A spooky essay from Craig Mod delves into the implications of personal data collection as he tests a pedometer called the Fitbit in the City of Light. He says, “I bought it to understand how devices like this worked. If they worked. What it meant, precisely, for them to work.” Instead of the predictable fading novelty and another gadget cast off after a few weeks, the device took him on a trip through epiphanies of self-preservation and the shifting sense of what it means to be connected — to oneself, others, and the environment. “‘How should I move through the city?’ it continuously forced me to ask myself.”
Active for one person is inactive for another. The only way to understand your definition is to give it personal form. One way to make real such abstractions is to ground them in a number. Any number. Steps work well.
“What kind of day was today?” you ask. The steps answer.