For example, sometimes I would take a medicament mechanically while doing something else and just a few minutes later, forget if I took it or not. Solution: say loud to myself "I'm taking a pill".
Another: sometimes I'd lend some amount money to a colleague, and a few weeks later I'd have a hard time figuring whether they gave it back, and they too. Solution: I tell them to hit me (or do some other stupid thing) when they give the money back, so we both remember.
Going even further, sometimes I have to set a reminder to myself like "take an umbrella when leaving tomorrow morning because it's gonna be raining". Putting umbrella close to the exit, or doing a phone reminder do not always work, particularly when I'm in a hurry. One thing that works is doing some notable physical disruption in the environment, like putting a can of tomato sauce, upside-down, close to the exit.
That's always been a classic.
The first couple of times I tried it, it didn't work very well. I was trying to leave in the morning, and I tripped over the can, and I was all, "Who the fuck put a can of tomatoes in front of the door?" And I kicked it out of the way and left without my umbrella.
Then I realized I wasn't going deep enough. You have to open the can of tomatoes and put the open top on the floor. You have to do it fast or it spills.
The next morning, I tripped over the can and knocked it over. And now there was slippery tomatoes all over my floor in front of my door. So of course I slipped in it and fell down, hurting my elbow and head more than I wanted to at that time of the morning.
So at this point, I decided that I could just work from home. After I cleaned up the upside down tomatoes.
The moral of the story is that, no, I didn't remember the umbrella at all. But! I no longer needed it.
I want to clarify that this is utter bullshit, and that I don't actually do this. Well, most of this. I have easier ways of working from home. Like, I put an event on my boss's calendar that says I'm working from home.
And I hate umbrellas. I fucking hate them. If you live in New York City and you use an umbrella, I want you to go home and die right now.
You have no idea of the space that you are taking up with those things. You have no respect for your fellow humans. I hate you. And I don't want to live in this world with you.
Get a little wet. Don't stab me in the eyeball with your stupid, incompetent umbrella that you aren't paying attention to.
I have a little note next to my door that says: don't take the umbrella--It's a jackass thing to do.
Guess what happens. I never take the umbrella. The tomatoes thing was a joke, for those of you who missed it.
There has to be, it's one of the few constants of the internet.
That said: you merely have to experience umbrellas in a high-density environment a couple times before those opinions are the only rational response. Umbrellas are hostile to everyone within reach. (corollary: whenever that number remains at zero, they're perfectly fine)
It's definitely the people.
Walk around Brooklyn on a rainy day. You'll be on my side before you know it.
I am 6'5" tall (1.95m) and the number of little old ladies who think nothing of waving their sharp metal umbrella spokes at my eyes and face is untrue.
Regarding the umbrella, if I forgot it then I would be pleased with my brain for filtering that useless requirement out.
I used an umbrella on my way to work last week. I forgot to bring it home. I was sad because it was raining the next day, too. I was not pleased with my brain for filtering out that arguably useful requirement.
But why not wait until before going to bed, and then put it by the door since it's probably dry by that point?
Because I forget to do that.
Why not do something so you can remember to put it out at night?
Well, I tried this trick I heard about a can of tomatoes...
My solution for this problem: I have a cron job which sends me an email every morning. If I see that email, I
1. Take a pill out of the bottle and put it on my laptop keyboard
2. Delete the email
3. Eat the pill.
This sequence ensures that even if I crash and lose ephemeral state (err, I mean, get distracted) I can immediately recover by looking at my laptop.
Process requires careful consideration when crossing the international date line, otherwise has proved robust, and does not require a laptop.
Obviously for anyone who has gone for more than 24 hours without checking their email in the past 20 years, the tradeoffs might work out differently.
And of course one is not exempt from natural disasters, or the periodic collapse of civilisations.
Reproducing the security flaw:
1. Create a plausible enough distraction
2. Place pill on said keyboard
3. Pharmaceutical intervention Complete!
Perhaps, this is a general flaw in the choosing of a visible, non-access restircted (presuming) place to keep the pill (also no verification if it's the correct pill).
How would you solve this problem?
