June 19, 2016 by 19 Comments
In addition to reminding you to stand and walk throughout the day, watchOS 3 will also prompt Apple Watch users to take a minute to relax, focus and meditate with a new app dubbed “Breathe.”
When a Breathe notification pops up, users can either begin a session or choose to snooze it. A dedicated Breathe app on the app screen — as well as a new Breathe complication that can be added to watch faces — also allow users to start a session whenever they choose.
Once users begin, the app informs them to “be still and bring attention to your breath.” A series of circles on the Apple Watch display gradually expand, accompanied by taptic feedback on the wrist, letting the user know to slowly inhale.
June 14, 2016 by 33 Comments
Plaid or stripes? Flats or heels? Tall or grande? Latte or drip? Soy milk? Almond milk? Rice milk? Before you’ve taken your first sip of coffee, the decisions have started. By some estimates, the average American adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. No wonder you’re tired. Soul-weary. Sucked dry. The kind of tired 10 hours of sleep can’t fix.
You are suffering from decision fatigue. And there’s only one cure: Stop being the decider of everything. Sounds easy. But it’s not. We are—all of us—always one Google search away from dozens of potentially meaningless decisions.
Last month, I decided it was time to seal my deck. Once, I might have bought whatever deck stain the local hardware store carried. Now there is no local hardware store, so I found myself reading 45 reviews of deck stains, from semitransparent to solid. I compared the ultraviolet-blocking power in latex stains and weighed that against the volatile-organic-compound vapors of oil-based counterparts. I turned one decision into an entire decision tree of trade-offs and comparisons. When I was done, I may or may not have made a better choice, but this was certain: I was too tired to seal my deck. Good thing I didn’t have any stain around.
That’s decision fatigue. […]
Why are we doing this to ourselves? Because we overvalue two things that have become abundantly available: data and choices. When everything is measurable, everything seems knowable. […]
Having data feels like power. Having choices feels like freedom. Sometimes having both is having neither.
~ Jim Sollisch, excerpts from The Cure For Decision Fatigue
No other warm-blooded creature lives this way. We alone keep working 24/7, under the false suns of our fluorescent lights.
June 6, 2016 by 25 Comments
38 percent of Americans describe themselves as “always” feeling rushed. No other warm-blooded creature lives this way: ignoring seasonal patterns, ignoring rest. We alone keep working 24/7, under the false suns of our fluorescent lights. It is as if we hope to rid ourselves of the natural world entirely: discarding not just our own circadian rhythms, but also the larger cycles of the moon and stars, the tides, the solar year. And yet, it is useful, surely, to have some grasp of what the experts call “chronobiology”—to recognize the ways in which our bodies are in fact entrained not to clocks or computers or our weekly schedules, but to the ancient, powerful rhythms of the larger universe. In the course of a day, our hearts will pound out a quiet drum of sixty to eighty beats per minute, speeding up as we race to catch a bus, slowing down when we take a nap. Our body temperatures will rise and fall by a degree or two, reaching peak efficiency late in the afternoon. Our cells will multiply and divide and replace themselves as necessary; hormones and enzymes will be produced. Women in their child-bearing years will move with greater or lesser ease through the different stages of their monthly cycles. Meanwhile, rain or shine, our attention will ebb and flow throughout the day: an hour and a half of concentrated attention, a short break; another hour and a half, another break.
~ Christian McEwen, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down.
June 1, 2016 by 12 Comments
…spending many hours — sometimes all day…while sitting in front of the screen, she told me, “I developed burning in my eyes that made it very difficult to work.” After resting her eyes for a while, the discomfort abates, but it quickly returns when she goes back to the computer. “…I’d turn off the computer, but I need it to work the frustrated professor…has a condition called computer vision syndrome. She is hardly alone. It can affect anyone who spends three or more hours a day in front of computer monitors, and the population at risk is potentially huge. Worldwide, up to 70 million workers are at risk…and those numbers are only likely to grow. In a report about the condition the authors detail an expanding list of professionals at risk … all of whom “cannot work without the help of computer.”…Studies have indicated 70 percent to 90 percent of people who use computers extensively…have one or more symptoms…The effects of prolonged computer use are not just vision-related. Complaints include neurological symptoms like chronic headaches and musculoskeletal problems like neck and back pain…the use of a computer for even three hours a day is likely to result in eye symptoms, low back pain, tension headache and psychosocial stress. Still, the most common computer-related complaint involves the eyes, which can develop blurred or double vision as well as burning, itching, dryness and redness, all of which can interfere with work performance.
~ Jane E. Brody, Computer Vision Syndrome Affects Millions
Tonight’s the night, I’m gonna push it to the limit
I live all of my years in a single minute
Fill my eyes with that double vision, no disguise for that double vision
Ooh, when it gets through to me, it’s always new to me
My double vision always seems to get the best of me, the best of me, yeah
May 16, 2016 by 26 Comments
Because that’s kind of the world that we live in now, a world stuck in fast-forward. A world obsessed with speed, with doing everything faster, with cramming more and more into less and less time. Every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock. To borrow a phrase from Carrie Fisher, which is in my bio there; I’ll just toss it out again — “These days even instant gratification takes too long.” […]
I think that in the headlong dash of daily life, we often lose sight of the damage that this roadrunner form of living does to us. We’re so marinated in the culture of speed that we almost fail to notice the toll it takes on every aspect of our lives — on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships, the environment and our community. And sometimes it takes a wake-up call, doesn’t it, to alert us to the fact that we’re hurrying through our lives, instead of actually living them; that we’re living the fast life, instead of the good life. And I think for many people, that wake-up call takes the form of an illness. You know, a burnout, or eventually the body says, “I can’t take it anymore,” and throws in the towel. […]
And I had two questions in my head.
The first was, how did we get so fast?
And the second is, is it possible, or even desirable, to slow down?
~ Carl Honore, In Praise of Slowness
March 29, 2016 by 11 Comments
Fashionable descriptions of the inevitable triumph of machine intelligence (over man) contain many critical biases and assumptions that could derail them from turning into reality. […]
Our brains use energy at a rate of about 20 watts. If you wanted to upload yourself intact into a machine using current computing technology, you’d need a power supply roughly the same as that generated by the Three Gorges Dam hydroelectric plant in China, the biggest in the world. To take our species, all 7.3 billion living minds, to machine form would require an energy flow of at least 140,000 petawatts. That’s about 800 times the total solar power hitting the top of Earth’s atmosphere. Clearly human transcendence might be a way off.
~ Caleb Scharf, Where Do Minds Belong
Find more at Steve Layman’s Blog: A Power Shortage. (Thank you Steve)
- Related Posts: Miracle? All of it.
- Drawing: HongBo 洪波 (Chinese, Shanghai, China) – Untitled, 2011 – Drawings: Pastels. Source: Thank you Your Eyes Blaze Out
- Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”