Some Marginal Notes About The Dark Sides Of Data

By Marek Tuszynski, 18 July 2014

“A peculiar thing have happened to me: I suddenly forgot what comes first - 7 or 8?” Danili Khrams, Sonnet

I like going to live performances; and I have noticed something that has became the norm nowadays: people waving hundreds of mobile devices in raised hands recording anything, anytime, anywhere.

But even when our hands are down, even when our fingers are idle, the recording goes on. What we record consciously is not that relevant any more.

The reality that matters now is not what we choose to photograph or film, the events we want to preserve for ourselves. Forget that plot, the idea that my life is a narrative that I can write down or film. We are not recording, but are being collected: our lives are being collected.

And in this collection it is the unmemorable moments that actually count. It does not matter what we think we are actually doing when we use all this battery-powered stuff. What matters is what will be made out of it, regardless of what we might have intended.

The system that we are fuelling is a system of sensors trying to divine what we want - our intimate needs and wants - as consumers, as a citizens, as activists, as groups, and as societies...


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