[FoRK] what to do with the PRISM database

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at jarbox.org
Thu Jul 11 12:08:02 PDT 2013

On Jul 11, 2013, at 4:43 AM, Damien Morton <dmorton at bitfurnace.com> wrote:
> I would love to hear your version of a more sophisticate use.

Two examples, one micro and one macro:

On a micro level, constructing exquisitely detailed behavior models of individuals and manipulating their decisions. People are aware of neither the extent of the influence of environmental cues on their decisions nor the specific mapping of cues to the decisions they make. While this has always been a point of exploitation, computers are much better at it than people are. Marketers are not exploiting it now because their tool chains are inadequate for the purpose.

On a macro level, take the micro case, generalize it to arbitrary entities and scale it up. These continuously record and model the aggregate dynamic patterns and shapes in the "flow" of entities and their transactions in space and time, how those flows continuously evolve, and the various equilibria therein. Not only does it make it simple to unblind anonymous entities and their relationships not possible using classic social graph analysis but a sophisticated analysis and manipulation of the environment can dynamically alter the behavior of a population in aggregate while making it look like a natural shift. Generalized versions of this are the bleeding edge of sophisticated analysis that can be done today. Reality looks far more clockwork than chaotic under this type of analysis.

Part of the imagination gap is that the vast majority of people in industry are using crude and extremely limited platforms like Hadoop that are incapable of being used for applications like these. It is projecting the inadequacies of their tool chain onto the possibility space. 

> We don't know what kind of analytics are being
> applied to the data stream.

You are correct, we don't know what is done with the data.

However, the data streams are standard feedstock for entity flow analysis. If you are doing this type analysis, what is being called "metadata" is actually the primary data you are interested in. Still, that does not imply that this is what it is being used for.

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