How Much Fun Are You Having?
August 22, 2012
Did you know there's a quotient for happiness?
The Hedonic Scale is a ten point [or 9 point in some versions] happiness meter.
It was based on the insight that, since happiness is subjective, a self reported scale actually makes sense.
Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert is an excellent book that starts from this idea.
It also points out that, despite measuring it ourselves, we are unreliable forecasters and narrators.
We almost always incorrectly predict the extent and duration of happiness that will come from hypothetical events in the future.
Like winning the lottery. Or having a nice cup of tea.
We get it 'wrong' in the past too.
It's tricky, because, as Kahneman points out in his Ted talk, if you get people to report in real time, and then later from memory, they don't agree with themselves.
Because what you remember and what you experience are not the same thing.
I got a Nike Fuel band and have been trying to GOAL faithfully everyday.
I like the 'form factor'. [Apparently, this means the 'design and geometry']
And the lights.
They remind me of graphic equalizers and my friend Chris' music video for LCD Soundsystem.
And I like having something on my wrist that reminds me to think about health and activity.
According to Stephan Olander, from Nike Digital Sports, the NIKEFUEL is "based on oxygen kinetics."
“The intensity of the activity can be measured by quantifying the change in oxygen uptake between rest and being active.”
I've been speaking to people about it.
Many of my super early adopter friends...
[Quick sidenote - the term 'early adopter' and 'early adapter' are not the same.
The former comes from The Diffusion of Innovations.
The latter is a malapropism.
It could, I suppose, mean someone who adapts innovations early - but mostly it's just wrong.]
...got it the second it became available.
Most of them have stopped using it by now.
To begin with it was super fun. But then it was...the same.
It's like a game without the progression squeezing ever increasing bursts of dopamine into your mind.
The same level over and over.
I have high hopes however.
I think it's version 0.1. It's like the first raft of Kinect games.
They were a kind of gaming legerdemain - making you not think you were just making movements.
The game grammar didn't really exist yet. There was no depth.
I think the NIKEFUEL is really a new kind of interface. A way of interacting with people and ideas and systems.
Physical Installations for example - hinted at by the Nike Fuel Station.
Or persistent mutliplayer games / stories you earn points with real exercise.
Like the Nike Game On World spot hints at.
It will be way more interesting when the ecosystem evolves around it.
In the meantime, it's just numbers, not fun.
“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.” - Lord Kelvin