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DiscerningOne posted a topic in Freedom and LibertyI 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