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Saturday, September 20, 2008

On Data Mining

In the book review of "The Numerati", published on 09/15/2008 in the Wall Street Journal, we read:

"What then of our privacy? What if the NSA, having scrutinized my data trail and determined that I am not a terrorist, sees that I may be cheating on my taxes? Or that I am running for public office while subscribing to a pornography service?"

And in an article titled "Mistaken Identity" published in the Wall Street Journal on 09/20/2008, we read:

"Revenue Science and Acxiom, along with a handful of other companies in the field including Yahoo and Time Warner's AOL, make deals with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Web publishers for permission to collect data about visitors to those sites. When a person lands on one of the sites, the targeting technology places a "cookie," or small string of tracking data, on his or her hard drive. The technology can read the codes embedded in the cookies to see which other sites in the network the person has already visited. Based on that information, it automatically decides which ads to display."

In fact, data mining and the accompanying decision support systems (based on such AI techniques as artificial neural networks, decision trees, etc.) furnish the building blocks for potentially oppressive social organizations.

Such a social organization could be designed around the application of cybernetics (control-feedback theory) to society for maintaining a homeostatic state where Liberty is nowhere to be found. The distributed nature of data collection and cybernetic control will make it impossible to change such a system through the customary practice of a revolution that captures the central organs of the state. In fact, the system can only be changed by smashing it or waiting long enough for the Second Law of Thermodynamics to kick-in; the accumulated entropy causing it to finally fail

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I am a senior software developer working for General Motors Corporation.. I am interested in intelligent computing and scientific computing. I am passionate about computers as enablers for human imagination. The contents of this site are not in any way, shape, or form endorsed, approved, or otherwise authorized by HP, its subsidiaries, or its officers and shareholders.

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