"How To Measure Anything, Even Intangibles"

This might be of interest to anyone who would like to, for example,
have a Beeminder graph for something that is not intrinsically easy to
quantify:

“How To Measure Anything, Even Intangibles”

“… how does one go about measuring happiness? What about compassion,
or public influence, or creativity? These are more intangible, harder
to pin down to a number that means anything. Douglas Hubbard has
written an impressive work called “How To Measure Anything: Finding
the Value of Intangibles in Business.” …”

This is really interesting. I just remembered a previous discussion
about beeminding things like how often you smile:

Bethany:
random idea: software that tracks when you’re smiling and when you’re
not, hooked into beeminder to make a smiles graph. research shows that
making your face physically smile makes your brain (at least a little
bit) happier.

Me:
I like it. I mean, it has a small but non-zero chance of being a
powerful force for good.
I’ve seen other apps that try to get data on your mood over time but
the data entry aspect is [too much friction for me].
It just feels way too arbitrary to try to put a number on it and the
frequency with which you need to do so makes it too cumbersome.
Getting the percentage of white pixels (your teeth) from your face pic
would be ridiculously noisy but with enough data meaningful signals
may appear.
And then, as you say, if you beemind it and that causes you to do more
fake smiling, all the better.

I’m reminded of a quote from somewhere:
“Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the
only specification is that it should run noiselessly.”

PS: Our friend Reto Stamm is working on beeminding posture using lumoback.com

On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM, Alys lady.alys@gmail.com wrote:

This might be of interest to anyone who would like to, for example,
have a Beeminder graph for something that is not intrinsically easy to
quantify:

"How To Measure Anything, Even Intangibles"
http://quantifiedself.com/2010/08/how-to-measure-anything-even-i/

“… how does one go about measuring happiness? What about compassion,
or public influence, or creativity? These are more intangible, harder
to pin down to a number that means anything. Douglas Hubbard has
written an impressive work called “How To Measure Anything: Finding
the Value of Intangibles in Business.” …”


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http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com

Ooh, I love that idea, Danny. I mean, it’s like the research that often
gets done on these things but you’re taking the research/science directly
to users. It’s not like a drug that’s still being tested. Smiling sure
can’t hurt (though if I stretch my imagination I can come up with scenarios
where it might, come to think of it. Like you’re standing there grinning
as you hear that your pet just got run over by a car – grinning because
you only have till midnight to get in x more smiles before you derail) :slight_smile:
I guess one could be interpreted strangely by others. In fact I have a
personal memory of something like this and it always bugged me. It’s this:

When Steven was about seven, I guess? and had just been to the dentist
where his permanent front teeth were perfect and cleaned and completely
grown in, he fell on the gym floor running a race and, you may remember,
broke off both front teeth half way up and angled. Horrible. Well, as you
know, he has the composites to this day but here’s the part I remember:
This was a church function he’d been invited to (where it happened) and
the mother of his friend who dealt with me about the incident (church
insurance, whatever) was calmly smiling when she spoke to me about it and
this was in the minutes immediately following the accident. I was a little
distraught, though calm, but she just grinned and grinned. I’ll never
forget that. It seemed inappropriate. And it left a bit of a bad taste in
my mouth for this particular woman and her church, which was a fairly
zealous, fundamental church. Sorry if this offends anyone but it made me
think these people were really weird – that she was trying to convey
something along the lines of “Don’t worry, God has a plan for everything.”
Her husband, who worked in some capacity like treasurer for the church,
also did the over-smiling thing when he spoke to me days later. Never once
said anything like “so sorry that happened to Steven.” No, just grinned
and grinned. Weird!

So, sorry to bother you with that anecdotal evidence for why the smiling
thing could possibly come off strange but still I like the idea of it being
captured on beeminder! For a lot of people this would be really helpful, I
think.

lauriemom

On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.comwrote:

This is really interesting. I just remembered a previous discussion
about beeminding things like how often you smile:

Bethany:
random idea: software that tracks when you’re smiling and when you’re
not, hooked into beeminder to make a smiles graph. research shows that
making your face physically smile makes your brain (at least a little
bit) happier.

Me:
I like it. I mean, it has a small but non-zero chance of being a
powerful force for good.
I’ve seen other apps that try to get data on your mood over time but
the data entry aspect is [too much friction for me].
It just feels way too arbitrary to try to put a number on it and the
frequency with which you need to do so makes it too cumbersome.
Getting the percentage of white pixels (your teeth) from your face pic
would be ridiculously noisy but with enough data meaningful signals
may appear.
And then, as you say, if you beemind it and that causes you to do more
fake smiling, all the better.

I’m reminded of a quote from somewhere:
“Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the
only specification is that it should run noiselessly.”

