Franklin Project Lo Res

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Quantified Self NYC presentation from Sept 1, 2009, The Franklin Project: Ben Franklin, Life-logger and Geek

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Franklin Project Lo Res

  1. 1. The Franklin Project The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  2. 2. Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 • a statesman, soldier and diplomat a founding father of the USA • a civic activist instigator of a Philiadelpha “Junto” • an entrepreneur an author, journalist and satirist • a scientist, inventor the first to describe and label the binary nature of electrical charges by extrapolation one of the founding fathers of the digital age The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  3. 3. A geek! Who but a geek would: • ride his horse through a storm to observe a whirlwind? • due entirely to laziness at having to switch sets of eyeglasses repeatedly, invent bifocal lenses? • go so far as to print his own almanack, under a public;y obvious pseudonym so that everyone could have access to his maxims, witticisms, and cartoons? • Is there any doubt he’d be a blogger were he alive today? The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  4. 4. Who but a geek… • would conceive of a “scheme,” “a bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection” at the tender age of 22? (He was by that age already the owner of his own printing business, a worldly and well-travelled temperate vegetarian, model citizen and husband) • would devise such a scheme using self quantifying methods including: • self-experimentation • behavior monitoring • lifelogging • psychological self-assessment The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  5. 5. The scheme “...the precept of order requiring that every part of my business should have its allocated time, one page of my little book contained the appended scheme of employment for the twenty-four hours of a natural day.” An ur-dayplanner and lifelog from “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  6. 6. The “Plan” Made up of thirteen defined virtues This “bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection” was to give strict attention to one virtue each week while monitoring the others in a secondary manner. 1. Temperance “Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation.” (“Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up and a guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits and perpetual temptations.”) The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  7. 7. • Every evening he would review the day and put a dot for each fault committed against each particular virtue that day • After 13 weeks he would have moved through them all repeating the complete sequence for four complete cycles per year. (“Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up and a guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits and perpetual temptations.”) The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  8. 8. The 12 other 2. Silence “Speak not but what may benefit others “moral virtues” or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.” 3. Order “Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.” 4. Resolution “Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.” 5. Frugality “Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.” The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  9. 9. 6. Industry “Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.” 7. Sincerity “Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.” 8. Justice “Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.” 9. Moderation “Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.” The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  10. 10. 10. Cleanliness “Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.” 11. Chastity “Rarely use venery* but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.” *ven·ery - noun; Middle English venerie, from Anglo-French, from Old French vener “to hunt,” from Latin venari (see venison!?!) 1: the art, act, or practice of hunting (!?!) 12. Tranquility “Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.” 13. Humility “Imitate Jesus and Socrates.” The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009
  11. 11. A pre-emptive disclaimer: “I think I like a speckled ax best” “Something—that pretended to be reason— was every now and then suggesting to me that such extreme nicety as I exacted on myself might be a kind of foppery in morals which, if it were known, would make me ridiculous; that a perfect character might be attended with the inconvenience of being envied and hated; and that a benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself to keep his friends in coutenance.” The Franklin Project | Joe Dizney NYC | September 1, 2009

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