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The Quantified Self

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The Quantified Self is to explore whether digital self-identification can answer the question "Who am I?".

If you want to Know Thyself, you must first have the ability to think. While thinking requires people to constantly question and criticize. However, in the social environment with the rapid development of digital technology and smart devices, human is gradually losing their thinking ability, which is mainly due to the popularisation and application of smartphone. It is portable, easy to operate, powerful. We cannot live without it. For better user experience, the working mode of smartphones has also been continuously simplified, adopting the simplest way of direct input to output. Therefore, long-term use of smartphones will inevitably lead people to slack off on complex issues. How can people who can't handle complex issues criticize and ask "Who am I"?

Today, people's lives have been surrounded by big data, but fortunately, people can make use of it to do some research, quantify themselves with data and try to study and improve themselves. The smartwatch invented by human beings can even evaluate the electricity quantity for the human body. But people are not machines. People ignore two key points when quantifying life: Firstly, data cannot be narrative. For example, social software can quantify the number of fans and friends with data, but friendship is a narrative. How can data without narrative function tell the meaning of life? Secondly, big data analysis depends on correlation. The speculative process required by knowing thyself is to constantly ask: what is it and why, and it emphasizes more on causation. Therefore, the research method of the quantified self is easy to make thinking disturbed and controlled by correlation.

As big data becomes more powerful, smart devices will become more advanced, the phenomenon of quantified self will escalate, and the degree of human alienation will only become more and more serious. The "I" in the work initially wanted to know myself in a philosophical way of thinking, but later chose a convenient way of the quantified self. As the equipment for quantified self is updated, the data and information have obtained are becoming more and more comprehensive. But did "I" know myself more deeply in this process? Who the hell am "I"? Am "I" just the product of a bunch of numbers? What do these numbers represent? In order to find out the essential self, we have to resort to philosophy, even if the thinking process is complicated and painful.

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