PS: Our friend Reto Stamm is working on beeminding posture using
lumoback.com

On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM, Alys lady.alys@gmail.com wrote:

This might be of interest to anyone who would like to, for example,
have a Beeminder graph for something that is not intrinsically easy to
quantify:

“How To Measure Anything, Even Intangibles”
http://quantifiedself.com/2010/08/how-to-measure-anything-even-i/

“… how does one go about measuring happiness? What about compassion,
or public influence, or creativity? These are more intangible, harder
to pin down to a number that means anything. Douglas Hubbard has
written an impressive work called “How To Measure Anything: Finding
the Value of Intangibles in Business.” …”


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups “Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
an email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
“Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

This does sound like an interesting set of data. If the amount of
smiling is as good an indicator for happiness as it seems to be, one
could track it over the years and watch the effects of new habits,
exercise plans and other changes. No more “I’m feeling up/down lately,
wonder why”.
Instead, you could spot the smile in/decrease in your graph, see the
correlation with, for example, a stressful new volunteer role and make
better decisions.

In that case, I think beeminding smiles could be a very bad idea: Now
the amount of smiles depends not only on your happiness, but also on
your willpower to fake smiles when you are unhappy and on your financial
situation (can you afford to loose this contract?). The data is more
noisy and less useful. Besides, a duty to smile on penalty of monetary
loss strikes me as somewhat dystopian, but maybe I’m overthinking that.

Personally I’m rather for determining what makes you smile, for example
a good book or time with certain nice people, and beemind that.
Do you know if fake smiling still increases happiness if it has become a
habit? Could you link the research you mentioned?

Moritz

Am 15.02.2013 15:07, schrieb laurie reeves:

Ooh, I love that idea, Danny. I mean, it’s like the research that
often gets done on these things but you’re taking the research/science
directly to users. It’s not like a drug that’s still being tested.
Smiling sure can’t hurt (though if I stretch my imagination I can
come up with scenarios where it might, come to think of it. Like
you’re standing there grinning as you hear that your pet just got run
over by a car – grinning because you only have till midnight to get
in x more smiles before you derail) :slight_smile: I guess one could be
interpreted strangely by others. In fact I have a personal memory of
something like this and it always bugged me. It’s this:

When Steven was about seven, I guess? and had just been to the dentist
where his permanent front teeth were perfect and cleaned and
completely grown in, he fell on the gym floor running a race and, you
may remember, broke off both front teeth half way up and angled.
Horrible. Well, as you know, he has the composites to this day but
here’s the part I remember: This was a church function he’d been
invited to (where it happened) and the mother of his friend who dealt
with me about the incident (church insurance, whatever) was calmly
smiling when she spoke to me about it and this was in the minutes
immediately following the accident. I was a little distraught, though
calm, but she just grinned and grinned. I’ll never forget that. It
seemed inappropriate. And it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth
for this particular woman and her church, which was a fairly zealous,
fundamental church. Sorry if this offends anyone but it made me think
these people were really weird – that she was trying to convey
something along the lines of “Don’t worry, God has a plan for
everything.” Her husband, who worked in some capacity like treasurer
for the church, also did the over-smiling thing when he spoke to me
days later. Never once said anything like “so sorry that happened to
Steven.” No, just grinned and grinned. Weird!

So, sorry to bother you with that anecdotal evidence for why the
smiling thing could possibly come off strange but still I like the
idea of it being captured on beeminder! For a lot of people this
would be really helpful, I think.

lauriemom

On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Daniel Reeves <dreeves@beeminder.com
mailto:dreeves@beeminder.com> wrote:

This is really interesting. I just remembered a previous discussion
about beeminding things like how often you smile:

Bethany:
random idea: software that tracks when you're smiling and when you're
not, hooked into beeminder to make a smiles graph. research shows that
making your face physically smile makes your brain (at least a little
bit) happier.

Me:
I like it. I mean, it has a small but non-zero chance of being a
powerful force for good.
I've seen other apps that try to get data on your mood over time but
the data entry aspect is [too much friction for me].
It just feels way too arbitrary to try to put a number on it and the
frequency with which you need to do so makes it too cumbersome.
Getting the percentage of white pixels (your teeth) from your face pic
would be ridiculously noisy but with enough data meaningful signals
may appear.
And then, as you say, if you beemind it and that causes you to do more
fake smiling, all the better.

I'm reminded of a quote from somewhere:
"Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the
only specification is that it should run noiselessly."

PS: Our friend Reto Stamm is working on beeminding posture using
lumoback.com <http://lumoback.com>


On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM, Alys <lady.alys@gmail.com
<mailto:lady.alys@gmail.com>> wrote:
> This might be of interest to anyone who would like to, for example,
> have a Beeminder graph for something that is not intrinsically
easy to
> quantify:
>
> "How To Measure Anything, Even Intangibles"
> http://quantifiedself.com/2010/08/how-to-measure-anything-even-i/
>
> "... how does one go about measuring happiness? What about
compassion,
> or public influence, or creativity? These are more intangible,
harder
> to pin down to a number that means anything. Douglas Hubbard has
> written an impressive work called “How To Measure Anything: Finding
> the Value of Intangibles in Business.” ..."
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the
Google Groups "Akratics Anonymous" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from
it, send an email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com
<mailto:akratics%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com>.
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
>
>



--
http://dreev.es  --  search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
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To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,
send an email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com
<mailto:akratics%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com>.
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You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups “Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
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For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Here’s one source, but I think there’s a whole body of psych
literature on this, about how the causality between emotions and
manifestations of emotions runs both ways.

