Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Big Data

“In a way, I think the world is becoming more like the stock market,” Spivack says. “You can now measure theories about everything and make predictions about what needs to be done when resources are running low. If every device in a factory is reporting its state all the time, including when failures happen, you can use machine learning to look at all the devices that are connected, and at what their state was before and during failure events to learn to determine the early signs of failure.”

This reminds me of a clock-maker's apprentice sitting eternally still having being told to monitor a clock pendulum for signs of anomalies.

What concerns me about this is that we are transfixed by data and remain stuck in a post-rationalised realm. Will we move too far away from the idea that perhaps our control over events is not as black and white as we would like to believe? Will we forget that we can chose to evolve to a higher and more empathetic state? Perhaps forgetting is a good thing. After all Islam is doing pretty well at remaining stable and at the core of the belief is a recognition and acceptance of human-nature and not, as is arguably the case with Christianity, an idea that we can use spirituality to become more altruistic. This realism on the one hand (built-in systemised charity) and denial (charity as equivalence of empathy) on the other is where we now stutter like a scratched DVD. Hegel’s idea of free virtue as true virtue seems a long way off now. Authoritarianism completed.

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