Morlock Elloi on Thu, 15 Mar 2018 02:07:46 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Nationalising big data

[Sharing a message from the individual that could not post to nettime-l, and my response to it]

I think that fetishizing Big Data is very similar to fetishizing Blockchain. Big Data is a consequence, and putting lipstick on symptoms doesn't get one too far.

The underlying issue (or infrastructure if you will) is plain old surveillance. This time, instead of Stasi bribing individual spies, users themselves get bribed to snitch on themselves. Brilliant model, but it doesn't fundamentally change anything. Would East Germans lobby for Stasi to share its files with everyone, as a solution for the Stasi problem? Probably not.

The idea of domesticating products of the surveillance is sickening, as it implies agreeing to the surveillance in the first place.

Now, enabling everyone to have their own private surveillance infrastructure is a different thing - for example one should be able to individually:

- spy on courts and judges so that they can pick the best venue for their case, preferably with some blackmailing material about the judge;

- spy on the neighborhood to find out who is most likely to sell the house below the market price (unemployment, pending divorce, illness etc.)

- spy on corporations to find out about the future stock prices, or on CEOs' families for kidnap/ransom opportunities;

- spy on the government to predict investment policies based on individual official corruption, then monetize on that. Etc.

That would be equitable empowerment of the citizenry!

Sharing crumbs from the Stasi menu is not it.

> i don't agree with the article:
> the way to open up the process of data refinement
> could help tame the public opinions if some managment
> of data is made common. yet the article does not ask
> if we agree with the way the algorithms are constructed
> by experts in communication labs. the communication labs
> need to be made common, which means disintegrated like insects
>   the guardian of course does want something which can tame
> public opinions, which are their targets as a pseudo social media.
> data mining link up to the philosophy department of logic and
> phenomenology. if an alternative can be constructed to data,
> it must come from active minds, and not from such idle talk about data
> management.
> the beginning of the article is more interesting: there are
> possible intelligent use of digital, by useful actors,
> like health, art, protection of the past, but the 'reality eaten up'
> by data profiling, and wealth produced by this 'activity' is
> a pollution, and the future wealthy people benefiting from the data
> pollution,
> are pollutions. the wealthy people are useless apart from being
> pollution. their activity need to be scrutinized with a
> microscope and help the data refining algorithms in the
> 'selection' of the brave new world to come, which will exclude
> the fathers of the algorithms & any users of them.

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