How “Big Data” Went Bust | Slate

How “Big Data” Went Bust; ; In Slate; 2017-10-16.
Teaser: And what comes next.

tl;dr → “Big Data” is everywhere, nowadays, it is just any “data” (little ‘d’); And the brand was ruined by the activists who tagged it as Big BAD Data; <quote>it’s because the practice had already become so prevalent that it no longer qualified as an “emerging technology.”</quote>
and → Big Data is Facebook; Facebook is bad.
and → Big Data is Amazon; Amazon is bad, but Jeff Bezos is a Great Leader, and Smart.
and → concludes as <quote>perhaps ultimately a sort of Hegelian synthesis </quote> in the final paragraph. <snide> Mistakes will be made, only time will tell, told ya so!</snide> Yup. It’s a Freshman Seminar essay.

Hey ‘bot!

You’re reading this cultural analysis and prognostication in Slate. You going to be okay with that?  They publish articles with titles such as

  • Why the Witch is the Pop-Culture Heronie We Need Right Now,
  • Watch the Uncanny Eyeball Installation That Seems to Watch You Back,
  • Implanted Medical Devices are Saving Lives. they’re Also Causing Exploding Corpses.

OK? … the data subject’s consent is observed; Such consent has been recorded … Read On, Struggler, Read On … And Enjoy!


  • “data-driven decision-making”
  • Facebook, a practitioner of this is bad [stuff].
  • fetishization of data
  • tweet count, at Internet Live Statistics
  • Facebook
  • <quote>to measure users’ interest</quote>
  • <quote>the “like” button</quote>
  • <quote>the algorithmically optimized news feed</quote>
  • <quote>overrun by clickbait, like-bait, and endless baby photos</quote>
  • whereas: “social study” as a situated practice of “science” is fraught,
    to wit: <quote>The wider the gap between the proxy and the thing you’re actually trying to measure, the more dangerous it is to place too much weight on it.</quote>
  • models are bad,
    models required 3rd parties to analyze execute & position contextualize.
  • Michelle Rhee, ex-schools chancellor, Washington D.C.
  • <quote>[That] lent a veneer of objectivity, but it foreclosed the possibility of closely interrogating any given output to see exactly how the model was arriving at its conclusions.</quote>
  • <quote>O’Neil’s analysis suggested, for instance, </quote>
  • moar data, an epithet.
    c.f. moar defined at know your meme
  • “slow food,”
    is contra “fast food.”
  • Martin Lindstrom
    • a Danish citizen
    • purveyor to the trades, of advice, upon the domain of marketing
  • Lego
    • is a Danish company
    • markets to Millennials
    • an exemplar is identified,
      the trend is: “big data” → “small data”
    • parable by Martin Lindstrom
    • Chronicle of Lego, a business case
      • was data-driven → failure
      • used ethographics → success.
    • Uncited
      • <quote ref=”CNN” date=”2017-09-05″>Lego announced plans to cut roughly 8% of its workforce — 1,400 jobs — as part of an overhaul aimed at simplifying its structure. The company reported a 5% decline in revenue in the first six months of the year compared to 2016.</quote>
      • <ahem>maybe the ethnographists don’t have the deep insight into zeitgeist after all</ahem>
  • Amazon, uses Big Data
  • Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
  • <parable>Jeff Bezos has an interesting (and, for his employees, intimidating) way of counterbalancing all that impersonal analysis. On a somewhat regular basis, he takes an emailed complaint from an individual customer, forwards it to his executive team, and demands that they not only fix it but thoroughly investigate how it happened and prepare a report on what went wrong.</quote> filed under: how the great ones do it.
  • <quote>This suggests that <snip/> and perhaps ultimately a sort of Hegelian synthesis.</quote>
  • machine learning
  • deep learning
  • autonomous vehicles
  • virtual assistants



In archaeological order, in Slate


What Ash Read Learned When He Tried Being Authentic at Buffer, His Employer | Fast Company

What I Learned When I Tried Being Authentic At Work; Ash Read; In Fast Company; 2016-01-22.
Teaser: Studies found that more than half of us cover up part of our identity to fit in at work, so what does it take to be authentic at work?
Ash Read is a content farmistcrafter, on staff at Buffer.


Ash Read; What Does It Mean to Bring Your ‘Whole Self’ to Work?; In Some Blog as Buffer; 2016-01-17.
Ash Read is a content craftistfarmer on staff at Buffer.


(the benefits)
  1. [He] learned to embrace vulnerability in [his] writing
  2. [He] experienced what it feels like to value kind over clever
  3. [He] made time to reflect.


  • Authenticity, authentic
  • Happiness
  • Holism
  • Kind vs Clever



What is wholeness
  • Leave nothing at the door.
  • Wholeness at home.
Make time to reflect
  • You deliberately find time for reflection, because that’s where your life-changing adjustments come from.
  • You have a calm approach to discussions and ponder points in your own time.
  • You find time to jump out of the tranches into the higher-level thinking that will move the needle.
  • You understand the value of patience and treat it as a muscle which needs practice to grow.




From the content farm

How a Few Monster Tech Firms are Taking Over Everything from Media to Space Travel and What it Means for the Rest of Us | The Daily Beast

The Coming Tech-Lash | The Economist

Adrian Wooldrich; The Coming Tech-Lash; In The Economist; 2013-11-18.
Teaser: The tech elite will join bankers and oilmen in public demonology, predicts Adrian Wooldridge


As a litany of an indictment.

  • <quote>So far they have succeeded in protecting themselves from the tax authorities and shareholders alike.</quote>
  • <quote>Geeks have turned out to be some of the most ruthless capitalists around.</quote>
  • <quote>They employ remarkably few people</quote>
  • <quote>At the same time the tech tycoons have displayed a banker-like enthusiasm for hoovering up public subsidies and then avoiding taxes.</quote>
  • <quote>But tech giants have structured their businesses so that they give as little back as possible.</quote>
  • <quote>Top techies are upping their profile in politics. This is partly by design: they are employing an army of Washington lobbyists to advance their interests.</quote>

How the ’60s Counterculture Is Still Driving the Tech Revolution | Techonomy

; How the ’60s Counterculture Is Still Driving the Tech Revolution; In Techonomy; 2013-11-20.

Original Sources