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What happens once you see patterns in the mess of traces you and others leave?

You never know how it strikes you… Somehow Gabriela’s reflection on my own post on sharing perspectives gave another angle to one of my long term questions.

In our project we do some work on aggregating and visualising data already availiable in organisations (some call it big brother technology :). Apart from obvious questions on how to do it and when it adds value, there is one more fundamental question. What changes once things get transparent? What happen to you once technology makes visible patterns in the mess of traces that you and others leave?

Of course this is related to all YASN discussions about articulating relations, but in that case articulation is explicit and you have choice to opt-out. We are looking at mapping what is already there as all of us leave traces when we do things. With only difference that these traces are becoming more and more digital (think of all your traces over Internet), more and more persistent, and technologies are becoming smart enough to find patterns in the mess…

Coming back – what happens once you see patterns in the mess of traces you and others leave? I would think about effects at individual and group levels. As an individual you probably will be able to recall and share your experiences better. At a group level I expect to get some effects like those observed in the KJ-technique story, increasing accuracy and speeding up decision making. Of course, the risk of amplifying group think is always there, but this is another story.

See also: other posts on transparency

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/05/13.html#a1207; comments are here.

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