Staring into the Black Mirror with The Most Connected Man on Earth  by@Limarc

Staring into the Black Mirror with The Most Connected Man on Earth

Chris Dancy is known as The Most Connected Man on Earth and for good reason. All throughout his day, Chris is connected to numerous sensors that collect the data that make up our lives. Chris uses this data to inform decisions, alter his behavior, and become the most ideal version of himself he can be. He has been featured on Showtime, The WSJ, NPR, Ted Talks, and more! "I only hope in this time frame we find a way to measure spirituality and connectedness, energy or that something that makes us believe in magic and create hope for each other. What good are heartbeats if they don't last in some way, forever? " - Chris Dancy
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@Limarc
Limarc Ambalina

Hacker Noon's VP of Growth by day, VR Gamer and Anime Binger by night

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It is with great pleasure that I announce our next Slogging AMA guest Chris Dancy!

Chris is known as The Most Connected Man on Earth and for good reason. All throughout his day, Chris is connected to numerous sensors that collect the data that make up his life. Data that most of us don't even notice or think about.

Chris uses this data to inform decisions, alter his behavior, and become the most ideal version of himself he can be.

He has been featured on Showtime, The WSJ, NPR, Ted Talks, and more!

This Slogging thread by Limarc Ambalina, Sal Kimmich, Nicolas Ng, Natasha Nel, Jack Boreham, Mónica Freitas, Amy Shah, Sidra, Chris Dancy, Ellen Stevens, Zaeem Shoaib, David Smooke and Katarina Andrejević occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.

Limarc AmbalinaSep 23, 2021, 12:03 PM

Welcome our next Slogging AMA guest, Chris Dancy!

Please ask him anything on technology, IoT, healthcare, what he means when he says we are moving towards an "Internet of Humanity", his life as The Most Connected Man on Earth, or anything else you want his opinion on!

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Limarc AmbalinaSep 23, 2021, 12:04 PM

Thanks again for being here Chris Dancy we really appreciate it!

Sal KimmichSep 23, 2021, 12:27 PM

Hey Chris Dancy Thanks for jumping on for an AMA! I'm curious to know what aspects of your self/activity you specifically choose NOT to track, and what the reasons are for those exclusions?

Chris DancySep 23, 2021, 8:36 PM

When I started logging things nearly 2007 I didn't want to track porn. While I had kept a spreadsheet of guys I had slept with from 1995 until 2008, porn felt too personal. I ended up recording porn though after all by 2010!

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Nicolas NgSep 23, 2021, 12:32 PM

Hello Chris Dancy! I'm wondering if there was ever a piece of information that your sensors gathered that caught you off guard and revealed something that you never expected?

Chris DancySep 23, 2021, 8:37 PM

Yes! During meditation I would sometimes have panic attacks, without actually realizing it! I have some great graphics of myself in meditation at 60 beats per min then shooting to 120beats in a few seconds. Normally I feel my panic attacks, but the meditation panic attacks, never registered with me mentally!

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Jack BorehamSep 23, 2021, 12:54 PM

Hi Chris Dancy. Great to have you here for the AMA. Just wondering, what do you mean by the term Internet of humanity? What does that mean for us in the future?

Chris DancySep 23, 2021, 8:40 PM

Hello Jack!
The "Internet of humanity" is a nod to something I called my system in 2008, which was "Inner-Net". That was riff off "Internet".

The original "Inner-Net" was the idea that we are webs of information and we needed a way to surf ourselves.

The Internet of Humanity is how we are all emotionally, spiritually, and physically linked now through our behavior.

There is a type of Humanity API that exists, news moves, through it, disasters move through it, fears, hopes, and dreams.

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Mónica FreitasSep 23, 2021, 1:13 PM

Hi Chris Dancy. Glad to have you here! You once said that your personal mission was to make everyone understand what they could do with their information/data if they had access to it and cared about it. Do you think that over these past years you've been able to fulfil that goal?

Chris DancySep 23, 2021, 8:45 PM

It is still my mission to help people see the power of their own data. Unfortunately, it's hard. People are not as interested in their lives as Mark Zuckerberg!

I believe in time everyone will come to care about their connections, but for now, most are too distracted by the convenience of getting something for nothing than understanding how things arrive in their life!

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Amy ShahSep 23, 2021, 2:59 PM

Hi Chris Dancy. As a very connected human being, do you ever feel the need to have less data? Do you ever feel overloaded by the data you collect? Is there ever a time when you ignore some of the data you have collected because it is not relevant or not helpful?

