討論逐字稿 Digital Willpower

We discussed "Why It's OK to Let Apps Make You a Better Person" an article from the Atlantic.

Concluding Statements:
I'm not a person with strong willpower. I always set goals and fail to acheive them. But I still don't want to rely on the apps we mentioned tonight too much, because I want to trust myself more, and train myself to a better life by myself. I think if I rely on apps too much, i'll lose the fundamental control power of myself.

After I bought my iPhone, I got really addicted to my apps.
"Draw Something"...
Yeah! But for me, it's about convenience, and just make my life colorful, a lot of fun. But I won't use the apps we discussed today, because I don't want to be tied up by an app, and I want to train my willpower. Apps are for the daily life, to make somthing easier. But if we really want to train for a goal, make myself more mature, or maybe more close to a good person, or my concept of a good person, I don't want to rely on apps.

Let me ask a question. What do you mean by 'a good person'. What's your definition?

I can do more things, other people can rely on me, maybe I can make money, or maybe my mom and dad can fully retire, I can have more function. and maybe feel more confident about myself, Oh, I'm a good person, I can do anything, I can be happy in my life.

So you're not good enough now.

Yes, I'm not perfect.

You're never perfect!

Like english, you can always speak more smoothly, or express your thought more quickly.

But I don't like saying 'good person'. The opposite of 'good person' is 'bad person', but we are not bad.

Okay, say 'become a person you like'.

I like that, become a person you like to be, or want to be.

I want to say, why not just accept our weakness? We all have things to improve, but why not just accept that?

That's a softer way of thinking, I like that.

And I think, most taiwanese people have willpower.

I seriously do. Just to go through your school system!

Exactly, just to go through the joint entrance exame

Burn the midnight oil.

You know, it's not an easy thing. You know, when I look back on my life, there's nothing to remember! Only exams, and studying. I think it's, yeah, boring! But we have to go through it for at least ten years. Three years of junior high, and then senior high and then college.

And even though we have job, we still have to experience that kind of challengs.

So, take it easy!

Actually, I think the willpower for everybody is a treasure, because it could help us to conqure some difficulty or some risk, or some, you know some tough situation, because we would meet some tough situations, we never think that we have good willpower, until we develop some strong will power from ourselves. So, just like when we have some tough exams, we will memorizes so many drug names, you know I never think I will remember it! But I just do it. Most of my classmates will remember it for just one day, you know, but I think the willpower is for our survival.

Discussion Notes:
What is willpower?
意志力!
So apps will enhance your willpower. Someone's arguing that.
Yeah, but what is willpower? What are we enhancing?
It's the inner drive that we want to succeed.
It's the drive to do the thing you want to do. Like, I will eat all these sunflower seeds sitting there till they're gone. So that's not about success.
Well, that's not really willpower, eating all the seeds doesn't need willpower.
That's not something that difficult.
But for someone who hates sunflower seeds.
But then that would be 'success'.
But they don't need to eat them
Their mother asked them to eat them
See? The power of mothers in taiwan culture.

Is there a difference between willpower and discipline?
Can we define discipline first?
Discipline is the rule others suggest you should follow. But willpower is something inside you, and maybe can help you to ignore or escape from some maybe bad habit or something bad.
Will power comes from you, yourself, but discipline comes from other people.
So none of the discipline comes from ourself?
That's what I'm wondering, thank you!
Not none, but discipline is a sort of expectation from other people,
I really agree with you.
And willpower is the expectation from ourself, or desire--
It's even stronger, I mean willpower.
It's more strong than discipline?
I mean, the force is stronger.
Because, if you don't follow this, then you will be punished, or someone will blame you. But if you don't have will power, then no one will blame you.
So willpower is from ourself, and discipline is from expectations from others.
So, now I know why we say discipline and self discipline
So what's the difference between willpower and self-discipline?
Self discipline is internalized discipline. it's others expectations that you've brought in to yourself and incorporate.
So my friend was correct, because I hate listening to other people, but I will listen to myself.

When you hear these words: willpower/discipline, what do you feel?
Willpower is more positive than discipline.
What do you hear when you hear discipline?
It's not free, and when I see willpower, I feel I can control whatever I want to do.
I agree.
When someone else sets some discipline, maybe I won't follow, but when I have the will poiwer, I have to maintain the willpower, and then I'll do what i need.
Yeah, willpower is to maintain, but discipline is to maintain or follow.
When I was a kid, I wil follow all the rules set by parents or teachers, but when I grew up, usually I don't really care about discipline, if the rule cannot convince myself, maybe I won't obey the rules.
Can you give us an example?
You want a story!
Me too.
It's daily life, like the traffic rules, if there's no cars, I will cross the street. if there's no cars, i don't really care about the lines.
That's okay.
But you're a teacher (laughter)
It's silly, but if there are no cars, none at all, then it's safe, why not cross the street?
When I was junior high school, I would wait for the green light to cross the street. I was a good girl.
Okay, but the thing is, my sister is like this right now. It's an issue of flexibility.
I have another story, my parents said, maybe when you grow up, you'll meet someone, then marry them and then have a baby. It's sequential. But now, I'm thinking you know, mayabe I'll have the baby first. I'm thinking, maybe there's not a lot of rules that have to be followed.
You're flexible.

