Raw data is an oxymoron (The MIT Press, 2013)

“We live in the era of Big Data, with storage and transmission capacity measured notjust in terabytes but in petabytes (where peta– denotes a quadrillion, or athousand trillion). Data collection is constant and even insidious, with every click and every”like” stored somewhere for something. This book reminds us that data is anything but”raw,” that we shouldn’t think of data as a natural resource but as a cultural one thatneeds to be generated, protected, and interpreted. The book’s essays describe eight episodes in thehistory of data from the predigital to the digital. Together they address such issues as the waysthat different kinds of data and different domains of inquiry are mutually defining; how data arevariously “cooked” in the processes of their collection and use; and conflicts over whatcan — or can’t — be “reduced” to data. Contributors discuss the intellectual history ofdata as a concept; describe early financial modeling and some unusual sources for astronomical data;discover the prehistory of the database in newspaper clippings and index cards; and consider contemporary “dataveillance” of our online habits as well as the complexity of scientificdata curation”


Published by

Cosimo Accoto

Research Affiliate at MIT | Author "Il Mondo Ex Machina" (Egea) | Philosopher-in-Residence | Business Innovation Advisor | www.cosimoaccoto.com

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