Thought On Homeland
Doctorow writes about themes of cyber terrorism linking to real world terrorism. This is a large subject of interest in cyber security, how to take a nation full of camera feeds, phone conversations and walls of text, and boil it down to information that can be acted upon before a threat becomes too real. The NSA is building new equipment all the time to sift through the data, but we are generating more and more at a growing rate. To me, this says that we all can do more.
Filtering information isn’t just relevant to national security, but to any industry or subject of interest in the modern era. Marketing firms are paid to find what the people want, before the people even know they want it. This has always been a hit or miss approach, relying on focus testing, feedback, and sales figures. But by sifting the data, marketers can identify what a potential customer may spend money on before they even think about it.
These types of filters could be efficiently carried out by cloud based computing, because each instance of a program running is in a different environment, increasing the sample size of the data and increasing the accuracy of every result. The different types of data can be seen to have a result on every study. Data is even used in music choices.
“By making music miscellaneous, Apple has captured more than 70% of the market.” (Weinberger) After reading that Itunes makes 70% of the market, I remembered this book was written in 2007and how Itunes makes way more now.
When Doctorow mentions the dust storm on the playa, it is relevant to a storm of useless information. We can feel overwhelmed by a wall of text, daunted by an hour long video, or exhausted by a long winded story that wandered off course. But finding an important tidbit of knowledge hidden in a cloud is the reward for braving the storm, for holding your attention long enough to comprehend a hidden meaning. In my everyday life, this means faster time researching homework and completing tasks at work.
Weinberger also discusses how the digital world can hold more information and products than the digital world and can can still stay organized. “Because the alternative universe exist. Every day, more of our live is lived there. It’s called the digital world.” (Weinberger).