Data-Driven Life

Gary Wolf article, The Data-Driven Life seems crazy but is true. He started off with the statement that we make decisions with partial information. We most often go with our gut rather than facts. This type of information leads to trial and error. Maybe we are right or maybe we are wrong. However, we now live in a computer age. We have become an open people where we share everything on the cloud.

We have now come so far that we are using some type of tracking device for every aspect of our lives.  If there is anything we need, technology is able to invent it. No longer do we have to make do with what we have. Wolf stated that we tolerated the pathologies of quantification as a dry, abstract, mechanical type of knowledge, because we needed the results for our schools, jobs or anything that was outside our homes. This was everywhere except in our personal lives.  Our personal lives are no longer immune to the numbers game. In fact we now welcome the numbers in our lives and we enjoy sharing these numbers on the cloud.

This article shows how mathematics has become a fore runner in the world today. The cloud (blank space where information goes) got it all. You cannot go anywhere and not have some type of device being used to gather your information. Taking the bus, it tells if you have put the correct amount of coins in the slut. The doctor’s office brings up your history. Facebook exposes your life, your family, your friends and so much more. Calculation and devices have taken over the world at a rapid pace. All this adds up to be MATHEMATICS.

I agree with Wolf when he says that the dominant forms of self-exploration assume that the road to knowledge lies through words, but trackers are exploring an alternate route. Instead of interrogating their inner worlds through talking and writing, they are using numbers. He writes that they are constructing a quantified self. This puts mathematics at the top of the map –the numbers game.

Looking at this realistically, I realize how important it is to bring math creatively into the 21st Century. In fact we have to try and stay a few steps ahead. Today as students learn the various aspects of math, it can no longer be done the conventional way.   This is because our students today are being trained for jobs that do not yet exist.  If the students are taught to be critical thinkers and problem solvers they would be better able to survive and contribute to the future. It is no longer a make do world, but what can I create to make it better.

Wolf gave several examples of self evaluation based on statistical information collected by individuals such as data for sleeping, eating, dieting, caffeine intake and several others. All these information was collected by some technological devices. Much more would be invented as the need arises. Our students need to be aware that they must love math because it is all around them.  We are at a stage where it is now a necessity to analyze numbers. Educators obligated to be on the cutting edge in being creative, well informed and making math enjoyable for our students; for our future.

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