Do you struggle with willpower/discipline?
You're perfect, so no!
Of course I do! I have to get up early. It's always willpower to get up early. I just want to sleep in.
I agree! I agree! Because I never want to get up early! But, i need to work.
Yeah, everyday I struggle not to have a cup of coffee.
I hear you! Because coffee makes you feel good before it makes you feel bad.
When I drink too much, it makes me feel bad, like today I had too much, but I have a headache.
Does it stop you from sleeping?
I can still sleep, but I don't feel good.
A lot of times. Maybe I have to fight with my laziness, or maybe I have a lot of work I need to do overtime, and stay in the office, or maybe spare one day of the weekend to come to the office, but I refuse!

"Humans have always found creative ways to manipulate behavior through technology--whips, speed bumps, and alarm clocks all spring to mind."
So, originally he said 'chastity belt'. I took it out, because he really pissed me off by saying that. How can you equate a chastity belt with an alarm clock? First of all they were hardly a common item, and second of all that's just saying that women being controlled by men is as natural and normal as using an alarm clock to get up in the morning. What an asshole. So anyways, what are some other ways you manipulate your own behavior through tech?
Budget control. It's an app on my phone.
But does it directly control your money, or the knowledge that you're going to type it in stop you?
Well, it's not such a strong force, it just notifies me that I spend too much.

"Individuals (and, as we'll see, philosophers) are growing increasingly realistic about how limited their decision-making skills and resolve are."
Do you think this is true?
So you mean that, when we are children, for example, we always make a wish that we will be the president, and when we grow up, we have little chance or percentage to be the president, just like that? is that what the question means?
Not so dramatic, I don't think. More like when I was in college, I could pull an all-nighter to get a project done, and I didn't care if it made me tired., but I really can't do that anymore, I don't want to be tired during the day when I'm getting all my other work done. So I'm more realistic about what energy levels I have, and plan my work better to get it all done in the day.

"Our conception of what it means to be human has become "design space." We're now Humanity 2.0, primed for optimization through commercial upgrades."
Yeah, but how could we upgrade ourselves with commercial upgrades?
Through apps!
Is it an advertisement or something? (laughter)
You know, the author does mention a lot of apps.
So it's like real life product placement, or something.
Yeah, they mention some games.
Well, I agree with this statement. For instance, now most people with facebook will rely on fb's birthday reminders.
But is that authentic?
Well, I always forget some people's birthdays.
Only that?
Well, birthday and birthday gifts
No, but here's the thing, if I write personalized greetings and then automate the computer to send it at the right time, is it not authentic?
No, becuase you didn't remember it at the right time!
But I did remember it, and I wrote something personal and nice and everything, I just let the computer take care of the part that I'm bad at!
No, it's not acceptible.

Let's discuss these apps:
GymPact is an iPhone app that combines GPS tracking and financial rewards/penalties to motivate people to go the gym.
Fail to work out as regularly as you promised yourself, GymPact -- which has users register their geographical location via a "check-in" button -- can be configured so that funds transfer to participants with better resolve.

How does this app work, in plain english?
It's an app that will track your records to go to the gym, whether or not you go to the gym on a regular basis. If you fail to do it, you'll have a punishment.
What's your punishment?
I don't know, it says 'penalties'.
What it is, is that people pool their money, and the people who keep their exercise promise or exceed it, get more money back, and those that don't get less back. It's like you're betting other people you'll exercise, and they're betting you you won't.
Is there any aspect of this app that makes you uncomfortable?
The check-in button. You must let others know where you are. So, I don't like this function. A CHECK IN BUTTON!
I wouldn't use this, so no!
No, I mean, why wouldn't you use this!
Because I don't want to excercise, I'm lazy! If I wanted to do more exercise, then I would just do it! I don't need an app to help me. And I don't think there is any attractive reward from the app, and I don't want the punishment, so I wouldn't download this.
Why do you suppose it's effective?
Wait, does anyone use this?
Apparently?
Some people like the check in button.
Some poeple might like the money.
And some people might like the colorful software. I don't know! Because I think the app is not useful!
Would you use it?
No. x5

myfitnesspal is geared towards folks who prefer the social networking route to exercise. My wife, Noreen, is thrilled with the ease by which it allows her and her iPhone-enabled sister to share caloric intake, fitness regimes, and encouraging notes. Before eating, Noreen consults the food index to determine the calories per serving of a given option. Having established a daily consumption goal, she can glance at the interface to check the number of calories she's already taken in and burned through exercise. What once was a taxing decision about how to proceed has thus become a no brainer; the program takes all the guesswork out of knowing what to do to maintain a healthy weight.

How does this app work, in plain english?

