After more than one month of silence I would like to end this year with a simple thought about the interaction between technology and our society. I know that usually this blog has principally developed topics about Linux and Freeware but the “Christmas season” could be the right occasion for something different.
A recent post by Matthew Yglesias on Slate, focused my attention on the possibility that big data and “new” technologies could influence our society and personal creativeness in a strange, utilitaristic way.
In the above mentioned post, Matthew Yglesias describes some new possibilities, offered by big data, of deeply analyze the readers behaviour when they use e-readers. Some Yglesias’ examples let us know not only what kind of literature is the most popular today but also detailed analytics about the best number of pages that readers want when they read a certain type of book (e.g. biography or fiction).
These squeezed information drive to the possible next step: a writer could prefer to write a new book on the basis of quantitative marketing data instead of creativity.
In few words, we are potentially slowing the evolution of our knowledge curve because writers could prefer to pander “customers” behaviour and maximize earnings instead of spreading new ideas and theories that could be (sic! are) initially less profitable.
The Darwin “evolution by mistake” will be soon replaced by an utilitarian and transitive “involution by big data marketing analytics”?
It’s impossible to predict but, on the other hand, my hope is that big data marketing analytics will be used just as a tool to maximize and speed new ideas through readers than a mere earning factor to tame buyers.