Re: Late Adopter

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POSTED BY HEEBIE-GEEBIE
ON 04.20

[...]
Blaze

I see what you did there.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:11 AM
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No, man, like, really: why am I so sedentary?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:14 AM
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I have one of those heart rate monitoring watches and it's helpful in the gym when I remember it, which is about a quarter of the time. My phone has a fitness monitor that bugs me to take more steps each day, but it's highly ignorable. The one thing I did find kind of handy was My Fitness Pal, which has a shit-ton of foods along with caloric values so you can track your intake.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:14 AM
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I find those food trackers to be at odds with making meals at home. If I'm throwing a bunch of odds and ends in a pan and then throwing it over something like rice or noodles for the kids, the tracker de-incentivizes that in favor of things that are pre-packaged or very standard recipes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:19 AM
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I did the calculations for a few meals I regularly make (add up the caloric value of the ingredients, essentially) which helped, but I also eat a lot of prepared foods so tracking was pretty easy for me. When I go through one of my periodic bouts of cooking for myself I tend to either lose track or just crudely estimate based on similar things for which there is a caloric value available.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:22 AM
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If you want to test the theory that sunk-cost motivation is counterproductive, get a cheap-ass pedometer you don't care if you break or lose (this one is durable imx, I've used it about 2 years now and changed the battery once) and just write down your steps in a log or spreadsheet every week.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:41 AM
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Captain's Log, Stardate 13125.8: 15,424 steps. 3,400 calories. 7.6 hours sleep. 1.2 hours in bed not asleep. Alien laydeez!


Posted by: Opinionated Kirk | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:44 AM
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If you're social about it, they can work. If you have friends around the nation with a fitbit, you can participate in weekly challenges, etc. They do a good job (for a while) of providing a motivating nudge. People with similar jobs are best; if one of you gets 15,000 steps as part of their job, they're in a different league than us desk jockeys.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:54 AM
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I have a friend who manages a grocery store. He gets 20,000 steps every work day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:55 AM
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I find being social about this stuff colossally embarrassing. I don't know why. It's like I'm suddenly in 8th grade.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:56 AM
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I don't want all my friends to know what days I don't really get off the couch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 7:58 AM
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10: That means it's working!

"I got the Fitbit Blaze and now I feel 20 years younger!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:00 AM
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I started paying attention to my steps maybe two years ago, when I realized my new phone was doing it without asking me, and I got ashamed that my phone knew I wasn't walking much. (Yes, I anthropomorphize my phone enough to be ashamed in front of it. Wanna make something out of it?)

I kept up with an average 10K steps a day for over a year, and I really did find that I felt a lot fitter and more energetic because of it. But on the other hand it was easier for me because I could that much walking into my routine by just messing with my commute and getting lunch a reasonable distance from the office -- I probably would have had more trouble if it was more of a logistical effort.

And then I kind of stopped tracking over the last year, because it's been a complicated year a lot of ways, and I've dropped a bunch of stuff.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:02 AM
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11: There are days that you don't get off the couch??? How embarrassing for you!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:02 AM
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Somehow, I feel better about getting up and going for a walk because I have yet to hit 10,000 steps than I do about getting up and going for a walk because I want to hatch a Pokemon egg.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:06 AM
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But on the other hand it was easier for me because I could that much walking into my routine by just messing with my commute and getting lunch a reasonable distance from the office -- I probably would have had more trouble if it was more of a logistical effort.

This is where country life sux the most. Although this summer, the kids' summer camp and swim lessons will both be in easy walking distance, which I'm pleased about.

Over break, I visited my aunt and uncle, and my aunt now does the funniest Snoopy dance shuffle in the evening, while everyone's just hanging around, in order to get her steps up.

