numbers

What's Your Number?

Your whole life, reduced to a single number. That’s the goal of an increasing number of companies that are attempting to analyze specific aspects of your life and quantify certain behaviors with a single score. The best known of these companies is Klout, which promises to quantify your Twitter and Facebook behaviors into a single measure of "online influence."

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Neuromanagement: The Rule of Three?

Trivia question: Why were local phone numbers originally seven digits long? The answer is that in the early days of local phone service, researchers found that seven digit numbers were about as long as most people could remember without forgetting or making errors. (One oft-quoted study on the “seven” topic is The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information by George A. Miller.)

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I Am Not a Number

Neuroscientists have found patterns in brain activity that correlate with single digit numbers. They can literally watch your mind count.

Research into the physiology of how our noggins work has advanced mightily in recent years, especially when it comes to witnessing perception and memory. Technologies like fMRI -- an imaging tool that notes differences in water pressure, sort of -- have been heralded as objective ways to measure what happens in brains when things that were once believed to be solely subjective occurred in minds.

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