Mindful Cyborg – The Human Interface
Vekst i Norge Chris Dancy has been called the most connected man on Earth, due to his use of technology to track and analyse multiple aspects of his life.
Chris Dancy has made himself the ultimate interface by using nearly 700 devices, sensors, self-diagnostic services and applications to digitally measure and keep track of everything from his calorie intake to his spiritual wellbeing.
Devices on or near Dancy’s body are connected in a local mesh network (his “Inner-Net”) where components work in conjunction with each other.
Measurements include soft data such as blogs and opinions; hard data such as weight, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, decibels and light; and core data such as DNA, blood work and brain waves. Information is collected in real time and the data reveal hidden connections, allowing him to optimize his health and improve quality of life.
Dancy started recording his life already in his early teens. By 2013, he had developed a fully functioning system of data collection with alerts to trigger changes in his behaviour. His data is available online.
– My life became a continuous feedback loop of condition and response, he remarks.
By the beginning of 2014 he had started meditating, quit smoking, was spending money smarter and had lost nearly 100 pounds.
– My career was moving very fast and I was evolving out of most of my relationships with friends, peers, and family, Dancy continues.
– No part of my life wasn't invaded and destroyed by the hyper-vigilance of self-surveillance. This was also the beginning of an important lesson for me on the power of data over other people and relationships, and how ultimately this created a sense of isolation and independence that I struggled with.
By 2016 he admitted to seeing people as “a pile of information” and comparing data to heroin, only wanting more (New York Times).
Chris Dancy has made himself the ultimate interface by using nearly 700 devices, sensors, self-diagnostic services and applications to digitally measure and keep track of everything from his calorie intake to his spiritual wellbeing. Foto: www.chrisdancy.com
As for the future…
Dancy’s future involves people who are “cybernetically dependent on feedback loops and information” – like himself – “to guide their health, happiness, and wellbeing.” He expects the technology to become wearable and less obtrusive, however.
The near future involves different devices working together to create lifestyle systems with receipts for certain goals and outcomes. Humans and human environments will be the next big thing as the “Inner-Net” replaces the Internet.
By 2030, personalization will drive experiences and instead of apps and digital services, we’ll download “habits” and “environments.”
According to Dancy, homes of the future are not just assistive, but adaptive (LiveScience, 2013). His own “data-assisted living” includes systems linked to triggers that “make things happen automatically.”
– The house knows my behaviours, he says.
– If I get really stressed out and don’t sleep well, when I wake up the light is a certain colour, the room a particular temperature and certain music plays, he told The Guardian (2014).
However, connected homes aren’t necessarily “smart.”
– Smart homes have books, people and love, he insists.
And as more areas – and things – in our lives become connected and even our most intimate data become the property of corporations, media and governments, privacy is already an illusion. Dancy believes in a shift away from data collection to data empowerment, however.
– We have the opportunity to become empowered in optimizing our environments and to become masters – instead of victims – of our data, he told the Financial Times (2013).
A practicing Buddhist, Dancy calls himself a Mindful Cyborg, attempting to apply mindfulness in a distracting world.
And, having optimized “every aspect” of his home, he has not only revolutionized his life but is able to “live in a state of Zen-like calm” (The Guardian, 2014).
Sources: www.chrisdancy.com and Chris Dancy’s Bio on Evernote.