Get A Data-Driven Life


One of the most fascinating and dynamic sectors is pure information. Technological advances now enable immense databases, which in turn provide new insights on both simple and complex correlations, and the ability to spot (or debunk) trends.  A number of successful startups (most notably foursquare) are providing, slicing and dicing information as well as providing considerable analytical context, often in real-time.  However it seems like one of the most notable subjects for data is oneself.

NYT magazine did a long story on how people are using data — both independently and enabled by mobile and online software — to track data on themselves.  This includes a life-logging project, one person’s visual map of every idea he has had since 1984, a catalog of a person’s moods, and an enormous variety of health-related data, including how often you booze it up — many of these are now recorded on a site dedicated to no less an endeavor than quantifying the self.

This onslaught of data is both captivating and exhausting, and within the white noise of data, one hopes there is a blissful ignorance waiting for its moment to return. Or else we are in for unending variations on the Database of Myself.