Big Data

I was actually introduced to Big Data in another one of my classes awhile ago but I had no understanding of what it was until now. Both the readings on big data, although obviously “what is big data?” did a more thorough job, did a good job of explaining what it was but the article on how it was a civil rights issue really impacted me. I couldn’t really believe the story about the guy who got his credit limit altered because of where he shooed, and the connection to redlining was powerful. While I was reading this article it really made me think about how easily big data could be used to categorize and limit people, considering how impersonal and dehumanized big data is. Like not only are you just a number, your 1 in an incredible changing sea of numbers which are probably already being used to profit off of you. I didn’t particularly like the “big data on campus” article, it seemed like it covered a lot of stuff we had done way earlier in the semester. I should say though, its always nice to hear personal account, its a good reminder that these things are actually possible and people are making a living off of them. I think that is why i really liked when he said his university would recognize DH for tenure. It also didn’t seem that impressive standing next the “Hermeneutics of Data” since it was so good and also more extensive. The article had a lot of good points on how and why big, or just large, data should be used to make history, but my favorite was that DH should have more methodological transparency. I was happily surprised by this point and it showed just how honest DH is about more accessibility to knowledge. I mean usually when I read a secondary source, I don’t see how it was constructed. Although you could argue that a historiography can have some role in that, DH seems to want to go much farther and i think that could be an invaluable resource.

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