The Ultimate Observer

      In the year 2005, Nicholas Feltron had started keeping track of all the foods he ate on a regular basis. The majority of the population, however, does not pay near as much attention to how much we eat, much less how many times we eat a certain food. Fletron observed that he had a tendency to gravitate heavily toward sushi and domestic foods. By the looks of it, if Feltron were not to have recorded his findings, he would have easily been able to say he ate a lot of sushi. However, he was probably amazed himself by how little he branched out from his favorite foods and ate food from other cultures. His record keeping likely prompted him to try other things. Life can get boring when actions and decisions can be easily predicted. I find Feltron's recordings of food tendencies intriguing due to the fact that his food choices were actually very repetitive, much like mine would be if I were to record such data on a personal scale.

      Eight years after recording patterns in food choices and preferences, Feltron still continued his work. He then charted his own patterns in methods of communication and whom all he had a tendency to communicate with. His data in 2013 differed a great deal from that of 2005. By the time he recorded communication patterns, he had become more intricate with detail and amount of data recorded. As you can see from the graphs above, the information in the 2005 report is explicit and simple, whereas the communication date of 2013 is all in fine print. The data in communication is equally as interesting to me personally as Feltron's record of meal choices. As a grown man, his communication preferences and tendencies differ greatly from that of mine, a young woman. I am now inspired and intrigued to pay closer attention to my own patterns, and in turn see exactly how predictable I am.

      Some things are viewed as more important to people than others. Some may say that Nicholas Feltron did nothing but waste time recording such silly, daily things. However, I have come to believe that everyone should pay closer attention to the details of what one's own life entails. Becoming aware of patterns and personal data would in turn make one feel more sure of him or herself. Although Feltron is clearly an extremest , his methods could be learned from and applied in a small way to everyone's life, including my own.

Comment Stream

3 years ago

It is true that what Felton does is extreme, but there are suggestions that in the near future capturing this kind of information may not take this kind of obsessive (perhaps?) dedication -- with "smart" clothes, or wearable computers in various forms (there are monitors you can wear around your wrist that record lots of personal physical data and it gets uploaded to a computer via wifi). I wonder if more people will doing something like this, and comparing their data with others, friends and strangers....I wonder how that kind of minute datastream about onself might change our everyday lives...