...which are probably obvious to some.

I was sitting here (having a pipe) and thinking about data vs research, and how short-sighted and nearly useless data is for anyone other than the entity which "owns", controls, or at least possesses that data. And how, in many ways, the only thing in this world (or one of the things in this world) that has ever "made the world a better place" is the work or advanced research - or, standing on the shoulders of giants and taking the next step, so to speak. Time and energy spent on creative and exploratory methods of "how to make 'a thing' (which already exists) better" is a noble and good idea, I think. Gratuitous research environments are fairly rare (from what I understand), but when they happen, a lot of "cool shit" can (and does) come of it. It'd be better to devote more time/energy/resources into research than data (aside from smalltime data sets, which are mandatory, and I won't go into a schpiele about "how much is too much or too little data - as that's a wasted argument. Unless we're talking mass data collection, which is bad, and I rant about that below ;))

non-revelation rant

Data can be good - in fact, it could possibly solve world hunger, homelessness, poverty, etc. - but none of those entities (Big Tech co's, namely) that have vast amounts of (unwillingly collected) data DO (or solve) any of those things. And in the end (in reality) those things cannot be "solved" or "fixed" or even altered in a significant way unless it was an organic set of circumstances that may or may not change the outcome of a particular scenario.

So, to me, the "idea" that "Big Data is good" is more or less a carrot at the end of a stick, or perhaps a red herring, and it doesn't amount to anything other than a very short-sighted (and circular) pattern of: collect ALL the data, document ALL the likes, mark down ALL the clicks, interactions, etc., and don't bother figuring out how this could (theoretically, yet never practically) be used for good - but just create an algorithmic "machine" that splices and dices that data on a particular individual, and then show them ads that make them click through (or maybe buy something, sometimes). And no matter what "patterns" that manifest from X group, or X region (which is nothing more than discriminatory profiling by the way, and should never be done) - there is no "God" on the other end to say "Aha! We do this with this data, and change this element of that and all of a sudden, voila(!) hunger is cured!".

...of course not. It (data, BIG amounts of it) is there to enrich the bottom lines of the companies who oversee it. Nothing else.

OK, enough with the rambling. Do research. Fuck data. The end ;)