Chris DancySep 23, 2021, 8:49 PM

100% NEVER! There are times when I actively IGNORE my data, for instance after a bad night's sleep, I CANT see the numbers, they will ruin my day.

If I'm waiting for a customer to pay, I try not to look at my credit card balanced!

Do you ever feel overloaded by the data you collect? 

No! I have created a way to live in harmony with my data now that filters everything through my family values. So the data is actually really beautiful now!

Is there ever a time when you ignore some of the data you have collected because it is not relevant or not helpful?

Yes, see my first answer about sleep and credit card balances!

Natasha NelSep 23, 2021, 12:44 PM

Hey Chris Dancy! So cool to have you here for this AMA :male-singer: I'm curious about the frameworks and first principles (or "rules") you've established for (a) evaluating the data you gather about yourself; and (b) living your life, as a result of those evaluations?

Chris DancySep 23, 2021, 8:43 PM

Hi Natasha Nel
My rules were the FIRST thing I created!!

HARD DATA
SOFT DATA
CORE DATA

Everything Fell into one of these buckets. Once I started seeing my life, I needed a way to weight the data on if I could have "played" with it or "manipuatled it".

HARD DATA was data that was picked up that I probably had no direct hand in manipuatling. For instance, heart rate, respiration are examples of things we tend NOT to manipualte.

CORE DATA is data that I will NEVER have a hand in. Things like genetics, blood work, etc.

SOFT DATA was everything else, spending, posts to social media, emails, etc. All things I collect but since I know I'm collecting, I'm "performing"

The weighting system was to evaluate what was changing FOR REAL.

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SidraSep 23, 2021, 3:01 PM

Hey Chris, welcome! and thank you so much for joining the AMA :) Super excited to have you here. I feel that advocating for an idea is easier when you have not fully experienced it. Our cognitive biases are stronger with thought experiments or ideas. However, once you dive deep into the practical application of an idea and experience it, rational minds find loopholes, challenges, and setbacks. Being the most connected man on earth, have you find certain loopholes and setbacks in the idea of 'Internet for Humanity'? 🙂

Chris DancySep 23, 2021, 8:52 PM

Being the most connected man on earth, have you find certain loopholes and setbacks in the idea of 'Internet for Humanity'? 🙂

Yes! I learned years ago that if I wanted ideas to stick, feedback loops had to go not only to me but to people I care about. So if I ignore an alert long enough, it is sent to my family to remind me. I also sent notifications to the future, by placing things in a database that show up in the future.

For example, if I'm anxious or scared, I'll write to myself in a journal entry for weeks from now and tell myself how it all worked out. Strangely enough, when the day comes, I was always right.

Amy ShahSep 23, 2021, 8:50 PM

Thanks so much for the response. It does help me understand how you use the data to your advantage!

Limarc AmbalinaSep 24, 2021, 4:45 AM

Very interesting points brought up Chris! How did this journey start? Did you set out with the goal of becoming the most connected man in the world, or did it happen organically based on changes you made in your life for their own sake?

Secondly, there is a justified worry that the data we collect will be shared with the companies who own the tools we collect the data with. For example, I've definitely NOT read all of Amazon Alexa's terms and conditions because I'm not a lawyer and don't have that kind of time to read the TOS for every item I purchase. My voice commands could 100% be used to train Alexa and I'm not aware of it.

Do you care about this aspect of data privacy? If so, how do you ensure that the sensors and tools you use aren't leaking your data to the company that made them?

Chris DancySep 24, 2021, 12:20 PM

One day in the mid 2000's I was looking at my internet search history and realized, everything i desired, feared or wanted was right there, and i wanted it to be visible!


Did you set out with the goal of becoming the most connected man in the world, or did it happen organically based on changes you made in your life for their own sake?


Oh goodness, no. I can't even imagine having that much forethought, well, I guess I can now! As I became aware of the powerful way of seeing your life for decisions, it evolved organically.


Secondly, there is a justified worry that the data we collect will be shared with the companies who own the tools we collect the data with. For example, I've definitely NOT read all of Amazon Alexa's terms and conditions because I'm not a lawyer and don't have that kind of time to read the TOS for every item I purchase. My voice commands could 100% be used to train Alexa and I'm not aware of it.

Do you care about this aspect of data privacy?

I care about data safety, but privacy means nothing to me. It's a nice way of dividing people. 100 years ago, we had no concept of privacy, a 100 years from now, we won't again.