It looked ridiculous but also intriguing, like something I could conveniently implement.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:06 AM
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MyFitnessPal doesn't tell friends exactly what you're doing; it generates a status update for successes but nothing for failures. Similarly, when we're on Habitica quests we all get dinged for some teammate failings but we have no idea what those are exactly (they might just be failing to check off everything before rollover).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:07 AM
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It's hard to be intriguing and convenient.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:07 AM
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Speaking of emotions and smartphones, does anyone feel weird when someone else borrows their phone, or when having to use someone else's phone? Or is it just me?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:08 AM
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Very much so.

I guard my phone as if I actually had secrets, which I completely don't. But I hate handing it to anyone else.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:11 AM
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A stranger passing on the street asked if she could borrow my phone. And not hesitantly or politely either. Just something like "I need your phone to make a call." I said no and she called me rude.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:13 AM
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When I was focusing more on the 10K steps, I kept the house tidier some, because I'd be at, say, 9.5K after dinner, and I'd want a sane looking reason to be pacing around the apartment. So that was a nice side-effect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:16 AM
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Who needs reasons to pace? I have literally worn bare patches into carpets.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:18 AM
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A stranger passing on the street asked if she could borrow my phone. And not hesitantly or politely either. Just something like "I need your phone to make a call." I said no and she called me rude.

"I need your kidney to have a piss".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:23 AM
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23: I pace either when I'm talking or when I'm trying to write. I guess it must have to do with trying to sneak up on the right words.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:25 AM
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25: Me too, and in addition when I'm trying to read, while teaching, and basically all the time when I'm not sitting down.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:27 AM
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An interesting article about how our peers influence our exercise... and which ones really motivate us.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:27 AM
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getting up and going for a walk because I want to hatch a Pokemon egg.

Moby's crazy, but we keep him around because we need the eggs.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:30 AM
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I meant to include a few quotes:

On the same day on average, an additional kilometer run by friends influences an individual to run an additional 0.3 kilometers. An additional kilometer per minute run by friends pushes a person to run an additional 0.3 kilometers per minute faster than usual. If those friends run an extra 10 minutes, that person is likely to run about three minutes longer than they would have. If those friends burn an extra 10 calories, that person will end up burning 3.5 more calories.

"Comparisons to those ahead of us may motivate our own self-improvement, while comparisons to those behind us may create 'competitive behaviour to protect one's superiority,' " they explained. "Our findings are consistent with both arguments, but the effects are much larger for downward comparisons than for upward comparisons."
So people who we think are our closest fitness "peers" -- particularly those who we think are slightly lower on the totem pole relative to ourselves -- are most likely to get us to push our limits.

Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:31 AM
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If I want to be able to run 8 minute miles again, I need to find some faster friends. Science!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:33 AM
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particularly those who we think are slightly lower on the totem pole relative to ourselves

This shows bad character, but that definitely works for me. I will work much harder to stay slightly ahead of someone I think I'm fitter/stronger/faster than; if I think the competition is better than I am, on the other hand, I go straight to not caring.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:39 AM
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Honestly, I think that's how the Republicans get the middle class to vote for keeping the poor down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:44 AM
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27: does anyone know what the current consensus is on Russ Lyons' critique of Fowler's and Christakis's social network research? (http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news-archive/19381.html)

The last time I asked someone at Midwestern University, I got the impression that things were fine there were just minor flaws and there was no need to change gears. It seemed convenient but it could be right for all I know.


Posted by: Blank Stare | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:44 AM
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I pace either when I'm talking or when I'm trying to write.

Like the 18th century poet who composed by placing a pint of wine on a table at either end of the long gallery in his patron's stately home, and walking back and forth between them, taking a drink before he turned around. His principle was that by the time the wine was finished, the poem wasn't going to get any better.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 9:20 AM
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Krugman is in favor.
I got a Flex for free through work and it (they) were a piece of shit. I say they because I went through four before I gave up, even though we get a financial incentive for tracking and meeting goals. First one the band broke and fell off somewhere along my bike ride. Next one and last one stopped charging. Third one kept rebooting itself. The fact that they kept replacing them for free makes me think they weren't built so robustly in the first place.
Mostly it encouraged me to sit in meetings fiddling my hand under the table to get extra points which was also not a good look. If you put it on a Roomba you get lots of credit, so I guess our robot overlords really are improving our lives.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 9:28 AM
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||