1. Trivially, restrict access to this place (lock your cabin or something) or use a pill box for which you've the keys
2. Verification of pill
- camera surveilance of keyboard(has its own issues lol, perhaps, if angle it such a way that you're not keylogging yourself)
- weight sensitive plate on keyboard (mission impossible anyone? :D)
- edible hologram on pill
- SHA engraving on pill (manual verification becomes is time consuming and is not cool)
- encode hash in pill weight: Have a delicate weighing balance, alter the weight of the pill by addition or removal of a neutral substance, program the balance or use an sdk for balance to auto verify this; (note SSH keys required)
- Ah! laser engrave a qr code on to pill; laser engraving can be reasonable automated (presumption), verification via smartphone i.e. check the hash or qr code is a shortlink to a verifiable hash (I'm reasonable happy with this solution, moving on)
If you discover a pill on your keyboard and an email, you should delete the email and take the pill.
I think this ensures at-most-once pharmaceutical delivery, but I haven't investigated formal proofs of Bicameral Generals with memory loss.
The automatic processes of our brain dominate the majority of our behavior. If you're a deep thinker who often ties up his attentive thread thinking through a tough technical problem or something, you need to prime your automatic process with some surprise that triggers the association.
I think Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow does a good job explaining this. But I also like the idea of the "elephant and the rider" from Jonathan Haidt. This quora post (https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-rider-and-the-elephant-met...) gives a nice summary but I highly recommend his book.
Bringing it back to TFA, I think the Japanese as a culture might have a better relationship to the frailty of human rationality. The enlightenment was a great period in Western history but it cemented a belief in the power of reason and the universality of truth.
The Japanese have a longer history of training the mind through repeated action, visualization and behavior. Western cultures just want to power through it with rationality. So, we don't point at stuff repetitively and repeat things out loud to ourselves even if it would save lives. Kind of a bummer.
I dig your upside down tomato can, man.
Japanese Soto Zen tradition has short verse for every task you do in monastery. Entering toilet verse etc.
It's easy to lose ones awareness when switching tasks or moving about.
After years of doing this and feeling silly each time I started checking the oven before I left the house and told myself outloud, "Yes, the oven and stovetop is off". I was surprised how effective this was.
Interesting to read this article today and other's solutions to the same problem.
With time I learned that (or got more practice) it is unlikely I actually forgot something. Probably I just don't remember packing it. 95% of the time when I fear I didn't pack some silly thing, there it is, in my suitcase,when I arrive. Thank you past Swizec!
A big part of it is also that I always pack my suitcase in the same way and I always put certain things in certain spots. If I am closing the suitcase and the thing is not in its spot, then I stop and put it there.
Especially important for passports and other such documents. Always put it in the same place. If it's not in that place, then it isn't packed.
This reduces the amount of checksuming you have to do.
Oh and all you really need is your passport and your credit card. The rest is replaceable.
For some of us, depending on the destination, prescription sunglasses also fall into the category of essentials. Learned that lesson the hard way.
This is not intended obnoxiously, but I assume English is not your first language (though your English is good) and you'd want to know: "medicament" is an incredibly uncommon way to refer to "medication." In fact, the majority of native English speakers would not recognize it.
He probably doesn't need to have that fact pointed out to him.
I'm sure there's a better way you could have given the hint to the correct word for the benefit of others who didn't figure out what he meant, and done so without being condescending to the post you were replying to. Yes?
Their post was interesting because they're right: I'm a native English speaker and I paused on "medicament".
Personally, if I felt compelled to point out that it was uncommon, I would have said "At first I though medicament was a misspelling or autocorrect mistake, but when I looked it up, I found out it's a real word in English, if extremely uncommon. Interesting." That's less assertive in that a mistake was made (because it might have been used for effect), and also true.
I suspect readings of it in a negative light are because of the context of the current conversation. Otherwise, I'm not sure how something that is essentially "at first I was confused and thought you were wrong, but then I found out I was the one that was wrong" is supposed to be taken negatively.
Having OCD, I started doing the same when I'd leave the house and needed to be sure that I'd closed the garage door so I didn't think about it all day (otherwise I'd have to drive around the block a couple of times to check it before I could drive to where I was going).
