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Introduction: Laboring Bodies and the Quantified Self Ulfried Reichardt and Regina Schober “You’re generating big numbers,” he said, peering at the screen. “I was out there only two and a half minutes. That’s how many seconds?” “It’s not just youwere out there somany seconds. It’s yourwhole data profile. I tapped into your history. I’m getting bracketed numbers with pulsing stars.” “What does that mean?” “You’d rather not know.” (Don DeLillo,White Noise 140) The use of data in conceptualizing the human body has been present in nar- ratives of the self for much

Racialized Self-Improvement: Advice in Black and White Self-Help of the Interwar Years Kristina Graaff Self-help can be described as a standardized and rule-governed knowledge formation that offers instructions on how to draw upon one’s resources to improve oneself. It exists in oral and written forms, among them speeches, lectures, sermons, radio shows, guides, autobiographies, and newspaper columns. In its focus on self-reliance, personal reinvention, progress, and navigation of new environments, self-help gained particular traction in America, shifting over

Self-Generation Emmanuel Alloa In “aesthetic capitalism” consumers are not only addressed with respect to their purchasing power and consumer needs; they are also courted as subjects who are themselves aesthetically oriented (*Aesthetic Capitalism, *Consumption). *Design is not therefore limited to commodities to be purchased but includes an associated lifestyle: Aside from securing the individual’s access to commo- dities, values, or services, they also shape the individual’s relationship to these things in a customized way. Fantasies of Taylorist control

Compulsive Self-Tracking: When Quantifying the Body Becomes an Addiction Katharina Motyl There can be no doubt that biometric self-tracking has helped numerous groups improve their health: diabetics, recovering drug addicts, individuals suffering from hypertension, to name but a few. However, in the realm of non-medical self-monitoring, for some, striving for self-optimization and better health qua self-tracking has, in fact, resulted in ‘self-disimprovement’, that is, in deteriorated (mental) health and a diminished quality of life. I refer to those whose

Instant Nerve-Ana: Biofeedback as Quantified Self Avant la Lettre Philipp Hauss While most articles in this volume look at the idea of the quantified self from a contemporary perspective, the following article looks into its history and ar- gues that the biofeedback movement, which rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s in the US, can be identified as one of its immediate precursors.The quantified self and the Quantified Self movement integrate a number of dif- ferent cultural practices that Gina Neff and Dawn Nafus convincingly divide into practices of “self

Command and Control: The Quantified Self and Biomedical Transhumanism Stefan Danter Before sitting down to write this article, I walked a total of 5,743 steps, a num- ber that the Health App on my iPhone conveniently counted using a variety of motion sensors before displaying the data in an aesthetically pleasing graph. The question, however, is what I can do with this quantified information now that I have it, or rather what it could teach me about my walking habits. A quick Google search reveals that the number of steps is below the optimal of 10,000 steps that

Cultural Narratives about Later Life

The Solipsism of the Quantified Self: Working Bodies in David Foster Wallace’s Body of Work Dominik Steinhilber The Quantified Self movement exemplifies a biocapitalist ontology of the self, because measuring the body in its quantifiable, objective dimension always explicitly or implicitly serves an optimization of the laboring body for eco- nomic ends. Stimulated by late 20th century developments in biotechnology that open up and facilitate the idea of a ‘quality of life’ “defined within, and measured by, any number of rating scales” (Rose 2001: 10

1 2 4 s e l f i n g V e r s u s p o s i n g Nadja Geer D ie Pose als zweite Natur des Popsubjekts wird abgelöst durch eine weniger narzisstische Form der Selbstdarstellung: Selfing. Selfing steht für eine neue Kultur, in der das Ego nicht mehr gefüttert werden muss, weil es sich kon- tinuierlich – und eigentlich ohne eigenes Zutun – herausbildet. In der Gen- technik steht Selfing für die Kreuzung eines Genotyps mit sich selbst, und auch im vernetzten Datenflow übersteigt es die Vorstellung von der digitalen Persona. Selfing, das ist die erfolgreichste

in POP

Chapter 4 – Self-realization 4.1 introduction In the two previous chapters, two broad claims have been made: 1) that a re- framed interpretation of self-realization, provided it is able to remedy some of the problems attached to the late modern interpretation, remains a valuable moral ideal, also for aging individuals; and 2) that such a reframed discourse of self-realization could offer a fruitful resource for the development of a new category of cultural narratives about later life, namely, narratives of becoming, that can counter the adverse effects of