Thanks to Geoff McGovern for pointing us toward a fascinating essay in Wired. Chris Anderson posits that the accessibility of information has vaulted us into what he calls the Petrabyte Age, in which information is not a matter of simple three- and four-dimensional taxonomy and order but of dimensionally agnostic statistics. It calls for an entirely different approach, one that requires us to lose the tether of data as something that can be visualized in its totality. It forces us to view data mathematically first and establish a context for it later. Given how much data is readily available, Anderson Continue reading Did Data Kill Theory?
Wired reports that Google plans to release, soon, a framework for hosting, storing, and distributing large or frequently used data. The Project, Palimpsest, will pay the fees to both ship the data (by sending users a 3TB hard drive to download the data) and for hosting. This, if applicable for political science scholars, not only is a good way to reduce the cost of hosting our work, but also to facilitate some sort of centralization that is currently lacking and can often encouraging data seeking via Google anyways. Link to a slide show about the project (middle of the page). Continue reading Something to keep an eye out for: Google Data