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Math Privacy Science

The Data-Driven Life 96

theodp recommends a somewhat long and rambling article by Wired's Gary Wolf, writing in the NY Times Magazine, on recording and mining data about your personal life. "In the cozy confines of personal life, we rarely used the power of numbers. The imposition on oneself of a regime of objective record keeping seemed ridiculous. And until a few years ago, it would have been pointless to seek self-knowledge through numbers. But now, technology can analyze every quotidian thing that happened to you today. 'Four things changed,' explains Wolf. 'First, electronic sensors got smaller and better. Second, people started carrying powerful computing devices, typically disguised as mobile phones. Third, social media made it seem normal to share everything. And fourth, we began to get an inkling of the rise of a global superintelligence known as the cloud.' And the next thing you know, exercise, sex, food, mood, location, alertness, productivity, even spiritual well-being are being tracked and measured, shared and displayed."
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The Data-Driven Life

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  • by FuckingNickName ( 1362625 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @07:31PM (#32059782) Journal

    they want their rationality back...

  • by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @07:37PM (#32059816) Homepage Journal

    I have not joined the need-to-share-everything-about-my-life-with-the-world bandwagon. In fact, I have taken steps backward, such as deactivating my Facebook account (good luck trying to actually delete your account). In the data-driven future I plan to be Blank Reg (look it up). Or possibly a new riff on Luddite could be applied to people like me. Social-site Luddite?

    Of course, the article is about much more than that and it's very interesting, but that's just my mini-rant.

  • How retarded. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sudog ( 101964 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @07:43PM (#32059844) Homepage

    "Superintelligence" known as the cloud?

    There's not even any need to read such tripe. In fact, I hate everyone who read that story after seeing the word "superintelligence" linked with "cloud."

    There is no bound to the contempt writers of pieces like this should be shown, nor to all of the idiots who were involved in reposting it here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2010 @07:54PM (#32059894)

    That doesn't follow.

    These connections can be made without any user input. You visit a product while logged in to a site, record made. Then you visit another, another record made. Connection between the two products is also made, the products can now show up on a "you may also like.. " list. No need for AJAX or other buzzcronyms.

  • Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @08:00PM (#32059924)
    How about pretentious writing about the future. Is anyone tracking that?
  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @08:03PM (#32059946)

    Lookie! I made a graph and it shows something! It MUST be causation, there is no other explanation.

    He made a graph. That's more than most people do. And yes, its enough to move from 'anecdote' to 'supporting data'. Is it enough to make a general conclusion about the effect of coffee on society? No. Is it enough to make a limited conclusion about the effect of coffee on him? Still no.

    But is it enough to suggest maybe he should continue avoiding coffee? Sure. Why not?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2010 @08:07PM (#32059962)

    I expect to see a stupid or shitty article linked to here on Slashdot every so often. It happens. But the presence of this article here is just absurd!

    It's bullshit from top to bottom. When it's not delivering outright misinformation, it's making baseless assumptions, or misusing common terms.

    Seriously, what the fuck does "rise of a global superintelligence known as the cloud" mean? Aside from the obvious misuse of "cloud" since it's just the buzzword-of-the-day, there is no "global superintelligence". Facebook and twitter are made up of the same morons and dumbfucks we deal with every day. If there's a "global" anything, it's a global idiocy.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Saturday May 01, 2010 @08:26PM (#32060052) Homepage Journal

    TFA actually talks very little about sharing your data with others (FB etc.) It's about collecting data on yourself, and using that data for your own purposes. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if the people who do this also tend to be people who blog compulsively about their personal lives, but you could certainly do one without the other.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.