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Found 4 results

  1. I hope you don’t mind my sharing some more on Big Data. There’s just too much going on right now that could impact our lives and our freedom. Sometimes I wonder if all the hype about the latest software technology is just some sick way for the powers that be to cause chaos and distraction. I know so many people that always seem to be scrambling to keep up. But, that’s another subject. What I really want to share with you now has to do with some alarming ways in which big data is currently being used. Personality assessments are nothing new, but, with the emergence of Big Data and the latest tools for predictive analytics, more companies and people are relying on computer algorithms to make their decisions for them. Below is a link to an article I read on Big Data and workplace management. This article really ticked me off. It talks about the use of behavioral assessment tests by companies when hiring hourly (minimum / low wage) workers. I don’t punch a clock or work in a blue collar field, but, never the less, I don’t like what’s happening here. I’ve personally noticed in the last year that more managers in my profession (IT / Corporate Services) are relying on group consensus for their hiring decisions. I miss the old days where you met with the boss and if he/she liked you (your character, personality, skills, etc.) you were in. The staff respected the boss’s decision (assuming this individual had integrity) and everyone made an effort to welcome the newcomer and work together in a professional way despite any prejudice or personal differences. So why are more managers now basing their hiring decisions on group consensus and psychological / personality tests? Do they lack decision-making skills and confidence? Are they afraid they’ll make the wrong decision, and if so, why? When thinking about these questions, set aside budget & cost constraints as an excuse for being overly cautious (especially when it comes to contract work where there are no company benefits or training costs involved). I personally think most (if not all) of this is a reflection of our current culture and the lack of true leadership within our general population. Like I said, this trend scares me because I’m seeing more people in positions of authority that don’t know how to lead, critically think, or decide on their own. Now we have simple hard-working folk being subjected to the latest psychological profile tests. These employment tests are basically designed to weed out the so-called “undesirables” for that particular company or job. It may be people that think too much (like me), ask too many questions (like me), care too much about others (like me), have personal debt (like me), travel so many miles to/from job site, and so on. It all depends on the type of job as to which human qualities or facts of life are considered troublesome by an employer. Don’t get me wrong, I know employers must be weary of bad people (the liars, thieves, terrorists, and psychopaths), but, I’m not talking about this. What I’m talking about is machines vs. the human brain and heart for basic decision-making. If this trend continues to grow or if test designers, deliberately or inadvertently, cross the line into certain “isms” (e.g. racism, sexism, ageism), I’ve no doubt we’ll be hearing about some very interesting discrimination lawsuits. That is, unless we no longer have any anti-discrimination, EEO, or civil rights left when this time comes. Discerning One Article: Walker, J. (2012, Sept). Meet The New Boss: Big Data. The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443890304578006252019616768.html
  2. I'm sure you've heard the saying "Information is Power." So what? Why should we care? Well, lately I've been seeing a lot more information about Big Data and the latest technological trends in business intelligence (e.g., data collection, analysis & decision-making). Every aspect of our lives can, and is, being collected as some form of data by some organization. Most everyone knows that businesses have always collected information about their buying preferences and shopping habits. This type of behavioral and relational information is a goldmine to marketers and product developers -- hence the term "data mining." Today, everything we do, including what we do in the privacy of our own home, and even within our own body, can be collected and analyzed without us being aware. So, how is this personal data being collected? The easiest form of collection is through devices and applications most of us use or are surrounded by all day and everyday. Devices such as smart meters, smart phones, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS; TV/DVR boxes, Internet browsers, social media sites, indoor / outdoor surveillance & security cameras, employee access cards, product scanners, reward cards, and toll tags, etc. Not to mention the seemingly endless documentation (e.g., registrations, applications, and government forms) we submit throughout our lives, voluntarily or otherwise, starting from birth and continuing until even after our death. Everything about our lives produces a vast amount of interesting, and for research analysts invaluable, data -- "Big Data." If managed effectively, this Big Data can mean big bucks for big business and (dare I say) may ultimately be controlled by Big Bro. Of course, I'm all for having the best tools & techniques for forecasting and decision-making, but, this trend in Big Data and advanced analytics is leading us to uncharted territory with many potential pitfalls. This has always been a concern, ever since the Internet came of age, for many technology legal experts. To this day we still don't have full and adequate protection under the law on how our lives as "data" is being managed and controlled. We certainly don't own whatever about us is out there. Below is a link to an article (some of you may have already read it) which addresses the latest developments in nanotechnology and the use of RF-ID chips, both wearable and implantable; as well as a "chip pill." All of these devices are designed to measure and track our health and other aspects of our lives. So what does all this have to do with survival, liberty or freedom? These knew devices contain software. Software that for now is programmed to only collect and "read" data. Keep in mind this "programmable" software can at any time easily be re-programmed to a "read / write" mode and for any purpose (even nefarious). The power of technology is truly a double-edged sword. You'd have to be living under a rock not to be able to recall some historical or recent event where