re the big data explosion


this post only to link to a couple of short articles discussing the recent view of big data as some kind of manna, a panacea, a means of showing what people are really thinking.. but as kate crawford points out here, some data-crunching types seem to easily fall in to the trap of thinking that correlation equals causation:

i was lead to this article via twitter and cory doctorow’s boing boing piece – where he notes that he had also written about this phenomenon in the guardian a couple of years back.

while just the other day i happened across another related piece in the sydney morning herald (link not presently available) discussing how attacks on businesses – relying on being found on the first page of a google search – render their websites virtually invisible when rival companies create codes for that page which lead to too many 404’s – causing google to remove them from their search engine hits..

new apps for the new generation

the full implications of this latest app and its claims re anonymity are somewhat lost on me, but the full horrors of the video sales-pitch are not…

article on internet tracking

here’s a link to the first of two articles by Christopher Butler on internet tracking at PrintMag. in language we can all understand, it reprises an earlier article in the Wall St Journal about how sites that you navigate to, will download tracking devices to your computer – not just cookies, but sometimes those enhanced cookies which reveal pretty much all about what you do at your computer.
as he says, we may joke about how targetted ads on the internet means that big brother is watching us, but as a matter of fact…

how to make money on the net

see fastcompany for some others too…

google uber alles

hungry beast again, this time with a nicely put together summary of google and its…intentions:

once more, you will want what others need you to buy.


having grown up in sydney and enjoyed the 80’s public art of the BUGAUP group – who altered billboard ads to make them both humorous and critical of their products (mainly tobacco and alcohol – see: – i am now still interested in the idea of ‘culture jamming’ and what calls the ‘mental environment’ and how it’s shaped by various forms of the media (‘publicity’ as john berger used to refer to it. see for example his TV series and little book “ways of seeing”, now so out-of-date in its language and images as to be retro in flavour).
[sorry about that sentence – not a good ‘lead’ at all!]
those intent on engaging with the practices of the big corporations on their home turf have recently turned to the video ad campaign, posting clips on youtube, where these days lots of people hope to claim a little bit of the global fame from video popularity. but big corporations have their little ways of removing negative portrayals, as greenpeace has found with nestle, who managed to get this one pulled from youtube – thanks perhaps to being bigger than china wrt google?

Have a break? from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.

Free Will and Facebook

You, like all adults, have free will. Then why do you feel manipulated on Facebook? Read the rest of this entry »

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