The difference of a word….

… or otherwise titled, “Why you actually need to care about Marketing!”

Let us talk about a system.

This system uses a myriad of sensory techniques to collect data on an individual.  Some of these are obvious and can be noticed by the individual.  Some of these are not, and they hide in the shadows.

Some of these techniques are also used to shape or influence the behavior of individuals.  They may do this by limiting their choices or by presenting some options more than others.

All of these techniques, when you boil them down, are about control.  They are part of a system that has been constructed and designed to exert control over various individuals and groups, and the people that are attempting to exert this control don’t usually see themselves as being aligned or part of the group being controlled.

Now–how we label this system can change our perceptions of it–even if the system itself doesn’t change. 1984

If we call it “Big Brother,” then people–even those who haven’t read 1984–may perceive it quite negatively.

If, however, we decide to call it “Big Data,” then people have more ambiguous feelings about it.  It’s just a tool then–possibly one that will help us become more healthy and better off in the future as all these intractable problems are solved with the magic of infinite information collected about all of us.

Amazing what the difference of one word does.

Is it the impersonality of “data” vs. “brother” that shades the meaning?  Is it just the historical time period that has allowed the phrase “big brother” to have its meaning cemented into negativity?

The systems are the same, functionally.  And a bit more terrifyingly–big brother never actually existed technically in its fullest extent–not even in 1984.

But now it does.


About Prof. Woland

I contain multitudes. Come meet us.
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