How do we ….really count and translate numbers?

Laser cut drawing of upset stomach 22" x 30" | Laurie Frick

Have been working hard on the concept of a unique patterned language for self-tracking. There has to be a metaphorical language that translates primal patterns of ourselves. Something far from data visualization or graphical output of data.

I think the way to come at this is to find a more instinctual approach to numerical cognition. Read about the Amazon tribe that can only count to five – we learn linear representation of numbers from using rulers, tape measures and simple arithmetic….turns out our brains can accurately recognize one, two, three and then it gets fuzzy.  Large numbers are totally abstract in our heads, a million, a billion…how many trillion was the (fill-in the blank) war/bailout/deficit?

Young kids estimate numbers on something closer to a logarithmic scale, small quantities are far apart, and then large numbers squish together as they get larger.  Just read ‘Number Sense: how the mind creates mathematics-updated’ by S. Dehaene – he is THE GUY for numerical cognition.  And Alex Bellos “Here’s looking at Euclid’ – interesting, easy ….reads like a Malcolm Gladwell book.

We humans look for patterns, like puzzles, have an intuition for simple arithmetic – there has to be a more intuitive way to convey personal tracking data about ourselves than the line charts and graphs that the gadget companies serve up.

 

This entry was posted in blog and news



  • Studio visit! American Canvas

  • Creative Mornings talk 2014 – Don’t hide!

  • TED talk at TEDxAustin 2013

  • Facebook Status

    Laurie Frick
    Facebook IconMarch 29, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Laurie Frick in Austin, Texas

    More tests in the studio.

    Facebook Picture
    Laurie Frick
    Facebook IconMarch 28, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Laurie Frick added 2 new photos.

    Tangible time. What if you turned all your daily activities into physical chunks of wood, color coded by category. Each horizontal stripe is 24 hours...and put 21 days starting with April 23 most recent on top. This is my friend Ben, who stays up about 2 hours later each day, and sleeps on a 26 hour clock...so his activities go in a nice diagonal direction. See the data, see the work.

    Facebook Picture
    Laurie Frick
    Facebook IconMarch 27, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Laurie Frick shared a link.

    Ellen Pao lost her case, but she changed the conversation. And seriously ...her claims rang true.

    Facebook Picture
    Ellen Pao Disrupts How Silicon Valley Does Business

    nytimes.com

    While the verdict on Friday was a defeat for Ms. Pao, the trial has blown open a conversation about the status of women in an industry that has always been buttoned up about its shortcomings.

  • Short-short Statement

    The work pulls from my background in engineering and high-technology to explore science, human pattern and self-tracking.

  • The art of self-surveillance

    I’ve been experimenting with a future where everything about us can be instantly measured and significantly added to my daily regimen to develop a patterned vocabulary and language for self-tracking. Steps walked, calories expended, weight, sleep cycles, time-online, activities, location, daily mood, micro-journal of food ingested are all part of my daily tracking -- simple and easy to collect using iphones and gadgets that point toward a time where complete self-surveillance is the norm.

    Numbers are abstract concepts but we recognize pattern intuitively. I’m experimenting with wall size patterns that anticipate the condition of our daily-selves. Very soon walls and spaces we occupy will be filled with easy to decode patterns – a visual record of how we feel, stress level, mood, bio-function captured, digitally recorded and physically produced using 3D printers and lasercutters. Human data portraits transcribed as pattern from the all the sensor data collected about us.

    Will it kill the mystery of being human, simply magnify our defects or will sensors and a mass of measurements acknowledge and present patterns of self-examination that lure us into a future of self-quantification that is irresistible?

  • Neuroscience?

    I’m convinced the way we unconsciously slice our time, waking and sleeping reflects the underlying structure of our mind. Capturing time-based activities is a way to reverse-engineer subtle underlying brain rhythms. Each work and installation I make is an experiment to find the exact resonant rhythm which tracks the underlying spaces and neural patterns of our mind. Not a total fantasy, this follows from an emerging theory in neuroscience.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives