Sunday, May 15, 2011

Switch Off Your Targeting Computer

This topic has been brewing for much longer than yesterday's post. More specifically, I think it was late January, because that was when I was having a tough time caring enough to keep my blood sugar high enough. One evening, feeling a little loopy, I decided that maybe I should check my blood sugar to make sure it wasn't even lower than usual. Since the reading I got was within the desirable range, I didn't do anything about it, but when I rechecked it later that hour, since getting dizzy standing up is not all that common for me, I found that the reading was about 30 mg/dl lower than it had been the first time I checked, and I probably should eat something starchy.

What I am getting at, in my roundabout anecdotal manner, is the relatively high trust we place in technological readings compared to our own experiences. True, our own experiences are highly subjective and open to interpretation, in a way that quantitative readings usually are not. However, as I have mentioned quite a bit recently, no one, and no gadget, knows us as well as we know ourselves.

One could connect this phenomenon with the Feminist complaint, most prominently voiced in "Our Bodies, Ourselves," that women's health was being enshrined in the knowledge of "experts," ie doctors, rather than the experiences of women. Here too personal qualitative information is being replaced by external, "objective," evaluation. Don't get me wrong, I am very much in favor of doctors, and also blood glucose monitors, MRI's, and the many gadgets that help us ascertain what is going on with our bodies. But we shouldn't neglect to value the information about our bodies that is provided by ourselves, our experiences.

Ok, that is enough critique of technology for now, at least as the main subject of the post. If I post a post tomorrow, it will likely be a return to my consideration of education, which may actually be my favorite topic, hurray!

1 comment:

elfarmy17 said...

Got the reference- nice.

This makes me think of these things called biorhythms- they're a set of sine equations, each corresponding to something different (physical, emotional, mental, compassion, self-awareness, aesthetics, spiritual), and are aligned with the day you're born. You plug today's date (or any other date) into the equation, and my spreadsheet generates a chart. Sounds a bit hokey, but they're scarily accurate in my experience. I don't look at them anymore, though-- it makes me super paranoid.