Author: Kevin Kelly


Note: Transferring to New Server

November 24, 2010

The contents of this blog will be transferred to a different server over the next few days. Hopefully readers won’t witness any disruption in access but there always seem to be a hiccup or two in these migrations. Careful readers may notice a slight change in appearance once the blog arrives on its new server….


Self-Tracking Resource Page

December 18, 2009

We have posted a page of self-tracking resources and links. You can find it right here. It’s pretty basic. If you know of a resource that is missing, let the list-makers know. This list would be 100 times better if there were a line or two annotation for each link, and maybe even a catagorized…


Tiny Move Trackers

December 17, 2009

David Pogue’s column in the New York Times today reviews two fitness self-tracking tools, the Fitbit and the DirectLIfe.  Both are small monitors you carry that measure your physical activity — sort of like a digital pedometer. As he explains: The coolest Fitbit bit is the way it sends your collected activity data to its…


Do-It-Yourself Sleep Monitoring in Wired

December 15, 2009

For another take on the recent the Quantified Self meeting at the Wired offices, Wired Science ran their own report on the several sleep hacking experiments presented. They mentioned Wakemate, Zeo, and Matt Bell’s infrared sleep cam.


Stephen Wolfram, Keystroke Logger

December 9, 2009

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


Self-trackers’ Show and Tell Number 9

October 13, 2009

We will have our 9th Quantified Self Bay Area Meet Up this week on Wednesday, October 14, 2009. It will be held in Stanford University at the Wallenberg Learning Center (below). As in the past, this is a user-generated evening of presentations by folks who are self-tracking in one form or another. Each presenter gets…


You Own Your Health Data

June 22, 2009

You “own” your own health data. That is clear if you generate it yourself, as self-trackers do. But even when others generate health data for you, you should have full access and “ownership” of it. They are only “borrowing” the data. But not every health care provider makes it easy to get cheap access to…


Journal of Participatory Medicine

June 10, 2009

I’ve long been interested in medical self-care. The idea of patients taking responsibility of their own health and healing seems to me to be essential in the long run. Quantified Self was started in part to collect a certain kind of tool that (among other reasons) might give you data which could be used to…


Self-Experimentation with Cognitive Enhancers

April 27, 2009

The New Yorker has a very good article on self-experimenters — mostly college students — using cognitive enhancers, beyond the traditional caffine and NoDoz.  It’s unclear how many of these folks are quantifying their experiments, but they should be. A few excerpts: The effects of piracetam on healthy volunteers have been studied even less than…


Free Genetic Testing

February 20, 2009

The cheapest commercial genome testing right now is from 23andMe for $400. Prices in this area will continue to drop, while the number of genes sequenced rise. However nothing beats free. You can now get your genome sequenced (partially) for free by participating in a large-scale research program to try to correlate genes with disease….


Second Quantified Self Show-n-Tell

October 21, 2008

The second official Quantified Self Show and Tell will take place this Thursday evening, Oct 23.  Our first meeting last month exceeded our expectations, both in the number of people who came and the sophistication of the self-tracking projects that were shared and discussed. It was a real blast. Almost 30 folks showed up. So…


The Quantified Self Wiki (and Blog Comments)

September 16, 2008

The blog for self-trackers, self-surveillance, and self-knowledge also known as The Quantified Self, now has comments turned on. Your hosts are Gary Wolf and myself. We welcome your response and feedback to any posting. You need to click on the red “Actions” button at the end of a post to get to the comment link….


Nike+ Apple Workout Monitor

September 14, 2008

“Nike +” is the monitoring system embedded into specific Nike shoes which allow you to record data about your runs. In one version (not the Sports Band) the system transmits this information to your iPod, and soon to your iPhone. Apple has filed patents for improving the system. According to Engadget which publicized the filed…



September 11, 2008

A quick overview of the emerging culture of self-tracking ran in the Washington Post the other day. Called “Bytes of Life: For Every Move, Mood and Bodily Function, There’s a Web Site to Help You Keep Track.”  The subtitle is a gross exaggeration, although in time it will be true. Right now there are a…


Quantified-Self Show-N-Tell

September 5, 2008

Next Wednesday, September 10, dedicated quantified selfers in the Bay Area will meet at my studio for the second Bay Area show and tell. For an explanation of “the quantified self” check my blog The Quantified Self. In brief, the big idea is to use any measurement to bring about self-understanding and self-betterment. So we…


First Personal Genome User Group

July 11, 2008

Last Tuesday 23andMe, the genome sequencing service, hosted the first meeting between its customers. Like Navigenics and deCode, 23andMe will sequence half a million “snips” from your own DNA to give you glimpse of your personal genetics. What you get for your $1,000 payment is lots of numbers and strings of letters, and a little…


From Self-Observation to Medicine

June 24, 2008

The art of constant self-awareness and self-experimentation is essential to the habit of self-metrics. Occasionally a trained scientist can take a small signal from their own life and turn it into a falsifiable result. I found the following note of such self-observation on the website for The People’s Pharmacy. This center for patient submitted alternative…


Trixie Tracker: Data-driven Parenting

June 12, 2008

The Quantified Self is primarily about self-monitoring, and not about monitoring others. But your baby is close to the self, so there may be some technology in baby monitoring to be of use to adults. Trixie Tracker tracks and displays the activity patterns of babies. As they claim on their website: “Uncover patterns in your…


Testing Genetic Test Chips

May 7, 2008

Ann Turner, co-author of the best book on DNA-based genealogy: Trace Your Roots With DNA, wrote me to say that she too has been comparing results from the two big genetic test companies, 23andMe and deCode.  She wrote in response to my earlier posting comparing results between the two vendors. The big news is that…


How Accurate Are Personal Genome Tests?

April 30, 2008

I’ve had my DNA sequenced by 2 of the 3 companies now offering this service to the paying public. I purchased the tests for 23andMe and Iceland-based deCode. I am still plodding my way through the results — it’s sort of an education. One question I had was how well do the two results matched? …