[FoRK] Mining humans was Re: Big Data

Adam L Beberg beberg at mithral.com
Sun Feb 5 11:57:48 PST 2012

Koen Holtman wrote on 2/4/2012 5:19 AM:
> In big data about humans, there is no such technical argument about how
> big the data needs to be.  There is just the assumption that more data
> inevitably leads to more knowledge, more profitable ad placement, a more
> efficient economy, etc.

Except the whole mining idea is a load of bull. Sell ads. More ads. 
Noone cares about anything but the ability to push ads. That's what 
happens when every single company on the internet has the same business 
model. Facebook, Google, Yahoo... MORE ADS.

So the only data point to care about is if human X has the subset of 
psychological disorders that make them fill their empty lives with 
STUFF, and which one. Healthy people don't click on the ads, healthy 
brains ignore ads and anyone the slightest bit techie AdBlocks, so they 
are NULLs as far as the internet cares. Operational costs in the hopes 
their friends are more disorderly ;)

You know, hoarders, cat ladies, the Home Shopping Network watchers. The 
ones keeping up with the Jones - "Bob has X, I need X!" (friend 
recommendations). Oh look a candy bar with 2000% markup in the checkout 
lane (geo aware). Am I pretty enough (demographic targeting)... etc. 
Amazon has some great research about identifying the type of ads that 
work since they do multiple forms on the main page - by psychologists 
identifying personality disorders.

So all this big data analytics is fancy cover and happy happy wrapping 
on a dark art. The only thing to data mine is mental disorders. Because 
at the end of the day, that's the only way ads work.

So huge amounts of data is not needed. Just reliable labeling and 
victory - the right kind of ads for the disorder. And the label data is 
sellable, so you don't even have to do any mining once everyone is 
labeled properly, which should be quite soon.

The next great battle is tech lobbyists vs drugs. Healthy people buy 
less stuff and damage GDP, so expect the FDA to start banning effective 
drugs soon. Remember, a mentally healthy internet is an out of business 
Internet :)

Adam L. Beberg

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