This week, start with two different pieces on the quantified self and big, personal data:

Candice Lanius has penned a piece for The Society Pages’ Cyborgology blog on the anxieties of constant self tracking (7 min) — which is rather in conflict, one would think, with the physical benefits often ascribed to the practice:

Experts and expertise embedded in technology are positioned as authorities over the individual’s body. Therefore, my anxiety is a result of not being able to reliably capture my data while simultaneously feeling compelled to do so. Without reliable and complete measurements, I cannot become the ideal version of myself.

Meanwhile, on the EPIC People blog, Dawn Nafus presents an altogether different means of making sense of personal data — one that’s a good deal more…optimistic (7 min)?

I grew quite excited about all this as an opportunity to explore, in material form, what it might look like take up Latour’s call for visualization tools that surface matters of concern, not matters of fact. Data being processed is data neither raw nor cooked, and this seemed the moment to take that up. As this is a research project, and not product development, we were fortunate to be able.

The result: a fascinating tool called Data Sense. Give it a look. Please.


You might well have seen it already, but Maliha Rehman’s piece for The Business of Fashion on the collision between Pakistan’s Fashion Week and the mores and norms of the culture (7 min) makes for absolutely fabulous reading:

Cultural considerations aside, many of the country’s highest-earning designers prefer to stay away from racy sartorial statements, simply because it doesn’t make business sense. ‘Most women in Pakistan don’t wear revealing clothes and I don’t want to stock anything at my store or advertise something that won’t sell,’ points out Shamoon Sultan, CEO of Khaadi, one of the country’s biggest retail success stories.

From the Not Running a Hospital blog, news that hospitals enabling ‘mature human functioning’ within the organization have measurably stronger patient outcomes (2 min). In other words:

Products have their attendant bureaucracy embedded within them. [source]

Develop3D’s story of the development of the Othermill desktop milling machine (10 min) — from a Kickstarter to a mature organization —  is fascinating.

Bookmark MeasuringU’s piece on 3 mixed qualitative/quantitative research topologies (2 min), as it’ll likely come in handy in the future.

GovLab has a smart article on ‘serious games’ (2 min) — not to be confused with gamification — and the role they play in evolving feedback skills and personal development within organizations.

Ted McCarthy’s piece for ThoughtWorks a few weeks ago on UX research in the age of the Internet o’ Thangs (13 min) is worth spending time with.


Reveil is just awesome: a global series of field recordings that let people listen as the sun rises around the world.

The team at Superflux (also awesome) has launched a magazine (2 min) with Warren Ellis. Of course, it’s actually a poster. More:

This first edition of SUPERFLUX focuses on our ongoing R&D project Drone Aviary, which explores the social, political and cultural potential of drone technology as it enters civil space.

Natch. Until next week.