The Quantified Self refers both to the cultural phenomenon of self-tracking with technology and to a community of users and makers of self-tracking tools who share an interest in “self-knowledge through numbers.” Quantified Self practices overlap with the practice of lifelogging and other trends that incorporate technology and data acquisition into daily life, often with the goal of improving physical, mental, and/or emotional performance. It comes with risks of the data being exploited by others for commercial or other benefits. (see the definition of Wikipedia)


Essays, notes and highlights come from my exploration of the idea:

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Books, Articles, Papers


  • A Thousand Brains
    Jeff Hawkins and his team discovered that the brain uses maplike structures to build a model of the world-not just one model, but hundreds of thousands of models of everything we know, and the origin of high-level thought
  • Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life
    “The ultimate guide to using the magical power of funny as a tool for leadership and a force for good.”—Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author
  • The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values
    How computer scientists and philosophers are defining the biggest question of our time - how will we create intelligent machines that will improve our lives rather than complicate or even destroy them?
  • Data teams
    How to integrate data teams into organization in an effective way, enabling executive data science practices.
  • Promiscuous Knowledge: Information, Image, and Other Truth Games in History
    An account of the cultural and intellectual history of how Americans have lived with image and information since XXI century. It blends historical synthesis with insightful orienting narratives of eras, analyzing particular dimensions of them.
  • The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene
    A grand narrative of human history in which knowledge with is multiple facets serves as a critical factor of cultural evolution.
  • How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now
    An illuminating dive into the latest science on our brain's remarkable learning abilities and the potential of the machines we program to imitate them
  • The Next Enlightenment
    The Next Enlightenment argues that most of humanity’s problems are the result of a limited level of consciousness. It is both a political manifesto and a practical manual on how to create social conditions that will allow each of us to achieve our true purpose
  • The Study of Language
    Introduction to the study of language, its origins along with linguistic relativity, cognitive and social categories.
  • Zero to One
    In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1.
  • The Creative Thinking Handbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving in Business
    Based on long-term research and testing of the creative thinking process, The Creative Thinking Handbook helps to generate more ideas and find brilliant solutions for any professional challenge.
  • Strategic Intuition
    William Duggan has conducted pioneering research on strategic intuition and for the past three years has taught a popular course at Columbia Business School on the subject. He now gives us this eye-opening book that shows how strategic intuition lies at the heart of great achievements throughout human history.
  • Make Yourself Clear
    Make Yourself Clear explains the many parallels between teaching and business and offer companies, both large and small, concrete advice for building the teaching capacity of their salespeople, leaders, service professionals, and trainers.
  • Skin in the Game
    "Skin in the Game” provides a meta guide to risk exposure and how the fragility works. It’s not so much exploration of strategies for dealing with uncertainty, it’s more of a deep intellectual dive into origins of thinking about risks and its impact on politics, businesses, belief systems - across different magnitudes of scale.
  • The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation
    An insightful exploration of the relationship between technological advances and work, from preindustrial society through the Computer Revolution.
  • Data Politics: Worlds, Subjects, Rights
    The book explores how data has acquired such an important capacity . Expert international contributors consider political questions about data and the ways it provokes subjects to govern themselves by making rights claims.
  • Theory of the Image
    The image has been understood in many ways, but it is rarely understood to be fundamentally in motion. The current „Age of Image” author calls a „Copernican revolution in our time”. Theory of the Image offers the first kinetic history of the Western art tradition.
  • Superminds
    Superminds shows that instead of fearing the rise of artificial intelligence we should be focusing on what we can achieve by working with computers – because together we will change the world.
  • The Oxford Handbook of Group Creativity and Innovation
    The book covers recent theoretical, empirical, and practical developments that provide a solid basis for the practice of collaborative innovation
  • The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity
    The handbook introduces creativity scholarship by summarising its history, major theories and assessments, how creativity develops across the lifespan, and suggestions for improving creativity.
  • Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society
    How our genes affect not only our bodies and behaviors, but also the ways in which we make societies, ones that are surprisingly similar worldwide. A synthesis of history, philosophy, anthropology, genetics, sociology, economics, epidemiology, statistics, and more
  • The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World
    Drawing on a vast body of experimental research, Iain McGilchrist argues that the left brain makes for a wonderful servant, while the right side takes the position of the more reliable and insightful master.
