About Stephen Rankin

Professionally I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. I currently serve as University Chaplain at Southern Methodist University. Personally I am married to Joni and we have four grown children and four grandchildren. You can find my personal thoughts on this site, as well as on twitter at @stephenwrankin.


  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/

    The article above reveals the nature of metadata, and an angle that no one, IMHO, has explored is the predictive element once this information is known. Essentially, you were pegged as of the male species by the metadata, which means you probably like to sneak peeks at attractive women – keep in mind the culture in which we live. The goal was an impulse buy after you identified with set woman and desired to have some way to relate to her – the clear way being to relate is to purchase the product, of course.

    At the end of the day, metadata is an imperfect science. Chances are the ad you saw was based upon your demographic data (male, of a certain age, etc.) that operates on the assumption that sex…well…sells.

    Keep in mind that metadata assembles patterns. It doesn’t “care” or “think.” Emotions, values, morals, etc. simply do not matter in this proto-technical world.

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