The Quantified Self

Started in 2008, the Quantified Self movement is an international collaboration of users and makers of self-tracking tools whose motto is “self-knowledge through numbers.” Self-tracking, be it of daily steps taken, diet moderation, hours slept or productivity, not only internalizes the idea that the self can be objectively known but, and perhaps more subtly, that it is up to individuals themselves to become fitter, happier, and more productive. Are self-tracking wearables and apps an empowering new trend or an insidious instance of self-actualization being substituted for greater social change?

This podcast was recorded live at Spur Toronto on April 11, 2015 at the Al Green Theatre. It features Dr Isabel Pedersen, Prof Andre Spicer, Will Falk and is moderated by Nora Young host of CBC Radio’s ‘Spark’.


Spur is a national festival of politics, art and ideas and is a catalyst for change in Canada.

Through nationally relevant and locally nuanced discussions, presentations and performances, the festival seeks to spur its participants to action on issues affecting Canadians. Feisty, multi-partisan, forward-looking, and solution-driven, this national railway of ideas will provide Canada with vital new cultural infrastructure for the 21st century.

Founded in 2013, the festival has already grown from three to five Canadian cities, with plans for further expansion across the country. Produced by the Literary Review of Canada in partnership with Diaspora Dialogues, Spur prides itself on its community partnerships, cultural connections and a focus on accessibility and diversity.

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