Social media in the cloud records the wants, needs, and buys of 2.5 billion people and the dirty little secret is that acquiring that information, analyzing it, and making predictions has become trivial in technological terms. Relentless advances in computing power, predictive analytics, and real time access to consumer data means that business knows your next move even before you do. The prologue is already past.
With Antonio’s rationalization that “what’s past is prologue” Shakespeare is slyly informing the audience that the stage was merely set but the murder being planned is a choice, not fate as the perpetrators would have us believe. In today’s world predictive analysis works on real time information to see the future which is then used to adjust current strategy. The future is now ‘setting the stage’ in an ironic inversion of the lesson in Act 2, Scene1, of The Tempest.
Which raises the question—is consumer choice destiny or a blast from the past?