Getting Smarter, Faster – Could Lots of Data, Video, Feedback Loops Improve the Human Condition?

There’s a convergence of thinking going on out there – from Chris Anderson’s talk on the power of web video to Tim Ferriss’s education hacks and John Hagel’s insights on Gaussian vs Power Law view of the world to Colvin’s Talent is Overrated to the Quantified Self movement to Game Layers on Reality to BJ’s insights on persuasive technology.

New Technology creates new possibilities for solving problems. Now more than ever we have the ability to measure what we’re doing and get real time feedback in a way that is engaging and compelling. We can actually experiment and figure out what works much faster.  But you need to have the appropriate world view to see the problems clearly. (See Hagel) And then you need a methodology (or a hack) to figure out the problems worth solving that require the least amount of effort with the greatest result (there’s that 80/20 law you know.)  (See Ferriss)

And then you need to design a bitchin game that gives you an epic win.  (See Jane McGonigal)

In this video, Chris Anderson talks how web video powers global innovation.  My big take-away, which he didn’t really point out, is that people rapidly learn by watching, doing, imitating.  Writing and mathematic symbols and equations are 1.0 technologies that scale certain types of knowledge.  Film, television, video, web video – visual technologies, scale demonstrative education.  Show me how to do it.  Show tens of millions how to do it.   

Taking a page from Tim Ferriss, video lets you study and learn what works and what doesn’t work in great detail.  Then you can focus on the key techniques that really matter, thus creating a delibate practice (Geoff Colvin).  Examining video of your own practice gives you a feedback loop, and a series of your performances lets you measure your progress. (Quantified Self).   Your desire to improve (motivation) coupled with cheap, easy-to-use technology (ability) plus an inspirational video (the trigger) drives you to new habits and behavior change. (Fogg)

Take the Deep Dive: – ‘know thyself’ through self measurement

Geoff Colvin- Talent is Overrated – deliberate practice through intrinsic motivation

John Hagel – The Power of Power Laws – Do you see the world as a bell curve or as a power curve?

Tim Ferriss’ Blog – How to Do Anything in Less Time & Effort with bigger results

BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model – how to get people to do what you want (through technology)

Jane McConigal – Reality isn’t Broken – Game Designers Can Fix It – Get your epic win!