Our Phones Are Starting to Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves, Thank Goodness
Data exhaust could save your life.
The term data exhaust doesn't seem very pleasant, as it sounds "like something you're trying to get rid of or something noxious that comes out of the back of your car," says Rick Smolan, author of The Human Face of Big Data.
And yet, data exhaust could save your life.
Smolan points to a company called Ginger IO that has a smartphone app that can predict two days before you get depressed that you’re going to get depressed. How does that work? Your phone is recording your behavior, and the app picks up on patterns of behavior. Ginger IO focuses in particular on people with diabetes who have a very high correlation with depression.
"When you get depressed, people stop taking their medicine," Smolan says. So this is one example of how our phones are "starting to know us better than we know ourselves." And Smolan says this ought to be embraced. "They're starting to see patterns that we don’t detect on a day-by-day basis, but the phone sees this overall pattern and then it looks for changes in that pattern."
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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