I’d like to present a new way I’m thinking about health — specifically, the food that I eat. It’s not a new way to think about food, but the framing is a bit different, and I think that the framing matters. The idea is simple, and is in the name of my eating plan — which I’m not going to call a diet! The idea is this:

If you can’t measure it, don’t eat it.

Let me explain.

Some Background

I’ve been on a diet, in some form, since 2009. I’ve tried a lot of things. Fortunately, most have worked, and some…

Over the last few weeks, in my spare time I’ve been playing the new Blizzard game Overwatch, which is a team-based first-person-shooter in which two teams go head-to-head over different objectives. The game’s really great — polished, complex, engaging.

(You can see my statistics by clicking here.)

But today, I set the controller aside for a long break while playing the game’s competitive mode. How this mode works is that you get matched up against players estimated to be at your skill rating. After wins, your skill rating goes up, and after losses, the skill rating goes down.

I started…

I was at happy hour at Mandu with my friends Matt and Anne the other night, and I went on for longer than I should have about all the things that are wrong with social media — how it rewards groupthink, highlights the best and the worst, and takes us away from things out there that matter.

None of these thoughts are new, of course. But they inspired me to start up a new project, a small e-mail newsletter. (I hate the term “newsletter,” but “letter” seems like it’s missing something, doesn’t it?) I’m told that personal newsletters are hot…

How can we assure quality on the web?

Lately, I’ve been worrying about the quality of material that’s out there on the web. As an editor of a small Medium collection, a handful of articles are submitted to me each week, and I have to choose whether to allow them into the collection. I really appreciate the efforts of the writers who submit their work. At the same time, though, I get a huge amount of junk. A common reaction I have is, “Does this person think they’re being smart?” From a objective standpoint, typos and grammatical mistakes alone keep many of these articles from being…

Effects of east-facing windows?

Another little side project: I rigged together an Arduino, an Ethernet Shield, and a photometer in the apartment. You can take a look at the code — mostly spliced together through different tutorials — on my Github. It takes a reading of the light in the apartment every 15 seconds and uploads it to Xively, which handles the visualization. Here’s what it looks like over the last three days:

We see a neat, regular pattern. I’m not exactly sure what the general patterns indicate — this is all hypothesis at this point — but we see a peak in the…

This outliner is perfect for blogging, notes, and more

I’m excited to share a brand new tool with you today — a web app called Fargo built by Internet pioneer Dave Winer. You’ll want to check this out if you want a simple, streamlined tool to take notes, organize thoughts and data, and easily publish to the Web.

When you visit the Fargo page, you’re asked to authorize your Dropbox account — click here to sign up if you don’t have a free account — and just like that you’re faced with a fresh outline page. Take your notes almost like you would with a word processor…

Go crazy, folks, go crazy

For the second year in a row, February marks the beginning of baseball card season for me. I recently purchased a jumbo hobby box of Topps 2014 Series 1 cards and am excited to see if I got anything good.

What treasures lurk within these wrappers?

A jumbo box is filled with 10 packs of 50 cards each, so it’s really easy to go through them if you don’t slow down and take your time. So as a result I have a little rule with myself: Every time I go for my Saturday long run, I get to open a pack as a reward for my efforts.

Today’s pack didn’t have anything too fantastic in it, but it did have a few Cardinals and a gold parallel card I just put up on Ebay.

A copy of this note can be found here. Follow me on Twitter!

Upsides and downsides

I’ve had a tangerine-colored pair of Google Glass for five days now and thought I would share some initial impressions.

Downside: First, although I’m platform agnostic (psychologically speaking), I am set up in “Apple Land,” not “Google World.” It is a big change of pace to think of Google Contacts, Hangouts, and Google+ instead of iMessages and iChat. As a result a lot of functionality is unclear to me. If I take a picture and share it with a friend, I have no idea how they’re receiving it — via SMS? through…

How certainty leads us astray

Imagine you are a game show contestant and the host asks a simple question: “The island of Corsica belongs to which country?”

If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking “Italy.” If asked if that were your final answer, you’d say yes — you’re probably confident “Italy” is the answer.

Unfortunately, though, your confident memory is wrong. Corsica belongs to France.

Over the last five years, I’ve collaborated with Dr. Henry L. Roediger, III to investigate the degree to which our confidence predicts the accuracy of our memories (or our knowledge about the world, as in the…

There are two kinds of people with opinions in the world: the professionals, and the amateurs. The truce between them is not an easy one. It’s easy to see why: Professionals recognize the value of expertise and see amateurs creeping in on their craft. Amateurs trust their own subjective experience and believe in the wisdom of the crowds. …

Andy DeSoto

I'm a cognitive psychologist. I write about behavioral science, technology, local business, and baseball. All views are my own.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store