Big Data and the path to a Soviet-like, data centric economy

Answering a “request for comment” from a friend about this quote taken by a The Spectator’s article, (whoa! Hold on, copyright crusaders: that’s a legitimate exercise of the linking right!)

The Soviets always believed that better data and computational power could make a control economy work. What we never considered was the reverse: that businesses furnished with better information technology would increasingly take on the qualities of a control economy, with decision-making becoming centralised in a technocratic class obsessed with abstraction and theory.
What this techno-bureaucracy means is that a high-trust economy like the UK’s ends up adopting all the paranoid checks that make low-trust economies inefficient. But if you say ‘maybe more tech isn’t the answer’, you will be denounced as a Luddite and put on a train heading east.

I wrote:

Men want all to be God. No matter what God, but a God.
A God’s attribute is knowledge, absolute, pervasive, universal knowledge.
But while a God-God’s knowledge is supposed to be instrumental to wisdom, Man-God’s knowledge is instrumental to money.
Furthermore, God-God knowledge is self-handled. Man-God’s knowledge needs external support in term of data-storage, computing power and algorithm design and implementation.
God-God’s decisions, therefore, are taken by pure will according to an absolute and thorough appreciation of what is “right”.
Man-God’s decisions are taken because the diagram in a spread-sheet that summarizes the outcomes of the queries to the stock market fluctuation in a given time related to the assumed behaviour of a sub-set of micro-investors, shows that the trend of the next three months in the sugar field in Cuba is that of a steady growth, below the average calculated in relationship to the sales of sugar-based drinks on a world-wide scale…
As the Hulk said in “The Avengers”: a puny God...

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