Monday, October 22, 2007

Thank you, but I can think for myself: Part Two

We previously spoke about how Web 2.0 (and 3.0) technologies are changing the very nature of our ability to gather information outside the "traditional" sources.

Another important change, and one that we've touched on previously as well, is the ability of organizations and individuals to be able to analyze data on their own as well.

Currently, since there is no uniformity to the manner in which data is available on Long Island (and New York and elsewhere), we are subject to various organizations and individuals using selective data and queries to come to conclusions that may or may not be accurate. Even if we give everyone the benefit of the doubt and say that the analyses are done with no "hidden" agenda or predetermined conclusions, it is often times difficult to believe or trust the results.

This problem is then magnified by the "lemmingization" of groups and individuals seeking to use the data, conclusions and static reports to promote their agenda or cause, thus multiplying the distribution of what might be inaccurate information and conclusions.

So how do we fix this problem?

In addition to all the "fixes" we've proposed previously on this site under the "One Long Island" series of projects, we must also have the ability to create our own "ad hoc" query module or "meta query" module for the "Long Island Metadata Portal" and related projects.

It is important that we have the ability to ask different questions than the "established" organizations and individuals mat ask, but it is also important that all questions query the data in a meta format so that we avoid the "temptation" to use only that data and ask those questions which are most advantageous to our position or organizational mandate.

This again is a type of "Long Island Scientific Methodology" we spoke about in previous posts.

So if we posit the theory that most individuals and organizations feel that they are powerless to create large scale change on their own and also, that they, at least in part, fear most change due to a lack of clear information or a misunderstanding or distrust of the available information, then we may conclude that we as a collective regional body allow an environment for stagnation to exist by not creating a new environment for the dynamic and clear exchange of information and ideas.

More in Part Three.

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