Stephen Wolfram, Keystroke Logger

In an interview for New Scientist, mathematician Stephen Wolfram says:

Wolfram

“I’m an information pack rat,” he confesses. Recording our interview is just the tip of his peculiar obsession with documenting every moment of his life. “I have a keystroke logger that has collected my every keystroke for the last 22 years,” he says. “Every day I get an email that tells me how many keystrokes I typed the previous day into each application. I find it slightly interesting.” He shrugs off my suggestion that it’s a way of securing his immortality; he believes that soon everyone will be doing it.

I agree. Soon many people will be logging all their messages, either text, phone, email, or gestures and using them to recall and share with others. It won’t seem strange at all.  Strange will be those who opt out of life-logging — at great expense and effort.

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9 Responses to Stephen Wolfram, Keystroke Logger

  1. Bard says:

    What’s interesting is that this data will only rise in value. Quite some foresight from Stephen!
    As every day goes by our ability to glean meaningful information from our personal metrics increases as the analysis technology advances.

  2. Tyler Hayes says:

    Not sure I agree with this totally, but then again I haven’t thought about it much either. And I’m pretty sure my perspective has been tainted from interviewing too many older generations on this topic.
    Will be interesting to watch. Being a 23-year old, I doubt I’ll WANT to keylog but I wouldn’t be surprised – or offended/put off – to discover that all my social networks did it for me. Some semblance of privacy is good, the interesting part (for me personally) is seeing just where that boundary will finally settle. The one between our private life and our public life. Reading great sci-fi novels like The Light of Other Days and Ender’s Game has convinced me that in 500 years we will have no privacy.
    By choice.

  3. Mikko Kotila says:

    Back in early 2000 there was a project called “Stuff I’ve Seen” funded by Microsoft that was all about logging everything in your digital life. Stephen’s idea of doing this via key-logging is interesting, especially when you apply meaning with NLP.
    Imagine having an instant messaging conversation on ‘how to optimize ad performance for auto industry direct response campaigns’ and seeing a suggestion list of the most relevant discussions on the topic that you’ve had in the past 22 years. Or even more interestingly, any relevant communication in your ORGANIZATION on that topic, including communication by people long gone. According to your access level of course.

  4. Christopher Smith says:

    Really cool idea in your second paragraph, there, Mikko. I bet if you programmed an application that did that, it would be an Internet phenomenon.

  5. Chuck says:

    Your RSS feed (generic) for the Q Self hasn’t worked for some time.
    “The page contains the following errors: error on line 337 at column 19: Extra content at the end of the document…”

  6. Wayne says:

    I’d be interested to know what keystroke logger utilities people are using for this kind of self monitoring or “life logging”? All the hard and software logger devices put more focus on their primary purpose of “spying” on others and perhaps they would work as well for this but seem to have a lot of unnecessary features. I would only want one that is software based so it works well on laptops and I’m fine with it just capturing this info to my HD rather than a separate USB stick or the like.
    Any recommendations or know what Stephen is using?

  7. Meg says:

    It is increadible. The professor must a very interesting person. Scientists are very unusual people. Their life is very interesting. Not long ago I watched a documentary about the life and discoveries of Thomas Edison. It is easy to download it at the rapidshare SE http://rapidpedia.com . I believe these two scientists have a lot of in common.

  8. James says:

    I had a wonderful chance to visit Stephen Wolfram’s seminars, several years before the launch of wolframalpha search engine. It was a great experience. You can download some of his articles and videos from this file search engine http://rapidok.com

  9. antony says:

    All the hard and software logger devices put more focus on their primary purpose of “spying” on others and perhaps they would work as well for this but seem to have a lot of unnecessary features. I would only want one that is software based so it works well on laptops and I’m fine with it just capturing this info to my HD rather than a separate USB stick or the like.

    Antony @ BTscene

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