The Big Board seeks people with the following characteristics:
⦿ deep knowledge of American culture, fast and slow
⦿ strong powers of pattern recognition and the ability to detect the significance of early signals
⦿ qualitative skills for the collection, analysis and organization of ethnographic data
⦿ quantitative skills for the collection, analysis and organization of statistical data
⦿ knowledge of database construction and management
⦿ ability to exercise initiative and work unsupervised
⦿ living in the extended New York City area useful but not required
⦿ we’re happy to start this as a temporary “side hustle” for the right candidates
The point of the image: These are the very early days of constructing a system for the survey and analysis of American culture using big data.
This image shows the radar system created by the British Royal Air Force in 1942 as a “radical early warning system” designed to detect enemy aircraft arriving from Germany and help RAF fighters intercept them. It’s a nice metaphor for what we are attempting with the big board: detect the arrival of the future and assist the American organization (aka RAF) with the task of intercepting this future.
But the image is also a test. If you don’t see the point of the metaphor, or find it unduly whimsical, this may not be the assignment for you.