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Friday, 26 April 2013


Tracy Allison Altman

Carolyn, Thank you for your smart, funny comments. Really enjoy what you write.

I often wonder if I'm the only one who doesn't worship at the Temple of Edward Tufte: Cool arty diagrams, yes, but I want to know *why* things are happening; the *what* is important but only as a first step to finding answers. And as you rightly pointed out, the #QuantifiedSelf movement is similarly self-indulgent.

(I ask people who say they loved the Tufte seminar what difference it will make in their work, and never in my unscientific sample has anyone had a concrete answer. Or maybe I'm just envious of his beautiful books and enormous success.)

Wishing you all the best.

Carolyn Thomas

Thank you, Tracy, for this report on what I call the Department of the Bleedin' Obvious, and also for introducing me to Rita's "six smart people" test. Simple. Brilliant.

Although Rita's test may determine that an already-known subject "isn't something that needs formalized research", this likely won't deter the Quantified Selfers of the world from wanting to formalize it in some cool tech fashion.

Steven Wolfram is indeed a brainiac, but anybody who tracks decades of his computer keystrokes (just because he can) is hardly a person who's reluctant to study what doesn't need to be.

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