Today, we generate data with every mouse click, phone call, and even every breath. This week on State of the Human, you’ll hear about how an 18th century historian, a poet, a computer scientist, a composer, and a mysterious future being are all trying to interpret that data to understand something about the human experience. We’re asking: what do we learn from seeing ourselves as data? And what is lost in translation?


Host: Kate Nelson

Producers: Rachel Hamburg, Miles S, Charlie Mintz, Kate Nelson, Rosie La Puma

Featuring: Dr. Daniel Rosenberg, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jonathan Berger, Raven Jiang, Alec Glassford

Release Date: 18 June 2014

Music used during transitions: Aboombong (Drag Along Behind), Chuzausen, Koona (Starkey), Kai Engel

image via wikimedia



Story 1: Straws on the River of Time

Joseph Priestley was an 18th Renaissance man who helped discover oxygen. But he also invented something: the Chart of Biography. Here’s why he shouldn’t get too much credit for doing either of those things. It’s a story about one of the first times that people were turned into data.


Producers: Jess Peterson and Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Dr. Daniel Rosenberg

Music: Jared C Balogh, Ergo Phizmiz, Dexter Britain, and Circus Marcus



Story 2: Exposed

Kyle is on a mission to scrape every last piece of his data off the internet. He’s devoted to navigating cyberspace without leaving a trace – but privacy has a cost.


Producers: Niuniu Teo and Charlie Mintz

Featuring: “Kyle”

Music: Rod Hamilton (Bird); Pork Secret (Cool Crocs); Podington Bear (Operatives, Clouds Pass Softly); Marcel Pequel (Seven)

Image via wikimedia



Story 3: Search Terms Leading to a Bigger Life

Naomi Shihab Nye is a novelist, songwriter, and wandering poet. She tells a story about staring at people on planes, and how googling strangers can lead to a bigger life.


Producers: Justine Beed and Will Rogers

Featuring: Naomi Shihab Nye

Music and Sounds: Podington Bear (Deep Pools, Respiration), Airport Ambience

Image via wikimedia



Story 4: Breathing Data

Jonathan Berger, a composer, teams up with a radiologist who needs to figure out a way to help calm anxious patients. His solution – have patients listen to their own data.


Producer: Kate Nelson

Featuring: Dr. Jonathan Berger

Music and Sounds: Advent Chamber Orchestra, SJ Mellia, deef, Plurabelle, ZOE.LEELA, Gustav Landin, Coffee Shop, Deep Breath

Image via flickr



Story 5: A Single Lifetime

A new consciousness has just emerged – a product of all data and the interactions between it. That consciousness exists as a detached force, until falling in love teaches it to be human.


Producer: Alec Glassford and Rachel Hamburg

Featuring: Alec Glassford, Raven Jiang

Music and Sounds: YACHT (Ring the Bell (Instrumental), The Afterlife), Podington Bear (Rythn), The Shivers (Kisses, Only Mine), Owl (Uppsala Streetbusker accordion 1.wav), Damsteegt (Thai Island Beach II), hanstimm (URSU01.ffB.m7.f2.ed.aiff)

Image via wikimedia