Episode #6 – Deborah Lupton on the Quantified Self

Deborah-Lupton-picThis is the sixth episode in the Algocracy and Transhumanism podcast. In this episode, I talk to Deborah Lupton about her book The Quantified Self (Polity Press 2016). Deborah is a Centenary Research Professor at the University of Canberra in Australia. She is a widely-published scholar. Her current research focuses on a variety of topics having to do with digital sociology and the impact of technology on human life. Our conversation is divided into three main topics: (i) what is the quantified self? (ii) how is the ‘self’ affected by self-tracking technologies? and (iii) what are the political and social consequences of self-tracking?

You can listen to the episode below. You can download the mp3 here. You can also subscribe via Stitcher and iTunes (RSS feed).


Show Notes

  • 0:00 – o:30 – Introduction
  • o:30 – 8:05 – What is the quantified self? Is ‘self-tracking’ a better term?
  • 8:05 – 11:30 – Are we all self-trackers?
  • 11:30 – 14:25 – What kinds of data are being tracked?
  • 14:25 – 16:20 – Who is attracted to the quantified self movement?
  • 16:20 – 21:20 – What is the link between self-tracking and gamification?
  • 21:20 – 26:10 – Does self-tracking help to promote autonomy and self-control?
  • 26:10 – 28:30 – Does self-tracking contribute to a culture of narcissism?
  • 32:00 – 43:13 – The metaphysics of the self in the QS movement: reductionism, dualism and cyborgification
  • 43:13 – 46:40 – Do the benefits of self-tracking help to normalise mass surveillance?
  • 51:00 – 54:00 – The Quantified Self and the Neoliberal State
  • 54:00 – 57:30 – Self-tracking and the Risk Society
  • 57:30 – End – The involuntary imposition of self-tracking



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