John C. Havens, who wrote a seminal piece on “The Value of a Happiness Economy” earlier this year, has a new piece out on Mashable today – “How Big Data Can Make Us Happier and Healthier" – that is equally worth reading.
Here’s an excerpt that captures his position on the topic:
“How do you quantify yourself? We’re in the midst of an era where sensor technology and the maturation of smart phones means data is being collected about your actions in ways that have never existed before. There are no universal privacy and identity standards, which means your unwilling contributions to Big Data are being shaped by forces you can’t control.”
The good news – getting familiar with Quantified Self applications will provide the benefits of self-awareness along with communities who are focused on your similar interests. You’ll understand how to better shape your identity in this new virtual economy and learn the quantitative metrics that will derive their fullest context when seen through a qualitative lens.”
I was happy (pun intended) to be interviewed for his article, and following our initial phone call John and I had a wide-ranging lunch conversation in San Francisco about the potential and pitfalls of quantifying our lives, in which he shared some great insights. It’s extremely encouraging to see the Happiness movement gather momentum and to know that there are advocates out there like John who are not only passionate about this topic but also extremely diligent and knowledgeable.
John is working on a book - H(app)y - The Value of Well Being in the Digital Economy - and is organizing the world’s first H(app)athon in NYC next spring. I am very honored to be part of his "H(app)athon committee," along with J.P. Rangaswami, chief scientist at Salesforce.com; John Clippinger of MIT’s Media Lab; William Hoffman, director of the World Economic Forum Telecommunications Industry Group; Laura Musikanski, co-founder of The Happiness Initiative, Ernesto Ramirez, community organizer, Quantified Self, and others.
Let’s be h(app)y!