Despite the ways beeminding smiling could go disturbingly awry, I’m
intrigued and would totally try it if I could automate the reporting.
I wonder if laughing would be easier to detect… Either way, I think
what it would induce is not so much fake smiling/laughing but watching
more comedies or doing stuff with friends more. That could obviously
go awry too, but of course you’re also beeminding your productivity.

Love this discussion!

On Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 6:52 AM, Moritz v. Looz
moritz@looz-corswarem.de wrote:

This does sound like an interesting set of data. If the amount of smiling is
as good an indicator for happiness as it seems to be, one could track it
over the years and watch the effects of new habits, exercise plans and other
changes. No more “I’m feeling up/down lately, wonder why”.
Instead, you could spot the smile in/decrease in your graph, see the
correlation with, for example, a stressful new volunteer role and make
better decisions.

In that case, I think beeminding smiles could be a very bad idea: Now the
amount of smiles depends not only on your happiness, but also on your
willpower to fake smiles when you are unhappy and on your financial
situation (can you afford to loose this contract?). The data is more noisy
and less useful. Besides, a duty to smile on penalty of monetary loss
strikes me as somewhat dystopian, but maybe I’m overthinking that.

Personally I’m rather for determining what makes you smile, for example a
good book or time with certain nice people, and beemind that.
Do you know if fake smiling still increases happiness if it has become a
habit? Could you link the research you mentioned?

Moritz

Am 15.02.2013 15:07, schrieb laurie reeves:

Ooh, I love that idea, Danny. I mean, it’s like the research that often
gets done on these things but you’re taking the research/science directly to
users. It’s not like a drug that’s still being tested. Smiling sure can’t
hurt (though if I stretch my imagination I can come up with scenarios where
it might, come to think of it. Like you’re standing there grinning as you
hear that your pet just got run over by a car – grinning because you only
have till midnight to get in x more smiles before you derail) :slight_smile: I guess
one could be interpreted strangely by others. In fact I have a personal
memory of something like this and it always bugged me. It’s this:

When Steven was about seven, I guess? and had just been to the dentist where
his permanent front teeth were perfect and cleaned and completely grown in,
he fell on the gym floor running a race and, you may remember, broke off
both front teeth half way up and angled. Horrible. Well, as you know, he
has the composites to this day but here’s the part I remember: This was a
church function he’d been invited to (where it happened) and the mother of
his friend who dealt with me about the incident (church insurance, whatever)
was calmly smiling when she spoke to me about it and this was in the minutes
immediately following the accident. I was a little distraught, though calm,
but she just grinned and grinned. I’ll never forget that. It seemed
inappropriate. And it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for this
particular woman and her church, which was a fairly zealous, fundamental
church. Sorry if this offends anyone but it made me think these people were
really weird – that she was trying to convey something along the lines of
“Don’t worry, God has a plan for everything.” Her husband, who worked in
some capacity like treasurer for the church, also did the over-smiling thing
when he spoke to me days later. Never once said anything like “so sorry
that happened to Steven.” No, just grinned and grinned. Weird!

So, sorry to bother you with that anecdotal evidence for why the smiling
thing could possibly come off strange but still I like the idea of it being
captured on beeminder! For a lot of people this would be really helpful, I
think.

lauriemom

On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

This is really interesting. I just remembered a previous discussion
about beeminding things like how often you smile:

Bethany:
random idea: software that tracks when you’re smiling and when you’re
not, hooked into beeminder to make a smiles graph. research shows that
making your face physically smile makes your brain (at least a little
bit) happier.

Me:
I like it. I mean, it has a small but non-zero chance of being a
powerful force for good.
I’ve seen other apps that try to get data on your mood over time but
the data entry aspect is [too much friction for me].
It just feels way too arbitrary to try to put a number on it and the
frequency with which you need to do so makes it too cumbersome.
Getting the percentage of white pixels (your teeth) from your face pic
would be ridiculously noisy but with enough data meaningful signals
may appear.
And then, as you say, if you beemind it and that causes you to do more
fake smiling, all the better.

I’m reminded of a quote from somewhere:
“Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the
only specification is that it should run noiselessly.”

PS: Our friend Reto Stamm is working on beeminding posture using
lumoback.com

On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM, Alys lady.alys@gmail.com wrote:

This might be of interest to anyone who would like to, for example,
have a Beeminder graph for something that is not intrinsically easy to
quantify:

“How To Measure Anything, Even Intangibles”
http://quantifiedself.com/2010/08/how-to-measure-anything-even-i/

“… how does one go about measuring happiness? What about compassion,
or public influence, or creativity? These are more intangible, harder
to pin down to a number that means anything. Douglas Hubbard has
written an impressive work called “How To Measure Anything: Finding
the Value of Intangibles in Business.” …”


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups “Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
an email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
“Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
“Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
“Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com