  • Possible Minds on AI
    Intellectual impresario, John Brockman, assembles twenty-five of the most important scientific minds, for an unparalleled round-table examination about the mind, thinking, intelligence and what it means to be human.
  • Surveillance Capitalism
    The book delivers an abundance of information, insights, and counsel on, what Shoshana calls, the darkening of the digital age. It is about the challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, and un unprecedented new form of power.
  • Humanomics
    Smith and Wilson show how Adam Smith's model of sociality can re-humanize twenty-first century economics by undergirding it with sentiments, fellow feeling, and a sense of propriety - the stuff of which human relationships are built.
  • Team Human
    Douglas Rushkoff wrote this book to help as many people as possible who now struggle in the world of today. It feels as if civilization itself were on the brink, and that we lack the collective willpower and coordination necessary to address issues of the very survival of our species." He then asserts, "It doesn't have to be this way."
  • When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures
    A set of practical strategies to embrace differences and work successfully across increasingly diverse business cultures. Publication coming from a chairman of an international institute of cross-cultural training with offices in over 30 countries and founder of the quarterly magazine Cross Culture
  • AI superpowers
    On how China caught AI fever and implemented government goals (with benchmarks) for 2020, 2025 in an attempt to become the world center of AI innovation by 2030.
  • Living in a Real-Time World: 6 Capabilities to Prepare Us for an Unimaginable Future
    We have less and less time to think, less and less time to get in sync with what's happening. We cannot trust conventional wisdom to guide us. The book explores explores six conversational capabilities that we can cultivate to navigate uncertainty
  • Visual Consulting
    Visual Consulting: Designing & Leading Change shows how visual practice can combine with dialogue and change methods to get more creative and sustainable results. The practices can be applied to organizational and diverse, cross-boundary consulting projects.
  • Postmodern Theory and Progressive Politics
    the postmodern moment was a necessary one, or will have been if we rise to the occasion to arrive at a new and more textured humanism.
  • The book of Why
    The subject of causation has preoccupied philosophers at least since Aristotle. The absence, however, of an accepted scientific approach to analyzing cause and effect is not merely of historical or theoretical interest. The book covers how understanding causality has revolutionized science so far and will revolutionize AI.
  • The Meaning Revolution
    Bringing together economics and conflict resolution, counselling and mindfulness, Kofman provides a leadership framework that is counterintuitive to the regular MBA practices but based on a very firm foundation - the meaning.
  • Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook For Business Leaders
    A practical guide for business leaders looking to get value from the adoption of machine learning technology.
  • Measure What Matters: OKRs
    One of the best books on management, tasks, goals and their measurement. Full of stories from successful companies (like Google).
  • Data Science
    Data science primer explaining its evolution, relation to machine learning, current uses, data infrastructure issues, and ethical challenges.
  • Cultural Evolution People’s Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World
    Regarded as one of the most important works in the social sciences in decades, Cultural Evolution argues that people's values and behavior are shaped by the degree to which survival is secure.
  • Reinventing Capitalism in the age of Big Data
    Data is replacing money as the driver of market behavior. Big finance and big companies will be replaced by small groups and individual actors who make markets instead of making things
  • Enlightenment Now
    Steven Pinker argues that humanism (a reasoned commitment to maximizing human flourishing), science, and democracy have resulted in substantial, measurable human progress over the last 500 years.
  • Human-in-the-loop Cyber-Physical Systems
    An essential primer on a rapidly emerging Internet-of-Things concept, focusing on human-centric applications. An indispensable resource for researchers and app developers eager to explore HiTL concepts and include them in their designs.
  • The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life
    The Qualified Self offers a new perspective on how social media users construct and distribute 'self-portraits' through media technologies. A truly original revision of 'mediated memories' and a much-needed update to the age of connectivity.
  • The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
    The book brings together research on various topics of limited reach that, when combined, speak to the outrageous gall of the mind in recreating reality to its own liking, and then covering its tracks.
  • The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts
    Scientific management asked us to be efficient. Now, we are asked to be agile. But what does this mean for the everyday lives we lead?
  • Verbal and Visual Communication in Early English Texts
    The book investigate how visual and material features of early English books, documents, and other artefacts support - or potentially contradict - the linguistic features
  • No ego
    The book challenges the traditional beliefs on employee engagement and traditionalist leadership. It explains why it is time to move on and take on alternative takes on employee engagement.
