Sunday, February 8, 2015
Impenetrable Layers of Abstraction by Information as Money.
The book being reviewed in this New Republic article may not be breaking much new ground, but it is still worth a read. It does, at the very least, serve to remind us why morality is irrelevant to the jealously guarded accumulations of information. The fact that the algorithms that make use of this information are also jealously guarded, informed means of parsing this data, should come as no surprise either.
The fact of the matter remains that what ever comes out of these dark holes does so only because it provides for the means to attain net gain, and further accumulations. Morality will be a factor only in as much as it can be made to service the cannons of commodity, and the god of net gain.
This is why Big Money will always know more about us than we are ever allowed to know about them. This is also why ever more important aspects of daily life will become impenetrable and unknowable. As such, the decisions we make will be ever more subject to forces that might as well be wildly arbitrary deities that we build shrines (as has already started) to, and at which we give tribute in the hopes of buying favor. And that tribute will be about as effect as it was centuries before.
The truly sad part is that it does not have to be this way. Applied information could work for the benefit of all of us if it wasn't a commodity. But to change that is to necessarily understand the need to start over with how we organize ourselves as a society. The current model is no longer relevant; especially if our criteria is a sustainable society that balances individual liberty with collective responsibility.
The Moral Hazard of Big Data