A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth N. Cukier
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Is “big data” really new? We always seem to have more data than we have the resources to process it; data has always seemed “big” to someone. After all, the guidance control computer on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969 had all of 64 kilobytes of memory.
In Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth N. Cukier move the focus away from the size of the data deluge and the fancy new tricks that data-crunching can do, to make a more important point. Big data does not simply allow us to manipulate more numbers, faster. Rather, it forces us to change the way we think about and interact with the world.
With big data, things that could never be measured, stored, analyzed or shared are becoming data-ized: quantified in digital form. Harnessing all the data rather than a sample, and privileging more data of less exactitude, opens the door to new ways of thinking. It enables society to give up its time-honored preference for causality, and in many instances tap the benefits of correlation. The search to know why something happens is no longer the be-all and end-all, big data overturns it. The certainties we believed in are changing–replaced, ironically, by better evidence.
In this brilliantly clear, often surprising work, the authors explain what big data is, how it will change our lives, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards. Big Data is the first big book about the next big thing.
Praise for Big Data
What I’m certain about is that Big Data will be the defining text in the discussion for some time to come.
A fascinating, enthusiastic view of the possibilities of vast computer correlations and the entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of them..
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Illuminating and very timely . . . a fascinating — and sometimes alarming — survey of big data’s growing effect on just about everything: business, government, science and medicine, privacy, and even on the way we think.
— The New York Times