Something that's actually good

John Thackara on the mindset challenge of big data for multinationals (via Change Observer):

"A lack of data does not mean a lack of value and potential. Billions of people with low cash incomes meet their daily life needs outside the money economy — for example, through traditional networks of reciprocity and gifts...The problem with Big Data is not that numbers are bad — it’s that we’ve made them an end-in-themselves in ways that lead us to misallocate time, attention, and resources. Big Data can work well in support for online resource-sharing — AirBNB, Uber, eBay and their like — but they’re of modest efficacy to the informal economy where, to repeat, a big majority of the worlds’s citizens subsist."

What could be a more timely observation, as the giants that created the big data revolution come under scrutiny for their role in mass surveillance of Americans?

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