The Humane Tasking Initiative


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Why that fuss about Big Data and the Terms of use?

by Florian Heß, January 6th 2016. Tags: initiative

Clearly I could start up with a next big thing to "join now, for free" and have people give away their data, and have advertisers hook in and what not. People are becoming digital zombies, you know. However, I have a bad feeling at that and couldn't quite enjoy all the money that might or might not return. To be against Big Data, that is really to be against creeping technological subjugation of the free digital society as is conducted by politics and economy, but then pushing that kind of service would be quite pseudo, wouldn't it?

From a technerd's point of view there is not much wrong with big data. It actually is a big chance to learn new connections and rules that keep our world in order, or tear it in parts if Man does not return to reason. Not only do we learn, also we can teach our machines to learn things from all those plenty of lots of data. This new knowledge will serve us the opportunity of new conclusions how we can overcome the problems of our time. So further evolution of Man be guaranteed. They are used to not give a shit on people who are used to not give a shit on the inner workings of applied technology. Just what a pity if 99% of all that data is wrong, because neither controlled nor even known by the subjects or targets, or sources, or however they call us "... humans" to whom the data relates. This data is therefore inhumane, unethical, and as dangerous as all frivolous assumptions and prejudice. Just as misleading are conclusions based on it, no matter if calculated by algorithms or found intellectually.

Big data is all about learning things. And people, their behaviour and tendencies and frights. This particularly includes people who might not understand the concept of big data and algorithms processing it, who are not interested in either, who only see the comfort and enjoy their gadgets. People who even do not wonder some day why machines and algorithms deal with them in that way or another, differently from how they do with others. This is power over people: to cage them in their individual cosy world, blinkers on the eyes, guiding them to whatever be supposed without their having the slightest idea, thinking they are still free. Are they human? Are compliant, ignorant Menchines woven into their own prison worth human rights? What about freedom? Freedom, freedom, wait, do you mean the wallpapers in the cells?

Free software can give full control to the users, provided they really study it, inspect its source code. However, today it is not common anymore to study the code, to try to understand the tools that we use daily. It is too complex, too much. And today, people are accustomed to using webservices rather than installing software locally on their systems. Systems begin to not even support installation of tools that are independent from a remote service beyond user's control. Roughly speaking, devices, especially mobile devices, are becoming handles for minor adults who can freely choose between dummy and nose-ring edition. Of course, the less compliant or respectable may choose only the latter.

FlowgencyTM is free and open source. I hope that path leads around that abyss off humanity, around thoughtless complicity in digital feudalism. Programmers may study the code and work on it under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Power users can install and use it, either locally or by accessing their server at home from their mobile device, with full control of their own data kept private.

The officially listed online public instances of FlowgencyTM deliberately prohibit productive use with real data in their terms. That is not because I do not like real remote users or find them not worth a part in the community. Rather I just cannot afford responsibility for people I do not know personally or would not trust in turn. Therefore the terms must be read and checked each separately, except of course the fake ones to identify.

However, fictitiousness cannot be actually proved. Instead of using public instances with data productive and real in secret, thus waiving privacy rights so complains would be antic and void at last, simple users should ask someone among their trusted family and friends who is competent of IT, but apart from their working context. If servers and FlowgencyTM installations are shared in small groups, things should be all fine. The members must rely on the master to properly harden the service against unauthorized access, and trust him that their data remains private.