MIT 1700: Midterm Review
February 20, 2014
· Lisa Gitelman (author) describes raw data as an oxymoron (a term
deﬁning two terms as contradictory. Juxtaposing). It is her ﬁrm
belief that data is anything but “raw”, that we shouldn’t think of
data as a natural resource but as a cultural one that needs to be
generated, protected, and interpreted.
· The computational process of discovering patterns in large data
sets. This can be deemed extremely valuable, lending society the
opportunity to not only collect data, but to begin the rigorous
process of understanding it.
· Quote: “If the imperative of data mining is to continue to gather
more data about everything, its promise is to put this data to work,
not necessarily to make sense of it. Indeed the goal of both data
mining and predictive analytics is to generate useful patterns that
are far beyond the ability of the human mind to detect or even
· Example: If we could track the social media usage of the Tsarnaev
brothers (i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc), it may have led us
the possibility of preventing the Boston bombings. With data
mining, we would have been able to understand the threat these
two brothers pose and take the necessary steps to prevent the
incident from ever occurring.
· Deﬁnition: A set of data used to describe and interrelate other sets
· It is important to not only be able to “collect” the continuous
streams of data, but to “understand” and “process” it as well. The
concept of metadata presents the opportune moment for an
individual to understand the information in front of them and deem
its value accordingly (we will no longer be subject to an information
• Deﬁnition: It can be argued that big data is the commitment of
looking at data in term of qualitative rather than quantitative.
• Quote: “For example, we start with 10x10 pixel image (100 pixels
in total), and resize it to 1000x1000 (one million pixels in total).
We do not get any new details – only larger pixels. This is exactly
what happens when you use a small sample to predict the behavior
of a much larger population. A ‘pixel’ that originally represented MIT 1700: Midterm Review
February 20, 2014
on person comes to represent 1000 people who all assume to
behave in exactly the same way.”
• Explanation: The concept of big data can be interpreted in two
ways. The ﬁrst is literal, outlining the amount of information we
have available to us. This can be deemed as a positive but a
majority of the time, carries negative repercussions. It is not
important to have available an abundance of information, but only
the important details. This is closely tied to the idea of seeking out
quality over quantity, better pieces of information rather than more
pieces of information.
· Deﬁnition: A speciﬁc network architecture characterized by equity
between nodes, bi-directional links, a high degree of redundancy
and general lack of internal hierarchy.
· Quote: “The distributed network creates new, robust structures for
organization and control; they do not remove organization and
· Explanation: It is free ﬂoating control that are inherent in
distributed networks, the ability to move the information
seamlessly through different platforms without the reliance of an
overseeing entity (centralized state). ARPAnet is a key example of
the distributed network (packet-switching system).
· Deﬁnition: This can refer to the technology of organization and
control operating in distributed networks. It functions largely
without relying on hierarchical, pyramidal, or centralized
mechanisms; it is ﬂat and smooth; it is universal, ﬂexible and
· Deﬁnition: When you know you have been watched but you act as
if you are not (the rebelling towards surveillance).
Software as Ideology (Interface Effect):
· Wendy Chun argues that software can be deemed a functional
analog (i.e. relating to or using signals or information represented
by a continuously variable physical quantity such as spatial position
or voltage) to an ideology (i.e. a system of ideas and ideals, esp.
one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy). MIT 1700: Midterm Review
February 20, 2014
· Explanation: The information we gather from software (or
technology) is continuously present in our physical world, leading
us to develop the ideologies and progress as a society together.
· Quote: Althusser argues, “All ideology hails of interpellants (the
process of activating us).”
o He emphasizes how the situation always precedes the
subject. Individual subjects are presented principally as
produced by social forces, rather than acting as powerful
independent agents with self-produced identities.
· Deﬁnition: Is the systematic use of personal data systems in the
investigation or monitoring of the actions or communications one
or more persons.
· An individual can be monitored through actions such as: credit card
purchases, mobile phone calls, and internet use (the combination
of characteristic surveillance and reliance on available data).
· Deﬁnition: The closed loop takes data from the open loop and
provides this as a new data input. This new data determines what
the user has reacted to, or how they have been inﬂuenced. The
feedback then builds a digital footprint based on social data, and
the controller of the social digital footprint data can determine
whom and why people purchase and behave.
· The digital footprint can also reference to our behavior online. The
decisions we make are permanently etched into the virtual realm,
leaving us with an inability to conceal some of the choices we have
made. We leave a trail with every click and most importantly, paint
ourselves a digital identity (our footprint).
