Hi, I'm Chris Roth, writer/technologist. I'm currently studying the intersections of biofeedback, stress resilience, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, data science + visualization, and the human body.

Human Physicality Tech & Research

The human body is the most impressive physical system I’ve ever seen. Recently, I've been studying stress resilience and bio(neuro)feedback. Previously I've studied nutrition, anatomy, neuroscience, and genetics.

A handful of at-home health tech has begun to push humanity forward:

But a few things are missing from the picture:

Nutrition

I’ve spent far too many hours studying nutrition. Enough to come up with an “ideal diet”. It combines the most scientifically-validated and anecdotally supported pieces of the paleo, mediterranean, anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic index, and low-carb diets into a new diet. The gist of it is this:

BUT diets are dumb. This isn’t a diet. This is a lifestyle. If you are only going to focus on eating right and neglect other things like exercise, sleep, and socialization, you might as well not bother. Our habits don’t exist in isolation; they are parts of complex systems that interact and as such we need to take a holistic approach.

Data Science & Data Visualization

I’m studying data science and data visualization:

Virtual Reality

A friend of mine, Jason Kende, recently sparked my interest in virtual reality. After trying the HTC Vive for the first time at the MET Media Lab, I’m 200% convinced that VR is the way of the future. Humans will no longer sit at desks for hours typing and staring at screens. Offices of the future will be 3x3x3 meter rooms with VR systems where you can interact with malleable three-dimensional spaces. Instead of writing code in a 2D IDE, you will interact with abstract shapes and colors that represent logical flows inside of a virtual reality environment. Architecture, design… every imaginable desk job will be totally transformed. The demand for virtual reality engineers will explode in the next decade.

In addition to VR revolutionizing how we work, it will revolutionize both physical and psychological therapy. Having users follow three-dimensional guides and track their movements down to millimeter accuracy to improve their movements will change physical therapy. Putting people into realistic stressful environments while attaching biofeedback such as EEGs and Heart Rate Monitors to help people change their nervous system response to stressors will change cognitive therapy.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is about to eat the world in the same way that software has “eaten in the world” for the last five years.

Quantified Self

Software Engineering

I am entirely self-taught. I’m an autodidact. I don’t really know what it’s like to sit through a programming class. Hopefully I’m still able to draw inspiration from the other amazing teachers I had growing up in my teaching.

I’m currently freelancing.

My first job as a developer was at NC State University’s Office of Information Technology. That was eight years ago, and that was five years after I had been programming independently as a hobby. Combined, I have thirteen years of experience as a developer - eight professionally.

Since then I’ve mainly worked at startups. Preferably as employee #1. This is my favorite point in a company’s lifespan to join. Building projects from scratch and helping in the process of architecting a system as well as building out a team and developing a company’s culture is the fun part.

Travel, Nomadism, Cities

I’ve never been interested in being a tourist; I’m interested in getting a real sense of what it’s like to live in different places in the world and understand their culture and economics. So I set out to live in inspiring, interesting places. So far, I’ve made a few places into home:

Teaching

Theory of Social Connection

I have a theory that there is a formula for friendship. To befriend someone, you must trust each other. In order to know if you can trust someone, that trust must actually be put to the test. There are different ways of accomplishing this. Vulnerability - with emotion and sensitive information is one way. Having a shared secret does the job. Dependency is another. If you depend on someone to do something such as finish a project, run an errand, or watch your house, then you know you can depend on them. Finally, there is protection. If someone is in harm’s way and you take care of them, they know you will guard them. There are different scenarios that bring out these types of trust. There are three that are most common, and 90% of my friendships have come from these three things.

  1. Career (this includes school, but school is a lesser version of career because you depend on your peers very little in school)
  2. Travel/Exploration (for those in the military, I would say that war is a more intense version of this). This extends to self-exploration, doing something wildly different/risky even if you don’t leave your city.
  3. Romance (eventually extends to include family life, kids, etc) - romance is very vulnerable and eventually can lead to dependence

Simple as that. Outside of those three things, not much else in life is worthwhile.

Other Random Crap That I Do

Books