The quantification of everything
It’s the quantification of everything. Not just marketing data — everything. Five years ago you’d read about diabetics who had to take their blood sugar readings or about these weirdos who put on pedometers when they walked. Now, that kind of measurement is everywhere. Web sites that seem at first glance like entertainment or service media are really devoted to managing and interpreting customers’ data about themselves. Mint and Wesabe track your banking data and financial transactions. Skydeck organizes cell-phone records; you can see whom you call most frequently or whom you used to call but haven’t called recently. You can compare your phone call patterns against other people’s. 23andMe does the same thing for genomes. The most fascinating thing in the world is a mirror.