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Is “1984” Already Here? Exploring Privacy, Big Data, and the Corporate Mind

 

A Self-Improvement, Self-Awareness, and Applied Game Theory Newsletter.

Helping you become more self-aware, intuitive, effective, efficient, precise, productive, honest, and successful through decision-science, applied game theory, and Big Data

 

What is the meaning of life, and how can you use Big Data and influence to not only survive but prosper

 

 

 

Q. Lewis, is the world as described by George Orwell in his book “1984” Already here? All the news stories seem to be about information hacks, big data, privacy,  and big corporations playing chess with our lives. I overwhelmed by all of it.

A. In the global economy, large organizations traditionally have the tendency to treat data as an asset that would lose value if exposed to public scrutiny.

Though it would be best for all aspects of society to share data in an “open source” model, this is seldom the case. Of course, to be fair, the decision to share data is not easy. Any organization in a competitive environment is right to have a concern. After all, their competitors may benefit; lawyers may take advantage; incompetent leaders and decision-makers may misconstrue the data and influencers may come to mistaken conclusions.

In recent years, those companies and organizations that have chosen to make data public have found that many of these problems failed to materialize.

For an organization that wants to explore opening their data to others but still has concerns, another solution is to limit access to the data within boundaries. For example, anyone wishing access to the data might be required to disclose how they intend to use it and to even submit a proposal and identify their research team, funding, and any conflicts of interest.  In such a scenario they might have to complete a short course on responsible conduct and sign an agreement that restricts them to their proposed research question. They might also be required to share whatever they find. Commercial groups with the data may choose to exclude applicants who seek data for commercial or legal purposes. The goal, in the end, is to ensure that the data is used in a transparent way and contributes to overall scientific knowledge and to the benefit of society.

There are many benefits to this kind of sharing. It honors the contributions of the subjects, scientists, and data researchers who participate in gathering and discovering facts. It is proof that an organization, whatever its place in society, may wish to play a role as a good global citizen and it shows that the organization has nothing to hide. It also enables philanthropic influencers to use the data to learn new ways to help others. Such an approach can even teach an organization something it didn’t know about its own team members and processes.

For the good of society, the sharing of data should be replicated throughout the world. One way to do this effectively is by bringing in a specialist in Open Data. These individuals can fully oversee the release of the data in a way that serves the largest number of people.

Many worship at the altar of Big Data but it is important that one beware of the intellectual exploration that says more and more about less and less.

Ordinary thinkers never seem to realize that without the appropriate information it is easy for individuals to supplement clear thinking with destructive fantasies. An example of this would be the second Gulf War initiated by U.S. President George W. Bush. Even if you agreed with the purpose of the invasion it is clear that key information was not accessed or if it was, it was ignored.

Clear information is not just the gathering of facts but an innovative and creative sense of how to use them. Facts are easily available. We can gather them just by listening to a news report on television or through the internet. Most people read facts all the time; recipes, signs, text messages, and people’s non-verbal cues.  You can gather information through all of these vehicles, however, the extraordinary individual must transcend simply gathering information. The mind that has been trained to only absorb factual information is an impoverished mind.   It is an integration of intuition, tacit knowing and visual, auditory, and kinesthetic absorption. That makes us extraordinary

The gathering of information usually requires reading or hearing an “extended narrative”, a story if you will. Without these narratives what we are presented with is quick conclusions based on “sound bites” factoids that may sound completely logical and accurate but are anything but that.

Narratives are important when taking in information because by having them we can see how we got to where we are. Without this process, it is difficult to examine multiple perspectives on an issue and to even hold conflicting ideas in the mind simultaneously so that we can make wiser choices. This process does not come easily. It requires patience and the stretching and building of cognitive tools not automatically available to the person seeking some type of intellectual “fast food.”  Stories and narratives help us to see both the facts and beyond the facts. Without narrative, we begin to repeat information we have heard over and over until we think it is factual rather than some meme or RTP (Regenerating Thought Process) that we have absorbed and turned into a fact in our own minds. To appreciate and understand narrative and story one must practice and hone specific thought skills.

This would be difficult to do without some level of maturity as well and emotional literacy. A very bright ten-year-old savant or genius can gather and memorize voluminous amounts of information. With maturity, this same individual will develop skills, knowledge, and interests not usually available to a young person no matter how bright he or she may be. Among these may not only be academic literacy, and information literacy but also pleasure literacy, cultural literacy, and technological literacy. The more expansive one’s literacy is, the more one can assess the relevance and credibility of information in relation to the strategies one will choose in a competitive environment

 

Questions:

  • Do you know what the term “Big Data” means? If not, please Google or Wiki the term
  • Do you know what the term “Deep Web” means? If not, please Google or wiki the term
  • Do you know what the term “Dark Web” means? If not, please Google or wiki the term

 

One of the best films done on the corporate mind and common sense (or lack of common sense) is Barbarians at the Gates. This is  about  The Fall of RJR Nabisco. It is based on a book about the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco,  The book, and the movie centers on F. Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco, who planned to buy out the rest of the Nabisco shareholders ultimately failed.

 

Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3DWpuISBas

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