The quantification of our society

"Social life, health data, consumption: Everything that can be measured will be measured," said Steffen Mau, Professor of Macrosociology, in the webinar "Quantification: Keeping Score in a Metric Society" with GDI researcher Jakub Samochowiec.
24 June, 2020 by
Die Vermessung unserer Gesellschaft
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Our lives are increasingly determined by numbers, data is collected in every aspect of our lives. But how does this quantification affect trust in society? Steffen Mau, Professor of Macrosociology at Humboldt University Berlin, and GDI researcher Jakub Samochowiec discussed this question in a webinar.

"Social life, health data, consumption: everything that can be measured will be measured," said Professor Steffen Mau. He critically analyzed the growing importance of metrics and data for our society. Metrics, which were supposed to create trust and transparency, changed our perception of value and status.
GDI researcher Jakub Samochowiec argued, that we as a society systematically underestimated the trustworthiness of others. We therefore feel the need for control through quantification. In many cases this may not only be unnecessary, but could also undermine our own trustworthiness.
The webinar series was a joint production of the Swiss Re Institute, IBM Research and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute.

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