data power.

By | November 11, 2014

How we keep track of things – how we remember and store our ideas, arguments, facts, and questions always comes down to some sort of record. Sometimes that record is only our mind, a mental record – the simplest, yet most convoluting method possible. Our minds may think we remember purely, but with all the information that is flowing in and out of our memory, things can overlap and become muddy. Why do you think so many ‘eye-witness’ testimonies conflict. Human memory is faulty. So we invented writing & record keeping, someway of recording facts to reference later with no deterioration from the truth. Of course people could be writing down things that were untrue – but at least they wouldn’t change if they were written down, especially when inscribed in stone. As civilization grew – people realized that there has to be a record keeper – and as these people learned, they have a lot of power. Knowledge is Power. They have recorded what has happened – and knowing and understanding these things can allow you to see patterns thats many might not.

Fast Forward to Google. If you use an android phone, or chrome browser, or even just have a gmail/youtube account – google is acting as that record keeper – without even really asking. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they are a 91% revenue from advertising company – and the more they know about each consumer, the more effective their ads can be (thus charging more). They are gathering data about us – and with all that data, they create knowledge. Your email to your friend recommending a vacation – plus the fact that you googled Hotels in London – now you’re getting ads for all the latest flights and hotels in London, plus probably some sightseeing ideas as well.

Is this the kind of power we are afraid of? Data being used to sell us things – I suppose its better than Egyptian Scribes using data to find all the workers who haven’t been up to far and sending soldiers to kill us.