MYSTERY OF BIG DATA’S PARALLEL UNIVERSE BRINGS FEAR, AND A THRILL

[ Tue. Jun. 5. 2012 ]

It is perhaps time to be afraid. Very afraid, suggests the science historian George Dyson, author of a recent biography of John von Neumann, one of the inventors of the digital computer. In “A Universe of Self-Replicating Code,” a conversation published on the Web site Edge, Mr. Dyson says that the world’s bank of digital information, growing at a rate of roughly five trillion bits a second, constitutes a parallel universe of numbers and codes and viruses with its own “physics” and “biology.”

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