Eventually, "the garage door is closed" just led to me wondering I was remembering saying it a different day, so I'd have to say, "It's Tuesday and the garage door is closed."
Now I have a SmartThings device attached to it so I can check any time. Of course, I worry about it displaying stale data, so I think I'm going to need a live video feed.
It majorly screws up my routine if I pick up my wallet to pay for something online and forget to put it back where it belongs, and I can't find it the next day. Or I leave it in the office and the next morning I have to remember I left it in the office, and it's not hiding somewhere at home.
Some places like paypal might be hard but I don't use paypal anyway because of all the problems they have caused the people I bought things from. If my e-card is not accepted, I can probably do without the item anyway.
After thinking about it for a moment, I put my shoulder into the (locked) door and confirmed my suspicion as to why this had been done: the additional space between the magnets weakens the field just enough that you can ram the door and pop it open, but it doesn't weaken it enough that anyone would ever notice otherwise. Pretty clever!
I bar the door with my large umbrella so I can't leave without moving it.
When running laps I keep count by holding my fingers up in front of my face and saying the lap number out loud. It feels weird, but works for me.
For other stuff, this sounds like a great idea that I should try. How many times have I thought "did I remember to lock the car," then walked back to the parking spot?
That is great and clever. I can better understand why pointing system works.
I had a similar problem with locking the office door. I would always question whether I had done it or not since I was on autopilot and not thinking at the end of the day. What finally 'solved' the problem was when I got the other lock on the same door fixed. All of the sudden I had to lock two locks and not one. The act of having to pull out another key and lock that 2nd lock solved the problem for me. My feeling was adding complexity even in a small way was enough to jar me out of autopilot for the task.
I solved the medication issue the same way by announcing I was taking it. (Later I settled for one of those pill containers..)
In the case of the train operators though, technology as it stands now might be a hinderance.
Notice from the videos that they go through gestures _rapidly_. Recording the action each time onto a tablet or such would be a hinderance that would only delay.
A cell phone reminder for a one-off is easily missed during my morning routine.
A physical motion and/or out-loud speech associated with the event cements it much more effectively.
A post-it stuck on the side of one's monitor seems vastly superior to any sort of app based reminder. It helps that creating the post-it and sticking it somewhere is itself a physical action that is remembered much more than a few taps of a thumb.
Alternatively, when you soap and rinse, put them in the way of your exit. When you finish, open the shower curtain, move the stuff that is in the way into its proper place.
Form stateful habits.
Or rub your hair - if it feels greasy, you probably need to shampoo it again.
These exact same rituals have been developed for climbing because everyone, experienced, and inexperienced, can make mistakes.
The greatest climber of her generation (of any gender!), Lynn Hill, opens her autobiography with the story of how she was distracted while tying in, and nobody thought to check her, because, well, she’s LYNN HILL.
She climbed 75’ up an easy (for her) warmup climb, called for tension on the rope, sat back, and fell the entire distance to the ground. She was very lucky to survive.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Hill#Competitive_career (last paragraph)
Soft ground beneath also helps.
I found that it helps to announce (not necessarily loud) what I am to do, and the steps to do so. ("Okay we're going to get up and walk to the kitchen.", "We're walking now")
Though for some reason I use plural pronouns for myself -- we, us etc. Does somebody else do that too? :)
But I am a big believer in roles. The reviewer role is different than the creator role. When I mentally switch, through the priming mechanism of my code review tool, I am often able to see the defects in my own design or code.
I sometimes do the same thing with design docs or proposals by imagining myself as the person who has the most to lose by my proposal succeeding and then commenting on my doc from their perspective.
But I have another checkpoint. I always diff the code and review it as if I had to show it to a reviewer. If I need to explain something, it should be made better.
"Look it up."
I think it seems phony, in that context.
In yours--I think it's uncommon, but I can't think of a reason why it would be a problem.
I'm a serial talk-to-myselfer, and I've been saying things like "ok we're going to get gas for the car now" or "we're making french toast this morning" since I was twelve.
Alternatives to we that also would work imo: Me and you( you being directed at one-self), Me and me, Me's (as in plural), I's (as in plural).