My feeling is that this app works for fitness. Maybe it will help people to set a goal and share the status with other people, and control the amount of calories they eat, and help them set a goal.
Is there any aspect of this app that makes you uncomfortable?
You know this one actually pisses me off
Why?
It's like, she's not looking at the food she eats as food, she doesn't even trust herself to know what food to choose, she has to rely on these external measures that may not even be correct. She's not thinkinga bout her own well being, or happiness, just 'does this food input measure up to some external parameters?'. She doesn't trust what her own body is telling her what it needs.
But someone maybe likes fitness, and if they like to be thin, they can do more exercise, and eat less, so she would need an app to control the base line, and helpher with this. Fitness is a very boring process, and if you can share your stories with friends, than it would be more interesting.
Yeah, but she's not caring about her real well-being, not trusting herself.
but we're thinking, you know, maybe we should feel a little hungry, maybe we cannot eat what we really want to eat, so she relies on the app to control her food.
Why do you suppose it's effective?
I think it's because there's a social aspect to it,
It makes it more fun
Others know what you are doing, social discipline.
That's what scares me, too
Is it a kind of competition too?
It is i bet!
Would you use it?
no x5
None of us like fitness.
'Fitness', like 'fit' your body into a social ideal.

ToneCheck is the emotional analogue to a spell checking tool. It's for hotheads who can't resist sending flaming e-mails. Applying connotative intelligence research, it "automatically detects the tone in your email" and, if a draft exceeds the threshold for negative emotions (e.g., anger or sadness), it offers the author a warning that can prompt revision.

How does this app work, in plain english?
It is a sweet app, because it prevents you from spreading some bad message or flaming email. It's good.
Is there any aspect of this app that makes you uncomfortable?
No!
Is there any aspect of this app that feels good to you?
This is great!
Why is it sweet?
It's helpful!
Wait, do you have problems with this? Do you send flaming emails?
No, but you know, we always use english email to communicate with colleages, sometimes you need to ask questions, or ask them to help you with something, so sometimes I cannot, I'm not so sure that someone reads their email, and she won't feel that I'm polite enough.
I don't think this app is that subtle, I don't think it's smart enough for that. Your dream is crushed~
Okay, it is not so attractive to me.
Why do you suppose it's effective?
I don't think it is VERY effective, because I never send something like, "You are very ugly" to anybody!! so, it's a sweet app, but I would never buy it.
Because you already have self control!
I don't know, do you write like that? Yeah?
So it's useless.
But sweet!
Would you use it?
no x5
Crash and burn!
I guess the author will feel angry.
He didn't sell it well enough.

StayFocused is a motivational tool for "giving your will power a break." The Chrome extension allows users to designate blocked sites that they want to limit their own access to. This self-imposed discipline resembles the strategy used by the mythical Odysseus who asked his crew to tie him to the mast because he knew he lacked the willpower to avoid succumbing to the sirens' sweet but deadly songs. Similarly, folks who know they spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter but succumb to the addiction anyway can self-police by virtually binding their own hands.

How does this app work, in plain english?

This app can block some websites for users, and keep those users from going on those websites, and then users will not spend too much time on those websites.
I think you need this!
Ha, I think you're right! I used to turn off the internet at home when I wanted to get work done, or go to a cafe without internet if I didn't trust myself, but now the problem is I need the internet to do my work! So it's really hard to have self control when it's right at your fingertips.
Is there any aspect of this app that makes you uncomfortable?
Yeah,
Really?
It blocks the website! If I wanted to do something, but someone stopped me, I would feel angry.
But you stopped youreself
I'll feel angry.
But if you waste too much time on the internet, you feel angry with yourself, and if you block the sites, you'll be angry, people are so complicated.
Since the result is the same, just use the internet as usual--
And be angry with yourself, but at least you had fun!
yeah.
Is there any aspect of this app that feels good to you?
I feel bad that I know it'll work for me, I think I should have the self control myself.
I feel good about this app because I know this can at least control SOME PERSON's behavior.
Don't look at me!
I won't have to get up in the middle of the night to yell at 'someone' to get off the internet already.
I think my parents would like this app, because I always surf on the websites on midnight.
I think parents would like it, because it can control the kids' behavior.
But the drawback is, the kids know how to use computers better than parents, so the kids will figure out how to disable it like one day later.
Would you use it?
no! x5
The truth comes out high five!
It's like you tie yourself up...
Like the picture!
We don't want to use these apps.
...it's very sad you can't control yourself, you have to rely on the app.
They should provide some suppport...
They should!
But actually they control you.
...maybe make our life more convenient to check the weather tomorrow, or check the location.
Not to tie ourself up, to cut the internet, or block the... you know.
And make us feel hungry.

Freedom is a productivity app that eliminates distraction for periods ranging from one minute to eight hours by disabling a computer's capacity for networking--cutting off Facebook, Twitter, online shopping, e-mail, instant messaging, et cetera.
That's right, freedom now means the willful use of technology to limit one's options!


It's called freedom!?!
Yes!
Actually, it's not freedom at all.
It's prison!!
hahaha I agree
You can't check email, you can't go to your facebook, you can't shop, no instant messaging, so what can you do?!?!
But, "In discipline lies true freedom".
Agree or disagree?
I'm not sure.
I think the guy that wrote that thinks that the authorities should control everything.
Discipline is a hard way of living, I don't want to be hard.
So I think this word is more negative of willpower.

No comments:

Post a Comment