Ok – been away since October. Have given up all sorts of concentration-span ruining activities, the 2nd to worst of which was Twitter. I now have no idea what is going on in the world, but at least I don’t feel like killing corporate execs any more.
Anyhoo… another mind-altering-electrode-brain-machine turned up recently.
1) I bet it doesn’t work.
Nothing ever works on me – I’ve tried all sorts of dietary supplements, nootropics, binaurals, smart-drugs etc etc… none of them have the slightest effect. Meditation works. Shrooms work. Pot works. Coffee works. All those other things? Not so much.
I use that headspace.com for meditation – which also takes about 10-15 minutes to alter your mind-state. If I sat there quietly with a headset on, not being distracted, I’d probably get a similar ‘calming’ effect. Thync’s literature does talk about eliminating the placebo-effect, but with this sort of thing, I think it would be a hell of a hard thing to separate out.
That said – it’s also a measuring device (although this interview claims otherwise)… which is quite interesting… if you can trust it to return accurate results about the effect it’s having etc. Maybe it doesn’t measure the effect it’s having. It should.
Thync is (thus far) only claiming to deliver 3 different headspaces: Calm, Focus and Energy. Fair enough I guess. Sleep would be useful too.
If you throw sex into that mix, then they’ll sell a trillion dollars worth, and add to the already epidemic 21st C Gin Craze that is The Porn Industry. The mood states do seem very very vague – though I guess that’s fair enough – given that TDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation) seems (to me) to be a bit like programming a computer by waving magnets at it.
There are a bunch of these things of course… Muse being a close rival. Needless to say, there’s a DIY community that I suspect I might have mentioned before… with the intention of trying this stuff out myself, but not getting round to it. Reddit has quite an interesting community… funny that. I was into Reddit/Digg back when Digg was the bigger/better… but Reddit seems to have turned into a real community powerhouse – and it still looks like an engineer designed it.
I think Thync is interesting partly because it’s having a load of money thrown at it, but mainly because they’re proper science people doing it – and they’re doing a lot of trialling – thousands of subjects… and are apparently getting 2/3 showing a greater-than-placebo effect. I also (kindof) like the way that the electrodes are mounted in a headset – so they’re theoretically, pre-positioned – as opposed to just having a couple of sponges you stick to your head… which seems to be the approach with the DIY/Hobbyist end of things available until now.
Not that Thync is actually available yet. I can’t even find a photo of it.
Rival product here:
The bit where the subject is trying it for the first time, around 6.45 totally looks like Aleister Crowley