all bits considered data to information to knowledge

14May/130

A Brief History of Big Data

How had the data grown so BIG? The trends appear to have finally converged:

  • data storage  went from stone tablets to animal skins to paper to HDD to...
  • ability to process information went from memorization to computer aided recall
  • humans are no longer the biggest data producers in the Universe

Gil Press traces the origins of Big Data - or at least a premonition thereof  - to 1946 in a great article in Forbes - a fascinating read!

I think that (with a bit of a stretch) it could go back all the way to Marcus Tullius Cicero, who lived in first century B.C.

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book." 

It's the book part I am referring to  🙂

28Jul/110

Quote hunting in modern times

Long time ago, in some - now happily forgotten - book I've read this quote:

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book." 

The text claimed that the quote comes from Egyptian Prisse's papyrus, supposedly 5,000 years old. While I could not verify this at the time (1970s, no less), the quote and its alleged source stuck with me for good. I used this quote with moderate success to impress my friends and acquaintances, and never was I asked for a proof. Until now, that is 🙂

A brief Internet search located description of the Prisse's Papyrus along with its translation. Turns out that the text contains no such sentence! Yet it had all the markings of a wise man's saying. What gives?

Turns out that the quote belongs to Marcus Tullius Cicero, who lived in first century B.C. (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC, to be exact ).

So, to straighten up my record:

  • yes, the quote is authentic and belongs to Cicero
  • no, it is not from Egyptian papyrus of 4,000 years old
  • yes, it still holds true!