Missing Pieces

Posted to Self-surveillance  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

Leave it to Robert Krulwich to bring us back to life in the world of personal data. In reference to Stephen Wolfram’s dive into emails, keystrokes, meetings, and phone calls:

“It’s amazing how much it’s possible to figure out by analyzing the various kinds of data I’ve kept,” Stephen Wolfram says. To which I say, “I’m looking at your data, and you know what’s amazing to me? How much of you is missing.”

This is the bit I struggle with when it comes to the whole quantified self thing. There are lot of people who collect data about themselves, and it’s all about optimization and trying to “fix” something. I’m more interested in how personal data collection relates to say, keeping a journal or scrapbooking. In this sense, it’s not about how much of your life is missing in your personal data stream. Instead it’s about how data can help you fill in the gaps.

By the way, if you’re not listening to Krulwich’s show slash podcast Radiolab, who he co-hosts with Jad Abumrad, you’re missing out on some fine storytelling.

Favorites

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Most popular porn searches, by state

We’ve seen that we can learn from what people search for, through the eyes of Google suggestions: state stereotypes, national …

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.