Metrics vs Common Sense

No mention of education, per se, but so applicable …

Welcome to the Age of Metrics — or to the End of Instinct. Metrics are everywhere. It is increasingly with them that we decide what to read, what stocks to buy, which poor people to feed, which athletes to recruit, which films and restaurants to try. World Metrics Day was declared for the first time this year.

The once-mysterious formation of tastes is becoming a quantitative science, as services like Netflix and Pandora and StumbleUpon deploy algorithms to predict, and shape, what we like to watch, listen to and read.

These services are wondrous. They also risk lumping us into clusters of the like-minded and depriving us of the self-fortifying act of choosing. What will it mean to prefer one genre of song when you have never confronted others? It is one thing to love your country because you have seen the world and love it still; it is quite another to love it because you know nothing else.

… In short, what we know instinctively, data can make us forget. [emphasis added]

The whole NYT article here.

Recently found … 11/24/2009

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