Seattle vs. Silicon Valley sillyness

Seattle from near Amazon's headquarters

Ahh, there’s a big debate about which is better, Seattle or Silicon Valley.

There are things to like about both (I’ve lived in both places).

But for me there’s no option: I couldn’t do what I do anywhere else in the world than here (the range and diversity of tech companies is a lot greater here than in Seattle).

Luckily Seattle is only a couple of hours away from here so I can get the best of both worlds.

One thing you shouldn’t miss is the amount of building that Microsoft is doing. Microsoft’s campus is absolutely huge now and getting much bigger. Nothing like it in Silicon Valley. Oh, and the Boeing factory tour is a not to be missed thing. It’s amazing how they build airplanes there.

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Are you breathing while emailing or Twittering?

Linda Stone, continuous partial attention researcher

Linda Stone is a former executive who worked at Apple and Microsoft. Has been doing all sorts of research over the years and is probably most famous for coming up with the term “continuous partial attention.” Which, basically, explains our behavior while using Twitter.

Lately she’s been writing about a new problem she noticed: email apnea.

Today we met up where she told me more about her observations on this topic (that’s her in the picture above).

What is it?

Well, she noticed that most people stop breathing when doing email. She explained to me today that that behavior is fascinating her and that she’s theorizing that it causes stress, among other things.

I’m noticing that I stop breathing when blogging. How about you?

She suggested a few things to try.

1. Change your posture. She said that people who compute while standing up breathe more often.
2. Get exercise. She said that those who exercise seem to breathe better in stressful situations.
3. Be aware and check in with yourself to see if you’re breathing normally. She said there are some devices coming soon where you can play a game with yourself to keep your breathing up to a normal rate.

She is now writing for the Huffington Post and in her post about email apnea rambled out a bunch of bad things that can happen to you due to not breathing well.

This is one reason why I made it my life goal to have an interesting conversation every day with someone smart. If I hadn’t made time for Linda I probably would never have thought about this or known about it.

So, are you breathing deeply right now?