Monday, May 14, 2018

How to cure the Big Data Blues

They are watching! Click on that Youtube cat video and you get included in a subset. What’s that you ask? I have no idea but it probably means you are going to get a call from a donation seeker for the local animal shelter. ‘Like’ your friends post about the new shotgun he bought and the NRA might very well send you a new member packet. Watch a crime movie on Netflix and, who knows, your could end up on an FBI ‘Dexter’ watch list.

This whole thing has just gotten ridiculous and it’s not just government organizations. Scarier yet are big companies, like Apple, Google, Facebook etc.. Their middle names are data and they have taken this to an esoteric level - Big Data.

That’s where you collect every piece of information known to mankind on every individual, organization, group, club, location, time, blade of grass etc. and put it all into a brew pot with special herbs,  snake heads and large doses of artificial intelligence. Then you bring it to a boil for a few microseconds ( Things happen fast in the world of data. ). Let it congeal for a few more microseconds and mystically the names ( and emails, addresses, phone numbers, gender etc. ) of all those with ‘blue eyes’ stratify in a layer at the top of the concoction. All those names of people with big smelly feet will be at the bottom, ( I hope). And us pot bellied old geezers, somewhat fittingly, end up in the middle.

Now why would anyone what to do this, you might be wondering? In a word - advertising.  Let’s consider advertisements that might precede the cat video we alluded to earlier. A pretty ’blue eyed’  maiden might see an ad for a blue sapphire necklace that would grace her beautiful eyes. A big stinky foot athlete would get an ad for Air Jordan athletic shoes and us pot-bellied old geezers will see belts and suspenders commercials.

So the real value of Big Data is to present different highly selected information to individuals based on how they congealed in the artificial intelligence potion! It’s brilliant! Each person gets exactly the ad they need. Well..... assuming you trust special herbs, snake heads and artificial intelligence. I am not sure I do but look for Big Data marketing tactics in my next newsletter.

For now though, my advice is to turn off that stupid Big Data collection device ( cell phone ) and go camping! ( You have to turn it off or else Google will Geo-locate your favorite camp spot and, of course, their mission is to ‘tell the world’ about it. )

Also, as soon as you go ‘dark’ don’t be surprised if the NSA classifies you as a gun toting, right wing, bubba redneck on a survivalist mission. After all, who else could actually get along without Facebook or Youtube for  a whole weekend?

Of course, I’m just kidding about all this ..... I think ;-)  - Go Camping!


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