  • Visual Thinking: Empowering People and Organisations through Visual Collaboration
    The book provides an informative, easy to follow and fun introduction into the basics of visual thinking and drawing. It is unique by applying these visual thinking and drawing techniques to everyday business settings.
  • The Cultural Dimension of Global Business
    The book provide an essential foundation for understanding the impact of culture on global business and global business on culture.
  • The Art of Philosophy: Visual Thinking in Europe from the Late Renaissance to the Early Enlightenment
    Delving into the intersections between artistic images and philosophical knowledge in Europe from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, The Art of Philosophy shows that the making and study of visual art functioned as important methods of philosophical thinking and instruction.
  • How to Take Smart Notes
    The Take Smart Notes principle is based on established psychological insight and draws from a tried and tested note-taking-technique.
  • From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
    In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Daniel C. Dennett builds on recent discoveries from biology and computer science to show, step by step, how a comprehending mind could, in fact, have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection.
  • Cross-Cultural Dialogues: 74 Brief Encounters with Cultural Difference
    A collection of dialogues on interpreting conversations from the founder of intercultural communication training and consulting firm. 1998 text revised as second edition
  • The Real Internet of Things
    The book provides a view into our future reality. The amount of data we have today and will have in the future will be leveraged to augment our daily lives.
  • Whiteboard: Business Models that Inspire Action
    Hand-drawn by the author, this creative collection of illustrations, inspirational quotes, and savvy business models shares one purpose: to spark conversations and evolve companie
  • Utopia for Realists
    The book provides set of new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable
  • Forgetting Machines: Knowledge Management Evolution in Early Modern Europe
    The book investigates the evolution of scholarly practices and the transformation of cognitive habits in the early modern age with the use of technology
  • Small Giants
    Wonderful book about belief systems and how bringing in personal beliefs and values into a business can positively affect the success and impact of businesses.
  • Self-tracking
    What happens when people turn their everyday experience into data: an introduction to the essential ideas and key challenges of self-tracking.
  • Reinventing Organizations: An Illustrated Invitation
    An illustrated version that conveys the main ideas of the original book "Reinventing Organizations" that shares many of its real-life stories in a lively, engaging way.
  • The Qualified Self
    The Qualified Self offers an excellent overview of the breadth and depth of issues related to self-tracking cultures.
  • Introducing Multimodality
    An accessible introduction to multimodality. Illuminates the potential of multimodal research for understanding the ways in which people communicate. Key concepts and methods in various domains while learning how to engage critically with the notion of multimodality.
  • e-Learning and the Science of Instruction
    4th edition of essential reference for evidence-based guidelines for designing, developing and evaluating asynchronous and synchronous e-Learning for workforce training and educational courseware.
  • The Master Algorithm
    A comprehensive overview of the entire field of Machine Learning that is better than most of the book on the topic. Author also explores an idea, related to his scientific research, of a master algorithm which could explain everything given enough data.
  • Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalisation of Democracy
  • Nonviolent Communication
    If "violent" means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then judging others, bullying could indeed be called "violent communication." Nonviolent Communication is the integration of four things: Consciousness, Language, Communication, Means of influence, Empathic Connection and Sharing of resources so everyone is able to benefit
  • Data-ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else
    Data-ism is about this next phase, in which vast, Internet-scale data sets are used for discovery and prediction in virtually every field
  • Unflattening
    Nick Sousanis defies conventional forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct knowledge. A dissertation in a form of a comic book.
  • The Oxford Handbook of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
    The publication integrate three interrelated literatures on Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Chapters were provided by the leading scholars in these research areas.
  • The Nonhuman Turn (21st Century Studies)
    The first book to name, characterize and consolidate a wide array of current critical, theoretical, and philosophical approaches in decentering the human in favor of a concert for the nonhuman in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Spatial Semiotics and Spatial Mental Models: Figure-Ground Asymmetries in Language
    The interplay between culture through language and practices presents new insights in the importance of combining cognitive semantics with cognitive anthropology
  • Seeing Ourselves Through Technology
    A goldmine of historical and contemporary case studies with which readers are invited to visualise the complexity of self-representation practices and artefacts.
  • The Cambridge Handbook of Cultural-Historical Psychology
    The volume systematically presents cultural-historical psychology as an integrative/holistic developmental science of mind, brain, and culture.