· You are suspicious if you do not leave tracks, but you are closely
monitored if you do (no method of winning in the virtual).
Wages For Facebook:
· In an attempt to draw upon feminine discourse (1970’s Wages for
Housework) to extend the discussion of unwaged labor to new
forms of value creation and exploitation online.
· The wage gives the impression of a fair deal ▯ cannot be
exploitation if you are being ﬁscally assisted.
· Quote: “We want to call work what is work so we can rediscover
o We cannot be using Facebook with our honest intentions (to
socialize) with the idea of being exploited lingering in the MIT 1700: Midterm Review
February 20, 2014
back of our minds (institutions are using the information we
provide for marketing purposes and human studies).
· Deﬁnition: By publishing information online, we are sharing our
information with others. But, each experience can be deemed to
happen on a different platform (we move from platform to platform
to gain our knowledge of others).
· Explanation: There is a “dual” character of networked activity: the
conscious action and the captured information. Users have little
choice over whether this data is generated and little say in how it is
used: in this sense we might describe the generation and use of
this data as the alienated or estranged dimension of their activity.
· Important: Alienation occurs when our own activity appears as
something turned back against us as, “alien power” (i.e. interactive
markets take our actions and use it to develop ideas geared
· The discovery of a free worker through the concept of “immaterial
labor”. We are sharing with one another our own information and
face the opportunity of expanding our personal knowledge through
this open platform.
Web Evolution E-Commerce Evolution OnlineAd Evolution
Yesterday world: Get everyonee “Here is what we portals and displayc
connected via the have”. advertising (e.g.
Internet. display and search).
Today Web 2.0 is about like- E-Commerce 2.0: OnlineAd 2.0:
minded people: Share “People who bought Dynamic ad
and interact with this, also bought placement with
others in the group. that!” contextual,
geographic targeting. MIT 1700: Midterm Review
February 20, 2014
Tomorrow Web 3.0 is about the E-Commerce 3.0: OnlineAd 3.0:
individual: Receive “We believe this is Personalized ad
the right content at what you are looking display based on user
the right time from for.” preferences,
anywhere. community and other
Web 1.0 (main characteristics): Information Centric
· Text based, no commercials (read only content).
· World Wide Web introduces graphic display.
· Based on content delivery (information is more important than
· Static (point A to point B).
· Examples: Britannica Online, mp3.com, content management
Web 2.0 (main characteristics): People Centric
· Participation not publishing ▯ Open source movement ▯ People
contributing, not only consuming.
· User generated content ▯ Cheap web development.
· Services not product ▯ Push to viral marketing.
· Lots of face content/Interactive user experience.
· Architecture of participation.
· Examples: Wikipedia, Napster, Wiki … (includes apps, blogging,
mapping, tagging, searching, sharing, etc).
Web 3.0 (main characteristics): Machine Centric
· This will be about semantic web (the meaning of data),
personalization, intelligent search and behavioral advertising.
· It can be tailored to the user, no longer leaving many decisions for
the said individual to make.
· A lot of businesses began a growing interest and dedication to the
· This innovative approach was growing far too fast, leading to a
failure to develop a clear economic model. Hence, there is no
effective organization of the e-advertising.
· Example: Amazon shares started on May 15, 1997 at $18/share,
rising to more than $100 and subsequently dropping to less than
o The big companies managed to survive the crash. MIT 1700: Midterm Review
February 20, 2014
· Important: A new wave of companies immerged after the crash.
These are: social networks, music/media download and search
engines (progressive methods of the E-Business through personal
marketing and direct consumer purchases).
· The dot-com bubble (also referred to as the dot-com boom, the
Internet bubble and the information technology bubble) was a
historic speculative bubble covering roughly 1997-2000 during
which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value
rise rapidly from growth in the Internet sector and related ﬁelds.
· It can be deﬁned as a part of the information diet, a unfortunate
repercussion of our ever developing culture.
· We are over connected toe everyone due to social media treating it
as a job (making it impossible to sustain genuine human
Information as Need:
Information as Environment:
Cyborgs: Organic + Mechanical. “cybernetic organisms”
Inforg: human beings understood as information entities.
Freudian Robot: Any networked being that embodies the feedback loop
of human-machine simulacra and cannot free her/himself from the
Ubiquitous can be deﬁned as "existing or being everywhere at the same
time," "constantly encountered," and "widespread." When applying this
concept to technology, the term ubiquitous implies that technology is
everywhere and we use it all the time.
Because of the pervasiveness of these technologies, we tend to use them
without thinking about th