It's just a special case of the inclusive "we". I think here "I" would evoke more of a sense of plurality: it suggests an addressee distinct from the speaker.
I always use the inclusive "we" when talking to myself about a program or writing comments, even when I'm the sole developer.
You're assuming here that all people even have that in the first place.
These days I just tap my pockets. I freak out if I do that check when I happen to be holding onto my phone or keys
Bonus, when you get into a good enough habit of doing this, you even do it automatically when you're drunk.
Same thing with my glasses, either they're in my bag, or on my face.
Has served me very well so far.
I live alone, so there is no one else using the same technique who I could deadlock (pun intended).
I do not push the key all the way in. Pushing it all the way in could prevent someone else unlocking the door from the outside.
Same when exiting my car, I make sure I have my keys in my hand when I close the door (I don't have remote locking).
It drives me nuts, because I'm really not that worried about it, I just want to be able to check that I didn't leave it somewhere.
I've never learned actually pointing at the instruments, but I can imagine it helps to focus for example very clearly on doing a check of a specific instrument instead of just saying "checked" out of habit. The problem of course is that you need your hands for other things at the same time, so pointing would be unsafe to do at the controls of a plane.
After she relayed the story I mentioned this thread and we both decided the guy was nuts.
I also think that this illustrates the difference between the Western religions and Japanese (or Asian) religions. Western religions are mostly declarative; you need to believe such and such statements. Whereas Japanese religions are procedural, i.e. doing rituals is more important than believing.
I work on medical software now. It's kind of a well known story now how doctors are resistant to using checklists, like pilots do, even though it has been proven in studies to reduce medical errors.
It's an interesting idea that maybe we could employ a form of point-and-call checklist system in software development or operations.
Highlight part of the code, copy.
Go to gedit (or whatev) and paste.
Doing this while "calling it".
I didn't work it out very well, though, and it didn't land. So it goes. The next one will be better.
Another aspect of spirit lore is that the more central or higher in the hierarchy, the less different "pointers" or cues may be required for evocation, and stronger expression of those fewer cues may result. The lower/more numerous spirits might require more specificity or larger seed.
Transformations at a minimum: by inducing a receptive trance state, then by self-suggestion.
The comments have an explanation of each phrase in the mantra (e.g., "104 set match" refers to a steam power of 104 (units unclear) and that it matches the board for cross-checking).
It's a really great, short read that I'd highly recommend.
See, that sort of thing doesn't happen with pointing-and-calling :)
Perhaps you should have made a large "search" gesture while calling out potential keywords.
I'd like to think of Tokyo As the exception to Japan. Having said that, all the pointing and calling is happenening everywhere.
The Samurai sword making system is also very ritualized, which enables the complex procedure to be memorized and carried out without mistakes.
Other systems of reducing mistakes are making things rhyme, which adds a bit of redundancy not unlike error-correcting digital codes. Double-entry bookkeeping is another scheme.
My uncle was sailing a multi-day solo race, and he felt like he was just getting scattered. He started saying everything he would have said outloud-- saying "ready about" to no one, ordering himself to raise the spinnaker. He said everything ran much more smoothly once he started doing that. :D
People have explained to me that the driver announces everything so that standing passengers don't fall over, but I'm skeptical.
That makes sense actually, especially if many passengers are elderly. Around here the bus drivers don't announce what they do, but they take off and brake significantly less abruptly when they have unseated elderly passengers (either looking/reaching for a seat or standing to get out).
(Yoshi = good/clear)
We've released an iPhone app, Koantify Checklists:
It's a voice responsive app (i.e., Siri-like) for creating, maintaining, using, and sharing checklists.
(Based on the post we're commenting on, I guess our next step would be to recognize gestures like pointing...)
The app steps you through tasks by voice or text, and responds to your voice commands (it tries to provide optional "hands-free" operation as much as possible).
When you complete your checklist, the app optionally emails you (or a list of people) a detailed record of completion of the checklist, showing steps you completed, skipped, or possibly had to repeat.
For organizations, it's easy to export/import checklists. You can distribute by email, via iCloud, or you can download checklists from web links. For training, use of a checklist provides important reminders of how things should be done.
