better living through science

A while back I wrote a script to analyze our GnuCash account. A few months ago, I added a quick little feature to predict how much money we’re going to spend this month – basically just taking the existing values and extrapolating to the end of the month, disregarding stuff that is largely the same like the mortgage payment and bills. So every time I run the script I get an updated projection of how much money we’ll spend this month.

For something so simple, it’s surprising how it’s changed my behavior. I’m very much more conscious about spending money now, and last month we spent the least amount we have in a while. Of course, that’s just one data point. It’s similar as the idea behind the Google PowerMeter – if you can measure something well you’re more likely to think about it more and conserve when you can.

In a similar vein, the Wall Street Journal writes about not getting enough sleep and a device called the Zeo which tells you how well you slept the next morning. Again, the idea is that you can try out different things (cutting out caffeine longer before bedtime, etc.) and see how they affect your sleep patterns. Cool stuff! Yet another study shows that sleep is important and helps you learn.

2 thoughts on “better living through science”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s