The Who asked, poignantly, “Who the fuck are you?“ And the answer is overwhelmingly that you are pieces of data collected and maintained by the world’s wealthiest companies.
In a recent post on BBC’s Futures “The Online Data That’s Being Deleted,” Chris Baraniuk discusses the consequences of a digital catastrophe. He focuses on a recently published book by Susan Donovan: New York City Hypogeographies. The premise? In 2250, electrical pulses wipe most data from our servers. All hell breaks loose. I highly recommend the read.
Information wants to be free.
The quote is attributed to Stewart Brand, publisher of The Whole Earth Catalogue. There is a second line to that edict: “Information also wants to be expensive.” And it is. We may think nothing of snapping away at blurry ceiling fans and cute kittens and what we’re eating without thinking of the real cost. Well, there are very real costs.
The BBC reports that bitcoin mining (data) uses “more electricity than the country of Argentina.” To be precise, this much:
Critics of crypto mining, including dogecoin fan and Tesla (bad for the environment because of the massive amount of energy consumed. Mining farms in China have been scrutinized in particular, and the Chinese government has since cracked down on the practice.) CEO Elon Musk, have slammed the practice for being
Deciding which data needs to be preserved is a subjective exercise. What do you pick? And why? What importance does 10 Gbs of (adorable and cute-for-days) images of my dog have? And at what cost? as an example, this site contains 8+ Gbs. We tend to think that this costs nothing. But it does. Data-centric companies rely on an endless stream of independently created data. So we rush about our day creating it, for free, so that they may resell it. Kinda fucking brilliant.
As an ecommerce retailer, it’s important to understand that more is not necessarily better. I’ve written before about the importance of curation. Selectively, critically and mindfully choosing the information you present has far greater value than simply vomiting into peoples’ laptops. You’re not Amazon and you will never be Amazon, so act smarter.
cgk.ink works with businesses to narrow their focus and pinpoint opportunities. Let’s talk to see how this might benefit you.