CU Law professor Paul Ohm. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado) THE UNDERWHELMING BENEFITS OF BIG DATA (image via www.dailycamera.com)

Paul Ohm – The underwhelming Benefits of Big Data

“The cloud is a hodgepodge, and Paul Schwartz, in his rich Article, Information Privacy in the Cloud, tackles many different parts of the confusing combination, giving meaning to mush in his characteristically careful style. Consider his thoughts on the changes being wrought to information privacy law by the move to “networked intelligence in the cloud.” This expression refers, at least in part, to what others have been calling “Big Data,” the trendy moniker for powerful new forms of data analytics. Professor Schwartz weighs the benefits of Big Data techniques against the risks they pose to privacy. Better than some others, he takes care to point to the benefits that truly matter. Too many commentators have too often overstated the benefits of Big Data, inflating studies and praising the merely trivial.

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Paul_M._Schwartz INFORMATION PRIVACY IN THE CLOUD (image via commons.wikimedia.org)

Paul M. Schwartz – Information Privacy in the Cloud

“Cloud computing is the locating of computing resources on the Internet in a fashion that makes them highly dynamic and scalable. This kind of distributed computing environment can quickly expand to handle a greater system load or take on new tasks. Cloud computing thereby permits dramatic flexibility in processing decisions—on a global basis.

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Michel_Foucault the subject and power (image via www.ub.edu)

Michel Foucault – The Subject and Power

“A writer in a well-known French newspaper once expressed his surprise: “Why is the notion of power raised by so many people today? Is it such an important subject? Is it so independent that it can be discussed without taking into account other problems?” This writer’s surprise amazes me. I feel skeptical about the assumption that this question has been raised for the first time in the twentieth century. Anyway, for us it is not only a theoretical question but a part of our experience. I’d like to mention only two “pathological forms” —those two “diseases of power”— fascism and Stalinism.

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ruut veenhoven - WORLD DATABASE OF HAPPINESS (image via www.happykamping.com)

Ruut Veenhoven – World Database of Happiness

“Happiness is a highly valued matter. Most people agree that it is better to enjoy life than to suffer, and endorse public policies that aim at creating greater happiness for a greater number of people. Though not everybody accepts the utilitarian axiom that happiness is ultimately the only value, the desirability of happiness as such is almost undisputed. This appears in high ranks for happiness in survey studies about value priorities.

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Insatiable Curiosity innovation context (image via www.timeshighereducation.co.uk)

Helga Nowotny – Insatiable Curiosity

“An innovative idea is recognizable by the fact that it surprises. The greater the surprise, the more innovative the idea. But innovations do not consist solely of ideas, even if ideas are where they start from. Innovations are tied to the respective context.They consist in the recognition and implementation of new possibilities that reach beyond the tested or accustomed routine. They are defined by their success, which consists in opening up new spaces for activity, whether in connection with technological products, new markets, organizational adjustments, or other social arrangements.

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Habermas Reason and the rationalization of society (image via www.politipedia.pt)

Jürgen Habermas – Reason and the Rationalization of Society

“The rationality of beliefs and actions is a theme usually dealt with in philosophy. One could even say that philosophical thought originates in reflection on the reason embodied in cognition, speech, and action; and reason remains its basic theme. From the beginning philosophy has endeavored to explain the world as a whole, the unity in the multiplicity of appearances, with principles to be discovered in reason-and not in communication with a divinity beyond the world nor, strictly speaking, even in returning to the ground of a cosmos encompassing nature and society.

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Inequality and economic efficiency of society through the prism of thermodynamics (image by www.ima.umn.edu)

Ksenzhek & Petrova – Inequality and Economic Efficiency of Society through the Prism of Thermodynamics

“Inequality, when it refers to social problems, is a word which rather readily excites passions. During at least two centuries it remains a permanent matter of a great number of economic, sociological, and in some cases even political works. The phenomenon of inequality is perceived often almost as a synonym of ”injustice”. That is unjust, however, because since Adam Smith it is clear that inequality plays really the dual role. On the one hand, inequality is a mechanism of development, and on the other a standing source of poverty and social tensions. An ever-growing degree of inequality that accompanies rapid development of contemporary economy excites both the general public and experts in sociology and economy. Inequality in society has indeed two aspects: social and economic one. The former manifests itself in the difference of living standards of various social strata of society: the real disparity in housing conditions, in the accessibility of education, adequate medical care, legal protection, and the like. On the economic plane, inequality is expressed in the disparity of incomes.

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complex adaptive systems (image via blogs.discovermagazine.com)

John H. Miller & Scott E. Page – Complex Adaptive Systems

An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life

“Adaptive social systems are composed of interacting, thoughtful (but perhaps not brilliant) agents. It would be difficult to date the exact moment that such systems first arose on our planet—perhaps it was when early single-celled organisms began to compete with one another for resources or, more likely, much earlier when chemical interactions in the primordial soup began to self-replicate. Once these adaptive social systems emerged, the planet underwent a dramatic change where, as Charles Darwin noted, “from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” Indeed, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new millennium being not only continually surprised, delighted, and confounded by the unfolding of social systems with which we are well acquainted, but also in the enviable position of creating and crafting novel adaptive social systems such as those arising in computer networks.

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