That’s Qualtism (Kwalitisme): the search for the soul in everything that surrounds us in this over and over quantified society.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
While on my way back from New York, for some odd reason I started playing around with Foursquare and plotting my check-in data using a handful of apps. Very quickly I realized two things: the amount of time I spend in airplanes has doubled every year since 2009, and when I am in San Francisco, I lead a very predictable life and go to only a handful of places — a lot.
Except for one small thing: While the data shows that I lead a pretty boring life, it doesn’t reflect the “emotions” behind the data. Why, you might ask, is this important? The answer is that as we move towards a quantified society, one shaped by data, we start to dismiss things that aren’t easily quantifiable. Empathy, emotion and storytelling — these are as much a part of the business as they are of life. Without these, we might as well residents of starliner Axiom.
The problem with data is that the way it is used today, it lacks empathy and emotion. Data is used like a blunt instrument, a scythe trying to cut and tailor a cashmere sweater. Some folks do a better job of making data interesting — like the fine folks at Foursquare. They use cutesy phrases to remind me of my coffee addiction and occasionally point out that Jared Kim and I are besties when it comes to eating ramen noodles or visiting Hakkasan, but they don’t really tell the whole story and they need to do more. I will get to that in a minute.