The Roar of the Masses Could Be Farts*
This writer may be unclear on the concept of signal to noise ratio. Just because you have more "data" doesn't mean you have more "information".
I admit that, in addition to the possibilities for finding something interesting, there may also be the prospect of discovering suggestive but ultimately incorrect or misleading patterns[my emphasis]. But I feel this problem would surely be greatly ameliorated by more and better metadata.
And there, in fact, lies the problem.
Once again, I remind you that I know nothing of Mr Revere, or his conversations, or his habits or beliefs, his writings (if he has any) or his personal life. All I know is this bit of metadata, based on membership in some organizations.
The writer doesn't understand that he in fact DOES know something about Mr. Revere. He knows enough to eliminate all other organizations Mr Revere may be a member of! For example, Mr. Revere may also be a member of several silversmith trade organizations, a member of horse racing clubs, lantern collectors, etc.. The "disturbing" associations shown here may be repeated several times over based on Mr. Revere's tendency to be a social gadfly, or attempts to more widely market his wares by membership in as many social clubs as he possibly can. The writer also limits the groups he uses to small groups with few people, well, it makes the math easier, right? Where's the harm in that?
The problem with matrix math is that every added row or column increases the computation exponentially, and the big metadata "sifting" is attempting to do this for all individuals, and all connections, everywhere. Might as well try to connect how a butterfly flapping it's wings in Mongolia makes a pope resign in Rome. After all, they both belong to the club of air-breathers, and the organization of carbon-based living organizms, as well as the group of finely-adorned creatures, displaying colorful raiments. So there are some natural, yet disturbing, connections there.
* dboon is rolling in his grave these days.