5000 million billion. This is roughly the daily number of bits of information produced worldwide in 2015. Which is more or less the number of the stellar objects catalogued by the scientists after the launch of the Hubble telescope into orbit in 1990. It is the heritage of man’s knowledge at the time of the digital revolution, commonly defined as Big Data. A kind of library of Alexandria of the Third Millennium. To give you a more comprehensible measurement, if we archived this amount of data on DVDs and piled them up, there would be enough of them to cover the distance between the earth and the Moon two-way for five times. And the number of the DVDs has obviously increased between the day when this book was written and the one when those who have purchased the book read it.
You ca imagine how useful speeches of this kind are only if you study more closely the impact of Big Data and, more generally, that of the technological revolution and of the Internet on all the fields of our lives. Politics included. Politics first of all.
Our thoughts turn immediately towards the link with editorial flows. There are well-devised studies which demonstrate that there is a direct connection between the quantity (and the quality) of the conversations in on the Web and the results of the Italian general elections of 2013. It is not a case, by the way, that the only polls which were able to grasp the exploit of the Movement 5 Stars were precisely those which paid more attention to the predispositions of the web users.
On the other hand, the ever-growing influence the Internet has on politics has been a topic of discussion for some time now. The analysis of Obama’s campaign of 2008, the more and more refined segmentation of the electorate, the diversification of the message and of the language and so on: the more we study the question, the more we emphasize the potentiality inherent in the data – or better, in access to the data – on the processes of construction of political consensus. It is a crucial phenomenon and it is meant to widen further more in the future.
Taken from “Going Together, Going Far”