"Not a chance. The promoters of big data would like us to believe that behind the lines of code and vast databases lie objective and universal insights into patterns of human behavior, be it consumer spending, criminal or terrorist acts, healthy habits, or employee productivity. But many big-data evangelists avoid taking a hard look at the weaknesses. Numbers can't speak for themselves, and data sets -- no matter their scale -- are still objects of human design. The tools of big-data science, such as the Apache Hadoop software framework, do not immunize us from skews, gaps, and faulty assumptions. Those factors are particularly significant when big data tries to reflect the social world we live in, yet we can often be fooled into thinking that the results are somehow more objective than human opinions. Biases and blind spots exist in big data as much as they do in individual perceptions and experiences. Yet there is a problematic belief that bigger data is always better data and that correlation is as good as causation."
(Kate Crawford, 12 May 2013, Foreign Policy)
"This newscast from KRON in San Francisco in 1981 has been making the rounds recently. It's labeled 'primitive Internet report,' but what it presents is actually one example of the many pre-Internet efforts that the newspaper industry made to try to plan for an online future - and stake out its own turf in that forthcoming world. ...
In the video, you can hear [Dave] Cole say, of the 'Electronic Examiner' he was demonstrating, 'We're not in it to make money.' At the end, the announcer points out that an entire edition of the paper takes two hours to download, at a $5/hour cost - making this 'telepaper' little competition for the paper edition. 'For the moment at least,' the reporter declares, over the image of a sidewalk news vendor hawking the afternoon edition, 'this fellow isn't worried about being out of a job.'
Though the piece does say that 'Engineers now predict the day will come when we get all our newspapers and magazines by home computer,' its underlying message is - Don't worry. This crazy computer stuff isn't going to change anything much for now. And indeed it took 10 years for any sort of online service to become even remotely popular. Almost 30 years later, newspapers are still in business; some are even still sold by guys on sidewalks. It has taken this long for the technology to transform the newspaper biz in a big way. ...
But even as the downloads sped up and the connect-time costs dropped, the industry held onto that approach, instead of coming to grips with the fundamentally different dynamics of a new communications medium. What had made sense in the early days over time became a crippling set of blinders. The spirit of experimentation that the Examiner set out with in 1981 dried up, replaced by an industry-wide allergy to fundamental change.
'Let's use the new technology,' editors and executives would say, 'but let's not let the technology change our profession or our industry.' They largely succeeded in resisting change. Now it's catching up with them."
(Scott Rosenberg, 29 January 2009)
"JODI has over the years built quite a reputation, especially with their notorious CD-rom OSS/**** (Mediamatic, Amsterdam 1998) which, immediately after installation, executes a takeover of the computer. In 1999 their work was part of exhibitions like Netconditions at the ZKM at Karlsruhe, The Allure of the Digitalat the Tate Gallery in London and the SONAR festival in Barcelona. They were awarded a number of international prizes, amongst which the Webby Awards in San Francisco. JODI disposed of this prize immediately, calling the DotCom-audience 'ugly %commercial sons-of-bitches'. In the year 2000 JODI was present at several international group-exhibitions and festivals, such as the Transmediale in Berlin and Deathmatch at Hangar in Barcelona Even an apparently obsolete medium like teletext did not escape JODI's interference. In 2000 they released their unusual way of thinking on 'Page 379' on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of this medium."
"Social networks such as Facebook and on-line gaming are changing people's view of who they are and their place in the world, according to a report for the government's chief scientist. The report, published by Prof Sir John Beddington, says that traditional ideas of identity will be less meaningful. ... It states that the changing nature of identities will have substantial implications for what is meant by communities and by social integration.
The study shows that traditional elements that shape a person's identity, such as their religion, ethnicity, job and age are less important than they once were. Instead, particularly among younger people, their view of themselves is shaped increasingly by on-line interactions of social networks and on online role playing games.
The study found that far from creating superficial or fantasy identities that some critics suggest, in many cases it allowed people to escape the preconceptions of those immediately around them and find their 'true' identity. This is especially true of disabled people who told researchers that online gaming enabled them to socialise on an equal footing with others."
(Pallab Ghosh, 21 January 2013, BBC News)
"Named after the pioneering critic of the commercialization of mass media, the late Professor Rose Goldsen of Cornell University, the Archive was founded in 2002 by Timothy Murray to house international art work produced on CD-Rom, DVD-Rom, video, digital interfaces, and the internet. Its collection of supporting materials includes unpublished manuscripts and designs, catalogues, monographs, and resource guides to new media art.
Emphasizing multimedia artworks that reflect digital extensions of twentieth-century developments in cinema, video, installation, photography, and sound, holdings include extensive special collections in American and Chinese new media arts, significant online and offline holdings in internet art, and the majority of works in the international exhibition, Contact Zones: The Art of CD-Rom. A novel research archive of international significance, the collection complements the holdings in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections of illuminated manuscripts and the early modern printed book, and adds to the breadth of its important collections in human sexuality, Asian Studies, and Media, Film, and Music."
(Cornell University Library)