quinta-feira, 14 de maio, 2020

Data has never been more human

We work all the time with data. From simple to complex, we are all more or less driven by information that we have daily contact with. From our weight to the weather forecast, what we do is make decisions from data. In recent weeks, however, we have seen a flood of types of information of varying natures. The whole world is trying to plan itself from the understanding of statistical models about the next movements of a virus that until last November was unknown. It is very little time to try to establish a mathematical pattern of behavior between all stages of the disease. An important point to be put here is how evident the criticality of quality in the collected data for greater accuracy in decision making. Quality sometimes difficult to achieve at times like this, but often overlooked in other processes in the search for insights and learning. Conversations about "flattening the curve" with social isolation begin to appear in a commonplace, everyday way. Control contagion by looking at charts. Everyone seems to understand how it works, although unfortunately some refuse to accept this fact. We've never been more exposed to the meaning of "exponential." Concept of frequent use (even too much) by those who passed close to initiatives and jargon related to the entrepreneurial universe of Silicon Valley startups. Only now it is shown, in a deeply disturbing way, when the calculation is used to estimate growth of cases of contagion, hospitalizations and, consequently, deaths. In the same way that part of the population, doubly exposed to the effects of this crisis, from the point of view of health and from the social point of view, becomes a number, becomes a statistic, becomes an Excel cell, as a consequence of a small, limited, cold economic thinking. This population loses its identity. Its members are categorized as mass, type, legal situation, status in their institutional relations with the place where they live. What this pandemic did was open up a multitude of new tensions and highlight another multitude of these tensions, many of them buried, hidden, or, worse, ignored. Part of this myopia about data is also manifested in the most immediate labor relations. Groups of companies have automatically started to look at their productive strength through mathematical-financial lenses. Numbers of unemployed, number of contracts to be negotiated, amounts of compensation. Mathematics that, in turn, fails to consider historical net profits as a way to balance this balance. From data it is known where people are, where they have been and how many are quiet at home, quarantined. But they're still numbers, percentages. At least, in that case, justifiably to protect relative privacy. Economic data, social data, business data, financial data, data, data, data. We need to reflect on how dangerous the normalization of this morbid association is that we have seen in all the daily reports on the crisis. We must not forget that these are not just numbers of unemployed, unassisted, infected and dead. They are people, who have families, who have lived stories. We can never forget that. Data has never been more human. Data reminds me (Stéphane) Mallarmé: "A roll of dice will never abolish chance." -Luiz Telles
Meio&Mensagem - 12/05/2020 Noticia traduzida automaticamente
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