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A “big” step

Digital Realism

(Image: “Pensiero” by ​​​​​Ilaria Parente)

A raising number of voices claim that we can now understand society, literature, and art, using ‘big data’ analytics, fostering epochal perspectives (or ‘epochalistic’ according to Savage) on how the recent ‘data deluge’ will impact society and research, and possibly change our life – as discussed by Mayer-Schonberger and Cukier in Big data.

Some of those claims follow the line set by Anderson, as he suggested “the end of theory”, minimizing possible issues of these methods, and subordinating them to a higher common good or economical advantage. Questions have been raised about how companies perform big data analytics and use it. Other authors are even more cautious, other extremely skeptical. In The data revolution, Kitchin highlights how current applications of big data analytics raise issues of quantification, which are as old…

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