From the archives, w/e 21 May

19.30, Friday 21 May 2021

Blog posts this week from years gone by.

1 year ago

Gross National Diversity (19 May 2020).

What if it’s vital to the future to preserve alternate ways of living and alternate ways of thinking?

Rambling thoughts about cyborgs and emotions (20 May 2020).

What is the kind of laughter we feel, watching a puzzle being solved? And a side question: what is the spiritual component of the climate crisis? (That’s a question that I’d like to come back to.)

9 years ago

FuelBand for alpha waves (16 May 2012).

How about a wearable device that measures your attention patterns over the day? Thinking about this in 2021, I’ve been monitoring my sleep this week with my Apple Watch and it’s intriguing without dictating behaviour, which I like. Why shouldn’t some upcoming version of AirPods include an EEG sensor and give me a focus vs zen readout? I doubt anyone really knows what the patterns mean… but maybe that’s for lack of data. Apple already runs large scale experiments to look for (as an example) heart arrhythmia with the watch. Could it also run large scale experiments to find meaning in brainwave traces? And, if you could see how much “downtime” your brain had day by day, and how that correlated with your mood, would you make different life decisions? Could some future Apple Specs be a device for mental insights (at least of a certain kind) just as the wrist wearable is a device for physical health?

(Posts selected from the On This Day archive spelunking page. This is an experiment to see how to best include old posts in the current feed in a meaningful way. I’m currently thinking about this as a regular Friday feature.)

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