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“…society will need to shed some of its obsession for causality in exchange for simple correlations: not know why by only what.” (cukier 7)

I was struck in the Cukier reading by the shortcomings of what’s known as “big data.” However impressive & massive Big Data is, it doesn’t seem big enough to grasp the conceptual— to get at the larger— even larger than the “big” of “big data”— structural reasons that cause the correlations data can recognize.

In section, though, I was prompted to think whether the conceptual and structural were big enough. What does it mean that the field of critical theory tries to reclaim power from apparatuses such as media and technology, like we are discussing in this class? Does this dismantling, or reclamation, not follow a logic of reparation? Does it not suggest that there is some sort of concrete amount of power that can be returned to those who have been disenfranchised from it, after which the power will be “equitably” or “justly” distributed? Who can decide how much that is, and to whom it belongs? Isn’t it true that there is a way in which that power, once taken away from some people, can never be returned to them?

Thanks for a wonderful course!