Gary Wolf’s “The Data Driven Life”

“This is how the odd habits of the ultrageek who tracks everything have come to seem almost normal.”

Gary Wolf’s article was pretty fascinating. Technology is changing our lives in such a way that it is possible to monitor our thoughts and actions like never before. Consequently, people are doing just that–people are tracking their caloric intake, measuring their moods, logging caffeine intake, keeping data on books read, conversations had, and on and on. It seems to me that this urge to collect data would simply add stress to the already stressful lives that many of us live. Earlier today I was listening to NPR (not sure which program). A doctor was talking about how life in America is much more stressful now than even during the Great Depression or WWII. He attributed this to the excess of information that we have at our fingertips 24-7-365. I think it is this connectedness that enables us to track just about any action or thought, like outlined in Wolf’s article, but I don’t know if it’s such a great thing. To each his own.

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One Response to Gary Wolf’s “The Data Driven Life”

  1. Interesting point about stress! I think data collection will add stress for competitive people. Another source of stress is actually sharing your data and having random people attack your conclusions (or your practices). You can see this happening around Seth Roberts, one of the people from the article. Here is a recent example, both of data collection and a resulting “flame war” skirmish, from his blog: http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2010/08/13/arithmetic-and-butter/

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