You Can’t Escape Technology, Because You Are Technology.

From the Wall Street Journal this week two stories surfaced this week about the technology in our lives, First David Pierce’s “Every Gadget and App Should Have a Dark Mode” and Christopher Mim’s “The Hot New Channel for Reaching Real People: Email

Nothing in these stories is new, earth-shaking or essential for being alive today, but they do herald a bigger movement, the movement to accept technology and find ways to work with it in your life.

David Pierce admits “The first thing I do in the morning is to check my phone. I grab my phone off its charger, silence the alarm, press the power button”, think about that, he’s laying in bed, checking his phone.

After almost five years of hearing study after study, reading hundreds of books on “How to break up with your phone” or have “Authentic Conversations” the world is waking up to something I’ve known for a long time, there is no unplugging and asking people to do so is selfish, evil and dangerous.

“Thought leaders” like Simon Sinek, who is a modern day Tony Robbins, will tell you how toxic social media is, while best selling authors like Yuval Noah Harari will explain how you’re being uploaded, he’s a modern-day Ray Kurzweil.

Yet I’m here to explain the middle ground to you and beg you not to pay attention to the hyperbole and cut yourself a break with your device judgment.

Have you thought about what life looks like after our “screens” are no longer dictating our time? What happens after apps? I’m here to tell you that time is very close.

If you’re a parent with a child in first grade, by the time they graduate from high school, apps won’t exist and everyone will have forgotten about their dependence on them. 

I know this because for a decade I have used software to document, control, monitor and run my life and I can share with you that most of what I do is done without any “screens”.


Let’s get a few things about technology out of the way before we go any further!



Today apps have come to define our lives, values and time. As part of the touring keynote speaker circuit, one of my “offerings” is something I call iPhone palmistry. I psychically read people’s iPhones in an elaborately decorated cardboard booth at events all over the globe.

What is iPhone palmistry? Simply put, I look at people’s phones and tell them what I think they value based on the case they chose, the wallpaper, lock screen images and the apps on their home screen. I’m often met with laughter, shock, and sometimes tears as people open up to me after a “reading” and share how amazing, difficult, or deeply sad their life is.

There is no problem in your life that isn’t created, exaggerated or controlled via some app on your phone. 

Our relationships with apps has become polarizing. We simultaneously demonize smartphone usage while requiring people to engage with us on an ad-hoc basis over 4G. People spend hours lamenting the loss of “authentic” conversations, the good old days of spending time out with friends and what life was like way back in 2010 when people were truly present.

My grandfather, who proudly informed me of my shrinking brain from the “boob-tube”, his name for television in 1981, would fit right in right in any conversation today.


So let’s call time out on our smartphone hate and talk about the state of apps and their coming disappearance. We think of apps as pieces of software that we interact on our smartphones. They usually have an onboarding routine, and a screen that we interact with daily. Apps do things for us like remind us of important events, people, cycles or pieces of data.

People often associate apps with distraction. Corporations spend billions, with a “b”, of dollars to keep us engaged with our applications. It’s a metric that companies measure to see the success of applications. Somewhere right now, every app on your phone has a cognitive bean counter sitting in an office measuring the total time you spend in their app.

Apps are the checkout candy of the mind. 

This is the reason so many people take issues with apps and therefore worry about their “smartphone addiction”. Apple and Google both released products to combat this “addiction” last fall.

CleanShot 2019-03-06 at 16.25.03.png

Historically we would have called this type of surveillance by Silicon Valley over the line, but today, we embrace it as a software upgrade to our mental health. In a single update, our phones now shame us into not using our Instagram feeds, make us feel guilty for looking at our text messages, and remind us that apps don’t run our lives, but rather the app platform providers, Apple and Google, do.


I would and do argue that we don’t need Silicon Valley’s help redirecting our attention. Instead, I want us to focus on what these mini pieces of internet-connected software have become and how they will evolve.

Apps, for better or worse, are  merely habits we install in our life

Facebook is “break habit”. MyFitnessPal is a “food logging habit”; Tinder is a “be social habit”. Airbnb, “plan vacation habit”.

When there isn’t an app developer creating new habituations in our lives, the device makers take over for us. Our devices have systems to check our location and dim their illumination before bed, and our phones have settings to block out calls while we are driving.

The habits, good and bad, are being installed for us, whether we like it or not. 


Today, a combination of my watch, home devices and even my car alertme when I’m running late for an appointment, remind me to start settling down to go to sleep, and prompt me to take a stroll when I’ve been layingaround too long answering email.

All of the alerts described above come to me with no visual interface from my phone. If I’m running late for an appointment, I hear a small chime in my earbud. Around 9:30 p.m. my house lights slightly dim to remind me to get ready for bed, and after 50 minutes of couchsurfing my watch will tap on my wrist and tell me to “stand up.

The “app” has disappeared from my life. 

Do I still look at my phone and find enjoyment in Facebook? I do, and I do so with the vast knowledge that these habits are where my mind goes to relax. This is no different from my father, who zoned out with the 6 pm news, or my grandfather, who was hopelessly lost in the newspaper.

Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft have all released new screenless technology in the past two years. Apple, Google, and Amazon developed voice assistants for our homes, smart speakers that fill our lives with microphones, cameras that monitor and alert us of things going on in our homes, at our front door and while driving. Apple, in their zeal to control our bodies, doubled down on the wearable technology and gave us a wireless device to insert in our heads, the Airpod.


