Data scientists, spy-statisticians
Have you ever thought why the data scientist profession is so hot right now? You are proboably familiar with the answer. Data science is a hot commodity because of large data volumes and new computerized techniques. However, have you thought why this data value is so large now, compared to, say 2000? And this is a good question to answer. We will attempt to do it in this blog.
Is this civilization producing more information relevant for progressing this society? Did we start to see more literature, artists, musicians, movies, scientific activity, tech (forget smart-phones!)? Or have we started to explore this planet and space more intensively than in 2000? Maybe more launches of space ships? Did we see an explosion of such activity relevant to the real progress? Nope. In fact, if you look at any budget of any government organization, the budget situation is getting worse every year, for any of these activities. We do not fly into space, do not have more publications in natural and social sciences. We even do not have enough money for monitoring the climate condition. We see a constant decline of budgets of sciences. The year 2017 is not special.
No, as a society, we are not too different from the year 2000, when data science was not as popular as it is now, while the volume of use for scientific and social data was about the same (with a very few exceptions). And we used computers at that time too!
There is one area, however, were data indeed has exploded. This is data collected by companies for spying. Spying on us. Profiling us. They want to know our preferences in buying their products, so the can target you by phone, email and in stores. The whole glory of being a “data scientist”, is nothing but being a statistician, a collector of data, that helps companies take money from consumers in a most efficient and profitable way.
Of course, governments and military like spying too; they are very generous in spending our tax money on this.
Want to be a spy statistician? Why not get a real profession that advances us as humans?