Weekly Roundup: Coffee Cupping, QS Philosophy, Kiwi Move

This week! I learn how to taste coffee better, the quantified self movement is pretty interesting, and I bought a new thing that I can put on my body... because that's what I do.

1. Coffee Tasting

I spend a LOT of my time in coffee shops, so it might surprise you to learn that I am not terribly discriminating when it comes to coffee. I've actually never been able to identify the chocolate notes or the black fruit flavors or anything that coffee lovers seem to be able to.

So when I had the opportunity to participate in a coffee tasting session at Houndstooth Coffee (one of my favorite places in Austin), I did! And I learned... one thing?

They brewed the same kind of coffee three different ways -- French press, pour over, and clever. We took a spoon, dipped in a spoonful, and slurped it so that we could get the full spectrum of flavors in our mouth.

I couldn't tell the difference between the pour over and the clever, but I could tell the difference between those two and the French press. So I might've learned something!

And I'm definitely becoming a coffee snob. =)

2. Quantified Self "Philosophy"

So I'm sure that many of you out there have heard of the "Quantified Self" movement. Generally it refers to people who track a bunch of things about themselves and use that data to improve their lives, whether it's losing weight, or getting healthier, or eating better, or all of those things, all at the same time.

Here in Austin we have a local chapter of the Quantified Self group, organized by Mark and Laurie Frick. Laurie I highly recommend y'all check out. She has done art works representing her self-tracking data and she did a thought-provoking talk at TEDxAustin.

During this week's meeting we had an excellent roundtable discussion that got into some of the hairier issues of Quantified Self like data privacy and the effectiveness of an N = 1 experiment. If you're just looking at yourself, how much can you really generalize that? Can you even generalize that?

If you too are interested in the philosophy of the Quantified Self, check out Chris Dancy's interview with the Buddhist Geeks podcast. I agree with Chris on a lot of his points, but I'm curious what y'all think. So listen to the interview and come back and comment on the video and stuff.

3. Kiwi Move

Wearable tech is one of the big things that got me interested in the Quantified Self meetup. I bought a Nike+ FuelBand last year and I've used it a lot and I have some... mixed thoughts on it.

I'm almost embarrassed to say how many pre-orders I made in 2013 for wearables that will come out this year... but here it is:

And finally the Kiwi Move, which... has a really neat video, and looks like it could an interesting competitor to some of those other ones.

When it comes out I will definitely tell y'all whether it is wonderful or not wonderful or somewhere in between. Yes, I am crazy! And I know what you're thinking... Yes, there will be a video where I wear all of them at the same time.

Alright, that's it! I'm gonna cut it off at three today because my allergies are absolutely killing me. I hate cedar pollen... But I love you! I'm Stephen Torrence and I'll see you next week.

Buh bye!