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Mar 31, 2012

How Stephen Wolfram Spent the Last 22 Years (behind the Computer)

Via Infoesthetics

Stephen Wolfram, the chief designer of Mathematica and the Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine, has been setting a new norm in the fields of lifelogging, the quantified self and personal analytics, by accumulating several Nicholas Felton-amounts of data during his personal life.

Stephen has recently posted several graphs, dotplots and timelines, in an attempt to make some sense out of his 1 million outgoing email messages since 1989 (containing about 33,000 distinct words), 100 million keystrokes since 2002, every calendar event and scheduled meeting since 2000, all phone calls since 2004, and all his physical activity since 2004. To top all that off, Stephen has also several backups of his computer filesystems going back to 1980, and managed to somehow digitize about 230,000 paper documents, resulting in an immense mountain of potentially useful and revealing information about his historical work habits.

Not surprisingly, the overall patterns are quite straightforward: meetings and collaborative work during the day, a dinner-time break, more meetings and collaborative work, and then in the later evening more individual work. Most larger scale trends and patterns relate to according shifts in attention towards new projects.

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