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By Nora Young

Young_The Virtual Self

We generate enormous amounts of data online about our habits: where we go, what we do, and how we feel. Some of that is stuff we choose to report; some of it is the offhand data trails we leave behind. That information can be a powerful tool for personal improvement, and for building more responsive communities. It also carries real dangers.

We’re in the early days of tussles and debates over how and when our data should be used. We, as citizens, have to be the drivers in determining how our data gets used. The power of this technology to make our lives better and our communities smarter is too powerful to throw away.

The Virtual Self teases out the increasingly bigger impacts of the virtual information we generate on the real world around us: from how it affects your personal life, to how it affects businesses and consumers, to communities, to government.



McClelland & Stewart, Canada, Spring 2012