another Russian invasion followed, this time assisted by 7000 Tartars and 1600 tracking dogs to nose out fugitives.
Way to rub it in.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 9:33 AM
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36 ?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 9:59 AM
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37: Livonia, c.1501. Last gasp of the Teutonic Knights. (But the Russians had other things to do, so the Knights didn't get round to dissolving themselves for another 60 years.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 10:13 AM
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I had the smallest Fitbit (the Zip) for a couple of years and liked the fact that it was totally passive monitoring - -remember to wear it, and everything else just happens. I eventually went one step up to the One, also mostly a step counter and not a fitness watch, for the rechargeable battery and stair-counting. I do go weeks without remembering to look at the numbers, but when I do, it's there.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 10:31 AM
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38: Didn't they become the Duchy of Prussia? That worked out pretty well. For a while.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 10:53 AM
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And the Duchy of Livonia. But they were vassals of their former enemies, and ritter no more. Very declasse.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 11:01 AM
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Ah. I was thinking more in terms of Sigismond's progeny marrying into Brandenburg. But I guess that doesn't help the (no longer) Knights in general, except in the sense of being ruled by fellow German speakers.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 11:13 AM
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Guh, I meant Albert, not Sigismond.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 11:14 AM
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42: As one of the knights thought of him, 'It happened with us lords of Prussia, as it happened with the frogs who took a stork as their king.'


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 11:23 AM
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I used to use my phone for the steps. It was great. Did you know that the loop around the Boston Public Garden is almost exactly half a K? That's like 600 odd steps! Go there and back, go around a couple of times, and I'd have myself like a couple thousand steps in one go. Must accumulate steps. I was hitting 14 or 15 pretty much every day.

My calorie intake probably did most of the work, but I lost 40 pounds in six months like that.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 11:30 AM
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Fitness trackers: bollocks. Bike to work, if you can. Walk to work, second choice. The car, and low density, dispersed settlement patterns are your enemies.


Posted by: Charlie W | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 1:09 PM
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low density, dispersed settlement patterns are your enemies.

The worst kind of enemies to have, because they're very hard to do significant damage to with artillery fire.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 1:19 PM
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I have a refurbished fitbit charge I bought on the cheap-ish. I like it, I can ignore it and not feel bad, but if I get to 8500-9000 steps, it sometimes will encourage me to jog in place until I hit 10,000. I also enjoy knowing how much I actually walk in my daily life through passive tracking, and I used it as an odometer for running (which I do very very rarely). The sleep monitoring is interesting, but I'm not convinced it's extremely accurate. I ignore the calories burned part because it has no way to be accurate.

I mainly enjoy the fact I'm now wearing a watch again, because I love being able to tell time without pulling out my phone. I've also set a weekday vibrating alarm, which is enough to wake me up, but not so jarring that it bothers me if I'm already up or trying to go back to sleep. I could probably buy a $15 watch at Target that does the same thing, but the step counter is value added for me.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 1:28 PM
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Also, my superego is tiresome enough that it doesn't need any help from external pressure, so I definitely don't compete with my friends on exercise.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 1:29 PM
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Bike to work, if you can. Walk to work, second choice. The car, and low density, dispersed settlement patterns are your enemies.

I've got bad news about rural semi-Texas.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 1:54 PM
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Ha. I meant to write semi-rural Texas, but I think I'll just let that stand.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 1:55 PM
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50: But the good news, according to LB, is that you're hard to take out with artillery.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 2:01 PM
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I've had two fitness trackers -- the Fitbit Flex and a little Jawbone UP medallion. I find them very, very motivating but generally very ugly. I also can get a little obsessive about it so I tend not to use them much.


