Camille arrives at the island where she was born, to sell her parent's house. She finds a book that belonged to a certain Antoine and starts reading it. Who is Antoine and what is his story?
imagine You have only one of these decisions were asked.
Someone is watching a video on YouTube, which of the, in the possession of the Alphabet. What The System should suggest to You that You watch next? Pique gets your interest and YouTube to serve You , a further display. Lose your attention, and You click away.
You weigh the options, the calculation of the probabilities. If You choose wisely, and You will see a different display, well done - You 've got the Alphabet deserves all of, Oh, maybe 20 cents (15p).
Clearly, the would be on the people, in order to process Data incredibly inefficient. These business machines need to be models.
highlights of the inventions, ideas and innovations that contributed to the economic world.
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image-something that looks a bit like a piano, but instead of the buttons, it has punched a slot for cards, about the size of a Dollar Bill , with holes in them.Herman Hollerith the tabulator and sorter box, used for the 1890 United States census
Herman Hollerith 's family didn't get it. To invest far from rushing to, she laughed at him. Hollerith not forgive apparently - he cut her off. His children were grown up, with no idea You had relatives on her father's side.
Hollerith invention, responded to a very specific problem. Every 10 years, the US government is a national led count. That was Nothing New . Governments through the ages, wanted to know who lives where and who to help with anything, raise taxes and find conscripts.
But to ask if You are going to send a small army of enumerators throughout the country, it must be tempting, a wider and wider range of things. What jobs do people do? Any illnesses or disabilities? What languages can You speak?
However, with the 1880 census, the bureaucrats more Data than they could digest had swallowed.
The census was also extended to libraries, nursing homes, crime statistics, and many other topics. In 1870, the census had Five different types of questionnaire. In 1880, 215 had it.
It was soon begin to clear the add the answers would take years - they were hardly finished, this census, if it is time for the next one.
A lucrative contract with the government certainly awaited anyone who could speed up The Process .
the Boy Herman worked had, in the 1880 census, so he had understood the problem.
He had decided to try his fortune by the invention of a new type of brakes for trains. As it happened, a train ride instead helped him to solve the census problem.
train tickets were often stolen. So railway companies found an ingenious way to link to the person You had bought a "punch photograph".
head to a hole-punch, to choose from a number of physical descriptors - as Hollerith: recalls "light hair, Dark Eyes , big nose, et cetera. "If a dark-haired, small nose, the villain of the ticket, he would not get far.
And according to the observation of this system, Hollerith the responses of people to the census questions realized it could also be represented as holes in cards.
This could solve the problem, because the hole cards were used to control machines since the early 1800S the Jacquard loom woven patterned fabric based on these.Weaver and inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard had to do with the Demonstration of his loom, complete with hole cards with the pattern instructions
All Hollerith, was to add a "tabulating machine" to the census of hole cards, which he envisaged.
the piano-like apparatus, a series of spring-loaded pins on the map, where they found a hole, it completed an electrical circuit, the moves, the corresponding dial-up by.
fortunately for Hollerith, the bureaucrats were impressed by more than His Family . She rents to count his machines, the 1890 census, had added to them, even more questionnaires.
compared with the Old system, Hollerith machine proved four years and millions of dollars cheaper.
more importantly, they made it easier to interrogate the Data . Suppose You wanted to find, people over the age of 40 to 45, married and working as a carpenter. No need to scour the 200 tons of paperwork - just The Machine Set Up and run the cards.More things, who saw the modern economy:
the governments soon You uses far beyond the census.
"anywhere in The World ," says historian Adam Tooze , "the bureaucrats, the dream of Omniscience , were inspired,. "America 's first Social Security benefits paid out were on punch cards in The 1930S .
to see The Following decade,
companies were quick to the potential. Insurers punched cards for insurance uses mathematical calculations, utilities for the billing, the Railways, the shipping, the manufacturer to track sales and costs.
It remained a market leader, such as punch cards gave way to magnetic storage, and tabulating machines and programmable computers. It was still on The List of The World 's 10 largest companies a few years ago.Data About Us
the trail behind us every time we turn on our smartphones, or ask Alexa to The Light .
This type of Data is not so neatly structured as the answers to census questions are precision-punched in the Hollerith cards. This makes it more difficult to make sense of it. But there are unimaginably much more. to improve
And as algorithms, and, more and more of our lives are lived online, and the bureaucratic dream of Omniscience is quick to corporate reality.
The author writes the Financial Times Undercover Economist column. the show is on the BBC World Service. You can find and or