One Day in a Post-Human Life, Approaching the Singularity.
The 24th of January was a Thursday.
I don't recall that it was a Thursday, I looked it up in my calendar. When I did, I noticed that "Diving" was my only appointment that day. I remember now, the 24th of January was a day I went diving. I remember only the highlights: where, who with and the dives themselves.
I decided to delve a little deeper into my day.
I awoke when my alarm sounded at 7:30 but didn't get out of bed until 7:50, when Google Now dinged to tell me to leave for my diving appointment. I must have packed the night before, because I was over the Harbour Bridge at 8:08:56.
I called my parents a couple of minutes later to tell them I was diving for the day, as they're the first two people that the Rescue Coordination Centre in Wellington will call if my ID string is received from the Cospas-Sarsat satellite constellation, indicating that I am in distress and have activated the Locator Beacon that I always carry with me on and in the water.
I made it to my destination, Sandspit, in 52 minutes. I took the toll road which cost $9.30, averaging 82km/h and topping out at 114km/h, with a fuel consumption rate of 9.4 litres. The engine core temperature fluctuated around 90 Celsius and I had the air conditioning on the whole way.
It must have taken a couple of hours to gear up and prepare the boat as we didn't depart for our launch spot at Mangawhai until 10:23:27. I might not have been all that helpful, preoccupied with the 4 email messages I sent. The Deli in Mangawhai was closed for renovation -I remember now- so I bought my lunch next door at the bakery, for $11.70.
Windspeed was 5 knots from the South West so the crossing to the Hen Island was calm, taking an hour and six minutes. I did two dives, both on a single tank of normal air, 1 hour and 14 minutes apart. The first dive was for 55 minutes to a maximum depth of 17 metres and the water temperature was 21 Celcius. The second dive was for 21 minutes to a maximum depth of 27 metres and the water temperature was 16 Celcius. My heartrate averaged 81 BPM over the two dives though it topped out at 131 while I was gearing up. My air consumption rate was a little under 20 litres/minute. My Nitrogen and Oxygen exposure remained within acceptable parameters throughout.
Around about this time, 2Degress debited my credit card for monthly cellular access. I know I was wearing my drysuit because one of the other divers snapped a photograph with my phone, of me wearing it.
We were back on shore at Mangawai with the boat packed, ready to depart at 17:28:37. I was only in Sandspit for seven minutes, so I didn't hang around for a beer or to help wash down the boat. I drove back to Auckland, picking up noodles from Quay Street for $19.50. I ate this at home with a glass or more of Oyster Bay Pinot Gris, which cost $24.90.
I called my parents to tell them that I'd arrived home, at 21:05.
At 21:05 I booted up my workstation and commenced downloading the premiÃ¨re of "Ripper Street" which took 33 minutes. While I waited I checked out Matthew McFadyen on IMDB, read several article from the tech press, posts from the political blogoshere and world news from a variety of newspapers, mostly in London. I perused job postings and ignored the 71 other emails I'd received. I wished my friend Lesley a Happy Birthday and posted the photograph of me on the boat to Social Networks. I watched the episode. At 10:55:36 I turned my workstation off and went to bed. I read the author Ken MacLeod on my Kindle for a while, before I went to sleep.
Of course, I remember hardly any of this. I looked it up. It's all contained within my digital footprint.
I electronically queried the following devices, services, organisations, sensors, systems and applications to collate this digital detail: Android, Samsung Galaxy S3, Torque, OBDKey, Audi, Barcode Scanner, Uwatec Galileo Sol, Uwatec tank transceiver, Polar heart monitor, Jtrak, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Online Banking, GNUCash, 2Degrees, Kindle, Firefox, Linux, Evolution, Twitter, Pidgin, Xabber, Viber, LinkedIn, Weather.com, The Collective.
My life is augmented by these electronic systems recording my activities and my environment, that aid in my decision making and act on my behalf. Some of these systems are entirely within my control, some are controlled by others who allow me to access them. Some are manual, some are automated. In each case, these systems are storing, delivering and manipulating information which is generated by me, is about me, or directly affects me.
And there's a lot of it. Who I am and what I do is contained within this detail. It is all-pervasive, intrinsic to my well-being. As a result I'm no longer, strictly speaking, a member of Homo-Sapiens. I've transcended to the Post-Human.
You have, too.
Revel in your shiny, new, electronically-augmented, self.
Over the next while you'll hear terms like "Lifelogging," "Quantitative Self" and "Lifestreaming" -if you haven't already- as the prevalence of biometric and other sensors add to the data mountain we build about ourselves. In fact you're contributing to this already, as you post to Facebook, make a phone call, pay a bill, browse the web, track the Fitbit device attached to your body for the Millionaire Challenge, wear a heartrate monitor whilst you exercise, or put on a pair of Google Glasses to go about your day.
Right now these systems are discreet, rather than collated. Imagine if they were collated: a sort of Facebook Timeline containing various streams, representing all this information.
Finance. Health. Travel. Consumption. Sex. Socialising. Exercise. Sleep. Work. Play.
Now imagine adding to that, details obtained from Inland Revenue, your GP, School, Dentist, Immigration, Interpol, your employer, whoever.
Such a tool would be incredibly useful to you.
And convenient for anyone else, interested in your data.
-SRA 21/iv 2013.
(Title inspired by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
. Topic inspired by an email exchange with my friend and colleague, Stuart Little.)