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WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-QUANTIFYING
TECHNOLOGIES AND THE SELF?
PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION
INTERVIEWS
QS WEB FOR...
AGENTIAL REALISM
(KAREN BARAD)
INTRA-ACTION
(MATERIAL-DISCURSIVE PRACTICES)
DISCOURSE APPARATUS
AGENTIAL CUTTING
PHENOMENA
QUANTUM PHYSICS 101
FARZANA DUDHWALA AND YOUTUBE PRESENTA DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE PRODUCTION
FEATURING DR QUANTUM EXPLAINING ...
Starring:
Albert Einstein
Dr.Quantum
Niels Bohr
Werner Heisenberg
Niels Bohr (Again)
Observation
Double Slit Experiments
C...
AGENTIAL REALISM
INTRA-ACTION
(MATERIAL-DISCURSIVE PRACTICES)
DISCOURSE APPARATUS
AGENTIAL CUTTING
PHENOMENA
DISCOURSE
“Discourse is not what is said; it is that which constrains and enables what can be
said…discursive practices pr...
DISCOURSE
One cup of coffee
Meal was quite low in carbohydrates for lunch
Walked quite briskly to the coffee shop
Coffee w...
DISCOURSE
"I use the watch as a rough guide - what I'm trying to do
right now is gage it against my mental feelings - ‘doe...
APPARATUS
“…apparatuses are not mere static arrangements in the world,but rather apparatuses
are dynamic (re)configurings ...
APPARATUS
[Hayley] uses an app on her iPhone called MapMyRide to track her bicycle
ride into work each morning. She felt a...
APPARATUS
[James] uses a breath-analyser to measure his VO2
capacity. When he first took the test it told him that his
VO2...
AGENTIAL REALISM
INTRA-ACTION
(MATERIAL-DISCURSIVE PRACTICES)
DISCOURSE APPARATUS
AGENTIAL CUTTING
PHENOMENA
AGENTIAL CUTTING
“Agential cuts do not mark some absolute separation but a cutting together/
apart – a “‘holding together’...
AGENTIAL CUTTING
‘Every morning…I record a lot of things from the previous day,
from all the food I ate, money that I’ve s...
AGENTIAL CUTTING
"I track on a daily basis: weight, body fat,
blood glucose and blood pressure - I used to
track amount of...
AGENTIAL CUTTING
• What agential cuts are made when drawing a boundary
around what the 'self' encompasses?
• Is it possibl...
SELF-QUANTIFYING TECHNOLOGIES
AND THE SELF
Fluid Boundaries
!
Finding out about your’self’ —> Enacting your’selves’
!
Agen...
SELF-QUANTIFYING TECHNOLOGIES
AND THE SELF
FARZANA DUDHWALA
Self-quantifying Technologies and the Agential Self
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Self-quantifying Technologies and the Agential Self

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Presentation given at the British Sociological Association Conference, 2014, Leeds, UK.

Published in: Technology, Spiritual
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Self-quantifying Technologies and the Agential Self

