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  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 16:58:00 on 2016/06/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , celeb, celebrities, , celebs, dictator, dictators, , , , , , , , , , mesmerization, mesmerize, mesmerized, , politician, politicians, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Big Data Rationality of Large Numbers: Quantitative Statistics + Fanatical Delusions 

    There are virtually innumerable fans of so-called „big data“. Countless fanatics of this quasi-scientific method will swear on a stack of bibles that if you count anything – it really doesn’t matter what, as that minute detail will certainly „emerge“ from the data itself – you will be rewarded with insights beyond your wildest dreams. Such descendents of bean-counters from previous centuries have moved on to grains of sand, dust particles, the colors of a beautiful sunset, whatever.

    These people may strongly believe in science – without actually understanding much about scientific methods.

    There seems to be a link between such lacking understanding and fanaticism. Let’s go back to one of the greatest leaders of fanatical movements ever: Adolf Hitler was probably one of the most (if not even the most) quintessial dictators of all times. I think what many people overlook, though, in this example is not that he was able to mesmerize such humungous masses, but rather how the masses let themselves become mesmerized.

    Fans follow leaders (perhaps they should instead watch the parking meters 😉 ). There is a sort of quirky rationality to this behavior: When fans follow their leader, they apparently feel they no longer have to think themselves… – they simply accept whatever their leader says (i.e., dictates). This saves energy, because thinking can be quite difficult. Not thinking is easier than thinking.

    The important takeaway is this: If people feel able to let someone else do the thinking, they seem very willing to do so. One way they feel able to enable a dictator to think for them is if / when other people seem to approve of the dictator. Other people’s approval of a dictator seems to make it „OK“ to let the dictator do as he / she pleases… – whether the dictator is a politician, a celebrity, a brand name, or anything anyone happens to be a fan (i.e., a fanatical follower) of.

    When popular brand names such as Google or Facebook sell „big data“, of course they tell naive and innocent consumers a story about how important big data is in order for consumers to be able to find leaders. What they don’t tell such consumers (as those people who are willing to believe this story) is that the „big data“ plans are actually all about tracking consumer behavior. What they don’t tell advertisers is that the consumer behavior they track actually isn’t actually a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but merely a fanatical delusion hardly worth any more than a single grain of sand.

     
  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 22:25:52 on 2013/10/18 Permalink
    Tags: authoritarian, authority, , , , dictate, dictator, , , , , , , , gay, governence, , , , monopoly power, , , ,   

    ICANN’s Plan to Privatize the English Language: Dot Gay 

    A friend of mine, Ray King, is one of the applicants for .Gay — and he just wrote:

    The current issue is whether a small group of the Internet elite understand the problems with delegating a single company as the gatekeeper and censor for the global “gay community,” and if a company that has objected to .lgbt can still be considered credible community representatives. I welcome your comments and debate on this topic as a productive means of creating a prideful and empowering .gay TLD, and encourage those with opinions to weigh in on ICANN’s public forum, where your voice is most effective.

    Very few people understand the implications of what privatizing part of the English Language means, but Ray raises some very good points. In my opinion ICANN’s entire plan is completely misguided. No one company should be allowed to dictate what is or is not a valid “gay” domain, or for that matter a valid domain that has anything to do with the English Language. The English Language belongs to its speakers, not a private corporation.

    ICANN’s attempt to privatize the English Language will probably do a great deal of harm to English as “lingua franca”. If a private company is allowed to dictate what a gay domain is, a book domain is, an app domain, a bank domain or a health domain, … and that domain has up to now been an English word, then that word will lose it’s meaning.

    Let me give you an example: When Facebook started, it was apparently called THEFacebook. I guess the thinking was in part because the term “facebook” was actually a jargon term used by college students at many colleges to refer to a student directory which included a picture of every student — in other words: it was a slang term (not yet language, but in such widespread use that it was almost a part of the language; and this term was quite well known in many college communities).

    Today, Facebook is a brand name. When people talk about a/the “facebook”, they mean the website developed by Mark Zuckerberg and his team, and now the private company which manages that website, a very large company, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. “Facebook” was almost a word, but now it has been privatized.

    ICANN’s plan is to do pretty much the same thing with many English words — not odd terms like “facebook”, but regular everyday words like “book”, “music”, “song”, “health”, “baby”, … and also “gay”. If ICANN gets its way, then speakers of English will be disenfranchised of significant parts of the language they have spoken for most of their lives.

     
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