One wag criticized me for suggesting that this is the Big Data Kumbh in a previous blog post. I’m not sure why collecting data on such an interesting and inspiring (to me anyway) gathering should detract for a spiritual experience.
This link shows some of my colleagues collecting data on people’s wellness, for example. At the Kumbh, I interviewed a few medical practitioners, some in hospitals, and others in makeshift clinics providing little more than first-aid. None seemed to be overly perturbed by anyone else’s data collection.
In any case, if the data are used wisely and judiciously, they can suggest ways to improve the experience for all attendants, whether they be pilgrims, naga sadhus, or the security guards who dot the Kumbh landscape, on all dimensions, spiritual and otherwise.
Oh well, to my detractor I say, live and let live, different strokes for different folks.