Data, Learning, & Culture

This post is also published here on the Association of Talent Development Community Page.

In his 2012 book, The Signal & the Noise, statistician Nate Silver explains how a period of great data dissemination is often followed by a period of strife. For example, while it is true that the invention of the printing press in 1440 led to the European Enlightenment and eventually to the Industrial Revolution of 1775, the ease of distribution of information created by the printing press first resulted in hundreds of years of war. This unsettling effect of data continues to this day. As this article in the Scientific American describes, while our own cognitive biases are the primary reason why we sometimes believe fake news, the proliferation of data compounds the problem. It is estimated that approx. 97 zettabytes of data is currently in circulation in 2022 and that this will grow by 85% to reach 181 zettabytes in 2025. But neuroscientists believe that the human mind can only store about 100 terabytes of data (1 zettabyte = 1 billion terabytes).

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