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Dark Data And Cash

This morning, I decided to bake crescent rolls, out of a tube, for breakfast. It’s a simple, easy pleasure I indulge in every now and then, but I like to keep it to myself.

So, instead of getting in a car with satellite navigation that could transmit a record of my journey to corporate headquarters and the NSA, I rode my bike to the store.

bicycle gears

It was a small grocery store, not one of those big ones with cameras that track their customers with facial recognition software.

crescent rolls

I paid cash, and didn’t swipe a frequent shopper card.


When I got home, I baked the crescent rolls in an old analog oven with mechanical knobs, totally unconnected to the Internet of Things.

stovetop burner

How many rolls did I bake? When did I buy them, and when we’re they ready? Did I buy anything else to eat? Is there a predictable pattern to when I eat these rolls?

That’s for me to know, and the engines of Big Data to wonder. Through the power of physical, disconnected objects, I have exercised the power of dark data, the cultural equivalent of dark matter.

3 comments to Dark Data And Cash

  • Dave

    Are you absolutely sure you didn’t pass anyone wearing Google Glass?

  • Tom

    Air ye Scottish, lad? Why, then, the “we’re” (“. . .and when we’re they ready?”) and nae “were?”

    Of course, now that you’ve told them (the NSA) i’m sure they’ll get right on this matter of national security. They could analyze your fingerprints from the picture above, use their patented derailleur recognition software to find your bike from an orbiting satellite (even if it’s in your garage or under your bed) and track you down. Then they can ASK you (after sufficient water-boarding – not torture) and get all the answers they need. Hopefully, they won’t call it the Easter muffin threat and drone strike your house!

  • Dave

    Patented derailleur recgnition software. That’s a hoot.

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