Another great reading list for you today. We hope you enjoy these insightful and interesting pieces of writing as much as we did.
Computer Visionary Who Invented the Mouse by John Markoff: A nice read that explains Engelbart’s background and experiences.
He intended to augment human intellect. He intended to boost collective intelligence and enable knowledge workers to think in powerful new ways, to collectively solve urgent global problems.
Thoughts and News on Quantified Self
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring: Take It to the Bank by David Magid and Beverly Green: This short editorial explains hos making blood pressure monitoring “more like modern banking: accessible, easy, and convenient” can improve hypertension management.
Winds of Change by the unnamed at the Economist: Essentially a book review of three new volumes on data analysis and visualization, this article poses an interesting question: “But should these books have been published on paper at all? ”
Data Confessions of the Quantified Self by Dorien Zandbergen: An attendee of our recent Quantified Self Europe Conference, Dr. Zandbergen presents her thoughts on the QS community and her observations of “people engaging in radical acts of self-disclosure.”
Git and GitHub for Data by Rufus Pollack: We have a keen interest here at QS in data and it’s ability to be shared amongst collaborators. In this post, Rufus Pollack describes his ongoing work describing and building systems for storing and versioning data.
Quantifying Our Cities, Ourselves by David Sasaki: Although not a new idea (see Esther Dysons The Quantified Community), David Sasaki does a nice job here of describing the opportunity to use data and “actionable knowledge” to understand and improve our cities.
Mad Scientist Sees a Future Where We See Our Quantified Selves on eBay by Daniela Hernandez: A intriguing interview with Walter De Brouwer, founder of Scanadu. (Disclosure: Scanadu is a sponsor of Quantified Self Labs).
Data, Metadata, and Privacy
There have been a lot of reactions to recent news about U.S. surveillance programs and rights to privacy. Here are a few links we found particularly compelling.
Me and my data – thoughts on online surveillance by Ethan Zuckerman: This is a wonderful piece discussing privacy and our data. Ethan does a masterful job of explaining the importance of metadata and gives a great example stemming from his work with the MIT Media Lab’s Immersion Project. (Editor’s note: We’ll have more on Immersion coming soon. Stay tuned.)
Measuring the importance of data privacy: embarrassment and cost by Jeff Leek: Another post from our new favorite statistician. Here Jeff talks about data and privacy and how he thinks about potential harm.
Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere by Kieran Healy: A sociologist describes a scenario where identifying Paul Revere as a traitor can be done with simple metadata and social network analysis.
But I say again, if a mere scribe such as I—one who knows nearly nothing—can use the very simplest of these methods to pick the name of a traitor like Paul Revere from those of two hundred and fifty four other men, using nothing but a list of memberships and a portable calculating engine, then just think what weapons we might wield in the defense of liberty one or two centuries from now.
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