We started our little journey (Carl, Ji Hyun and Fred) towards devising a second-order cybernetic system for our aggregate health experiences with a discussion. As we listened to each other speak of our experiences with health we took notes. When we had each sounded off for a bit and took a step back, it seemed that we were all seeking some kind of balance and awareness of our health that wouldn’t solve any particular ailment but rather serve as a method for making health a priority. Thinking of our own health inevitably makes us healthier (or something).
Once we had all of our thoughts we began categorizing them according to their suspected positions within a cybernetic system: action (A), goal (G), environments (E), disturbances (D), sensing (S). Taking a look at our goals we noticed some very “hi-level” themes in there (maybe from our inability to commit to specifics ) and some very specific actions geared towards achieving some kind of control of basic functions.
We decided we wanted to synthesize these hi-level goals into the broadest term possible and nest a very specific technique in our second-order loop that would serve as one example as how we might get there. We thought one interesting way to achieve a “cognitive awareness of health” would be to perform some kind of physical activity (e.g. climbing stairs), tune in to our heart beat, and then clap to our heart beat. Kind of like cheap aerobics – YEAH!
I choose use this opportunity to look at an ongoing experience. In the building where I live there seems to be a constant issue of taking the trash out. People take the trash out of their apartments, but often place it in the hall just outside of the trash area.
I was originally tied up in this problem for two reasons, My apartment door is right near where people keep putting the trash and there are a few elderly people who live in my building that have told me (at length) how ridiculous it is.
I watched the movie about productivity. Right off the bat it seemed like self help. Which is ok, but there kept being activities in the group that I thought detracted from the overall experience (as a movie). I am sure it would have been good were I there.
As the talk progressed I started to get a sense of what all the activity’s purposes were. The speaker, Jane McGonigal, poses the question, what do we focus on when we decide what to do. Instead of focusing on the task. Focus on how you actions will make you feel. This seemed interesting. She told everyone to remember P.E.R.M.A. Positive Emotion, relationships, meaning, accomplishment. These act like the motivators and often determine how we end up feeling about what to are getting done. Keeping these in mind when planning we can increase our success at being productive. It starts to create a positive feed back loop. Planing to do productive things that will give us more P.E.R.M.A.
One of the activities was a group thumb war, which i thought was silly. Groups of three people put their right hands together for a three way thumb war. Then used their other hand for another three way thumb war. This allowed everyone’s hands to create a big network of thumb wars through out the group. The point was not really the thumb wars, it was to create an opportunity to foster touch. The would stimulate the production of Oxytocin in the group. If your brain is producing Oxytocin you are more likely to have feeling of Positive emotion.
She goes on to say that when we have P.E.R.M.A. we are able to flourish. That sounds good to me.
Sorry, forgot to post my blog link here. I thought I got it to auto post, guess not. http://itp.nyu.edu/~ce565/newblog/?cat=9