Self-tracking tools and data discipline

“Digital self-tracking tools are the latest wave of disciplinary technologies, imprisoning their users in a cage of data.” A pregnant-woman-to-be wonders how incessantly digitally tracking her pregnancy will amass data to be used against her future child.

Is the Apple Watch truly a guardian, caring for our well-being — or is it a warden, watching and waiting for us to make a misstep?

“Self-tracking” seems a misnomer marketing coup: the data is more useful for the tracker than the user, & shapes more than it tracks. 

Reminds me of this 2012 story: ‘How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did.’

NYT: Target statistician: “We knew that if we could identify them in their second trimester, there’s a good chance we could capture them for years.”

It also calls to mind the way fantasy sports and the proliferation of countless new sports stats first ‘track’ intricacies of the game but then start to shape it. The stat of the individual starts to mean more than the game or the team.

I think it’s no coincidence that steroids became rampant in baseball in the time of ESPN, the astronomic rise of fantasy sports, and a massive increase in stat categories.

Kenny Gersh, EVP of Business at the MLB’s media branch said, “Expanding our exclusive partnership with DraftKings will bring new and exciting ways for fans, particularly younger fans, to play daily fantasy baseball.” Leagues recognize they can leverage consumers’ cravings for fantasy content into higher ratings, more viewership and engage fans during non prime-time games. For a sport that is having trouble attracting a younger audience, it seems like a natural move for MLB to make.

Basketball players have intentionally shot & missed at their own basket just to get another rebound, for the overhyped triple-double.

Fantasy sports have commodified the fleeting feeling a kid gets in their favorite player’s jersey, pretending to be in the big game.

In Europe we talk about the art of football, the poetry of football. There’s been a resistance to breaking it down and analyzing it in the past

But instead of players it turned fans into managers, overseeing a team, looking into recruits, describing players by their “production” & “value.”

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