”Collective intelligence for individuals is stupid.“
Mark Carranza said that at the Quantified Self Conference last month in San Francisco.
The words have stuck with me:
Mark cuts right to the heart of what the Quantified Self movement is all about.
Think about it.
Our society has a habit of collecting other people’s data and giving us advice on the basis of that data. It’s how people sell us the latest diet and it’s how researchers develop the next therapy: they test how something works on other people, on many other people. And they are not looking for differences, they are looking for commonalities.
Now, that is not a bad thing. I am happy that Aspirin exists. I am happy that it works for me and for millions of people around the world.
We are different
But we humans don’t only have things in common. We are also very different.
Take your Resting Metabolic Rate.
This is the measure of how many calories you burn while you rest. And guess what: your resting metabolic rate is different from mine. You may burn 3000 calories as you rest while I burn 2000. With such differences, how big is the chance that any one diet works for you as it does for me?
And the Resting Metabolic Rate is just one parameter. What do you eat? How do you exercise? In short, how do you live and how do the things you do influence each other?
Today, we have the technology to find out.
We can measure what happens inside us. And we can make that data work for us. That’s what Project AddApp is here to do. And that’s what we should demand from others too: to make sense of our data. To give us solutions made for us. That is what doctors, dietitians and fitness trainers should do.
Soon this will be normal.
The market is up for the taking, the future at our doorstep.
And the past is already gone: it no longer makes sense for us to buy solutions made from other people’s data.
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