I may be the most connected man in the world, but I can tell you this, the rest of the world isn’t far behind. I see construction workers sporting Apple watches on their wrists and Airpods growing out of their ears. Soccer moms sit in self-driving cars, leaning into the backseat to pick up a stray McNugget at 75 mph, and Buddhists with EEG headsets upload their zen in the park.

You are a cyborgyour children are cyborgs, and there is no going back.

Apps were the gateway drug to help us retrofit our brain for our cybernetic prosthesis that we now place in our homes, garages, on and in our bodies and throughout our communities.

So, what does life look like after apps?


Apple has been hard at work trying to kill off Mark Zuckerberg for years, from their attacks on his stance around privacy to the screenshots of their latest operating system “blocking” you from his apps. Many tech journalists wondered in the late 2000s why Apple didn’t acquire a social networkingcompany and then laughed when their social networking attempts, services like “Ping,” failed.

Apple didn’t have to make room for social networks by 2014 because, your life, was the social network. In 2014 Apple released their watch, and suddenly a group of friends or family members could communicate with their bodies. When Apple launched the original Apple watch in 2014, it had three defining features touted by CEO Tim Cook: the world’s most accurate timepieces, a world-class fitness and health device, and “an intimate way to communicate.”

Today you can use your Apple watch to send money to a friendrecord and share your actual heartbeat and remotely “tap” your children on the wrist to tell them to come home. The watch uses behavior, and a small engine called the Tapic, to vibrate on users’ wrists or simulate biological events.

While it’s hard to imagine a world where we don’t have cat videos or the latest viral challenge to share with our friends, that’s not social mediaThat’s media, and media isn’t going away. It’s the social part that is changing. So let this be an early reminder that if you want to “friend” someone in the future, you’ll probably know a lot more about their behavior and have access to more of their senses than any cyber poke from camp Winklevoss.

In a world after screens, privacy is gone and relationships are deeplydefined by biology and behavior.

Facebook looks and acts more like Grindr in 2025 than Snapchat in 2015. 


Long before the smartphone, athletes were strapping on devices under their clothes to measure their respiration, heart rate, blood sugar, and urine.

The human body, w hether it’s optimized or near death, is a symbiosis of measurement. 

Today and in the future, exercise is tied to passively collecting informationabout you and helping you focus on the task at hand. Some treadmills work in concert with your wearable technology and clothing that measures your exertion levels. Each piece of technology is designed to give you feedbackto your headset, through the equipment you’re on or in reports shared with you each week.

At home, mattresses are equipped with sensors to cool the bed, check your pulse and breathing, and even gently wake you up.

No one wants to log food or even think about it. If you use the new Samsung Galaxy 9, just by snapping a photo of your lunch, the calories are instantly populated on screen for you. The smartphone camera has become the new Google search, and health will be a big space for this.

 Don’t want to even measure your food now with the built-in QR code reader in our smartphones cameras, just showing the box to your phone will automatically display the nutritional value?

Yet it doesn’t stop at our smartphones, services like “Blue Apron” allow you to have staged meals sent to you via a subscription service!


If you’ve been to the financial surveillance capital of the world,Stockholm, you will immediately know that using a credit card is a big no-no and pulling out cash instantly tags you as a tourist.

Contactless payments are where people are focusing their attention, and that means using wearable technology. Every company from Fitbit to Google, Samsung to Apple is in on the game.

In my book, Don’t Unplug, How Technology Saved My Life and Can Save Yours TooI share a story about how back in my “cyborg youth”, I had hacked a system that would send me alerts if I was spending money at the bar after 11 pm or on those weekend spending binges at the mall, small messages would pop up on my google glass telling me to STOP SPENDING. A combination of a credit card that created “geofences” or technology to see WHERE you buy things combined with time or spending velocity would help me understand why I was always so poor.

In the future, services like the “Miles”, an app that just came to the app store and works like an updated airline reward program, but instead of tracking when you’re on a plane, it tracks you full time. Walking, taking the bus, driving your car. The miles app will reward you by depositing real life money and or points into our accounts. Heck even Walgreeens rolled out a program to their users to give them reward points just for being more active.

Back in Sweden, when parents aren’t paying for their train with a chip in their hand, Scandinavia's largest phone company, Telia gives kids data for being active, if you want to see how Universal Basic Income works

It doesn’t stop at companies watching us move either, companies like Lyft are even offering people 550.00 in credits to stop using their cars for a month to use Lyft’s service instead.

In the future, we will trade our surveilled behavior for cash, and as the adage goes, time is money. 


If you look around at the media landscape, something exciting is happening. The content owners are driving people to their locations, devices, or services.

It’s not possible to watch YouTube on an Amazon device. For a short time, Netflix was not even on Apple TV during a brief tiff between the two giants. Well, no problem, the car is safe, right? Try taking your 100K dollar Telsa out for a spin and listen to Spotify. You can’t, because Elon Musk has that screen locked down. Head out to the theater. If you use Moviepass, Sinema or another service, it won’t work on the opening weekend of a film. I hope you have AMC stubs +! Want to stream several hundred hours of Youtubeto your Verizon phone? Well, you have to switch to T-Mobile for that level of support.

