- a red toaster that costs as much as a car;
- medicine that costs as much as a house;
- water sold as butter
- a democracy sold out to "free" water
I mentioned the red toaster above and originally last July when it came crashing through my e-window trying to sell itself because I'd made an idle enquiry about it on Google. It was a rather crude play, which served to convince me that Big Data wasn't so scary after all. If a ludicrous kitchen accessory was the worst that electronic capitalism was going to lob in my direction, then I could swat it away and move on with my integrity intact. I was naive because The Man knows more about me than I am comfortable knowing about myself. I heard about this because my pal Rissoles pointed me at an article by a couple of Swiss journalists, Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus, about Big Data getting mobilised with a degree of sophistication. The psycho-number-crunchers are not responding to my poorly articulated desires with a flying toaster but with targeted, personalised messages [social media is so addictive and so real and so self-affirming] about what to do at the next election. Not so much "these aren't the droids you're looking for" as these are the candidates you're voting for.
I'm different from you, but I recognise myself in some people more than others and I often say things like: Jim is just like Ted (and I distrust them both). The Big Data psychometricians [key PNAS paper] can now simplify me to a highly predictable dot in 5 dimensional hyperspace using the OCEAN model. OCEAN is an acronym:
- Openness (how open are you to new experiences?)
- Conscientiousness (how much of a perfectionist are you?)
- Extroversion (how sociable are you?)
- Agreeableness (how considerate and cooperative are you?)
- Neuroticism (how sensitive/vulnerable are you?)
Aw shucks, the future is so bleak let's go back and listen to Pachelbel while we may.