Two years ago, comic book writer Brian Vaughan and comic book artist Marcos Martin teamed up for a 10-volume series called The Private Eye, about a future in which society has abandoned the Internet due to “the Cloud” bursting. It’s the year 2076, sixty years after everyone’s secrets spilled out into the open, and no one wants to own a smartphone or commit anything to collective digital memory. The graphic novel’s hero is a journalist who has to solve a murder (while deprived of the power of Googling) and thwart an evil TV executive. (Without Internet, television is thriving of course.)
Big Data powers the modern world. With tools like FitBit tracking our every step and supercomputers like IBM’s Watson helping Memorial Sloan Kettering treat cancer patients, we literally live it. Between our social media profiles, browsing histories, discount programs, and new tools like Nest controlling our energy use, there’s no escape.
Understanding Our Role in the World of Big Data, a free graphic novel by Michael Keller & Josh Neufeld.
Believe it or not, there is a search engine that doesn’t invade your online privacy. I had broken free from Google, and the world was still on its axis. I had mastered another service and could still find the information I needed.
Interview with Frank Pasquale, who serves on the Council on “Big Data, Ethics, and Society”, about his forthcoming book “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information”.
In this thought-provoking, highly accessible exploration of the issues around personal data-gathering, Julia Angwin provides a startling account of how we’re all being tracked, watched, studied, and sorted. Her own (often very funny) attempts to maintain her online privacy demonstrate the ubiquity of the dragnet—and the near impossibility of evading it. I’ll never use Google in the same way again.”
—Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of Happier at Home and The Happiness Project
A short story imagines life after the internet forgets.
Even though it was sunny, I knew something was wrong the moment I woke up the day of The Ruling. I didn’t check the news, I didn’t read the paper, I just felt something in the air—an electric current of negativity buzzing in my back pocket where I keep my phone. All morning it shook. It vibrated until it died.