1 min read

The New Oil

Data is the New Oil is a seriously underrated metaphor:

  • started off as just a curiosity for nerds
  • creates new companies and industries and vastly improves the productivity of some existing ones
  • control over sources or extraction/transport infrastructure makes some individuals/companies/nations rich and powerful
  • this has absolutely no tendency to be good for their character and ethics
  • transporting and processing large quantities increases the risk of toxic leaks, which can cause a lot of local damage
  • when successfully used, produces exhaust products that are relatively harmless in small amounts but cumulatively dangerous
  • use becomes integrated into the economy and is hard for individuals to avoid
  • which is taken as consent by those who control the extraction and exploitation