Follow the Data

A data driven blog

Viewpoints on self-tracking

Here are some interesting articles on self-tracking published during the spring.

The data-driven life, a very meaty and well-researched article in The New York Times. It’s written by Gary Wolf, who is a co-host of the self-tracking blog, The Quantified Self. Standout quote:

With my spreadsheet, I inadvertently transformed myself into the mean-spirited, small-minded boss I imagined I was escaping through self-employment.

An interview with Nicholas Felton, who publishes a “personal annual report” crammed with visualizations of data he has collected about himself. Standout quote:

I think it would be more accurate to say that the age of the illusion of privacy is over. Your activities have long been transparent to credit card, mobile phone operators and others… now we have been given the tools to reveal this information socially (intentionally or unintentionally).

Numbers from the heart, a highly interesting essay by professor Ramesh Rao, who has done some heavy-duty signal analysis of his heart rate variability while meditating, running and sleeping, amongst other things. Standout quote:

The irony of getting attached to a practice that teaches detachment got me to take a look at Poincare plots of different styles of Yoga.

The essay also includes an interesting passage about entoptic phenomena (visual phenomena generated “internally” by the nervous system.)

Why I stopped tracking by Alexandra Carmichael is a powerful reminder of the potential drawbacks of self-tracking.


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