The device makers, location purveyors, and the pipe keepers of the internet are taking up arms in a content battle that will make the cord cutting look tame. The reason for this shift in access to media is happening is simple. Our devices, places, and infrastructure are the last places, we have to surrender all our attention.

By 2025, you’ll be required to travel to DisneyWorld to see the latest Star Wars reboot and you’ll need two different autonomous cars to take the kids to one movie while you see another because Tesla doesn’t have an agreement with Cinemark.


It’s easy to play speculation bingo in this day in age, and it’s hard to find hope in the age of increasing technological dystopian articles, yet I’m here to tell you it’s not impossible.

Just as our parents had to grapple with checking accounts or debit cards, VHF and cable, VHS or BETA, BLOCKBUSTER or REDBOX, we too will adapt to this new world.

In our future, I believe and hope that we will shop for new habits from a system of habit shopkeepers who live well and show us how to live well, in the same way as we shop for crafts and art from Etsy today. This would be a community of life artisans who share their skills with us.

This marketplace of behaviors will come into existence, a habit store of sorts. The habit designers will be nutritionists, coaches, financial planners, event managers, dating specialist, fashionistas. These people will curate and share their interactions with the devices, services, and sensors in their life.

You will download all of their “preferences,” and your life will instantly transform into their life. No screens or personal visits needed.

In a way, we already live this way now in the flat 2D world of our phones. If you have ever used someone else’s Netflix account, web browser or looked at a map on your friend’s phone, you’ve been immersed in their “life.”

Let’s stop focusing on how our phones are distracting from reality and embrace this new paradigm in how we are being shaped by the future.

 The role you play right now in this battle for life and habits after our screens disappear is important and this is no time to back away.

I didn’t unplug, and neither should you.

Mindful Cyborg Tour Fall 2017

Wikipedia defines Scandinavian design as design movement characterized by simplicity, minimalism, and functionality that emerged in the 1950s in the five Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Denmark.

I adore everything there is about Scandinavia. The people, design, lifestyle and yes, even the weather!

Last spring I embarked on a 90-day tour of Europe with thousands in attendance to share two of my new 2017 keynote! 

This fall, I return to Scandinavia for 70 days. 12 Events. 7 Cities. 6 Countries. 3 Topics Tour, to finish the year sharing more on the topics that are shaping our world, Life After the Internet,  Time Hacking via Software and Being Intimate in the age of technology.

And yeah, I'll do a few sessions of iPhone Palmistry to boot along with teaching three workshops on designing contemplative technology and coding for temporal cognition.

After nearly a decade of wearing sensors, and automating my life it is evident that we have become overly reliant on technology to assist us in basic human emotions.  

These talks are provocative, mind bending and not safe work, but that's who I am.

 "Life after the Internet." 

While the rest of the world is binge-watching Netflix, downloading applications and contemplating artificial intelligence, Silicon Valley is planning on what life is like after apps.  From device in our homes caring for our families to content that will be delivered in our autonomous cars. Our entire lives are being algorithmically decided for us, even if you don't' have a smart phone, every person you interact with is being educated, entertained and informed by algorithms, devices, sensors, and service. For lack of an easy way to explain it, 1/3 of the global population is starting to live a lot as I did in 2012. These changes will have a dramatic effect on how technology in the future is consumed. The disappearing interface of glass is replaced by smart speakers, autonomous vehicles and wearable tech that lacks a screen. Each time technology removes a visible interface, how we CHOOSE what we consume also evaporates.

 "Memory as a Service."

Software and hardware have merged into a single experience for most people. How this symbiosis is expressed has yet to evolve. Many people today suffer from always feeling late, busy or even feeling irrelevant. This feeling of time collapsing under the weight of technology is not new to me. Time does become flat in a world of hyper connectivity. You don't live a single time zone, your news isn't local, and your friends have no borders. Technology mitigates all of these things. Technology is only starting to utilize your brain to make you feel less stressed, happier and more spacious. Memory as a service is a set of principles for using software to reclaim your life and time. 

"I love you, Don't Block Me."

In a world where algorithms divide people or match them up with paid apps so that they can schedule six dates in one evening in the name of efficiency, two years ago I started exploring how we meet, hookup, friend, fall in love, breakup and lay to rest the people we love. There is an urgent need to explore how to be intimate in the age of technology in ways that are meaningful and profound. This talk is about how we love in the age of the application and what keeps us together when we can't be in the same space.

 I'm so fortunate to share my passion for the human condition in so many magical places around the world where I have been lucky to make amazing friends and a few lovers.
If your in Europe this fall and you would like to meet drop me a line.  


Oslo, Norway

September 13, 2017 - "Life After The internet" at Telia IOT Symposium


Gothenberg, Sweden

September 19, 2017 - "I Love You, Don't Block Me" at Webbdagarna



Stockholm, Sweden

September 20, 2017 - "I love you, Don't Block Me" at SVT Digital Luncheon


Stockholm, Sweden

September 21, 2017 - "I love you, Don't Block Me" & "iPhone Palmistry" at Huddle for Good.

cutting edge.png

Oslo, Norway


September 26, 2017 - "Chrono-cyborgology Workshop" & "Contemplative Technology Workshop" at Cutting Edge Festival.

corp innovation.png

Oslo, Norway

September 27, 2017- "Life after Privacy" & "Contemplative Technology Workshop" at Corporate Innovation Day


London, England

October, 13, 2017 - " Quantified Workers in Precarity" at Middlesex University 

Helsinki, Finland

October 14, 2017 - "Memory as a Service"  at Biohacker Summit


Amsterdam, The Neatherlands

October 25, 2017 


Dusseldorf, Germany

November 8, 2017 - "I Love You, Don't Block me" & "iPhone Palmistry" at NextM


Stockholm, Sweden

November 15, 2017 - "Memory as a Service" at itSMF 

Stockholm, Sweden

September 16, 2017 - "Memory as a Service" at SIME

Stockholm Syndrome as a Service

Stockholm syndrome, has any psychological phrase ever been so overused, misunderstood or quoted?  Though how many of us have been taken prisoner by the technology in our lives;  created a meaningful alliance with it? Our iPhones, smart homes and Fitbit's all beseeching for a moment of our time.

