Big Data: A Room With No Theme

There’s this poem by Timothy Donnelly that helped me think through some of the heavier questions regarding “big data” with which many of us are wrestling.  Of course, data isn’t going to “extinguish” the creative fires — that’s a little dramatic.  But we are indeed humbled by the struggle to reconcile the tsunami of big data with the primacy of creative vision.  The first lines of Donnelly’s poem, The New Intelligence, warn us against a world without “mystery” and “without theme”…

The New Intelligence

by Timothy Donnelly

After knowledge extinguished the last of the beautiful

fires our worship had failed to prolong, we walked
back home through pedestrian daylight, to a residence

humbler than the one left behind. A door without mystery,
a room without theme.

(for the complete poem, click here)

It’s what I’m thinking about as I get ready to head downtown today for The Competitive Summit, a conversation about market intelligence, hosted by Aol and TrackMaven.  I will be keynoting with Eric Kuhn, Head of Social Media for United Talent Agency.  Looking forward to a provocative conversation.





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