Bloomberg recently profiled a photo series from London-based photographer Travis Hodges entitled “The Quantified Self.” In each set of photos, Hodges captures people and the data they track, including sleep and spending habits, physical and social activity, health and happiness metrics. Almost every subject shares how quantifying and tracking have brought tangible positive changes to well-being. Since Suran’s uncle died of a heart attack, he gets a 3D body scan each month to measure and record seventeen circumference measures. Because significant belly fat predicts heart disease better than most metrics, the 3D scan demonstrates to Suran that he’s keeping up with his dietary and swimming goals. Rosa worried she was spending too much each month, and even feared that someone might have found a way to steal from her bank account. After tracking all of her debits, she soon realized…

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It’s difficult to recall the earth-shattering events of the 20th century without asking the moving question: what if they had been prevented? What if radar operators had correctly identified the Japanese warplanes approaching Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 as a massive attack wave, rather than assuming it was the scheduled arrival of six B-17 bombers? What if NASA managers had listened to the solid rocket engineers’ concerns that the ultra-cold temperatures on January 28th, 1986 would compromise the rubber O-rings that sealed together the Challenger’s boosters? And what if Secret Service agents had left the plastic cover on the presidential limousine on November 22nd, 1963, potentially obscuring President Kennedy from an Ordnance Optics scope? Over the years, many historians and pundits have speculated intensely about that fateful November day – 50 years ago this Friday – when Kennedy was…

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