Love in the age of data, without data

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

We live in a time when personal data leaves digital traces of what we do, what we like, and who we care about. Quinn Norton makes a concerted effort to not leave behind such traces using layers of security and encryption, which ironically makes for an old-fashioned love story.

My love affair has taught me that the age of data makes time solid in a way that it didn’t used to be. I have a calendar and email archive that nails down the when/where/who of everything I’ve done. I know when my kid was here; the last time I saw a friend in New York; exactly what my last email exchange with my mother was. Not so with my lover. Time is a softer thing for us. Sometimes it seems like he’s always been there, sometimes it seems like we’re a brand new thing. Every other relationship in my life is more nailed down than this one.

Soft time. I like it.

Favorites

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, let’s look at the most unisex ones. Some names have …