May 20, 2018

Some stuff that’s always on my mind

I have a LOT of partially-written blog posts, but am struggling to get any of them finished (obviously). Much of the problem is that they have so many dependencies on each other. Clearly, then, I should consider refactoring my writing plans. 🙂

So let’s start with this. Here, in no particular order, is a list of some things that I’ve said in the past, and which I still think are or should be of interest today. It’s meant to be background for numerous posts I write in the near future, and indeed a few hooks for such posts are included below.

1.  Data(base) management technology is progressing pretty much as I expected.

2. Rightly or wrongly, enterprises are often quite sloppy about analytic accuracy.

3. Outside traditional enterprises, the accuracy problem can be even worse, and the consequences of analytic inaccuracy can be severe. In some cases this is well understood; autonomous vehicle researchers, for example, seem properly attentive to the challenge of not-killing-pedestrians. But in others it’s a mess. For example, I don’t think the “fake news on social media” challenge will be resolved without new technical approaches that, to my knowledge, aren’t yet even being tried.

4. More generally, I’ve long argued that the technology industry would someday have to deal with a variety of public policy and social concerns. That day has come. In anticipation, I wrote at length about privacy/surveillance, and a little about some other areas, including net neutrality, patents, economic development, and public technology spending. Missing subjects include censorship (private and public alike), and perhaps also the efforts to tie data ownership into anti-trust policy.

5. Given all the tech-specific public policy work that’s needed, I’m pulling back from some my broader political efforts. However, I stand by my overview opinions of last February, and I delivered on some of its IOUs in a two-part series on persuasion.

6. The ongoing rise of “edge computing” and the “Internet of Things” fit into the general trend that in 2013 I summarized as appliances, clusters and clouds.

7. I continue to think that a huge fraction of analytics is properly characterized as monitoring. That ties into a number of areas of interest. For example:

8. And finally for now, my core precepts for strategic messaging haven’t changed.

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3 Responses to “Some stuff that’s always on my mind”

  1. Technology implications of political trends | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on May 20th, 2018 3:29 pm

    […] industry has a broad range of political concerns. While I may complain that things have been a bit predictable in other respects, politics is having real and new(ish) technical consequences. In some cases, […]

  2. John Held on September 26th, 2018 12:28 am

    I’m beginning to think that one of the valid use cases of the (over-hyped) blockchain is partially addressing the ‘fake news’ or more broadly, growing problem of lack of verifiable facts that seems to be plaguing our society in numerous ways.

    A compact hash of a photo, video, or text uploaded to the blockchain shortly after its creation provides a semblance of proof that the original object has not subsequently tampered, at least not after the upload.

    Blockchain technology is currently at the opposite spectrum of SQL, noSQL and distributed databases in terms of recent advances in real-time capabilities and scalability.

    The social/political/economic implications of the way a blockchain operates without a central authority, supported by its own internal economics (mining and verification fees) while providing immutability are potentially relevant to addressing what we collectively agree are ‘facts.’

  3. clive boulton on February 26th, 2019 3:54 pm

    Post-PC era databases I can’t imagine a vendor or project listing as shown here on dbms2 masthead. Accordingly we can assume a robust database composition will be built from verified open source. This pattern looks more like the composition of blockchain databases. Especially Hyperledger Sawtooth contributed by Intel Corp. Checkback in 10 years, 2029…

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