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"Raw data" is an oxymoron

Author: Lisa Gitelman
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts ; London, England : The MIT Press, [2013]
Series: Infrastructures series.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
We live in the era of Big Data, with storage and transmission capacity measured not just in terabytes but in petabytes (where peta- denotes a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion). Data collection is constant and even insidious, with every click and every "like" stored somewhere for something. This book reminds us that data is anything but "raw," that we shouldn't think of data as a natural resource but as a cultural  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Lisa Gitelman
ISBN: 9780262518284 0262518287
OCLC Number: 802890425
Description: vii, 182 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm.
Contents: Data before the fact / Daniel Rosenberg --
Procrustean Marxism and subjective rigor : early modern arithmetic and its readers / Travis D. Williams --
From measuring desire to quantifying expectations : a late nineteenth-century effort to marry economic theory and data / Kevin R. Brine and Mary Poovey --
Where is that moon, anyway? : the problem of interpreting historical solar eclipse observations / Matthew Stanley --
Facts and FACTS : abolitionists' database innovations / Ellen Gruber Garvey --
Paper as passion : Niklas Luhmann and his card index / Markus Krajewski --
Dataveillance & countervailance / Rita Raley --
Data bite man : the work of sustaining a long-term study / David Ribes and Steven J. Jackson.
Series Title: Infrastructures series.
Responsibility: edited by Lisa Gitelman.

Abstract:

We live in the era of Big Data, with storage and transmission capacity measured not just in terabytes but in petabytes (where peta- denotes a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion). Data collection is constant and even insidious, with every click and every "like" stored somewhere for something. This book reminds us that data is anything but "raw," that we shouldn't think of data as a natural resource but as a cultural one that needs to be generated, protected, and interpreted. The book's essays describe eight episodes in the history of data from the predigital to the digital. Together they address such issues as the ways that different kinds of data and different domains of inquiry are mutually defining; how data are variously "cooked" in the processes of their collection and use; and conflicts over what can -- or can't -- be "reduced" to data. Contributors discuss the intellectual history of data as a concept; describe early financial modeling and some unusual sources for astronomical data; discover the prehistory of the database in newspaper clippings and index cards; and consider contemporary "dataveillance" of our online habits as well as the complexity of scientific data curation.

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