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  • Profile photo of nmw

    nmw 16:58:00 on 2016/06/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , celeb, celebrities, , celebs, , dictators, , fan, , , , , , , , 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 15:49:51 on 2013/01/04 Permalink
    Tags: acquaintances, , , , contact, contacts, expert, expertise, fan, fanatical, , , focused, , , , peep, peeps, , , , , , , vertical   

    The Difference Between My Community + My Peeps 

    A couple of years ago one of my “Facebook Peeps” spoke of her “community” when she actually mentioned her “peeps” (her friends and acquaintances — her people). I was recently reminded of this again when someone said something similar and it irked me yet again.

    So what is the difference?

    I know many people, some of whom I have little in common with. Without common goals, interests, aspirations, etc. you cannot really speak of “community” — the common element is simply missing.

    Calling out to your “peeps” is perfectly fine — but it is also quite random and shows little technical expertise. It is sort of the equivalent to going to a public square or shopping mall and asking someone about “global warming” — to explain the significance or the meaning of the term. It’s not totally ridiculous, but it would probably make more sense to ask this question of a community of scientists who can give more qualified (“expert”) opinions on the matter… — in other words: to ask the appropriate scientific community.

    That’s the difference — in my opinion.

     
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