Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Quantitative Self Movement

With the emergence of popular high tech gizmos, the Quantitative Self Movement encourages entrepreneurs of all stripes to come up with new and improved devices to measure human activity. And hard data, as we all know, provides the gospel truth for modern day man, adding or detracting from the holy books with bottom line facts.

Quantifying one's behavior and its measureable impact on the body and mind is not a new idea in the brave new world of 21st century technology. Leaving aside scientists from past millennia -- in a brainless example, the average bathroom scale tells its owner how much weight one has gained, lost, or maintained as often as the person with the poundage would like. With an explosion of the iPhone-carrying species, the Nike + iPod App can quantify every twitch and how many calories it burns. (As for this app which refuses to leave the phone's desktop, if you live in Los Angeles, home to freeways and a multitude of cars, one could well use this feature; a farmer in the fields of Kenya or bicycle-taxi driver in India needn't worry about burning calories through movement. Just the reverse problem there.)

And speaking of iPhone, the Apple mafia is developing a new ear bud that measures oxygenation, heart rate and body temperature while listening to music or yakking on the phone. But it should come with a warning on the package. Couch potatoes beware. Your guilt factor may rise exponentially while using this device.

Sadly, a high tech doodad for quantifying the evolution of the soul or the consciousness of enlightenment has yet to be invented, even as brain imaging captures information about the astounding benefits of meditation and biofeedback provides a useful tool for stress management and other persnickety emotional issues.

So to all those who are nuts about quantifying every movement, thought and activity, one area remains to be boiled down to a numerical calculation.

Who or what created humankind and all the flora and fauna?

Until we can quantify that, endless rounds of theological debates and blood wars will continue. So my take on all the above: please remember that the hardware and software of mother nature's interconnected world can decipher all matter of things for the attentive observer who uses awareness and intuition -- the most effective gizmos every invented.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Between the Frying Pan and the Fire

When the first inklings of a pandemic started brewing in late January, I was in Bodgaya, India, the place where the historical Buddha attai...