Coffee & Empathy: Why data without a soul is meaningless

29 04 2013

Very interesting post about the importance of having ‘meaning’ connected to data

Gigaom

While on my way back from New York, for some odd reason I started playing around with Foursquare and plotting my check-in data using a handful of apps. Very quickly I realized two things: the amount of time I spend in airplanes has doubled every year since 2009, and when I am in San Francisco, I lead a very predictable life and go to only a handful of places — a lot.

Except for one small thing: While the data shows that I lead a pretty boring life, it doesn’t reflect the “emotions” behind the data. Why, you might ask, is this important? The answer is that as we move towards a quantified society, one shaped by data, we start to dismiss things that aren’t easily quantifiable. Empathy, emotion and storytelling — these are as much a part of the business as they are of life. Without these, we might as well…

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