If so, how do you ensure that the sensors and tools you use aren't leaking your data to the company that made them?

Ellen StevensSep 24, 2021, 6:34 AM

Hello there Chris, welcome! What music do you listen to? What’s an album you’re currently into?

Chris DancySep 24, 2021, 12:17 PM

Ellen Stevens I'm a huge 80's fan, but my daily music tastes are actually driven by the season! Because we just switched to fall here in North America I'm listening to a lot of Celtic music now!

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David SmookeSep 24, 2021, 2:02 PM

Hey Chris Dancy what an interesting life you are living! What did you think when you first ran into the internet?

Chris DancySep 24, 2021, 4:37 PM

I'm free. I'm finally free. I ran a BBS for LGBT folks in the early 90s so I was used to communications via computers. Then I used a lot of forums with Compserv and AOL. But it wasn't until I downloaded a browser and minimized AOL, that I realized, I was free.

Everything about the internet was freeing. It starts with an address bar, you can go anywhere. Once there, you can click on anything. You can go back, go forward, save what you see for later and go as often as you like.

The internet was a dream come true for me.

Katarina AndrejevićSep 24, 2021, 4:03 PM

Oh wow, this is a very interesting AMA, Chris Dancy 🔥 I was wondering, when forming romantic relationships, what was the most unexpected (or not apparently related) change in the data you noticed?

Chris DancySep 24, 2021, 4:40 PM

Blood oxygen and body temp. I used to scan the guys I would bring home to see if they were interested in me. I would show them how devices worked and then track if they got aroused. For guys that were interested, I would explain what I was seeing and ask if they had the aligned emotion or was it just a nervous reaction. If it was real for them, I'd ask them if they wanted an HIV test (I kept them in the kitchen) and I'd make them a quick snack while we waited for the results.

My husband today calls it the night he had a swab and a sandwich and fell in love.

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Amy ShahSep 24, 2021, 4:10 PM

Chris Dancy You've given me a lot to think about! If a person wanted to become like you, more connected and aware of their data, what first steps would you recommend to them? And what devices would you recommend to help them keep track?

Chris DancySep 24, 2021, 4:42 PM

If a person wanted to become like you, more connected and aware of their data, what first steps would you recommend to them? 

Measure what you care about. The challenge with a lot of apps and devices, is they TELL you what to care about. In our world today we are constantly fighting with the bigger issue of, we don't know how to measure what we care about, so we care about what we measure.

To start, ask yourself, what's important, not what's possible. Then figure out HOW you would measure success. THEN find an app or device!

And what devices would you recommend to help them keep track?
The coolest tracking device right now is the Amazon Halo. It gives you feedback on how you talk to others.

Zaeem ShoaibSep 24, 2021, 1:58 PM

Hey Chris Dancy Great to have you here for this AMA.
First, I'd like to ask if you use the data you collect for self improvement in any way? Or has the data you collected helped you improve certain aspects of your life?

Secondly, as technology evolves, we are getting access to more and more data right at our fingertips. No one would've thought about wearable devices being able to monitor blood oxygen levels on the fly 15 years ago and maybe 15 years from now, we'd be able to get even more data like blood sugar levels, hormone levels and other information about our bodies' functions and chemical processes as well. When that happens (because it's only a matter of when, not if), and since you mentioned having a rule on 'core data,' do you still plan to have any limits on what data you want to gather?

Chris DancySep 24, 2021, 4:44 PM

It was all self-improvement in the beginning but that changes as you actually improve. Then it's about goals, milestones, and in the end, it's about preservation and legacy. Data is just proof you tried.

Secondly, as technology evolves, we are getting access to more and more data right at our fingertips. No one would've thought about wearable devices being able to monitor blood oxygen levels on the fly 15 years ago and maybe 15 years from now, we'd be able to get even more data like blood sugar levels, hormone levels and other information about our bodies' functions and chemical processes as well. When that happens (because it's only a matter of when, not if), and since you mentioned having a rule on 'core data,' do you still plan to have any limits on what data you want to gather?

No. I only hope in this time frame we find a way to measure spirituality and connectedness, energy or that something that makes us believe in magic and create hope for each other.

What good are heartbeats if they don't last in some way, forever?

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Limarc AmbalinaSep 27, 2021, 6:12 AM

Thanks so much for joining us for this incredibly insightful AMA into your journey Chris Dancy!

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