Prepare to have your mind blown

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Most modern humans are now attempting to cram more data into their heads in a single day than most of our ancestors did during entire lifetimes, says futurist Juan Enriquez, speaking on what he calls the mind-blowing changes that big data is about to unleash on your business, your health and life in general. He adds that most people have no idea how much big data is about to change their lives.

Enriquez is managing director of Excel Venture Management and was the founding director of Harvard Business School's Life Sciences Project.

In a blog post for Inc. magazine, he puts big data in perspective with a few mind-blowing statistics, such as in the time it takes you to read this article, the amount of information being generated by the human race will have expanded by about 20 petabytes, or three times the amount of information in the Library of Congress. Individually, people try to cram in, read, understand, and remember at least 5 percent more words than the year before.

But the biggest mind blower he says is not the size of the data, but where it has taken us, which is from a place where we think certain things are true to a place where we can prove them. It has taken us to a place where we now know that after 114 years, the word "war" became more commonplace than the word "love."

What's scarier, he says, is the trail we leave in our wake that records all of our transactions, queries and clicks, and brands us with them with the equivalent of an electronic tattoo, following us for a lifetime.

On the bright side, Enriquez said, "As we know more and more about life, the universe, and all other subjects, as we double the amount of data generated by all humans within the next five years, we can begin to model, build, and scale to the point where we directly and deliberately guide the evolution of ourselves and many other species."

These challenges will, in turn, breed enormous new companies and breakthroughs, he said.

For more:
- see the Inc. article

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