Numbers are not Sterile

by | May 30, 2021 | ICT4D, Identity |

numbers are not sterile

Over 200. 63. 2. 6,700,000. All are statistics. Data fields. Numbers. But all are also children. Children found in mass graves in Canada. Children killed in the recent Gaza-Isreal conflict. And children suffering from malnutrition.

And yes, we can dispute the numbers. Argue over them. Claim they are higher or lower. But they are not just numbers in a propaganda machine. They are not a data field in your algorithmic software. They are sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, friends, and dreams. These numbers represent love, stories, laughter. Lives ended to early, broken hearts. These numbers are stories of families where 3 of 4 children and their mother die. Of 2 children withering away in their mother’s arms as she silently withers inside.

Responsible data management always remembers. No always keep in the forefront of discussions that the data is not sterile computations. Responsible data management sees people, emotions, love, and stories in the data points. And therefore treats the data with that in mind.

Photo by Mika Baumeister


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