Shirky On Data

Relating to my last post, Clay Shirky follows up yesterday’s essay with one that concludes as such:

As Scott Bradner put it, the Internet means you don’t have to convince anyone else that something is a good idea before trying it. The upshot is that the internet’s output is data, but its product is freedom.

What Andrew Keen seems to be trying to argue through “The Cult Of The Amateur” is that the data is not the problem but that there is no one filtering it. There are no editors or publishers to ensure quality or even accuracy. And it is dangerous to assume the general public can judge this themselves. If all you get is unfiltered, flawed data, at what point can you craft a solid, well rounded, well founded opinion or even begin to get the actual truth or definition of something?

Data is subjective and selective. The audience needs to have a source of solid, certifiable information that presents something as close to the truth as possible or it will never learn.

Data is not bad. It is the lack of a filter that is dangerous.

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