Quantifying the self

Quantifying the self is a counterintuitive idea because the purpose of quantification is to develop awareness of our behavior and make decisions accordingly so that we don’t have to quantify anymore.
However, quantification is often confused with the idea of Taylorism, which has entirely different objectives.

One of the biggest misunderstandings of the people who are into that whole quantified self thing is, they are confusing quantifying the self with dancing with the fear, and they’re completely different things to do in a given day. One is taylorism, it’s scientific management, it’s productivity. We need to move these widgets from one place to another, what’s the most efficient way. And I’m glad we got good at industry because it makes our lives more rich, right?
But our economy, our world and our soul aren’t fulfilled by that. They’re fulfilled by people who do something that has never been done before. And if it’s never been done before you can’t quantify it because it’s never been done before. And so to be good at it doesn’t mean you quantify your way to it. It means you clear the decks so that all that’s left is you and the muse, you and the fear, you and the change you want to make in the world … We don’t need folks like that to go from 90 words per minute to 120 words per minute when they type. It’s not a factor. What we need is for them to type something that’s worth reading.
New things cannot be quantified. To be good at something is not to quantify it.

Just because something is easy to measure doesn’t mean it’s actually worth doing.

The actions with metrics that are hardest to measure are often the most worthwhile. These are the sorts of investments you make in yourself and others which, for the longest time, don’t seem to have any impact you can see or feel. Until they do.
When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI [return on investment]. When I think about doing the right thing, I don’t think about an ROI.
Just because an RoI is easily measured doesn’t mean it is right to measure it at every excuse. – Tim Cook

 

 

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