Speaking at TEDx is a great opportunity to focus your thoughts. In 2016 I was asked to speak about The National Birthday Calendar, and used to this chance to discuss the darker side of Big Data: the rise of the reputation society in both China and the West, and the notion that big data is more like oil than gold. Gold has mostly positive connotations, while with oil we understand there is also a downside to our environment.
As oil led to Global Warming, the rampant use of data could lead to ‘social cooling’ of our social environment: widespread self-censorship and risk-aversion amongst citizens.
Photo by Maarten Zeinstra.