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Between the hype and the cynicism, it is tricky to unearth what is different this time and why. Your definition makes a ton of sense, Gary.

Big Data also increases the need to think carefully about what the data means and how it was generated so that the right questions can get posed in a way that algorithms can work on them. You have written about the biasing effects of site topology on statistical analysis. With Big Data, this sort of problem gets magnified and biases of all shapes and sizes can easily creep into the data and render the results worthless.

I often encounter a "mine big data, find pattern, get rich" ( mindset that seems oblivious to these dangers. At the end of the day, getting value from Big Data requires a strong dose of human judgment, which, as always, is in short supply. And I worry that this scarce resource will limit the value we can get.

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