Solving Humanity With Data Science

Part 01 – The be­gin­ning

a perfect world

In the book, A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin says “Summer will end soon enough, and child­hood as well”. The quote has an im­pend­ing truth to it, al­most as if he is warn­ing us of a dark end to hu­man­ity it­self. Since the be­gin­ning of time, man has faced ad­versity in myri­ad forms, from the whim­sic­al de­struc­tions of nature to the test of time it­self. The most po­tent en­emy that man has had, how­ever, is him­self. Civilization has helped us grow out of the wild hunters that we were, in­to a spe­cies who are cap­able of design­ing com­plex sys­tems like money, trans­port­a­tion, polit­ics and even send ourselves to out­er space. We as a spe­cies have ex­plored and ex­ploited our world, cre­ated cit­ies with re­mark­able ar­chi­tec­tures and in­ven­ted con­cepts over­time that would have baffled our an­cest­ors. Why is George R.R. Martin then, warn­ing us of an im­min­ent and dark danger? Why can’t we, hu­mans, who are cap­able of any­thing, cre­ate a per­fect world to live in, a uto­pia? The truth is, we can’t, be­cause we’re a troubled spe­cies and a very pro­fane en­emy lurks in our sys­tem; as the pro­verb “A chain is only as strong as its weak­est link” el­eg­antly sum­mar­izes.

The so­ci­ety that we’ve evolved in­to today has some ser­i­ous so­cial flaws, in­clud­ing Gender bi­as, Poverty, Crime, Resource scarcity and I could go on. On December 16, 2012, a hein­ous act by a few in­di­vidu­als in ab­us­ing and caus­ing a girl’s death saw a na­tion protest in uni­son. These crimes are the weak links that scar our so­ci­ety, tu­mours that ter­ri­fy the in­no­cent, and in­cid­ents that make hu­man­ity very far away from cre­at­ing a per­fect world. Barely two years since, on July 02, 2014, a six year old child was ab­used in a school, an in­no­cent child­hood that prob­ably ended too soon. Society is rid­den with such prob­lems, prob­lems that bring us down every time we show­case our achieve­ments, prob­lems that ri­dicule our very be­ing. These prob­lems though, aren’t new, they have a very hu­man ele­ment to them – Anger, Greed, Lust, and the like. In some sense, re­li­gion has an an­swer to these weak­nesses of man­kind. At Gramener, Science is our re­li­gion, and we in­tro­spect today, if one of our greatest achieve­ments (Science) can cre­ate a per­fect world.

Science is a meth­od­ic­al sys­tem, it’s a study of nature’s be­ha­vi­our and can be quan­ti­fied by num­bers. Science helps us cre­ate mod­els with the help of num­bers and equa­tions to rep­res­ent and an­swer some of the most com­plex ques­tions that we have ever faced in our his­tory. We have to use this, our greatest strength, to try and solve the is­sues that are in­hib­it­ing us from evolving in­to a higher, and more civ­il­ized spe­cies. The num­bers that I talk about, the num­bers which can quan­ti­fy situ­ations and sys­tems, is noth­ing but data. There is data, hid­den every­where, in our world today. Data about people, data about weather, data about trans­ac­tions, data about what people are think­ing on on­line me­dia, data every­where. This burst of data has been a nat­ur­al evol­u­tion of the Internet, one of mankind’s greatest achieve­ments. Can these num­bers that are every­where, help us look at a story that is hid­den from the na­ked eye? Can these num­bers help us identi­fy pat­terns of hu­man fail­ures? Can we sci­en­tific­ally provide a solu­tion that can solve hu­man­ity?

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