Do Your Self-Quantifying On Paper, Dammit! (and Heartbleed/Tor)

Heartbleed vulernability I didn’t expect — Tor. I have a feeling the NSA found more ways to use this than the quoted researchers did.

I have nothing against the idea of the “quantified self” in principle. I’m all for people discovering for themselves that “engineered food” turns them into slothful automatons.

However, I draw the line when it comes to bringing in your smartphone or other electronic device.

At this point, you’re getting a mild and usually insignificant benefit in exchange for significantly improving the ability of your personal tracking device to track you. After all, most of the “quantities” in “quantified self” technologies are only so useful — when was the last time you actually USED that data to improve something?

(Remember, just because computers have taught you that collecting data on everything is good, doesn’t mean it actually is. See, for it to be useful, you have to actively look at the data and interpret it — was it something I ate that gave me that extra boost? is there a correlation between how long I sleep and how fast I run?

Having done plenty of this kind of thing myself, you don’t need tech for this. Scratching it down pencil-and-paper tends to work better, as it ingraines the raw data into your brain, which allows your subconscious to find correlations you’d otherwise miss.)

On the other hand, bringing in tech ot the picture also brings in the “Matrix factor.” Only, in this case, even when you ARE paying for it, you are still the product!

Quantified-self and quantified-home companies Fitbit and Nest (the thermostat bought by Google) have announced they’re going to start working with outside companies to get some more use out of the data their gadgets collect. Insurance companies may soon start jacking up your premiums if you don’t get enough exercise, etc..

I would start ranting that this is all a conspiracy, that they planned this from the beginning, that the modern “quantified self” idea is just an excuse to get the vampire-fangs of data-gobbling technology a little deeper into the average Joe, but…

…it turns out… I don’t have to.

The companies already admitted all of the above!

Quote from the article —

““It will definitely be about the data as we move forward,” says Jawbone’s Bogard. The “quantified self” was just a first step, he adds.


Once all these data are mined and shared across a growing web of connected things and entities…”

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