  • The Philosophy of Perception: Phenomenology and Image Theory
    If perception is real - what this reality means for a subject? Wiesing's methods chart a markedly new path in contemporary perception theory. As part of the argument, he provides a succinct but comprehensive survey of the philosophy of images.
  • The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning
    A comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of research and theory in the field, with a focus on computer-based learning.
  • Superintelligence
    In the longer run biological human brains might cease to be the predominant nexus of Earthly intelligence. It is possible that one day we may be able to create ʺsuperintelligenceʺ: a general intelligence that vastly outperforms the best human brains in every significant cognitive domain.
  • The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business
    A book that illustrates the misunderstandings that can arise from clashing cultural assumptions
  • The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge
    A timeline of capsule biographies on key figures in the development of the tree diagram containing more that two hundred tree diagrams
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup
  • Reinventing Organizations
    Probably the most influential management book of this decade, inspiring to take a radical leap and adopt a whole different set of management principles and practices.
  • Crossing the Chasm
    Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers. The book illustrates existence of a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle
  • The Second Machine Age
    The explanation of the technolgy revolution that is overturning the world’s economies.
  • The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking
    On how to incorporate sketchnoting techniques into your note-taking process--regardless of your artistic abilities--to help you better process the information that you are hearing and seeing through drawing, and to actually have fun taking notes.
  • Mapping Scientific Frontiers
    An interdisciplinary examination of the history and the state of the art of the quest for visualizing scientific knowledge and the dynamics of its development.
  • Managing Information Quality: Increasing the Value of Information in Knowledge-intensive Products and Processes
    The book examines ways in which the quality of information can be improved in knowledge-intensive processes (such as on-line communication, strategy, product development, or consulting
  • Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs
    Using a list of more than 2,000 successful innovations the book explores these insights to diagnose patterns of innovation, and to evaluate how firms are performing against competitors. The framework has proven to be one of the most enduring and useful ways to start process of transformation.
  • Who Owns the Future?
    How the concentration of data and distribution of risk by those who own the data creates a significant risk to our capitalist based economy and over the long term to the very companies that create the situation.
  • Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
    Big data is about predictions. Academic Mayer-Schönberger and editor Cukier consider big data the new ability to crunch vast collections of information and draw conclusions from it.
  • Turing’s Cathedral
    On how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of the WWII, the nature of digital computers, an how code took over the world by storm.
  • Outliers
    An intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
  • Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners
    Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard's Project Zero, that develops students' thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study.
  • Student Successes With Thinking Maps
    The research, experiences from the field, vignettes, and work. A book that links research and practice and shows the true impact of a specific instructional approach on student learning
  • Imagery and Text: A Dual Coding Theory of Reading and Writing
    The first book to take a systematic theoretical approach to all of the central issues of literacy, including decoding, comprehension, and memory
  • Your Life, Uploaded
    The book explains authors' thinking on Mincrosoft MyLifeBits project predating the "Quantified Self" and "Internet of Things" movements
  • New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics
    Collection of essays on new thinking about matter and processes of materialization centered around reworking older materialist traditions, contemporary theoretical debates, and advances in scientific knowledge to address pressing ethical and political challenges.
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
    The introduction to Senge's carefully integrated corporate framework, which is structured around "personal mastery," "mental models," "shared vision," and "team learning."
  • The Race between Education and Technology
    A masterful work by two leading economists on some of the biggest issues in economics: economic growth, human capital, and inequality. There are fundamental insights in the book, not just about our past but also our future.
  • Innovation, Intellectual Property, and Economic Growth
    A comprehensive perspective on the micro- and macroeconomics of innovation. The book breaks new ground in identifying and analyzing the key ingredients driving economic growth.
  • Universal Principles of Design
    The Universal Principles of Design is a resource to increase cross-disciplinary knowledge and understanding of design. The concepts broadly referred to as “principles,” consist of laws, guidelines, human biases, and general design considerations.
  • Artificial Presence: Philosophical Studies in Image Theory
    A collection of studies on the image offers both a case for the importance of image studies and a broad introduction to this area of philosophical enquiry in which author implies that "the image opens up a view on reality liberated from the constraints of physics"
  • Learning, Creating, and Using Knowledge
    The book recognizes that the future of economic well being in today's knowledge and information society rests upon the effectiveness of schools and corporations to empower their people to be more effective learners and knowledge creators.
  • The Ego Tunnel
    The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the conscious self, explaining it as the content of a model created by our brain.


Scientific papers: