Glossary of tags I'm using and why they matter to me
"Quantified self" refers to self tracking and coming up with metrics in order to gain more insight and potentially improve various aspects of your life such as health (physical or mental) or performance.
I personally haven't managed to gain any significant insights from the data I've collected so far. However, I find the very process of trying to quantify motivating for routine such as exercise, sleep or diet, and inspiring for learning more about them.
¶TODO need more links here
Lifelogging is not a new concept as people have kept diaries for centuries. However these days it's particularly easy to do because lots of it can be automated and collected passively from your digital trace.
Personally I do it because I find it fun, having access to your activities from the past is very satisfying and compensates for decaying memory and it fits well along the #quantified-self lines.
Extended mind is the idea that your mind isn't limited by your physical body, but augmented by external means.
¶I like that analogy particularly: The Extended Mind – 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology, in 'Inga and Otto' section
Perhaps because it resonates with me most and was the main reason I started my quest for better personal information management.
PKM stands for Personal Knowledge Management (I agree it's a somewhat clumsy acronym). It refers to strategies and tools for efficient information management, which is particularly important these days in abundance of information around us.
Specifically, when I talk about it I mostly refer to digital knowledge management and ways of seamless integration with our meaty brains. I write more about it here.
Human brains seem to be best for generating new ideas. I want to learn more, think faster, distract less, interact and visualize, effortlessly remember everything; not memorize and do routine information processing, which computers seem better at.
I haven't thought much of a specific roadmap, but my vision is:
- ultimate goal is of course merging with the machine/cloud/God, or whatever else you wish for yourself when the Singularity happens
- medium term thing might be some sort of neuroimplant/brain-computer interface, but sadly technology doesn't seem to be there (apart from experimental devices that help people with dementia or other serious brain conditions)
- what we realistically can and capable of doing now is developing tools to make the knowledge accessible on your fingertips with existing technology as computers and smartphones
The latter bit is what I'm trying to do and developing simple but working tools (rather than sketching prototypes that look beautiful but never make it). Even though stuff we have at disposal at the moment (often lousy internet connection, OCR, basic speech and pattern recognition, text search, 2D screens, touchscreens and basic VR/AR) is not so exciting and somewhat restricted, I feel we're not fully utilizing it anyway yet.
¶some of the things I'm working on:
¶TODO give some specific examples of things I want to be able to do
¶TODO need more links here
Annotation is the process of adding a layer of personal (with a potential for sharing) metadata on top of existing content such as hightlights, notes, anchors etc.
- I'm writing more about it here.
For most of modern web services, data is too centralized and only accessible from the services cloud, which makes applications unusable if you lost Internet connection.
What is more, imagine if something horrible happens say to Gmail servers and the emails are completely wiped from them. Geeks like me and you might do occasional backups, but most people will lose their personal data forever. E.g. it's somewhat scary how many people rely on Google Photos only to store their memories.
Some of IT giants are already too big to fail and when they have brief periods of downtime, they take a good chunk of internet with them. Governments are blocking access because they control ISPs at the moment. All this is just dangerous (it literally feels dangerous if you consider your digital trace as your essential part).
We need to make it easier for normal users to own (at least as in 'own a copy') of their data. We need to find ways of bringing better network resilience and ideally fully offline mode or easier ways of selfhosting/setting up personal clouds.
This is also good for privacy and security, because potentially you can have software that doesn't even have permissions to access the internet as long as you are using your own means of synchronizing data.
Some related links: