Bryan Beverly

Postmodern Analytics: The Emergence of ‘Alternative Facts’

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 3   >   >>
tomsg
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Objective
tomsg   2/18/2017 4:00:51 PM
NO RATINGS
Not only do we not have someone to set things staright, we have a whole group that doesn't want to. What of the poor park service officials that have been tasked by the Trump administartion to ascertain how many people really were at the inuguration? What answer can they possibly give? They either have to fabricate or deliver bad news- which isn't really good for job security.

T Sweeney
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Objective
T Sweeney   2/18/2017 2:17:29 PM
NO RATINGS
That's extremely well stated, Bryan. A segment of our culture that yearns for an era that never really existed, and yet nonetheless, seems like a better choice than dealing with that which is... the woke state.

It's mystifying, and also frustrating to try and have a larger conversation about what's going on here.

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Objective
bkbeverly   2/17/2017 3:21:34 PM
NO RATINGS

@Jim,

One thing that some federal agencies attempt to do, is to provide complete transparency of its data products, business rules and methods. For example, BLS does this so that anyone, anywhere and at any time can reasonably replicate or mimic what the agency does. From a broader perspective (and from a future blog hopefully) is the notion that data auditors often use transparency as a proxy for regulatory oversight. Practically speaking, there are not enough sheriffs to ensure that all private and public entities are all playing by the rules or are not making mistakes.  One approach to remedy this labor market shortage is letting public crowdsourcing serve as a regulatory agent. With everything made available to the public, you make it possible for millions of people to arrive at a global consensus of the validity of ones data products.  In effect, you cannot prevent the creation of alternative facts, but transparency allows for everyone to evaluate the facts for themselves.

Ariella
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Objective
Ariella   2/17/2017 1:27:52 PM
NO RATINGS
@PC there is the ideal, and then there is reality. Jacob Bronowski said, "No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power."

Ariella
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Objective
Ariella   2/17/2017 11:58:08 AM
NO RATINGS
@James Really, that's your read on Scarlett? The same actress from that film adaption showed what it's like to live in an alternative realm in "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Anyway, I found a course that is meant to address just this problem, though I'm not sure it can be named on this forum. The site is CallingBullS---.org and that's what it is supposed to be about with the addition of "in the age of big data." 

James Connolly
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Objective
James Connolly   2/17/2017 9:08:32 AM
NO RATINGS
@Bryan. The rich, the powerful, "to the manor born." Yes, they can create alternative facts. When I read your response it made me think back and the name Scarlett O'Hara popped into my head. Rich, powerful, definitely manor born, and living in the ultimate realm of alternative facts.

The trouble is, I don't think we have a Clark Gable who can put today's alternative fact mongers in their place.

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Objective
bkbeverly   2/16/2017 8:07:19 PM
@PC,

I would say that is a risk unless we (to use the urban vernacular of socio-historical awareness) stay 'woke' (that is an intentional grammatical construction - smile).  Your point is valid - our national domestic policy on science determines funding. The verbal cues toward the social value of truth, truth as a cheap commoditized public economic good and treating truth as a quantum entity (i.e., Schroedinger's Cat - truth is dead and alive) sends signals to law makers that the advancement of knowledge will not put us on the path to greatness.  The promise of bringing back the good old days of manufacturing is a false hope unless we are manufacturing applications written in .NET and C#.  If we are not vigilant then yes, politics can prevent us from advancing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Allegorically, we have a segment of our country that suffers from Rip Van Winkle Syndrome. It's not that they slept 20 years, but rather they slept through a revolution. They just realized that the economy they enjoyed under King George III no longer works under George Washington; the Union Jack has been replaced with the Stars and Bars.  Instead of wanting to learn new technologies, they want the musket factories to come back.  So yes to your point, if the general population goes to sleep, then there will not be investments into advanced technology but rather musket repair tools.

Excellent point about pre-western cultures that advanced via innovation; we often forget that the Egyptians built the pyramids without AGILE methods or project management software. In fact, the Egyptians, Israel (under David and Solomon), Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans all made some efforts to advance knowledge in some respect to help their civilizations remain economically and militarily competitive - regionally and globally.

So yes, I would say that unless the thought leaders of the hard sciences and knowledge workers in general (us) keep lobbying and keep pressing the need to invest in the intellectual development of human capital, then I think we will fall behind. Mind you, I am a person for whom matters of faith are the core of my life. But that does not mean that I shut down my brain.  There is room for faith and science, and it does not have to be an either/or situation, but both/and. In fact, it is through the advancement of science and knowledge discovery that I can better appreciate the One whom I believe is the source of all knowledge.

