“We believe that humanity is on the verge of a revolution”.
What a bold opening statement! The very first opening sentence leaves me guessing what this entrance is about. Upon reading further I discover that the reading is in fact about the revolution of DATA.
The reading then addresses the opening quotation as a quotation that was used as the marketing blurb for a business and technology community conference in 2011.
The conference like the reading, addresses the power of data and how it is changing ‘us’ just like power of steam changed us a century ago.
- Our computers hold and transmit records of what we’ve been doing (with our attention) and our mobile devices hold records of where we are (or what we are doing with our bodies)
- Our devices can easily record our behaviours. This information can then be networked in unexpected and unplanned ways.
- The ocean of data offers new opportunities for the production of new kinds of knowledge and application.
Now that media exist in digital forms and language can be transmitted through our everyday communications devices there is a great deal of definitional slippage between ‘data’, ‘communication’, ‘media’ and ‘language’. Whitelaw (2006), in Diamond (2010:1) defines data as ‘ a set of measurements extracted from the flux of the real that are abstract, blank meaningless’.
Data, Tim O’Reilly foresaw, would be the engine and the driver of the new social media internet; but by this he did not mean that our interactions, searches, likes, uploads, or tweets were the same as data. He meant that what could be abstracted from these interactions would be the gold nuggets of Web 2.0.