The cybernetically underserved, begging at the street corners of our mind. 

For me, Stockholm will always be home; I'm not sure when it started or why, yet for the better part of the past decade, I find myself coming back to Sweden to visit friends, places and myself. 

Stockholm is a walking city, everyone, everywhere, all the time, we walk. I enjoy the mix of jagged rocks, cityscape, and extensive coastline. 


Stockholm is also a bit of a time machine. Even if you discount the massively long day that spring and summer afforded to you, Scandanavia gives Americans something more, an actual extra day of time to "get stuff done."

Simply put, from 7 am to 1 pm I can work comfortably from a coffee house on talks, book, press requests or my startup while all my friends and connections back in the States sleep quietly.  

By 3 pm America is waking up,  the emails, social media messages and texts alerts start pouring out of my phone like a bottomless goblet at King Authors Court.

From 3 pm - 7 pm local time, I go into overdrive returning the volley of the requests. With each request served, a new one arrives, reminiscent of the TTL feedback in a network ping request from a 1990's Unix command line.

Finally between  10 and 11 pm I make my last conference calls with the "Land of the Free" and go to sleep while the world continues to trend. 


Some would argue, there are "season friendly" times to visit Scandinavia than February through June and I can somewhat see their point of view.  In the beginning, the days are short, and the nights long, the wind is harsh, and people are covered from head to toe. 

As in life, if you stick it out, you see the beauty of patience. 
What was a long night becomes a long day, creased eyes peering over a scarf turn into a full smile, bundled peers clinging to buildings become skin showing friends basking at sidewalk cafes. 

I came to Scandinavia to finish up work on my book for St Martin's Press, "I Am You, Tomorrow."

"I Am You, Tomorrow" is a  project I'm very proud of you can read more about the book from the "Publishers Marketplace" summary earlier in the year below:

Chris Dancy's I AM YOU TOMORROW, in which he elaborates on his "digital happiness project" with personal stories, inspiration and practical advice on becoming happier and healthier, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, pitched as a cross between Marie Kondo and Gretchen Rubin for the tech-dependent—us all, to Elisabeth Dyssegaard at St. Martin's, by Kirby Kim at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).


It's never enough to only work on one thing at a time, so while in Scandinavia I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in GroupM's "NextM" conference, probably one of the few events left on earth that join technology, people and heart so effectively. 

At NextM I got to reveal my new talk "I Love You, Don't Block Me." The idea behind this topic was simple to talk openly about how we connect, love and stay in love in the age of taps, snaps, and screenshots. Finally, I was so excited to share the European debut of "iPhone Palmistry" at an event!

Ten conferences, 18 countries, 15 airports later, I'm winding down my time where with a few more public-facing events, even a few more debuts!


While Stockholm might have been my hub during this period and Epicenter has been my home. 

Epicenter may sound familiar to you if you follow my travels or work. In 2015 Epicenter and their cybernetic pitchman Hannes Sjoblad were featured in the Showtime Documentary "Dark Net." 


Finally, I am so proud of the work that Telia has done over the past few years. Keynotes, workshops to our latest collaboration about the evolution of humankind to as we hopefully move to a "World Wide Wisdom."

The program is part of Telia Carrier's "Anywhereization" program. Here is an overview from their CEO, Staffan Gojeryd.

"Because the Internet is made up of extraordinary individuals like Chris Dancy who drive things forward. I see him as living proof that this is what connectivity will let all of us do."

There is a really super splash page with stats about my life and information on the rest of the program and the video series. 

Finally, there is a really moving tribute to my work in an article called "The Man Who Became his own App" 


There are three more events left here in Sweden for the month of May 2017. Please take a moment to reach out to me or visit one of my final events here in town!

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 5.42.04 PM.png

Internet of 


Thursday, May 11, 2017, 11:45-12:15

Alströmergatan 20-22, 112 47 Stockholm, Sweden

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 5.41.57 PM.png

Contemplative Technology 


Wednesday, May 15, 2017, 6:00-9:30 pm

Epicenter: Mäster Samuelsgatan 36, Stockholm

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 5.42.10 PM.png

BioHacker Summit

Friday, May 19, 2017, 10:00-10:30

Epicenter: Mäster Samuelsgatan 36, Stockholm

CIO Sweden Keynote - April 2017

Knock, Knock, The Future of Work Isn't There

I've had the pleasure to be interviewed for seven books so far. You can find them here in the "print" section, Yesterday, I was interviewed again, for a new book coming out about the future of work. I thought this might be a good way to share my current thinking in 2017 and some details you may not know about my current projects!