So yes - we must stay 'woke' or repeat the tragedy of Rip Van Winkle; advanced analytics that lead to knowledge discovery or muskets - it's our choice.

PredictableChaos
User Rank
Prospector
Re: Objective
PredictableChaos   2/16/2017 6:37:11 PM
NO RATINGS
@Bryan - 

Science, at least the hard sciences, are built on objectivity.

There were many relatively advanced cultures in the ancient world, for example in Egypt, China, Persia and Greece which did not lead to the blooming of modern science. (Each of them had substantial innovation, but not to the point of transforming society with the scientific method.)

Do we risk slipping back into a culture where the advances of science are slowed or stopped because politics does not allow science to go wherever the truth leads? Because our philosophy as a culture is unwilling to say that some ideas are not true? Or unwilling to fund research that is unpopular?

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Objective
bkbeverly   2/16/2017 3:16:10 PM
NO RATINGS
@Jim,

I would guess that it would drive them as batty as it does us. As I sift through your points, what jumps out at me is that we (the non-ultra rich and non-ultra powerful) do not have the will to create our own realities by the sheer force of our wealth or connections.  We live in a world where there are limits and where natural, social and behavioral phenonmena can be measured in discrete units and in a repeatable fashion. But if one is 'to the manor born', then you are used to either having or imposing your own realities; you see what you want, you count what you want and you can grab what you want. Most of us don't live in that rarified air.  We live in a world of common sense and not where we can impose manifest destiny upon reality.

So I am pretty sure that those in the hard sciences are going nuts because they by nature and nurture, by gift and by training, engage the world as it is and not as they wish it to be. For them, if the facts do not exist, they do not have the money and power to manufacture some alternative ones. When you have been used to deploying investigative and epistemological approaches in seeking knowledge, it must be disheartening to know that you could just make up your own - would have saved the cost of a graduate degree. Kudos - point well taken!

bkbeverly
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Objective
bkbeverly   2/16/2017 1:14:56 PM
NO RATINGS
@SaneIT,

That's a tough nut to crack because those who advocate for the end of political correctness (i.e., say whatever you want, unfiltered and unvarnished) are also advocates for Alternative Facts. In effect, they feel free to express their thoughts but also want to use that freedom to reshape reality.  Somehow we must move to the middle where we burst the tinted bubbles but not replace them with rose colored glasses. Hence, I think we start by speaking the truth in love, and continue to remonstrate against individuals and institutions that create a false sense of superiority of the insecure and inept, and a false sense of inferiority of the ready, willing and able. I think it means reclaiming those 'truths that were self evident that all are created equal'. I think it means being willing to be unfollowed on Facebook and speaking truth to power irrespective of the consequences. I think it means that we must reach a national consensus that the only way to make America great again is to locate our moral compasses.

And we can do this at a very granular level by asking each one to reach one, starting at the dining room table tonight.

<<   <   Page 2 / 3   >   >>
Information Resources
More Blogs from Bryan Beverly
Is your manager a help or a hindrance when it comes to your analytics work and initiatives?
When it comes to life-or-death decisions about critical care for a loved one, would you trust predictive analytics software to decide how much care is warranted?
Monster hunters may have spent years hunting for Big Foot, and unicorns may be popular ideas in fairy tales. But like data privacy, they don't really exist. Data protection is what we have instead.
When governments make decisions,sometimes the value of a human life comes down to a formula, VSL.
Radio Show
A2 Conversations
UPCOMING
Jessica Davis
Data Analysts in Training: Meeting Tomorrow's Demand


3/8/2017   REGISTER   0
ARCHIVE
Jessica Davis
Our Bodies, Our Data: Medical Records For Sale


2/21/2017  LISTEN   62
ARCHIVE
Jessica Davis
Energy Analytics: Using Data to Find Savings


2/14/2017  LISTEN   44
ARCHIVE
Jessica Davis
Sharpen Your Analytics & Data Management Strategy


2/8/2017  LISTEN   74
ARCHIVE
Jessica Davis
Analytics: Make the Most of Data's Potential in 2017


1/19/2017  LISTEN   19
ARCHIVE
Jessica Davis
A2 Radio: Can You Trust Your Data?


12/20/2016  LISTEN   70
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Retail Analytics: See Where Style Meets Statistics


12/6/2016  LISTEN   53
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Why the IoT Matters to Your Business


11/29/2016  LISTEN   45
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Will Data and Humans Become Friends in 2017?


11/22/2016  LISTEN   40
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
We Can Build Smarter Cities


10/20/2016  LISTEN   31
ARCHIVE
James M. Connolly
Visualization: Let Your Data Speak


10/13/2016  LISTEN   70
Information Resources
Quick Poll
Quick Poll
About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  Register  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  RSS