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Friday, June 27, 2008

The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete By Chris Anderson FROM Wired Magazine

This is a world where massive amounts of data and applied mathematics replace every other tool that might be brought to bear. Out with every theory of human behavior, from linguistics to sociology. Forget taxonomy, ontology, and psychology. Who knows why people do what they do? The point is they do it, and we can track and measure it with unprecedented fidelity. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.

and

Petabytes allow us to say: "Correlation is enough." We can stop looking for models. We can analyze the data without hypotheses about what it might show. We can throw the numbers into the biggest computing clusters the world has ever seen and let statistical algorithms find patterns where science cannot.

For a counterargument see Matthew Alexander in Daily Speculations:
http://www.dailyspeculations.com/wordpress/?p=3001

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