[EAS] Promise and Peril of Big Data

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Mar 5 15:10:58 EST 2010

Dear Colleagues -

Three particularly interesting items on this general topic prompt 
this mailing, the recent Scout Report item below, a good survey 
article in the current issue of The Economist,
covering similar ground more briefly than the Aspen Institute report.

Finally, my friend and colleague Patrick Lynch 
<http://patricklynch.net> called my attention to a mind-blowing video 
of a talk by CMU professor and former Disney Imagineer, Jesse Schell, 
It starts out with nerdy specifics about game design and other topics 
that, like me, you may not understand a word of. It's the second half 
15 minutes, about the information gathering future of technology in 
our lives, that's the fascinating and scary part.


"No situation is so bad that it can't get worse."
		--East Texas saying, quoted by Bill Moyers

[from http://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2010/scout-100115.php ]

The Promise and Peril of Big Data [pdf]

Some data-crunchers and others are thrilled by the prospect of the growing
amount of "big data". According to a recent report, the amount of digital
content available on the Internet is approaching five hundred billion
gigabytes. This 66-page report from the Aspen Institute asks some key
questions about these developments, including "Does Big Data represent an
evolution of knowledge, or is more actually less when it comes to
information on such scales?"  Released in January 2010, this report is based
on insights from the recent Aspen Institute Communications and Society
Program, which brought together 25 leaders from the fields of technology,
economics, and public policy. The report was written by David Bollier, and
it includes sections like "Big Data and Health Care", "How Should Big Data
Abuses Be Addressed?" and "Business and Social Implications of Big Data".
It's an important read, and one that visitors with an interest in any of
these fields will want to pass along to their friends.

 From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2010.

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