information and technology has been used for evil. Its important, especially nowadays, that people not get too excited about every new technological advancement; and to always look at the source. Follow the money trail backwards to find out who created the plan, who paid for its development, who controls its sale and use, and what is their intended purpose. Is this latest technology... Exciting?: Yes Safe?: That depends on your definition of "safe" Used solely for good?: Only time will tell If you're a Christian like me, you obviously see all this as a dire warning of things to come (aka the infamous "mark of the beast"). In my mind, the turning point would be after doctors (wittingly or unwittingly) have convinced their patients to wear the patch, or ingest the chip-pill; and the majority of the population is sporting the latest chip-lined fashions. Irregardless of your religious or non-religious beliefs, the fact remains that Big Data Technology is the new "wild west" and our liberty and freedoms are at risk of literally being "chipped" away. Take care and remain vigilant, Discerning One Article: "Big Data in Your Blood": http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/big-data
  3. Feedback from trusted sources, personal preference and experience will mean little if Big Data has its way. Check out this Forbes magazine article (link below). Barry Eggers is all for Big Data control. (Which doesn’t surprise me since Forbes is run by the “elite”). He writes that Big Data is the answer to our problems because it would replace all subjectivity (aka votes, opinion polls, sample surveys, top 10 lists, etc.). Eggers’ solution for a healthcare plan would be to use a computer rating system for doctors. Any doctor for whatever reason that ranks low on a list would be forced to stop practicing medicine. The key words here are “for whatever reason.” In other words, a good doctor would be in trouble for not reaching a patient quota because he/she is spending “too much” time administering quality care. Even your old car can end up last on some data list. I guess by then no one will remember the old saying that “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”? So, what would happen if our society were to replace opinions, votes, and personal preference with data-generated lists? One thing’s for sure, we wouldn’t see much love, forgiveness, or creativity in the world. Discerning One Article: Eggers, B. (2012, Sept). The Problem With Lists - And The Fix From Big Data. Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/09/25/the-problem-with-lists-and-the-fix-from-big-data/
  4. I'm sure you've heard the saying "Information is Power." So what? Why should we care? Well, lately I've been seeing a lot more information about Big Data and the latest technological trends in business intelligence (e.g., data collection, analysis & decision-making). Every aspect of our lives can, and is, being collected as some form of data by some organization. Most everyone knows that businesses have always collected information about their buying preferences and shopping habits. This type of behavioral and relational information is a goldmine to marketers and product developers -- hence the term "data mining." Today, everything we do, including what we do in the privacy of our own home, and even within our own body, can be collected and analyzed without us being aware. So, how is this personal data being collected? The easiest form of collection is through devices and applications most of us use or are surrounded by all day and everyday. Devices such as smart meters, smart phones, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS; TV/DVR boxes, Internet browsers, social media sites, indoor / outdoor surveillance & security cameras, employee access cards, product scanners, reward cards, and toll tags, etc. Not to mention the seemingly endless documentation (e.g., registrations, applications, and government forms) we submit throughout our lives, voluntarily or otherwise, starting from birth and continuing until even after our death. Everything about our lives produces a vast amount of interesting, and for research analysts invaluable, data -- "Big Data." If managed effectively, this Big Data can mean big bucks for big business and (dare I say) may ultimately be controlled by Big Bro. Of course, I'm all for having the best tools & techniques for forecasting and decision-making, but, this trend in big data and advanced analytics is leading us to uncharted territory with many potential pitfalls. This has always been a concern, ever the since the Internet came of age, for many technology legal experts. To this day we still don't have full and adequate protection under the law on how our lives as "data" is being managed and controlled. We certainly don't own whatever about us is out there. Below is a link to an article (some of you may have already read it) which addresses the latest developments in nanotechnology and the use of RF-ID chips, both wearable and implantable; as well as a "chip pill." All of these devices are designed to measure and track our health and other aspects of our lives. So what does all this have to do with survival, liberty or freedom? These knew devices contain software. Software that for now is programmed to only collect and "read" data. Keep in mind that this is "programmable" software that at any time can easily be re-programmed to a "read / write" mode and for any purpose (even nefarious). The power of technology is truly a double-edged sword. You'd have to be living under a rock not to be able to recall some historical or recent event where information and technology has been used for evil. Its important nowadays that people not get too excited about every new technological invention; and to always look at the source as well as the intended purpose. Is this latest technology... Exciting?: Yes Safe?: That depends on your definition of "safe" Used solely for good?: Only time will tell If you're a Christian like me, you obviously see all this as a dire warning of things to come (aka the infamous "mark of the beast"). In my mind, the turning point would be after doctors (wittingly or unwittingly) have convinced their patients to wear the patch, or ingest the chip-pill; and the majority of the population is sporting the latest chip-lined fashions. Irregardless of your religious or non-religious beliefs, the fact remains that Big Data Technology is the new wild west and our liberty and freedoms are at risk of literally being "chipped" away. Take care and remain vigilant, Discerning One Article: "Big Data in Your Blood": http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/big-data