My pandemic has been spent in a bubble. Living in Sydney we were locked down but only briefly. We are those people who not only don’t anyone who has had the pandemic but don’t anyone who knows anyone who has had the pandemic.
But still the pandemic has changed us. I have started walking everywhere, taken up the bass guitar and yes, I have started this blog. The zeitgeist has bled into the blog and given it the name “data anxiety”. Perhaps, at a different point in time, I would have focused on “data happiness”, “data optimism” or just plain “data hope”. But I want my blog to capture the feelings of the contemporary world towards information and data. The schizophrenic feeling of wanting and desiring more and more information and yet being fearful of the impact of it.
This feeling of anxiety caused by the impact of technology and information has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as an infodemic. Apparently too much information can be, well, too much. Experts are asking us to step away, to take some time out from information and data as a form of “handwashing for the infodemic acompanying the pandemic”
Albert Camus stated that integrity has no need of rules. I would like my blog to explore new technologies and new forms of information and to ask whether the basic ethical precepts upon which we perceive and judge the use of information and data have changed. Or if they have become an elastic band stretching and taking on strange and new pathways illuminating, testing and stretching the boundaries of our ethics.
Data anxiety is a mindset for the pandemic age.