Sharing, Knowledge Management, and Big Data: A Partial Genealogy of the Data Scientist
Forthcoming in the European Journal of Cultural Studies.
26 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 27, 2014
This paper is a partial genealogy of the data scientist, meant as a contribution to understanding how both big data and the subject who mines it have come to be. It adds to the growing criticism of data mining by considering how big data might be used to manage the very workers who ostensibly command it. The paper traces the concept of "sharing" as it appears in discourses about the knowledge economy, arguing that knowledge sharing produces messy excesses of data. It then traces what is not shared: the knowledge workers capable of mining that data to produce value. It concludes by tracing how the act of sharing knowledge is used to undermine the power of the very subject called forth to command the excesses of sharing. It concludes by describing a reversal: data will become scarce while the ability to mine it ubiquitous and cheap.
Keywords: big data, data scientist, genealogy, knowledge management
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