Dataspora has a great blog on data and statistics. There are not too many articles, but as I walk around and read I find mindself thinking about them. Here is a quotation from one of his posts:
“In a nutshell, the Data Singularity is this: humans are being spliced out of the data-driven processes around us, and frequently we aren’t even at the terminal node of action. International cargo shipments, high-frequency stock trades, and genetic diagnoses are all made without us.
Absent humans, these data and decision loops have far less friction; they become constrained only by the costs of bandwidth, computation, and storage– all of which are dropping exponentially.
The result is an explosion of data thrown off from these machine-mediated pipelines, along with data about those flows (and data about that data, and so on). The machines all around us — our smart phones, smart cars, and fee-happy bank accounts — are talking, and increasingly we’re being left out of the conversation.”
Two articles in the New York Times show examples of this going on. Both highlight how “we’re being left out of the conversation.” One is on immigration and the other is on lawsuits over deb collection:
“Collection law firms are able to handle such large volumes of cases because computer software automates much of their work. Typically, a debt buyer sends a law firm an electronic database that contains various data about consumers, including name, home address, the outstanding balance, the date of default and whether interest is still accruing on the account.”
By JULIA PRESTON
Published: July 9, 2010
Throughout last year, ICE auditors examined forms known as I-9’s, which all new hires in the country must fill out. ICE then advised Gebbers Farms of Social Security and immigration numbers that did not check out with federal databases.
Just before Christmas, managers summoned the workers in groups. In often emotional exchanges, managers immediately fired those without valid documents.”