Linda Stone

Widely recognized as a visionary thinker and thought leader, Linda Stone is a writer, speaker and consultant focused on trends and their strategic and consumer implications. Her work and articles on her work have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist, The Boston Globe, Harvard Business Review and hundreds of blogs. She speaks frequently at corporate and industry gatherings. Prior to 2002, Stone spent 16 years as a senior executive in high tech at both Apple and Microsoft. For a full bio, see

Quantified Self to Essential Self: mind and body as partners in health

A movement to bring us into a more harmonious relationship with our bodymind and with technology.

“What are you tracking?” This is the conversation at Quantified Self (QS) meetups. The Quantified Self movement celebrates “self-knowledge through numbers.” In our current love affair with QS, we tend to focus on data and the mind. Technology helps manage and mediate that relationship. The body is in there somewhere, too, as a sort of “slave” to the mind and the technology.

From blood sugar to pulse, from keystrokes to time spent online, the assumption is that there’s power in numbers. We also assume that what can be measured is what matters, and if behaviors can be measured, they can be improved. The entire Quantified Self movement has grown around the belief that numbers give us an insight into our bodies that our emotions don’t have.

However, in our relationship with technology, we easily fall out of touch with our bodies. We know how many screen hours we’ve logged, but we are less likely to be able to answer the question: “How do you feel?”

In our obsession with numbers and tracking, are we moving further and further away from the wisdom of the body? Our feelings? Our senses? Most animals rely entirely on their senses and the wisdom of the body to inform their behavior. Does our focus on numbers, measuring, and tracking move us further and further away from cultivating a real connection to our “Essential Self”?

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Why "Delivering Happiness" is a must read

The mindset at Zappos is illustrative of the era of engagement.

At Zappos last year, 25,000 people applied for 250 job openings. Applicants are enthusiastic to be part of an era-of-engagement, post-productivity company. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh discusses Zappo's secret sauce in his new book.

A new era of post-productivity computing?

Conscious computing allows technology to become a prosthetic for full potential.

Personal technologies today are prosthetics for our minds, but our opportunity is to create personal technologies that are prosthetics for our beings. That's where conscious computing comes in.

Dean Kamen's 2010 Homework

Dean Kamen's most prominent quality is his ability to dream. His dreams are big, full of heart, compassion and a commitment to a more prosperous life for everyone – through the wonders of science, technology and engineering. In the early 90's, Kamen was becoming increasingly concerned about our ability to effectively compete in business given our declining ability to educate students in science and technology. Kamen and his friend, Dr. Woodie Flowers, had a wild idea: create a competition — now a "coopertition" — where teams of students, working closely with mentors, design and build a robot.

How has the Internet Changed the Way You Think?

How has the Internet changed my thinking? The more I've loved and known it, the clearer the contrast, the more intense the tension between a physical life and a virtual life. The Internet stole my body, now a lifeless form hunched in front of a glowing screen. My senses dulled as my greedy mind became one with the global brain we call the Internet.

Working Together to Create a National Learning Community

National Lab Day is a National Barn-Raising for hands-on learning. Using the internet and social computing technologies, with the support of the White House, and the business and scientific communities, National Lab Day reaches out to the education community, providing a tool set that brings context, community, and passion to education, and that has the potential to transform our educational system into a true learning community.

The Fun Theory

Play is how our passions find us. Play is where failure isn't failure and isn't emotionally charged. Play is all about iteration and we iterate on the emerging questions that arise from within us and that we are driven to understand. With the Fun Theory Award, VW has sponsored a competition to award creative examples of changing behavior by making functional fun.

At Risk: Universal Online Access to All Knowledge

After digesting the proposed Google Book Settlement, it becomes clear that the dizzyingly complex agreement is, in essence, an elaborate scheme for the exploitation of orphan works. The upshot, if the Settlement is approved, would be legal protection for Google, and only for Google, to scan and provide digital access to the orphan works.

Mental Landscapes, David Brooks and the Aspen Festival of Ideas

David Brooks gave a talk last week in Aspen that inspired me and that I can't stop thinking about. Note that it comes in three parts. His book is due to come out in the fall of 2009. Brooks discusses an intellectual revolution that brings together neuroscience, sociology, psychology, behavioral economics, genetics, and a variety of other fields in an…

When Distraction is Good

Distraction is getting a bad name. This past month, I've been heads down on a few projects and noticing something I'd not been very conscious of before now. When I get "stuck" or when I reach a natural break point on a piece of work, the menu of potential distractions includes everything from email and telephone calls to getting…