The Duplicity Of Data

I stopped wearing my FuelBand last week. It had stopped being for anything beyond telling me I expend a lot more energy when I manage to get out for a run. I’m no fitness expert, but I knew that.

(Oh, and sometimes I used it as a torch when I’d switched off all the lights before bed.)

Anyway, it’s on my desk now, from where it will disappear into a drawer, then start a little friends group with the various minidiscs and iPods and things that live in there too. They’re probably all on ‘device Friendster’. Or attending IoT Anonymous meetings.


I was also having a chat with Paul earlier, about the sort of days we’d had.

My day was very productive, thinking about it; great chats with various folks, working through ideas, reflecting on things… just a good day.

Except the data, and by the data I mostly mean the email numbers, doesn’t say that. It says I ended up being unproductive, as the numbers stacked up on flagged emails I’ve to do something about.


We’re using data systems in our lives that other people, or cultures, design to tell us how we’re doing. We don’t know if we should measure ourselves by these things, but don’t know what else we would measure ourselves by, so those measures suffice. But maybe we’re forgetting how to evaluate good days just by the feeling that they are good days?

When people ask you if you’ve had a good day, you don’t run a stream of numbers past them, do you?

Some things shouldn’t have a number on them. Just because we can count, doesn’t mean we should.



7 responses to “The Duplicity Of Data”

  1. Heather LeFevre avatar
    Heather LeFevre

    Bring back the mood ring!