Exercising Patience When Collecting Enigmatic Data
There is significance in certain data, even when its value is misunderstood or entirely invisible to its owners. It's power lies in its potential future value. This denotes the importance of collecting such data based on one's instinct.
In 2018, I had my first encounter with enigmatic data while collaborating with two Chicago blockchain developers on a spreadsheet for a project. There came a moment when we collectively realized that the data we were seeking simply didn't exist yet, leaving us in a state of awe and wonder.
Over time my project evolved, and I was focused on relocating. I reached out to the City of Austin because they are extremely forward-thinking and prepared to incubate innovation. I also suspected from our conversations they might have an in-house researcher in their chamber of commerce because I discovered that the metrics I sought were not being monitored; prompting the realization that this data should have been tracked for years.
This revelation for the City of Austin came shortly before the pandemic. Another situation emerged within a different entity: EdWeek, a mission-driven non-profit deeply committed to driving the future of education forward. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the government approached this organization due to their data collection efforts that should have been the government's responsibility. Many likened the handling of COVID across government systems to the 9/11 moment for the American healthcare system.
Here's the e-mail EdWeek sent out during the COVID-19 emergency.
The most important part of the email is one of the last lines which got cut off, “And sometimes it means collecting important data when nobody else is.”
What are some reasons behind the non-collection or removal of data?
Data often goes uncollected or is purged due to human reactions. This can stem from fear or discomfort towards specific types of data, contributing to the existence of data gaps and stigmas.
There are associated costs of storing it, even if people want to preserve it. A friend who is an artist and involved in a technical movement comes to mind.
A training issue: if people don't know how to properly store it, non-technical, or hobbyist.
It challenges the status quo and competition realizes it when it's too late; or competition is quick to detect when this data starts to trickle out publicly.
The data disrupts the holder's own business model or gets them in trouble for wrongdoing. This gets into a deny and delay tactic that hinders the ability to put emotions aside and potentially lets the problem blow up in their face. Either way, confrontation delayed is problems compounded.
Click here to find out the difference between a snafu, a shitshow, and a clusterfuck
As I've created a YouTube channel Invulnerable Creators our tagline is, “If the best work of your career is dangerous, controversial, or uniquely different you might be on the right path.” We focus on hosting educational content such as tech coding tutorials and audiobooks. The author of the book we've been formatting into an audiobook is an MIT graduate, a founding officer for Space Force, and an aeronautical engineer. Yet, we did not anticipate the author's book to become removed from the Amazon bookstores, Google's Bard, MIT's online free library, and Air University.
Currently, in the back of my mind I have to wonder if my channel will suffer ramifications for hosting the data from the book in audiobook and video formats.
I choose to host the audio and video form of a banned book on my YouTube channel because I do not know the ramifications of failing to host it. Nor do I intend to find out the cost.
If any of you have seen the movie Oppenheimer recently, one should consider the true cost of Nazi Germany's treatment of Quantum Relativity as Jewish Technology.
We're affected by what we know and how we feel about what we know.— Nicole Villa (💫,💫) (@cryptomaven) <a href=“https://twitter.com/cryptomaven/status/1672769196852117505?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 25, 2023
Relentlessly pursuing big questions, no matter the cost, often paves the way for groundbreaking discoveries.
Understanding data is a real thing. We're moving into a future with knowledge that doesn't exist but competition might already have.— Nicole Villa (💫,💫) (@cryptomaven) <a href=“https://twitter.com/cryptomaven/status/1673453727947296769?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 26, 2023
Those are the people who create new fields that never existed before.
You can even make the case that unhealed or pathologically unfixable (sociopathy, dark-triad traits, psychopathy) personal biases can leave many living in a world of absolutes. Those limitations are the ones that cost majorly in the long run.
Even if that is not the case, it's always simply a communication issue. As my favorite saying pertaining to this goes, “Human problems (emotions) are not an engineering problem.” We connect via communication whether verbally, or non-verbally. Sometimes, stating things in my native “to the point” manner can come across as rude, especially online. Detecting tonality is challenging. The best example was when I was simply stating a fact and not using an intimidation tactic.
One of history's worst communication errors was the Challenger disaster due to O-rings failing. The primary moral issue was a lack of communication between managers and a poor safety culture, hindering proper technology testing. The key structural issue in the business was the absence of a proper safety culture.