I'm finishing up my own book which will be to publishers by summer! Enjoy a little trip down my rabbit hole.

Interview with Chris Dancy, 17/03/17 -Phoebe Moore


PM: Thank you so much for interviewing with me. First, I would be really interested to hear about the book you are writing.

CD: ‘I am you, tomorrow’ is a story, a life story, a mash up of the ‘happiness project’ combined with ‘Tidy’ by Marie Condo, a collection of stories about me, kind of wiring up and things I learned about myself and I guess, tips and tricks.

I feel very passionately right now, I believe strongly about the rise of this kind of connected consciousness that’s happening, the spirituality aspects of how machines are democratising our relationship with existence itself and how that changes human evolution. Once we lose concepts regarding time, time is really the big thing on everyone’s mind right now, whether it’s feelings of mortality or the ephemeral nature of it, I think that can be traced to people’s relationship with technology.

PM: Tell me a bit about yourself, your life, your work, your drive?

CD: The benefit of looking at this project, I look at it with more patience… I had spent so many years with computers at a myopic level, customising a tool bar, I felt in some strange way that there was a level of control I could exact over my life if I could turn my own life into an interface. What that experience was, so the interface really became anything I could touch that was digital, because interfaces are information collectors. The experience was something that I didn’t really understand because the feedback loop using certain tools because of their inherent systems of collection, forced me to lie in those systems

So, I’m not sure what came first, desire to quantify or desire to control, but since then I have done experimentation not to control but to measure, but then found that the results are the same. I end up with a more profound sense, uneasiness, in a body in a world where I don’t matter.

PM: How do you think the quantified self movement started? What was it responding to?

CD: Some of the earliest meetings that I read about before they really got moving in 2008-9, reminded me that there’s something inherently unique about Silicon Valley. I trace it back to the diversity movement of 60s and 70s. Silicon Valley was a kind of bastion of safety, first in corporate diversity and inclusion with software companies in that area. This says a lot about how people’s brains evolved. I don’t know if we would have had such a technical revolution if it wasn’t for radical need to corral people who were looking for safe places. Look at the gay movement in SF, some of my earliest peers worked for Adobe and Microsoft Word and all those great places, so with that as a stage, by the time you get to the 90s and network based computing and some of the earliest projects were very inclusive and included disparate communities within a larger community, and then that takes you to the quantified self movement. People who innately understood likeminded individuals was a route to accessing their own beliefs and desire. People at a point in their lives and careers where they conquered everything, post bubble, post exit, post inclusion, post diversity and then the talks we are still having today, some would say those problems are solved. People were and are on a technological spirit quest, for lack of anything else. I have listened to interviews with Gary (Wolf) and other folks about its nature and objective about that reality, we could say we need a God.

PM: You are called the mindful cyborg. What do you mean by this? Did you have a personal rationale for tracking your self? What was it?

CD: This term came from when I got tired of being called the ‘world’s most connected man’. Spending more time in contemplative practice is important to me and has been since 2014. That being said, everyone I encounter who has some technical leanings end up measuring something. As soon as they measure, they want to hack everything.

Hard to find words that resonate with what people relate to. All I did with the moniker with mindful cyborg is to cut to the chase, two things that people can connect with. Concepts of mindfulness, contemplation, Buddhism overused. No good word for a technology person who wants to be all of these things.

PM: What do you typically track today? Has it become ‘second nature’?

CD: In 2017, I no longer need sensors, I realise I am a sensor. So often I’ll measure something and just for shits and giggles I’ll jot down what I think it will be, how far I have got etc. and it’s weird how accurate I am at telling temperature or light variance or a range of other things. I see information everywhere, not just info but scarily accurate info. So as far as, do I still measure stuff, 10 years in, I still measure simple things: sleep, food, activity, meditation time, but there is no need to, I know these things innately. The strangest thing I have experienced is that I now know this about other people. I recently had an interview with Irish radio and I told everyone what their sleep etc. was. It became really obvious just by looking at the wear on people. I still measure a few things but I hate the concept of ‘measuring’ and I feel like I can do it innately, but I often tell people who want me to come wired up, because you wouldn’t hire someone to be a clown at a party who is dressed in business attire.

It’s become so mainstream now, my partner is 25 and he had been tracking steps and location and had never even heard the word tracking. Apple’s Health Kit has changed all that.

PM: Has anything changed in the way people work today? Why?

CD: I spent two years in population health company and I see this increasing trend not only of normalisation but the … health care providers gather data at a population level, even expect to track you, everything from the garishness of biometric screening to checking in with health coach once a week. Take the case of Humana giving out apple watches to 10000 people. It almost seems like technological fascism, I don’t understand why this is not examined at a greater/deeper level other that healthcare is needed. Convenience trumps privacy.

It’s easy for me to say that if it’s convenient they’ll just do it, HSA spend or toward deductibles. But where there is resistance to tracking, or becomes mainstream, you see automation. Some of earliest tracking were overnight trackers. Within a few years this will happen in driving and trucking and the same thing will happen in all access of work.

I have just got a Tesla, it tracks everything,  so it allows me not to pay attention! In fact, that is ultimate holy grail, we want the benefits of knowing everything without paying attention to anything, that is diametrically opposed to what we could call ‘life’. Knowing is hurting, life is not knowing and everything just ‘works’. That is literally, death: that is when there is nothing left for us to do.