  1. 1. WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-QUANTIFYING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE SELF? PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION INTERVIEWS QS WEB FORUMS
  2. 2. AGENTIAL REALISM (KAREN BARAD) INTRA-ACTION (MATERIAL-DISCURSIVE PRACTICES) DISCOURSE APPARATUS AGENTIAL CUTTING PHENOMENA
  3. 3. QUANTUM PHYSICS 101 FARZANA DUDHWALA AND YOUTUBE PRESENTA DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE PRODUCTION FEATURING DR QUANTUM EXPLAINING THE DOUBLE SLIT EXPERIMENTS BASED ON A TRUE STORY www.whatthebleep.com/down-the-rabbit-hole/
  4. 4. Starring: Albert Einstein Dr.Quantum Niels Bohr Werner Heisenberg Niels Bohr (Again) Observation Double Slit Experiments Copenhagen Interpretation Uncertainty Principle Problem of Indeterminacy QUANTUM PHYSICS 101 DISCLAIMER: FARZANA DUDHWALA IS NOTA QUANTUM PHYSICIST. THE CHARACTERS AND EVENTS IN THIS SHORT INTERLUDE MAY HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATED FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE PURPOSES.
  5. 5. AGENTIAL REALISM INTRA-ACTION (MATERIAL-DISCURSIVE PRACTICES) DISCOURSE APPARATUS AGENTIAL CUTTING PHENOMENA
  6. 6. DISCOURSE “Discourse is not what is said; it is that which constrains and enables what can be said…discursive practices produce,rather than merely describe,the “subjects” and “objects” of knowledge practices." (Barad 2003:819) • Can self-quantifying technologies be seen as a form of discourse which enable or constrain what can be said? • Could they be seen as pivotal in producing both the object of measurement as well as the subject that is doing the measurement?
  7. 7. DISCOURSE One cup of coffee Meal was quite low in carbohydrates for lunch Walked quite briskly to the coffee shop Coffee was a large cup Meal was in cafe - more sugar than usual Walk *may* have been slower than he would have liked
  8. 8. DISCOURSE "I use the watch as a rough guide - what I'm trying to do right now is gage it against my mental feelings - ‘does that fit?’ ! And so far it's been pretty good - and so as I start to trust it more as a guide, I might give it more weighting - but I'll never probably give it absolute weighting - and what it's not saying is ‘for the next three days stay home, don't go out,don't go to work’…just that I should take it easy..."
  9. 9. APPARATUS “…apparatuses are not mere static arrangements in the world,but rather apparatuses are dynamic (re)configurings of the world,specific agential practices/intra-actions/ performances through which specific exclusionary boundaries are enacted.” (Barad 2003:816) • Can self-quantifying technologies be seen as 'apparatuses'? • Can they be seen as giving meaning to the self/self- improvement and at the same time be involved in materialising or constituting a crucial part of the self/self- improvement?
  10. 10. APPARATUS [Hayley] uses an app on her iPhone called MapMyRide to track her bicycle ride into work each morning. She felt as though her cycle took effort and she commended herself for doing it each morning. It made her feel good about her commute.
  11. 11. APPARATUS [James] uses a breath-analyser to measure his VO2 capacity. When he first took the test it told him that his VO2 capacity is 38. He bought a device which provided some resistance to his breathing and taught him how to take in more oxygen per breath. He took the VO2 test again after a month of using his breathing device and the breath-analyser told him that he now has a VO2 capacity of 41. He is "proud to have improved this”…
  12. 12. AGENTIAL REALISM INTRA-ACTION (MATERIAL-DISCURSIVE PRACTICES) DISCOURSE APPARATUS AGENTIAL CUTTING PHENOMENA
  13. 13. AGENTIAL CUTTING “Agential cuts do not mark some absolute separation but a cutting together/ apart – a “‘holding together’ of the disparate itself..."(Barad 2012:46) • What agential cuts are made when drawing a boundary around what the 'self' encompasses? • Is it possible to know other peoples' agential cuts - what they have separated and what they are trying to hold together? • How can we set about knowing these cuts?
  14. 14. AGENTIAL CUTTING ‘Every morning…I record a lot of things from the previous day, from all the food I ate, money that I’ve spent or received, I record socialising that I did, I create like a general log of…my activities, any health issues and a few other things. I review mood, too, and one of the things that I’ve gotten the most insight from is that I’ve started making a list of goals as part of that morning process...”
  15. 15. AGENTIAL CUTTING "I track on a daily basis: weight, body fat, blood glucose and blood pressure - I used to track amount of sleep, too, but not any more. I put this info in a spreadsheet and made some comments - 'oh this day I was feeling like this' and I also check off if I had alcohol the night before and so on..."
  16. 16. AGENTIAL CUTTING • What agential cuts are made when drawing a boundary around what the 'self' encompasses? • Is it possible to know other peoples' agential cuts - what they have separated and what they are trying to hold together? • How can we set about knowing these cuts?
  17. 17. SELF-QUANTIFYING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE SELF Fluid Boundaries ! Finding out about your’self’ —> Enacting your’selves’ ! Agential cutting —> Agential marking ! Self-quantifying technologies —> Numbers —> Agential Marking?
  18. 18. SELF-QUANTIFYING TECHNOLOGIES AND THE SELF FARZANA DUDHWALA

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