Using metadata to find Paul Revere (link)

Has entertainment value.

"Perhaps I should not say 'terrorists' so rashly. But you can see how tempting it is."

Last 5 posts by David Byron


  1. Xenocles says

    Fortunately any insurrection against our country could only be the consequence of radical terrorist elements, unlike the great and glorious patriots that ran the first one. That's why I'm okay with snuffing them out by any means necessary.

  2. Steven H. says

    Keep coming up with things like this, and you're going to be up against the wall with the rest of the terrorists… ;-)

  3. XXXYZ says

    It reads cutesy, but it's worth considering the implications – the British with a 12th grade math student, metadata about who belonged to which groups, and no knowledge of the colonies at all could have identified one or two people who, if stopped, would have derailed the American revolution.

    Imagine what you could do with buildings full of computers and information about every cell phone call and URLs for websites the visit.

  4. says

    As a computational network biologist I got a warm 'n fuzzy going reading words like betweeness, centrality, and eigenvector.

    Darkly amusing, possibly troubling.

  5. david taylor says

    Can I say I hate what my government is becoming without winding up on a terrorist watch list?

  6. Another anonymous NAL says

    Yipe. After reading this the only thought I had was a quote from another fictional British maniac:

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people….

  7. James Pollock says

    So, if the British had complete membership lists of the revolutionary groups, they could have extracted metadata from the lists to identify revolutionaries?

  8. machintelligence says

    I can't help but wonder what the correlation is between "well connected revolutionaries" and those who simply belonged to a large number of groups. Sometimes such a quick and dirty analysis tells you almost as much.