What We Are Reading

Welcome to another week of peeking into our QS reading list!
  • Can Vitamin D Replace Sunlight? Does the timing of Vitamin D intake affect sleep? This post on Seth Roberts blog also produced interesting comments. One of the things to think about is: “What constitutes a discovery?”
  • Seeing Your Emotional Blind Spots by Martha Beck: “It isn’t the inability to perceive information but the astonishing ability to perceive information while automatically refusing to allow it into consciousness.” This article sparks some wonder: 1. how can tracking help us to see our blind spots, and 2. what blind spots do we have with respect to our data?
  • Geographical Proximity and the Transmission of Tacit Knowledge by P. Desrochers, in The Review of Austrian Economics, 14 (2001) [PDF]: Why did it turn out that meeting each other face-to-face at Quantified Self was so much more powerful as a form of knowledge sharing than simply using online tools? There are some good clues in this article about geographical proximity and “tacit knowledge.”
  • Everything I n/ever wanted to know about myself I learned from my genome by David Hale, who is adopted and newly empowered (Ignite video): “Genetic testing took away the connection someone else gave me, and helped me see that I’m free to be whoever I want.”
  • Untangling the Debate: The Ethics of Human Enhancement’, by Patrick Lin and Fritz Allhoff, NanoEthics, 2 (2008). While it’s possible to question whether this sort of “debate” will prove relevant to a practice that emerges across many different domains simultaneously, this good, clear paper lays out the terms of what will be a continuing public discussion. (There is a PDF at this link too, for better layout.)
  • Sell Your Services on a New Marketplace for Experiences (GOOD): A new website called Gidsy in Berlin lets you buy and sell experiences. Since experiences have been found to make people happier than material things, this could be very interesting as it expands.
  • Between the Clinic and the Laboratory: Ethology and Pharmacology in the Work of Michael Robin Alexander Chance by Robert G W Kirk: What does this history of the origin of the animal welfare movement have to teach us about ourselves? In this fascinating paper about a relatively unknown scientist, Michael Robin Alexander Chance, we encounter an interesting problem of pharmacological research: the widely varying effects of drugs on animals, related to how they are treated in the lab.
  • 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Remember When It Didn’t Hurt) by Esther Gokhale (book). This book takes lessons from how our ancestors, babies, and some traditional cultures sit and move and sleep in a natural way that minimizes back pain. Lots of helpful pictures.
  • Analog Infoviz: Handmade Visualization Toolkit by Maria Popova. This is just for fun: using balloons, string, chalk, and stickers to graph your data.
Thanks to Steve Omohundro, @rbarooah, and @susannahfox for inspiring part of this week’s list.
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2 Responses to What We Are Reading

  1. Jake Jenkins says:

    Thank you for posting these links. I have really enjoyed them and look forward to them as much as Seth Robert’s.

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