Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

April 26, 2013

From: Interview by Patrick Tucker, IEET

What sort of things have you been able to predict based on the data from your personal analytics?

One thing I found out is that I’m much more habitual than I ever imagined. It’s amazing to see oneself turned into full distribution. It got me thinking about lots of different ways that I could improve my life and times with data. What I realized is that one of the more important things is to have quick feedback about what’s going on, so you don’t have to wait for a year to go back and look at what happened. You can just see it quickly.

I was actually embarrassed that I hadn’t had a real-time display of the history of my unread email, as a function of time. We built that after this blog post, and I have found it’s quite amazing. By having this feedback, I’m able to work more efficiently. It’s also telling me things like, gosh, if I ignore my email for four days, or five days, or ten days, or something, it will get totally out of hand, and it would take me weeks and weeks to recover from that. Those sound like very mundane [insights], but in terms of how one actually spends one’s time, they can be quite significant effects.

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