Feedback, comments, suggestions are most welcome.
Where I live, I think a company would have to really work to get their employees to do it, but in Japan, it seems to have become a part of the culture. My wife, who is from Japan, does it while she's cooking to make sure she hasn't left anything out.
Without knowing the psychology behind it, a good guess would be that it derives from the sense that observers may not understand one's intent in pointing, and could prob be alleviated by using some kind of beacon like those used by aircraft marshallers.
When I watch a referee in a sport I don't know, the shouting/pointing/gesticulating seems funny, but nobody would consider the referee's job to be embarrassing.
"Yato hasta stato drishti"..."Where the hand is, the eyes follow"
"Yato drishti stato manaha"..."Where the eyes go, the mind follows"
"Yato manaha stato bhava"..."Where the mind is, there is the feeling"
"Yato bhava stato rasa"..."Where the feeling is, there is mood"
Say - Do: pilot not flying says the task, pilot flying verifies verbally after doing it.
Challenge - Response: challenge the check list, verbally respond (do the action)
Flow-Confirm: Do all required actions then verbally confirm.
In any case, the verbal and physical confirmation is needed to move on in the checklist.
When flying solo I do "Say-Do"
I have to go look this up again.
Pre-battle poses are tradition in Super Sentai, and ToQger was no exception. Specifically, the pose ends with the team's leader dramatically pointing while calling shuppatsu shinkō, which basically means "all aboard!".
I always wondered what the pointing was for, and now I know.
You can see the pose here: http://i.imgur.com/0DugYRe.png
Edit: And when they combine their mecha together, they point and call as each of their vehicles link up: http://i.imgur.com/Lct4XQl.png
If your memory is going bye bye......and you want it to come back! 1st. Go on YouTube and watch these videos there about 30 or more. Each video covers a specific topic. In one episode the demonstrated how eating berries improves your short term memory. Look for.....BBC The Truth About Food....
While "pointing" might contribute to its reputation, they should give credit to being accountable to market forces! In addition to the extensive "private railway" network, JNR was privatized in 1987.
According to MTA spokeswoman Amanda Kwan, conductors were quick to adapt to the new system, and within two years of implementation, incidents of incorrectly berthed subways fell 57 percent.
If at that point you replaced actually pointing and speaking with just visualizing and audiolizing  that you are pointing and speaking, respectively, would you retain the performance improvements?
 There does not seem to be a widely accepted word for the audio equivalent of visualizing. Some discussion: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/1635/visualized-e...
It totally increases your consciousness and once you actually realize what's happening, you want to be that present everywhere. Unfortunately, I am a machine :(
In fact, I made a note specifically to ask a Nihon friend just what the hell he was doing (so I'll just ask HN instead)...
I understand stopping at an intersection and looking both ways. But making a specific pointing gesture and verbally calling out while doing it I thought was just a bit odd. Particularly cause he was the only person at this quiet little 4 way (no lights) stop. Sounded like he said "hayougush... hayougush".
Retired train conductor?
I still so and it often earns a wave of thanks from drivers. I assume that forcing the subconscious lip-reading onto the drivers is part of the 'connect as humans' psychology
When I had not used a given machine or process for a while, point and step check just came as part of entering and maintaining flow.
Exploiting this seems obvious in retrospect, like most good, basic helpers are.
Nice. Love the ethic. Take care of the people, run it on time. It's good to know somewhere the little stuff does matter.
And if you don't use an umbrella! Do you wear a raincoat? Or do you prefer getting soaked!
Btw. one of the subway drivers explains in the YT comments that NYC had this gesture first, Japan copied it in the mid 1990s.
Conductors point at the board because it is required by TA
rule. This idea was adapted by the Japanese subway in the
mid 90's. We point because if the window of your cab is
somewhere within limits of that board, it means the Train
operator, the one who actually moves the train, has stopped
at his/her mark for the correct number of cars the train
has. We also have to point because supervision does move
around in the field and yes they actually WATCH us to make
sure we comply with this rule. If we don't, well then its
not going to be a good day at work...
This also reduces the temptation to rush and just say "check" and assume it's ok - most of the time it is ok, of course, but the point is to actually look and check and make sure. If you do all the "work" of actually finding the control and touching it, you might as well look and check that it is set as expected.
