Yes, Elegance in Language Explains Big Data in a More Satisfying Way for Some

July 14, 2020

I was surprised and then uncomfortable with the information in a tweet thread from Abebab. The tweet explained that “Big Dick Data” is a formal academic term. Apparently this evocative and polished turn of phrase emerged from a write up by “D’Ignazio and F. Klein”.

Here’s the definition:

a formal, academic term that D’Ignazio & F. Klein have coined to denote big data projects that are characterized by masculinist, totalizing fantasies of world domination as enacted through data capture and analysis.

To prove the veracity of the verbal innovation, an image from a publication is presented; herewith a copy:


When I came upon the tweet, the item accrued 119 likes.


  • Is the phrase a contribution to the discussion of Big Data, or is the phrase a political statement?
  • Will someone undertake a PhD dissertation on the subject, using the phrase as the title or will a business publisher crank out an instant book?
  • What mid tier consulting firm will offer an analysis of this Big Data niche and rank the participants using appropriate categories to communicate each particular method?

Outstanding, tasteful, and one more — albeit quite small — attempt to make clear that discourse is being stretched.

Above all, classy or possibly a way to wrangle a job writing one liners for a comedian looking for Big Data chuckles.

Stephen E Arnold, July 14, 2020


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