5.2.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “The Data-Driven Life”

“From the languor of the analyst’s couch to the chatty inquisitiveness of a self-help questionnaire, the dominant forms of self-exploration assume that the road to knowledge lies through words. Trackers are exploring an alternate route. Instead of interrogating their inner worlds through talking and writing, they are using numbers. They are constructing a quantified self.”

2. “When History Is Compiled 140 Characters at a Time”

“Taken together, they are likely to be of considerable value to future historians. They contain more observations, recorded at the same times by more people, than ever preserved in any medium before.”

3. “Antisocial Networking?”

“The question on researchers’ minds is whether all that texting, instant messaging and online social networking allows children to become more connected and supportive of their friends – or whether the quality of their interactions is being diminished without the intimacy and emotional give and take of regular, extended face-to-face time.”

4. “Now Don’t Hear This”

“We need to create a passionate case for silence.”

5. “The Pink Floyd Night School”

“After graduation, I spent five years wandering around doing nothing – or getting as close to it as I could manage. I was a cab driver, an obsessed moviegoer, a wanderer in the mountains of Colorado, a teacher at a crazy grand hippie school in Vermont, the manager of a movie house (who didn’t do much managing), a crewman on a ship and a doorman at a disco.”

6. “Gratitude Adjustment”

“Could it be that gratitude, like fat, is a feminist issue? Or is it merely that formalized thanks in our casual digital age can’t help but come off as a little forced?”

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