Seth Roberts Interview With Pictures

This sidebar appeared in an article about self-tracking (only for subscribers) by James Kennedy, who works at The Future Laboratory in London. The top photo is at a market near my apartment. Below that are photos of my sleep records, my morning-faces setup, my butter, and my kombucha brewing jars. Back then I was comparing three amounts of sugar (each jar a different amount). Now I’m comparing green tea/black tea ratios.

12 Replies to “Seth Roberts Interview With Pictures”

  1. Another contribution that I think you’ve made is the realization of how decidedly low-tech *real* progress can be. I like the emphasis on paper, wood, real food…other than the screens, all simple tools. No watch. Good man.

    You look 38 or 48 in that picture.

    1. Thanks, TD. Yes, my research is rather low-tech. It was lowest-tech in the very beginning, when I did an experiment on my acne. I just counted pimples every morning and wrote down the number. No computer, not even to analyze the data. After that, however, two recent inventions have been really helpful: 1. Personal computer, so I don’t have to bring the data to my office. 2. Photocopier. So I can easily consult journal articles. Berkeley has a service where for a few dollars you can get a journal article copied and put in your mailbox. I was a big user. A lot of treatments I’ve tested have a basis in the scientific literature, which is much more accessible now. For example, I tried looking at faces on TV in the morning because of a photocopied scientific article I read. I was able to look at all sorts of different faces on TV because of VCRs — long ago, a big new thing.

  2. I make kombucha with 100% grape juice. It tastes better, and it seems to have the same relaxing effect. It does seem trickier to get it to the right degree of ‘doneness’, however.

  3. I make kombucha the regular way and then bottle it with a couple of ounces of fruit juice. I use empty bottles from GT Dave’s kombucha. With the cap tightly sealed and the bottles stored at room temperature, the result is a nicely carbonated beverage within a day or two. I usually use apple cider for the juice, but I’ve also used juice from grapes, acai berries, mangoes, black currents, and whatever other stuff I can find in the health food section.

  4. That’s very interesting about the morning faces thing – obviously old science now, but I’d not heard of it. When I got back from overseas after visiting my niece, I went into a real depression (jetlag always does this to me anyway, but combined with missing her it was pretty grim). I started watching Deutsche Welle in the mornings just because it reminded me of being with my family and it was always the news program. After a few days I was feeling really good, better than usual. I also work and study from home and spend a lot of time alone (but I’m busy so I don’t really feel lonely). I stopped doing the morning TV thing and have slumped a bit so I’ll give it another try. What I thought you might find interesting is that I am a beginner at German and don’t understand much of what I hear on Deutsche Welle, so I’d say, if it works, it is the ‘face’, and maybe the sound but not the influence of recognisable language.

    1. Sara, I think the sound of voices reduces how lonely we feel. I don’t the voices need to be speaking a recognizable language. It’s a quite different effect than the effect of seeing faces. For one thing, voices make you feel better right away (within minutes of hearing the voices). With the faces effect, you don’t feel better until the next day.

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