Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Quantified Self

This site on the quantified self shows a small but growing revolution: using quantitative data for self-improvement. I can only expect this to grow in importance. Despite their popularity, means, modes, medians (in their conditional variants as well) simply capture central tendencies, and that there is nearly always substantial heterogeneity within and across populations. Accordingly, basic proscriptions and prescriptions, such as "Take an aspirin a day" may not apply to all individuals, and thus individual tracking is potentially extremely useful. For example, see Seth Robert's blog post on how eating butter might improve cognitive functioning (for him, at the very least).