The web is a “social space” in the sense that Henri Lefebvre understood it as he roamed the city streets: as both “a product to be used” and “a means of production,” both the medium itself and the set of relations it produces. To continue with the urbanist metaphor, today’s web has been gentrified, commodified, and colonized. Those earlier spaces of intimacy and exploration are now few and far between, replaced by homogeneous surfaces and vowelless trademarks
Machine learning is like a deep-fat fryer. If you’ve never deep-fried something before, you think to yourself: "This is amazing! I bet this would work on anything!”
And it kind of does.
These techniques are effective, but the fact that the same generic approach works across a wide range of domains should make you suspicious about how much insight it's adding.
And in any deep frying situation, a good question to ask is: what is this stuff being fried in?
A huge amount of information is tracked, documented, and stored in the form of digital “exhaust” — metadata that is constantly generated by our online activity. Although digital exhaust may not seem so affectively revealing, it nevertheless amasses its own stores of feeling.