Thursday, May 21, 2009

Social Science Moves from Academia to the Corporation

In order to control a thing you must first classify that thing -- and we are seeing a massive classification of social behavior. While that classification falls under the guise of making life easier (targeted ads, locating a nearby pizza joint using your mobile), history tells us that we should be leery of the motives driving the masters of our social data (see Captivity of the Commons). Social sciences (behavioral psychology, sociology, organizational development), whose historical lack of data and scientific method left them open to ridicule from the “hard” sciences, finally have enough volume of data and analytics and processing power (see Big Data) to make “social” much more scientific.

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