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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

What we’re running from in counting steps

One can see the temptation of quantifying all sorts of aspects of life with apps and wearable gadgets— it speaks to order and self-improvement. Yet we psychoanalysts wonder: what do these new measurements tell us about what we fear? What could we be protecting ourselves from?

Measuring might feel like a way into addressing difficult behaviours such as being too sedentary or drinking too much. It might work—in some cases. But when so many of us are suddenly tracking so many things, it looks like a decidedly one-size-fits-all solution, which ignores the variety in what motivates our difficulties. Understanding something of what we are up to when we are doing things not in our best interest could be a wiser course.

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In Prospect’s March issue: Gaby Hinsliff explains why all sides of the Brexit debate feel like they’re losing. She says that the Brexit war has raged on for two and half years and disfigured British politics in the process, leaving Remainers in mourning and Leavers crying betrayal. Elsewhere in the issue: James Ball, Martin Moore and Barbara Speed examine how we should be less worried about the tech giants Facebook, Amazon and Google and more worried about the data they hold about us. Ball argues that breaking up these huge companies isn’t the answer; Moore asks what would happens when a tech giant wants to run a smart city, and Speed looks at the increasing trend of tracking everything in our daily lives from the amount of water we drink to how many notifications we receive to our smartphone. Also, Rachel Sylvester profiles Sajid Javid, the Cabinet minister positioning himself for the top job.