Mark Hammer

Oh we’ve seen a number of high-profile he-spoke-to-a-guy-that-knows-a-guy-that-is-connected-to-this-other-guy-that-once-worked-with-this-other-guy cases here, that ended up with someone being rendered and tortured in Syrian jails on very specious and tangential grounds, or placed on no-fly lists for reasons they can’t understand or find out about. So I’m as concerned about the potential gravity of big-data-in-big-machines errors as anyone. But there is hypothetical loss of rights in the abstract (i.e., a point of principle), and actual probability of loss of actual rights. The one is a source of irritation, and the other a source of worry. I can see where one might be irritated, but I don’t see nearly as much reason to worry.

But that’s me. I’m the kind who’ll take a personal cheque from someone with a bloody knife in their hand that keeps looking over their shoulder for the cops. 🙂 I’m also reading Dan Kahnemann’s book, and a little sensitized these days to the errors in probability judgments that people regularly make.