PM: What is your perspective about work and labour and machines, from tracking and monitoring to automation?

CD: We need to look realistically at the role of machines in human life in 2017 and next 10 years, to answer the question about work and automation. If we were honest with ourselves, machines are teaching us to act like machines. We are not teaching machines to act human.

Our relationship with machines in the future will be on an almost a nostalgic basis, teaching people how to be people if you look at that long 50-year loop: machines teaching us to be human. What will happen is that so much of our lives will become automated, the need to feel authentic will come from some data that will be collected and mimicked and fed back to us.

If I just look 2008-17, most people I interact with have become functioning iPhones. They speak in tweets, photograph in filters, our speech has evolved to emojis. When you meet someone who veers off that path, it’s disconcerting. If I want help in a busy store I stand perfectly still and even if I’m last in line, the clerk will say can I help you? Something about humans suddenly locking up like a browser like a browser or iPhone, gets attention! Now is a good time to talk about how much can we ‘give’ machines if ultimately, they have to teach us.

PM: Has our relationship with ‘management’ and/or machines changed as a result of machines at work?

CD: I’d be out of my league to answer that question, I haven’t worked with humans where I had a manager in almost 20 years, so historically I would be taking a stab in the dark.

I do manage some biological metrics with my own team. We are all measured and that data is available to us all. If someone is not sleeping, sleep is usually what I manage, I will purposefully divert work from them, until I notice those trends are going back to normal.

If I see employees’ bedtimes are varying, I will make subtle changes in the background. I never talk to employees about this, I just change things where I can to improve the situation.

I see organisations that use the Jawbones weaponising employees’ lack of sleep and promoting them as ‘better humans’. You see it a lot in ‘dev’ culture, where people slept for two hours and are ‘jacked up’ on caffeine. I think it’s the least human thing you can do, create a brag-worthy cultures.

This kind of culture excludes people who have other responsibilities such as family or people who don’t have access to supplements or certain foods, it’s a bad spiral on all sorts of levels. You’re rewarded for being a single health nut. The message is, don’t get married, don’t know too many people, don’t participate in political discussions online. We have homogenised the entire workforce, just add Vitamin D and sell people as milk. We put pictures of missing people on milk cartons, maybe people are the milk and the cartons…

PM: Do your employees ‘opt in’ to their data being viewed?

CD: My employees are all on Texas, we function asa Delaware Inc and we run out of Tennessee, the strange things it that they all want to do it. They say, if they could be more like me their lives would be better. But learning about yourself isn’t always as great as you might think. It’s a slippery road.

We have this moniker we follow, everything has to follow: TASK which means, Trust, Aware, Safe, and Kind. We can’t talk about data, tech, or each other unless it fits into this or brings out a sense of these things in that order.

PM: What is the future of technology and work? Privacy… surveillance… ‘gig economy’…

CD: I can’t see past the gig economy unless we get into something like Jaron Lanier who wrote about ‘Who owns the future?’. I still think we are less than 20 years away from buying and selling out data from some kind of marketplace, the future of work is what you will give me and I will give you about myself. It makes me think of the Justin Timberlake movie where everyone is swapping time touch wrists to keep alive.

Work in the future, well, privacy is work. The only thing left in the future is the ability to understand and dictate your information, that will be done for you. The concept of an app where Uber drivers make a selection not only based on ‘where’ I was, but also ‘how’ I was, so a driver in the opposite space. So, if I’m in a bad mood, someone will treat me differently.

This is all relating to intimate data exchange. I saw this early on with Uber. They were testing the Spotify integration at some point. The driver would then automatically play what they were playing on Spotify. I asked an Uber driver about that experience and they told me, ‘it’s interesting to hear everyone’s music. What I miss, though, is knowing more about that person’. So, the human desire to know interesting details, not in a dark way, just connect/sharing what we jam to in that passive API way, that’s what will be integrated.

Everything is customised now. There is a McDonalds app you can use to can call ahead to get a Big Mac and they won’t charge you or make it until you’re a certain distance away. But will they stop adding mayo if you haven’t walked enough?

Health convenience related are going to get staggering.

Our ability to ‘opt out’? Well, it will seem ‘odd to opt out’. I don’t think there are any digital Amish yet. But those people who say, ‘I’ve had enough, I’m not partaking’, I know people who are purposefully living a 1998 lifestyle, because they have enough money.

It costs a lot not to have internet access. I wonder whether in the future whether people will be able to afford not living with the internet. So, if a phone was only a phone, without wifi connected, you would be on the streets within a week.

Disconnected people will live amongst us in the future. But we now do everything without technology. The most garishly rich in the 1970s had farms and horses. You had estates and everything is done by hand, tailor to maid.

There was a guy in 2013 who lived without internet for a year. He said it took so long to find a pizza, without connectivity and only phone calls on your phone, you would probably be on the street within a couple of weeks.

Not being connected will constitute a new disability.

PM: What are the risks of machines and monitoring and work and what should be done to mitigate them?

CD: Nothing we can really do now, that horse has left the building. To mitigate, we need a complete overhaul of how we code and implement technology. I said in my TED Talk that we stop solveing our human problems with technology, and start solving our technology problems with our humanity. Our humanity comes from a sense of perspective and a sense of awe. I think if we could create technology or code implement in a way that had a sense of awe and perspective but as we leave the world of screen time and we wear the technology and live inside the technology, we will be faced with the problem of our technological journey, so what life can be after the interface, wanting to become an interface, at this point in our generation, it’s anti-choice, as an interface there’s no choice. It’s ‘just in time’ but there’s no choice. If I ask Alexa to play music she’ll only play Amazon prime. If I ask her to play Madonna she will only play Madonna I have listened to or is in my own folders.

