In the previous posts, I have tried to briefly analyze the positive and the negative aspects of big data, after introducing the main concepts around this issue. Here, I would like to drawn my own conclusion, taking into account Evgeny Morozov’s critic to “the folly of technological solutionism” (2013).
“Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom” (Clifford Stoll)
When reading the material concerning big data, most of the time it seems very polarized. It is either a dangerous and dystopian image that is presented (O’Neil, 2016), or, as Ilario wrote in a previous post, almost Evangelical in which big data and algorithms will be our saviour as in Krings Ted Talk.
Can a tweet (or a blog post, or an on-line article) deliver real impact in the Development world? As a journalist and as a Multimedia Editor of a small, international charity, I do want to believe so. However, reality goes on despite what we believe or not: so, let’s get a quick look at the academic literature that can help us defining the issue and start a discussion about it.
In a recent article called “Does Trump’s Rise Mean Liberalism’s End?” in The New Yorker, Yuval Noah Harari claims that in the wake of the collapsing “Liberal Story”, no new story has taken its place and as a consequence we get Donald Trump. This happens due to the disillusion among Americans after having believed in the promises and assurances presented in the liberal dream which claims that “if we only liberalize and globalize our political and economic systems, we will produce paradise on earth, or at least peace and prosperity for all. According to this story (…) humankind is inevitably marching toward a global society of free markets and democratic politics.”