Gary Wolf on the quantified self

Oct 7, 2010

In his five-minute TED talk (below), Gary Wolf describes the quantified self and why it matters:

The self isn’t the only thing. It’s not even most things. The self is just our operations center, our consciousness, our moral compass. So if we want to act more effectively in the world, we have to get to know ourselves better.

And with personal data stuff like Nike+ and Fitbit doing well, there’s clearly an interest (and a market for it). At what point though does personal data become too much?

[TED via Quantified Self]

4 Comments

  • My objection is that the collection of all this data is never turned into a useable form.

    I remember with what amazing disappointment I read the book of infographics that guy produced about a year of his life. None of it was significant or meaningful.

    LIfe metrics must be incorporated into the GTD review process to gain meaning. Simply having data is not enough. It must be assigned meaning, and evaluated at daily, weekly, monthly, yearly levels, etc, in context with the greater life narrative.

  • I think there’s nothing that needs to be added or developed to correct this problem. It’s a matter of discipline. People need to incorporate their data streams into their GTD reviews. And they need to DO their GTD reviews. It’s that simple.

    Self awareness is either comprehensive or largely meaningless.

Favorites

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, …