealing the vitality of others.
My first thought was that anything that has to tell me it is a science isn’t. This one supports that hypothesis. The intent is not so much understanding as it is manipulation – how does one use the data to profit? But as horrible as that thought is, of a capitalist leech version of 1984, what may be more worrisome are those who decouple themselves from some or all of the sampling.
Privacy is an considerable and growing concern, at least based on the increase in numbers of add-ins for browsers and various stealth modes for them. But while this “data science” isn’t, there are still some STEM aspects to it – more bastard engineering than anything else – that raise red flags and alarming gongs when the sample is skewed. Admittedly, the corporate oligarchs are probably not too concerned about this so long as the fraction of the population not gathered into their blood sucking maws is small, but what does the absence of anything say about the existence of those people? Are we developing a society of shadow people who are not just the unemployed who live beneath overpasses and in storm drains and browse only at the diminishing number of public libraries but also those who have the knowledge to bypass part or all of this harvesting?
Since most of these latter are nerds, and perhaps a few geeks, and bogs who are canny associates, this may not be new. After all, these are the people who have been outside the domain of consumerist serfdom for years, and outside organizational fetters even longer. Yes, they are subjected to periodic pogroms, but dark ages then ensue and the woes dealt in disease and violence of unsupervised bogs allow the nerd population to regenerate and reassert.
Of course, the uncertainty is GEN Y which seems intent on not just cooperating but embracing this thralldom.
Next, an article [Link] in Scientific American comparing traditional book (paper) reading to using an eReader. The comparison is very one sided. eReaders are not good along many azimuths including stress on the reader, comprehension, and learning. One more way to stupid the young seems to be the bottom line.
And unlike data science there may actually be some science to this.