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Optimizing for the wrong self

April 9, 2020
I’m intrigued by the idea that the human brain is more capable than we give it credit.
When you want to move your arm, you just think about moving it and the brain does the rest. Yet, most of our technology focuses on symbolic representations
Thinking Fast and Slow
Extensive research have been done on how we learn, how we concentrate and how we perceive and interpret the world around us.
The hypothesis explains that the brain has 2 systems
System 1
fast, intuitive, emotional
System 2
slow, deliberative, logical
System 2 is where our conscious self live, we process information and decide best course of action 🎯
What about the rest? What about all those micro-decisions that we don’t even notice we make
The research found that System 2 allow us to focus on unfamiliar and unpredictable decisions. This does not mean simple.
For Example, Driving, and specifically, changing lanes
image.png
Back when you started driving, it was a challenging exercise.
keeping track of road, shall I use the gas or the break, unpredictable people, lights, your dad yelling
Now it’s a breeze that you can just hear a podcast and get out of the driver set.
Guess which System was used before and which System took over.
The Era of Paper, and later screens
Paper was invented long long long long long time ago and it’s not coincidence that it’s still used today.
Back in 1800 we level up our game and make digital paper with telegraphs and fax, up until we got our modern monitor screens.
Have you ever considered that we live in a digital world, human made
image.png
Moreover, most of the work we do is targeted to the System 2, the slow processor of sequential information
image.png
Google Search: datadog dashboard, → images → first result
How much time would you need to understand this information?
I’m sure there is a lot of complexity that requires domain knowledge, so it’s not a fair comparison
Is this the best we do today?
Beyond Screens
I’m on the search for another mean of interaction with our digital world
We have so much more at our disposal other than screens
image.png
Imagine you can physically build you Cloud Infrastructure at scale
You download a blueprint, as you read and build, you are able to understand how everything is interconnected
Each lego block could have clues about the virtual counterpart, or maybe, if you want another host, you could plug-in another Lego block and it sends add new instance request
LEDs Dashboard
Having the context of this is a web service
What do you think each light represents?
image.png
Answers:
🟢 Requests
🔴 Errors
🟡 CPU
🔵 Latency
I’m not sure if random lights are the most intuitive representation
I hope that lights + the physical representation could create a better user design
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