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“It just means you are the sum total of your data. No man escapes that.”


I think this Don Delillo quote is a perfect one for our relationships with digital media, as far as we are used to develop new products or test possible responses. What I found most interesting about House of Cards was not that a formula could be reduced from a TV show based on viewing habits, but that it would be a successful show. I find that Big Data is often data collected through a supposedly objective means which intends to glean some subjectivity. This presents a problem for those collecting the data, but not so much for those producing it. Few of the web pages I visit are ones that I check regularly and like, rather most are out of curiosity and without my enjoyment. Because the data collected views this issue numerically, not beyond the screen and into my personal taste, I feel a sense of evasion. Of course, this is one small personal victory in a sea of providing my own data. I sense a duality, between the me that is the sum total of my data – which certainly exists – and the me that feels distant from the numerical and objective ways that I’ve been categorized.