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I believe big data embodies the course’s big question: Why does the Internet evoke such contradictory passions?

Whereas it is extremely fascinating and exciting that google searches better predicted the spread of H1N1 than CDC data, it is certainly “wonderfully creepy.” Indeed, much of the same hype and promise surrounds big data as we noticed surrounding cyberspace and hypertext. In some regards, big data is today’s big thing and promise of the future. What big data has accomplished thus far is exciting and incites passion. In Chapter 4, “Now” of Big Data it states, “Data became a raw material of business, a vital economic input, used to create a new form of economic value. In fact, with the right mindset, data can be cleverly reused to become a fountain of innovation and new services. The data can reveal secrets to those with the humility, the willingness, and the tools to listen” (5).

At the same time, big data produces anxiety. The use of data like google searches may feel like a breach of privacy although theoretically, big data has little to do with the individual. However, in a post-Snowden society, it is easy to feel unsafe as your computers leak information and this information is used.

In many ways, from reading excerpts from Mayer-Schongerger and Cukier I do agree the big data revolution may very well “transform how we live, work, and think.”