But I wanted to note re: counting calories, which I don't do that often -- I've found as someone who cooks a lot that there's about a two-week window where it's really annoying to use because so many of the recipes have to be put in/estimated, but that once that period's past, it's much easier, and for me, at least, most of the benefit was that tracking food tends to make me eliminate mindless snacking.

I'd like to try to fit in more walking/biking, but I live just far enough away from work for that to be a pain in the ass, plus daycare dropoffs.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 2:10 PM
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52. Santa Anna disagrees.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 2:42 PM
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54: Well, you can take out one low density, dispersed settlement with artillery just fine. The problem, as Santa Anna discovered a few weeks later, is getting the rest of them.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 5:16 PM
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By the way, anyone with an iPhone, you know that it counts steps by default unless you tell it not to? Apple Health (which is in my app folder "Stupid Apple crap I can't delete") tracks automatically.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 5:19 PM
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55. Up to a point, Lord Copper. Are we to suppose that if he hadn't remembered the Alamo, Houston would have pratted about aimlessly for a few weeks and then retreated into Louisiana?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 5:28 PM
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56: I did not know that. Though as my phone spends long periods sitting in the pocket of a jacket hung up in the hall or lying forgotten on the kitchen table, its data aren't exactly accurate. On one day last month it recorded only 9 steps in a 24-hour period - that wouldn't even have got me from my bed to the bathroom and back.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 6:07 PM
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There's a not very accurate pedometer built into the iphone 6 (and newer). I gained eight pounds in the last year. According to my phone I used to walk four miles/day. Now I walk two. So that's good to know.


Posted by: cccmmm | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 6:52 PM
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I have used my iPhone pedometer, but i often don't have it on me - it's at my desk or in my purse.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 8:10 PM
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sit in meetings fiddling my hand under the table to get extra points

Is that how they're writing it up in reports to HR these days?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-20-17 9:12 PM
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57: Not at all. But Houston certainly benefited from having a number of friendly unconquered dispersed settlements available while he was running around waiting for his opportunity. The point of dispersal as a defense to artillery is not that it erects some kind of magic shield against shells - it's that the shells can only take out a small portion of your assets at one time.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-21-17 12:09 AM
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61: Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-17 5:01 AM
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While trying to quit vaping, a month ago I got a Nintendo Wii thinking that I would use it to replace suboptimal habits with more optimal ones. It went great until I threw out my back and spent the next week in agony.

Anyway, Wii Fit came with a tracker. Debating whether to us it. But I think my smartwatch has one, too.


Posted by: trumwill | Link to this comment | 04-21-17 6:21 AM
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I went ahead and bought one yesterday. I actually found Krugman's testimony very compelling. We shall see!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-21-17 7:37 AM
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You bought a Juicero!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-21-17 7:41 AM
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+?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-21-17 7:41 AM
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A little bit of light reading for Heebie while she's pacing.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-21-17 8:59 AM
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68: I have my grandmother's copy of that same book! I don't think she actually found it easy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-17 6:15 AM
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I forget all my calculus between uses and use Wikipedia when I need to do use some.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-17 6:53 AM
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The link in 68 was not at all what I expected but I think I love the author. Pity about his long-deadness.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 04-22-17 9:05 AM
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The opinionated academic discovered the built-in pedometer app on her phone not so long ago. This had a couple of results - for a start, it got her regularly doing 15k steps/10km a day, stripping off weight, and going from someone who treated exercise as a weird declassé fetish on my part to refusing to go through a day without marching miles.

On the other hand, the Foucault surveillance aspect of it is pretty awful. This is someone who thinks any kind of performance management is basically anathema, but who will walk in circles around the block to push it to a round number.

Also, the tolerance builds up pretty quick; fairly soon, the reinforcement from the app notification going off wasn't enough, so the daily report has to be shown to me or indeed anyone else around for extra pats on the back. Becoming a pedometer bore is very much on the cards.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-24-17 1:23 AM
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