Why big data is actually small, personal and very human – Rebecca Lemov | Aeon Essays
2016-06-21 18:09:26 GMT
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"Most definitions of big data don’t take account of its inherent humanness, nor do they grapple meaningfully with its implications for the relationship between technology and changing ways of defining ourselves. What makes new collections of data different, and therefore significant, is their quality of being generated continuously from people’s mundane, scarcely thought-through, seemingly tiny actions such as Tweets, Facebook likes, Twitches, Google searches, online comments, one-click purchases, even viewing-but-skipping-over a photograph in your feed – along with the intimacy of these actions. They are ‘faint images of me’ (to borrow a phrase from William Gibson’s description of massed data traces), lending ghostly new life to the fruits of algorithmic processing."
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