"They Want To Know Everything About Me"

Dan Zak was underwhelmed by the Census:

I was expecting more of the 2010 Census. It only wanted my name, birth date, age, sex and race. White, male, 26. My privacy was barely violated. What about job? Relationship status? Hobbies? Hangups? It was a severe anticlimax, but this should’ve been expected. I’ve recently plowed through some family history specifically my mother’s maternal branch and at this moment I have in front of me a PDF of the 1880 Census, which lists my great-great-great grandfather in similarly glib terms: White, male, 44, married, farmer, born in Germany. I guess the official legacy of the average man is but a color, an age and a sex, and maybe an occupation. Sometimes we are just a number. Thanks Census.