As a further side effect, this also re-inforces "muscle memory": you don't need the alternate air valve or the fuel shutoff valve very often - but if you actually touch it (and even open/close it) before every flight, then you will find it quickly and without much thinking in case you do need it.
I wonder if there's anything like this that could be applied there. No ideas come to mind, though I often think about how trains on tracks have mechanisms for maintaining driver awareness.
Personally, I think a system needs to work well enough to drive itself the whole trip, or be dumb enough to act as cruise control with some crash prevention built in, but otherwise force the driver to be on task.
else throw("BUG: ...")
If it is supported only by one study; it seems like cargo-culting: performing a ritual without a solid proof that it actually works.
> According to MTA spokeswoman Amanda Kwan, conductors were quick to adapt to the new system, and within two years of implementation, incidents of incorrectly berthed subways fell 57 percent.
Is that the only problem?
this method seems particularly effective for work that is routine but never in the same scenario. Ever since I picked up this habit I have applied this to everything else I do - booking flight tickets, hotels, buying things on amazon, etc. avoiding errors is so much of a good thing - for those of you with really bad experiences firefighting at work will know the importance of not being in the position where you need to firefight at all.
This might be a good subject for a study - compare both rail systems, does this really lead to higher performance and lower accidents?
Pointing at screen and shouting: "It should throw an error if the input is NaN". types furiously
In the meantime, let's swallow our pride and do this, seems like a good idea.
But ignoring that, computerizing the system can lead to better headways. Right now most systems, and almost all of the NYC subway, use a fixed block system to enforce braking distances. That means it doesn't matter if a train is 1001ft away or 1999ft away, the following train can't enter the next block until the train completely clears it. It's a safe system, but it means trains can bunch up in a stop and go pattern. Modern computerized systems can behave essentially like our self-driving car dream, where they match their speed safely to the train in from and keep the breaking distance block moving. For people in the Bay Area, BART uses fixed-block signaling (but is actually computerized), and Muni uses moving-block signaling. The difference is especially notable on the BART, which tends to speed up and slam on the brakes when there's train traffic ahead.
Also, it's federally mandated that we computerize trains, anyway,  mostly because of incidents like the Metrolink collision.
Having said that, it's a job that requires a lot of interpersonal skills, but not a lot of mental ability. But if we want a "humanised" society, we have to realise that there are a lot of people who like that kind of job. It's not for me, but I know quite a few people who would be very unhappy doing something else.
I was watching a TV program the other day. There was a guy who started a very small company to make kompeito. It's basically just sugar, but it is tumbled in a certain fasion so that it is knobbly and doesn't melt easily. Anyway, this guy used to work in a normal company doing accounting or something like that (I can't remember). He gave it up to spend 8 hours a day drizzling sugar water on his candy and making sure that it is tumbling perfectly. He takes a 10 minute lunch break and then rushes back to work because he wants to make sure that the kompeito is perfect every time.
I could not do that job, but he loves it. Why is that bad? There are lots of people who want jobs where they can be helpful, but where there isn't a huge amount of stress every day. They don't want to work with their minds, they want to work with their body. Or they want to interact with people. This doesn't cheapen them. Why must we destroy these kinds of jobs?
I think for people doing this kind of job having a job -- regardless of how stupid it seems or is -- really mean having a social life. Japan society is really harsh with non workers and living without the regularity and human contact of a job it really hard too. In a sense compagnies hiring for very low-productivity jobs are doing what the social welfare is doing in European country except self pride included.
They are not there just for checking bags. There are customer service providers.
I would not choose to do that job. Neither would you, of course. Yet there are many who do willingly sign up for such work. And there is little doubt that they are largely fulfilled and do contribute to society.
Automation can free people from this basic work, and it very likely will too.
But, it's not about that. This ethic means people will just care about other things.
When perceived as futile and hypocritical they become soul crushing.
Please be aware of this instead of just downvoting JohnJamesRambo's comment.
And, at least these rail workers get to travel. Most developers sit at a desk that doesn't even move, and maybe they get to see a window, out of which the view never changes.