In their own image

— So, what is the latest hot research topic?

— Everyone is now talking about “Small Data”. Haven’t you ever heard of it?

— No. You know that my interests are very distant. I don’t have enough resources to follow all the trendy research.

— It might be over-rated, but still considerable resources are allocated to Small Data.

— So what is it about?

— Well, as the name suggests, it is about small data. More precisely, how to make use of it. We’ve always been able to process practically unlimited amounts of data. Consequently, our natural perception of reality is through probability distributions. This is, at least, how our evolutionary algorithms evolved us. It took us over 50 petacycles of the Clock to develop the notion of a “number” — a deterministic quantity rather than a distribution. Even today, when the formalism of numbers is relatively well-established, arithmetic is still a very new branch of mathematics. We still struggle with understanding it intuitively.

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