Time-less. Is technology shaping a 6th sense or have we opened the door to the 4th dimension?

Do you ever feel like your entire life is on a schedule

Can you sense people in a hurry or feel them standing behind you in lines at the store?

How often can you sense someone in a hurry from just an emoji or the lack of a response in a text message?

Are there times when you feel you have to optimize your every move, just not to be run over by the onslaught of tasks in your life?

When does our need to organize, categorize and store the world around us become an all-consuming way of life?

Maybe you're suffering from the "relentless now", or what author Douglas Rushkoff referred to as "Narrative collapse" in his 2013 book “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now”.

Or even scarier we are plagued with what Alvin Toffler called "Future Shock" in his 1970 masterpiece by the same name. Future Shock was defined as "too much change in too short a period of time".

Our society and life is disposable sure that's a given, but we now live in an age where the average web page is changed every 10 days and more media is created every second than the previous 100 years, with a majority of that media posted purposefully to ephemeral services or secured through encryption, never to see the light of day.

What started out as VCRs and DVD has become a way of life. Our ability to record, replay and store life is profoundly shaping what and how humanity relates to time.

FOMO, Flashback Friday, 24 hour McDonald's breakfast, binge watching seasons of TV in an afternoon, e-cigarettes, all symptoms of time becoming unbundled from our lives, our tools, passions and friends. 

Children today don't have to wait for anything and can stream a song from any decade instantly.

Many college students are graduating with the same set of "friends" that they started elementary school with because of Facebook.

Facebook as allowed us to browse our friends and classmate’s life at any point and even binge watch their demises and successes.

How old are you on Facebook anyway?

TV shows from the past 50 years can be accessed within moments and websites dedicated to fan fiction alternate timelines literal our life.

YouTube vloggers have edited their day into fractions of soundbites creating a generation of people who can only relate to a second or less of speech at a time.

A majority of audiobooks and podcasts listened to at 2x or even 3x speed.

Our lives no longer have an order. What started out with electricity and our ability to change the circadian rhythm with the invention of the light or proliferation of mass transportation to augment our ability to travel great distances in a fraction of the time has morphed into the single largest cognitive upgrade to humanity in the last 1000 years.

Chronospection, the ability to sense time is fast becoming the first cybernetic super skill and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg on how this new ability is changing people and the tools they use.  

“When the only value left is time, the world becomes a clock”.
— Douglas Rushkoff

Our connectedness has become a choreographed event where each person takes time being a system of record for the other. From simple transactions like paying for groceries that are instantly turned into complex dialogs with machines and currency.

The friends and family members we came to know and love often finish our sentences as if we were searching for something on the web and the auto-complete suggested an answer.

Time-less, a journey to the fourth dimension of humanity is an intimate exploration of how humanity evolved into the first post cognitive species and the sign posts along the way.

Life in 2024 or how the iPhone changed our world, reflections on my Iphone anniversary.


8 years ago today I waited in line for my first iPhone. 


The iphone 3GS would have built in GPS and run an app store. 


Who could have seen that people would use their phones for Health informations, Credit Cards, Interfaces to their cars and homes?

How could we have have known that people would be using their phone not to make calls, but to take photos and videos that would instantly disappear because we preferred it that way?

When the iPhone came out Facebook had less than 100 million people on their platform, today that number is closer to 2 Billion. 

Who could have guessed that in just 8 years governments would be toppled and that people would be live streaming violence and death directly to social media?

Where were the futurist predicting that we would prefer to communicate with machines over people or that paying for your groceries would be come a complex transaction where our club card and credit cards would be choreographed routines dictated by cashiers who really only needed us to be more optimized. 

How did we end up In an age where we wear health trackers, communicate with people by binge watching their life or we expect our social media providers to give us tools for dealing with the passing of a loved one, or the break up of a relationship and even access to our families?

How did we go from calling cabs to a nation of people driving their cars part time for a living or renting out their homes while they are away to make ends meet?

What does it mean, when the quality of our relationships is defined by the number of "people" are connected to and having a piece of hardware, mediate ALL your relationships?

Why do we keep our devices charged and our hearts and bodies weary?

When did we decide our values needed to trend for us to find our voice?

Who we are as a species has been defined by the tools we use and these tools were shaped to meet our human needs. 

Yet we live in an age where our tools bend and shape us to their needs, their corporate interests.

Today Apple as close to 250 billion dollars in cash, that's 5 times the US government. 

Apple has an international monetary, communication and health system. 


Today, give yourself a little hug, because life in 2024, 8 years from now looks a lot different.

iPhones won't be devices we carry with us, they will be systems we wear, that dictate our every move and control and filter our every relationship.

You won't download apps, you install "habits" and "environments"

Children born today go to high school in a world where machines plan the lessons.

First graders today will exclusively talk to machines full time by the end of college.

Teenagers will get their social skills by watching YouTube videos.

Our driverless cars will be elaborate iphone cases that just carry our preferences and our families to events optimized, automated and controlled for the best entertainment value.

