What Do We Do With All These Big Data?
Does a set of data make you feel more comfortable? More successful? Then your interpretation of it is likely wrong. In a surprisingly moving talk, Susan Etlinger explains why, as we receive more and more data, we need to deepen our critical thinking skills. Because it’s hard to move beyond counting things to really understand them.
Technology has brought us so much: the moon landing, the Internet, the ability to sequence the human genome. But it also taps into a lot of our deepest fears, and about 30 years ago, the culture critic Neil Postman wrote a book called “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” which lays this out really brilliantly. And here’s what he said, comparing the dystopian visions of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. He said Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture. Orwell feared the truth would be concealed from us, and Huxley feared we would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. In a nutshell, it’s a choice between Big Brother watching you and you watching Big Brother.
Let’s See What she said more about it.