About Ryan Swanstrom

Creator of Data Science 101

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2 Comments on “The Human Face of Big Data – Debuts Tonight”

  1. I found this show deeply disturbing. It was not the content – at least not immediately – as it did show some thought provoking applications and tried to show both benefits and costs of data science applications. What disturbed me was the overbearing musical score – which destroyed my ability to think about the actual content.

    I don’t think it was intentional or malicious – much worse, it has become natural. It is another example of style over substance, bad infographics, poor data visualization, etc. Everything is designed to grab your attention – quickly and viscerally – in our data-saturated world. There is no time for critical thought.

    Had the music not overwhelmed the program, it might have been easier to think about whether the mixture of data analysis and advanced communications really made sense. The two developments complement each other, but in a one hour program there would be plenty to do regarding the use of big data and algorithms without having to show numerous examples of how mobile communications have changed our lives. That just confounded the message. Indeed, the only message of the show is “technology is exciting and brings new problems, but overall is a good thing.”

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