I would call my life data-centric. There tend to be three states to my data-centric life: data acquisition, data processing, and data usage. Without each of those three steps the entire concept of data is useless. What exactly is data? Well in my book, data is data.. its hard to define. Its input, things watched, heard, told, touched, read, etc. Data is pretty useless in itself, thats why it must be processed. When a person processed data is becomes knowledge, when a computer processes data is just becomes more data. I think thats what might seperate us from computers. But thats besides the point, once you have knowledge based on some data, you put it to use. You retrieve it, display is, tell it to others, combine it with other data, etc. The more data you have, the more cool things you can do with it. Math alone is kinda boring sometimes, but if you have physics or chemistry to put it to good use it becomes a little more fun.
Why am I thinking about data? Well I started pondering data acquisition, arguably the hardest part of the process (most definately for me). I really like to get data, because I find processing it and using it very fun, but sometimes I dislike the steps that one has to take to get data. In high school I really liked getting data about social events, that was the thing for me to learn about. Why? Because I didn’t go. See I could not go and not know about it, but that would make me stupid. Its better to be informed, while I still did not go. Hence the need for the data. MySpace, AIM, Chatlogs, emails, gossip, etc. provided most of that data. Initially I was overwhelmed by it all, but I processed it, came to some conclusions (the primary one was to avoid high risk social scenes at all costs), and moved on to get more data. Whats great about social data is that there is so much of it out there, and the pile never stops shrinking. People will always keep doing stuff, socially interacting, creating more data to process. In theory if I was able to process all the data available (lets assume its finite but very large) I would be able to predict social behavior with a degree of accuracy. That is neither here nor there, actually its off topic.
Back to what I was saying, I like getting the data. Getting in a relationship with someone provided a whole bucket full of data, and continues to provide data. Yes, I keep on processing it, but the conclusions I come to tend not to be very helpful or good, and I have the data to prove this. I’ve also been enlightened into several other worlds where there is data to be gathered in, unfortunately its all but impossible to do so. Small questions are a small start, tales provide a little more story, but the problem with gathering data from any source is that the data is skewed in a certain direction. It helps to gather data from as many sources as possible, but even then the data will still be missing viewpoint x. The best technique would be to gather data directly from a 3rd person view, similiar to an omniscient narrator or something. Unfortunately there is little hope for me to become invisible, ghostlike, etc.
So what do I do? I guess I should turn towards other data and see where I can apply it. In theory I think you can relate N number of items perfectly to provide results for any X items (i.e everything relates to everything in some way), but to do this with any level of accuracy is crazy. I do not know.
In other, non data related news, (as if there was news that wasn’t data.. ha!) I have completely forgotten what I was going to say. Hrm. My Quotes system will be ready soon, and I hope everyone out there will try it. That would be cool. Also, we debuted MyRPI-Space this weekend, so far we’ve had over 80 signups.. pretty impressive for emails sent Friday afternoon. So far the server hasn’t melted, burned, etc and CPanel seems to be holding it own. Its nice to see a pet project of mine finally take off… the idea spawned from a blog I wrote Nov 14, 2006 entitled “Free Webhosting & Tired”.
It is 11:04pm. Goodnight moon.