Feltron's Reports

Konnor Karpinski

Many people try to observe many of the smaller aspects of their lives and quantify them into meaningful data, but with so many daily interactions and outlying variables, it makes for the most arduous task with a high risk for inaccuracy. Nicholas Felton knew this but still tries to take a chance at observing many of the nuances ignored in our lives. In his biennial report he calls "The Feltron Report", he tries to tackle a new aspect to get data for and discern information from, with various results. Two of the more thought provoking reports he had were from 2009 and 2011. In 2009, he had every person he had an encounter with go online and fill out a survey about their encounter, giving a very insightful look into his life. It showcases his preferred beverage, his daily habits, it essentially was a giant road map to his entire year. Most people don't get to see how every little interaction effects other people and what those other people take away from those encounters. Its a very thought provoking report because most people don't keep track of  their yearly actions let alone what their busiest month was, what activities you did the most, and even how others view your relationships with them. It would take such large and compiled data to even attempt such an endeavor, but with these online surveys he was able to compile these numbers much easier than previously possibly. The other Felton Report that I found insightful was his 2011 report where he claimed that “a person’s authentic nature is a series of shifting, variegated planes that establish themselves as he relates to different people; it is created by and appears within the framework of his interpersonal relationships". This one is something I have always believed in and was interested to see some data taken away from his findings. It shows that people innately act differently around various people. Its amazing that he is able to quantify who he spent the most time with and where they normally spent it, among just other memories and things that he shared on an individual level with these people. They always say people adapt to their surroundings but he was able to actually try and study it with data. If I had to attempt something similar, I would try and analyze the differences between how someone is in real life compared to their online dating persona. With so many people going through online means to meet new people, it would be interesting to see just how many people's online profiles are either fabricated or watered down versions of themselves. My hypothesis for the datastream is that it would be startling how glaring the differences are between how someone portrays themselves online and from how they act in a laid back environment among close friends. Attention to data like that just shows that everybody is human, theres no perfect person out there, it would just take this huge stigma off of online dating services. People would just start trying to be themselves more and lead to people stop being so judgmental. It would be a pretty interesting thing to see.

Konnor Karpinski

Comment Stream

2 years ago

that's really intriguing, the question of what impact "getting down into the weeds" that such meticulous record-keeping allows one to do -- and the possibility that what one learns is the variability of "who we are", depending on who we are responding to. I could see how a person might learn that they express certain personality traits when in a small group that are quite different than when in a large group, and so forth. It would then be interesting to reflect on how "stable" one's "character" is...is one or the other version "the real me", the "essential" me? It is interesting to suggest that keeping quantitative track could lead not to revealing a core set of responses, but instead an array of responses, depending on what is elicited within varied social environments. thanks!