Crap, Damned Crap, and Big Data

Lately Jim Harris made a thought provoking post on the Mike2 blog. The post is called A Contrarian’s View of Unstructured Data.

Herein Jim wrote:

“My contrarian’s view of unstructured data is that it is, in large part, gigabytes of gossip and yottabytes of yada yada digitized, rumors and hearsay amplified by the illusion-of-truth effect and succumbing to the perception-is-reality effect until the noise amplifies so much that its static solidifies into a signal.”

Indeed, the sound of social data may be like that. Yesterday I wrote a post called Keep It Real, Stupid. Herein I mentioned an apparently fake quote by Albert Einstein saying:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.

Today I tried to see how the fake quote was doing on Twitter.

OMG: Going on more than one tweet per minute along with some mutations of the quote saying:

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself”.

“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother”.

OK folks: Sense-making of social data is not going to be simple. Not even relatively simple.

Simply Einstein Tweets

Simply Einstein Tweet 2

Right:

Simply Einstein Tweet 3

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4 thoughts on “Crap, Damned Crap, and Big Data

  1. Jesse Johnson 6th April 2013 / 18:40

    This is like a sophisticated game of telephone. I wonder if you could overlay these tweets with the twitter following network in order to infer how the quote (and the mutations of the quote) actually spread.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 8th April 2013 / 07:01

      Thanks for commenting Jesse. Oh yes, maybe that will make sense.

  2. garymdm 1st September 2013 / 07:34

    Henrik. Couldn’t you have explained this simply? 🙂

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