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Motivation and Cool Gadgets

September 2, 2017

Author: Bianca Yang
Email: ipacifics@gmail.com
Twitter: @xdrtxrdt

Here’s a piece by Paul Rand on design thinking as gameplay. Design can be better pursued when one knows the rules and limits of the game. With rules and scoring in place, one can measure progress, which is a great motivator. I have come to believe that part of our ability to find meaning and purpose in life comes from our interest in continual improvement. We like getting better at things, and that quest for continual improvement partly fuels our motivation to get up and work.

But even the joy of getting better doesn’t completely satisfy us. We desire acknowledgement, so we will naturally drift towards pursuing activities with prestige or monetary reward or other signs of recognition attached. Money is a slightly different motivator than prestige, though, in the sense that people who need financial stability will pursue high-paying jobs that suck the life out of them so they can support their dependents. We also desire adventure and excitement, love, friendship, comfort, etc.

But I think that for people who don’t have a “purpose” in life, continual improvement can fuel their journey to find their purpose. Keep trying things until you find something that makes your heart beat fast, keep you up at night, or just make you feel happy. “When there is any doubt, there is no doubt.” (Ronin). Do not let doubt or fears hold you back. The journey is likely more fulfilling than the destination. Even paradise can get boring.

Ok. Here are some gadgets that I think would be really cool to develop or own in the next couple of years: Foldable, rollable, portable screens. What I envision is that computers will shrink to be very small slabs we carry on our bodies. We don’t normally interact with this slab because we primarily focus our efforts on manipulating data through a flexible screen we also carry. We can adapt the size of this screen to what is most appropriate given our environment. This screen can be attached to walls or any other convenient surface. When we’re done with the screen, we can just fold it back into our pockets. Eventually, I expect the computing power will be in the cloud, so most people will not need to carry around the little slab. Perhaps what most people were hoping for is a device that is more intimately integrated with our bodies, like Google Glass or HoloLens. Contact lenses may become a new form factor. I suppose we may one day forego the real world and perpetually live in a VR simulation. General purpose haptic feedback gloves. Haptic feedback gloves would be awesome for interacting with the portable screen. I like my tactile feedback.

這週末的天氣真的很奇怪。從昨天開始就變得非常熱,超過華氏 100 度。在這裡住久的人都受不了,只好待在家吹冷氣。有些人肯定會趁這幾天去看看海邊或去附近的 Yosemite 國家公園找樹蔭乘涼。我還以為我今年暑假不會見到這種乾熱的天,因為舊金山附近的氣溫平常平均 70 - 80 度,很少見到超 90 度的天。但我只好忍耐一下,因為我回 Pasadena 的時候肯定也會是這樣的氣溫。