Skip to Content

Big Data Column: I don’t want to know

Menno van Doorn
June 16, 2012

One thought on “Big Data Column: I don’t want to know

  1. Here are a set of random thoughts, hope it helps….
    Yes, we live in a world where access to information has grown exponentially in the most unimmaginable ways…
    There are visions within visions and interpretations within interpretations about every piece of information out there, which makes it all an enormous pattern of multiple combinations of understandings and non-understandings, increasing as we speak.
    Do we need to know all? Or do we already know too much?
    At times, I find myself thinking that we know already too much and we purposely unplug not to know more; and yet at times I haven’t got enough long seconds in my life to stretch the day and read and know all the things I want to know!
    We live in an era where we are thrown into an ocean of information and some of our pairs do not even know how to swim!
    We surf the web, we are splashed by ads, we interact with the tech-environment, and yet we don’t know our neighbours.
    We compare info, we make a balance on the info, we comprehend the info-results, but do we really know?
    And yet all this ocean of information is so boundless so wide, so deep, and so ever-changing;
    How could we possibly know all? How can we hug the Universe of data? Would it be pretentious to say
    we can and it can all appear on a screen on the palm of our hands?
    There certainly are things we do not want to know, indeed, from my humble point of view, I would say it is a mark of self-respect to be selective with the information we want or don’t want to handle.
    Sometimes we are confronted daily with the loss of our own path of self-discovery and development, whether it be because we already studied in psychology class what could be happening to an individual (us). Yet knowing what is happening allows us to recover promptly and ease our way, because it delivers an instant understanding. In the latter case, info acts as a tool for improvement, though it doesn’t give us all the answers.
    Let’s give another example. We could be entitled to know by hart all the names of all the tools you could find in an Artisan’s workplace to repair or make woodcraft in a traditional way, or we could update and learn only the names of the most modern equipment. Should we then learn the old, the new, both, create a new set of tools, or just remember the tools we need?
    Is it essential to know all? It depends.
    Now here is something worth considering, not that the former isn’t, but take a look at this:
    We are constantly dealing with info and info is being bombarded at as regularly, so we are informed, yet a considerable amount of info can lead a computer to get stuck and can lead a human mind to either be very informed, or get saturated and lead to the opposite, that is misinformation or even disinformation.
    An example of this would be: we have a chain of short news, one after the other, but the one our brains retain mostly is the last one, (this has been experimented scientificly).
    So let’s compare and explain for a moment, as if it were a short journey of the understanding of the vast implications of the latter statement.
    Let’s assume for a while that our minds resemble that of a computer hardware, we would have a limited amount of information we can store in that definte amount of metal circuits. The amount of info we can process depends on our Operating system; the capacity of the operating system depends on the programmers who made up the language and a set of decisions upon how it will function and deal with the info.
    So the vastness of the information is still limited by the capacity of the receptor of the information.
    In other words, not because there is a huge quantity of info out there it means we are necessarily able to cope with that volume of data.
    And that is when we add the human value of the selectiveness, happily we are not computers!
    Another perspective of this questioning could place us in the mind of a child gazing in awe, wonder and fascination at the vast extension and multiplicity of twinkling stars pending on a deep infinity of blue night’s sky, in an unknown place, on the outskirts of a city, encompassed by a squeeking grasshoper and a fresh summer breeze under the blessing of due.
    And ask ourselves, do we really need to know everything?
    And yet, we are increadibly curious!
    And do we not intuitively seek for things in this world rich of paths to be discovered?
    Or is all the data already there, and we are but merely bringing back our memories?
    “Information is power” said my teacher at university at 7.30am on the morning lesson on the cientific method at University. I believe, Information is the power to do things with responsability.
    Info needs the human intervention, that which brings in the ethics, the social responsability, coherence, integrity and places the development of humankind in a safe pathway, considering the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom, and many other considerations to bring up a new model of peace and harmony.
    There is much to be discovered, and much to be remembered, and much to be dealt with; We live a moment in history where it becomes imperious to be able to keep an optimistic approach and rely on our good natures and capacity to discern, and always keeping in mind and heart that we are active members of a bigger reality and our desicions have impact on many aspects of life.
    So how we as individuals, deal with information is important.
    Beauty lays in the eye of the beholder. And let there be beauty in the choices we make on information!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slide to submit