Monthly Archives: May 2012

Big Data and how Isaac Asimov will have successfully predicted psychohistory

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend MarkLogic World 2012.  The overall theme of the conference was converting Big Data into Big Ideas.  Big Data is a paradigm shift for many in the IT industry; briefly, Big Data saves everything, whether it’s usefulness is obvious or not, in hopes that decisions can be made on that data.  In theory, the traditional data model would be unable to make informed decisions because the data set would not be large enough accurately describe super-complex issues.

Psychohistory, then, as defined by Isaac Asimov in his novel Foundation, goes something like this:

Branch of mathematics which deals with the reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli; implicit in all these definitions is the assumption that the human conglomerate being dealt with is sufficiently large for valid statistical treatment.

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