Tuesday, February 05, 2013

David Brooks Believes This "Data" Stuff

BOBO_Brown

Might just be a big deal:
If you asked me to describe the rising philosophy of the day, I’d say it is data-ism. We now have the ability to gather huge amounts of data. This ability seems to carry with it certain cultural assumptions — that everything that can be measured should be measured; that data is a transparent and reliable lens that allows us to filter out emotionalism and ideology; that data will help us do remarkable things — like foretell the future.
He's gonna have a long think on it and then get back to you:
Over the next year, I’m hoping to get a better grip on some of the questions raised by the data revolution: In what situations should we rely on intuitive pattern recognition and in which situations should we ignore intuition and follow the data? What kinds of events are predictable using statistical analysis and what sorts of events are not?
As for the period of time known as "now" well some people say one thing and some people say something else, so, y'know, we'll see:
In sum, the data revolution is giving us wonderful ways to understand the present and the past. Will it transform our ability to predict and make decisions about the future? We’ll see.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yup, David Brooks still blows!

Lawrence said...

Nate Silver can predict the future.

Lockwood said...

My comment earlier (from NYT lede- I do not read Brooks): "Our ability to gather and process huge amounts of data does many things, including correcting intuitive biases and illuminating patterns of behavior." -David Brooks. My response: "Unless you're David Brooks."

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Liars use more upbeat words like “pal” and “friend” but fewer excluding words like “but,” “except” and “without.” (When you are telling a false story, it’s hard to include the things you did not see or think about.)

"Applebees salad bar"
~

prof_fate said...

Over the next year, I’m hoping to get a better grip on some of the questions raised by the data revolution

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I for one will be awaiting the stunning insights which Bobo will no doubt produce, once the searchlight of his soooper-genius is brought to bear on these questions, with baited breath. (Gawd, I gotta start cutting back on the nightcrawlers ....)

Anonymous said...

What if the data shows that everything I've said in the past was wrong? We must carefully think through the implications of this new "data" thing.

Zipperupus said...

Because no one has ever used data to describe, predict and control functions before.

In David Brookstopia, the scientific method is a fantastic new toy whose novelty is apparent but whose utility... Could be dangerous!

Malacandra said...

Someone might want to let David Brooks in on a little well-kept secret called "The Age of Reason".

Bisham said...

Like heliocentrism, the contagion theory, and the existence of animalcules too small to see (oh, as if!), now we have this thing you call data and you are proposing that you may use it to "prove" a hypothesis? And that these data may predict future outcomes? Um, does it apply to things someone may have said? or written? Like, say, in a NYT column? Oh no, I just don't think it could work.

Suzan said...

Long ago I noticed that no one among the MSM talking heads seemed to have actually obtained a liberal education. These bearers of all wisdom seemed to have no real acquaintance with science, mathematics, logic, philosophy, languages, history, anthropology, art, music . . . need I go on?

Think of these fields of rich endeavor the next time you watch MTP or FTN or any edition of CNN, not to mention the faux shows.

It will make your head spin when you realize how small the worlds of these stick figures are.

And you learn this just from listening to their idle daily chatter on your stolen national airwaves.

brother yam said...

Brooks is just trolling you now, Drifty...

brother yam said...

Brooks is just trolling you now, Drifty...