Review: Data Politics – Worlds, Subjects, Rights edited by Didier Bigo, Engin Isin, and Evelyn Ruppert

6 Star Top 10%, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology

Didier Bigo, Engin Isin, Evelyn Ruppert (eds._

6 Star — A pioneeering panorama

Take the time to look at the Table of Contents using Amazon’s Look Inside! feature. This is a remarkable book, both comprehensible at the undergraduate or citizen lay level, and a foundation for advanced studies.

I find this book absorbing in every respect. Part I covers the pernicious impact of algorithms and surveillance capitalism, and touches on the reality that “knowledge” is under siege, which is to say, data integrity at the micro and macro levels has vanished, while personal privacy at the micro and macro levels has also vanished.

Part II makes the point that the concepts of control and sovereignty do not apply in  cyberspace. There are huge overlays, penetrations, covert  thefts and more, the bottom line being that no one owns anything, everything is up for grabs, and reality competes with fake news / contrived misinformation at all levels on all topics.

Part III is the heart of the book in grappling with the meat of data politics — data drives politics, politics drive data. We are all data “subjects” (a nuanced term), we are all being herded and colonized by those who own the data tools.

Part IV is both idealistic and philosophical and makes an earnest attempt to discuss citizen rights (none) and possibilities including the “right” to be forgotten, which is right up there with the “right” to not be eaten by a dinosauer that can run faster than you can.

The book has an index which I found helpful in double-checking my preliminary assumptions about the book.

It has two weak spots: it avoids the reality  that we are only processing 1% of what we collect which is 1% of what is published officially which is in turn 1% of what is written (including graduate papers), which is 1% of what is known — roughly speaking; it also avoids true holistic analytics and true cost economics as essential topics toward making the most of our new-found ability to do universal DIGITAL coverage at an individual level of granularity.  It does not address what we are missing when we ignore all the analog and tacit knowledge.

See Also:

Review: Life After Google – The Fall Of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy by George Gilder

Review: Big Data, Little Data, No Data – Scholarship in the Networked World

Review: Digital Humanitarians – How Big Data is Changing the Face of the Humanitarian Response

Review: Beyond Transparency – Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation

Review: Analytics in a Big Data World – The Essential Guide to Data Science and Its Applications

Review: Using Data Sharing to Improve Coordination in Peacebuilding: Report of a Workshop on Technology, Science, and Peacebuilding

Review: Handbook of Data Visualization (Springer Handbooks of Computational Statistics)

Review: Data Model Patterns–A Metadata Map

Review: Database Nation –The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century (Paperback)