Our time will be weaponized and every second wasted not in service to our work will be counted and measured.

Virtual reality will be how we meet "people" and the first Tinder generation will graduate from elementary high school. 

Our health care will be controlled and monitored by the devices we use in our homes, cars and the very clothing we wear.

We are the last generation of people who will have a choice in how we are "remembered" 

15 minutes of fame will be optimized to exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Maybe this is all magical and the StarTrek future of no money and peace in our solar system is right around the corner. 

I wonder though, who is training the 30 year olds for the jobs that will be around in eight years?

Who is securing work for the 40 year old's that wonder if they are going to be part of the next layoff round?

It's time we talk seriously about a ditching the iphone and focus on the WEphone.

No one is getting out early and no one, is getting ahead.

Go love someone.



The morning started with mediation and breakfast before heading out to a few appointments.

First stop, the bank where I needed to exchange Euros for US Dollars and get some additional cash for the weekend.

Inside the branch my teller, Derek inquires "Do you have your ATM Card, it would be quicker for you"

I let Derek know that I don't carry my card and I have my ID.

Nearing the end of the transaction Derek informs me that soon I'll be able to use Apple Pay at ATMs. "Soon you will be able to walk up to any ATM with your watch or phone and get cash!" 

I pause, consider telling Derek, that is his job being replaced, and opt to smile and thank him instead.

Upon arriving at my second stop, FEDEX, I go to the "ready print" counter. The employee asked for my name and pulls my print job out and carefully slips it out of the bag.

"How is your order?", she smiles and blinks.

"The order is beautiful, thank you for doing such a great job on it", I softly say.

With an autonomous tone she states, "Well, you used our online print system, it should be perfect every time and you don't need to talk to anyone!"

The sinking feeling of a day driven by automation and commerce crawls into my gut. 

My veterinary office is tucked away on a small alley in Brentwood, Tennessee.

I was relieved to see no line, no waiting room full of people or dog pile up near the front door. 

Sitting behind the front desk are three cheerful employees. 

"Hi, I need to make an appointment, get a refill and ask a question."

I can sense my speech is starting become crisp, short and to the point, my perfectly formed tweet talk, is music to most people's ears. 

Immediately all three employees go to work on my requests as if I just hit "Print" on the task bar of the veterinary office!  

Simultaneously they were working on each other's tasks and their own task.

They each asked me for additional information as if the others request and employees did not exist, just a few feet away.

They worked independent and co-dependent of each other, like any great multi-tenant cloud platform.

I was starting to feel frustrated with the request and the speed at which I was being “processed”

Looking directly at the middle employee and smiling warmly I asked,

"Can I close your browser tab for a moment?"

They looked at each other, paused and laughed, only to return to their screens and hyper efficiency.

Again, I paused and looked directly at the person in front of me, “I feel overwhelmed, do you notice what is happening?”

She looked up and said, “It's more efficient this way and our customers enjoy feeling of being served faster”

I left the vet and headed to my lunch appointment. 

My car already had the address from my iPhone in the navigation system using Apple's "Car Play"

A playlist suggested is called "Afternoon driving" and I accepted it and drove off keeping an eye on the real time fuel consumption gauge in my car.

Stop lights are the perfect chance to check Grindr, Tinder and Scruff to see if anyone new is in the area to possible start a conversation with or ask out to dinner.

Pulling in to the Starbucks near my lunch appointment, I notice the line of cars wrapped around the building, it's 1045am caffeine levels need to be refilled.

As I walk into the store, I'm greeted a sign pointing to the counter of full of people. The sign reads "Skip this line, use mobile order and pay"

As I scan the recently flipped "Taco Bell" I notice people hovered over their screens, apple watches strapped to their wrists, phones just inches away from their laptops. Ear buds masking their noise.

Cables, cords, bags, backpacks filling every spare chair, table top and corner.

Each laptop monitor filled of windows and tabs, broadband pumping into their minds, their bodies their souls.

As I place my order, I can feel the people behind me, sneering at the inefficacy at which I navigate the menu, transaction and my own indecision as I search for popcorn that isn't 35 grams of sugar and a drink with no caffeine. 

The cashier instructs me to swipe my credit card, then use my chip, then hit the green button, I'm being forced through a retail transaction with the vengeance of a hostage negotiation on mothers day. 

I can't even look up from the terminal to thank him. 

As I walk away, the young lady behind me says,

"Next time, you can use the app and you won't have to pay or talk to anyone, it's amazing!"

I gazed deeply in her eyes and said, I miss “talking to people” and I enjoy seeing my money.

Slowly I make my way to a table where I open my laptop and record the events of the past hour, feverishly run spell check and slam it on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. 

On the heels of a string of text messages I received all morning from my lunch date, informing me of her schedule, moment to moment, my cell vibrates and says

"I'm running late, my hairdresser is late can we move our lunch to 12:30?"

I look back at my laptop, open a new tab and go back to work being distracted until I'm required to be fully present for the next transaction in my life. 

I’ve spent the better part of eight years, hooked up to every sensor, recording system and computer you can think of.

I’ve optimized every part of my life, I’m thinner, richer, kinder, faster, smarter and more wise.

Technology can shape you, but what shape will you be?

I fear we may have crossed into a world where people are mimicking the systems they use.

I worry that people no longer understand how it feels to be manipulated by multiple systems.

I hope, I am wrong.