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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Living By The Numbers

For those who have become health conscious, Wired has an interesting article called "Know Thyself: Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain, 24/7/365" which discusses our obsession with numbers. Heart rate, calories, alcohol consumption, number of steps taken, hours of sleep, etc.. We are slowly becoming consumed by these numbers and I for one have become a recent victim. The article's author, Gary Wolf, says "The immediate cause of this trend was obvious: New tools had made self-tracking easier. In the past, the methods of quantitative assessment were laborious and arcane. You had to take measurements manually and record them in a log; you had to enter data into spreadsheets and perform operations using unfriendly software; you had to build graphs to tease understanding out of the numbers. Now much of the data-gathering can be automated, and the record-keeping and analysis can be delegated to a host of simple Web apps."

I'll have to confess, my new HTC Dream (android phone) has fueled my obsession...