Transcendence Tech

James Wolcott connected himself to an array of self-tracking gear, including one that coaches you through the stress of modern life:

Along with my digital wristbands, I am packing an emWave2 pocket-size Personal Stress Reliever, which, through an earlobe attachment or thumb sensor, measures heart-rate variability (H.R.V.) and doubles as a biofeedback meditation assistant. By breathing in unison with a climbing and descending column of illuminated beads and thinking happy thoughts of ballerinas, I seek to raise my coherence level from red (low) to blue (medium) to green (high), achieving a steady-state flow of relaxed awareness that will undulate through the day, until somebody annoying calls. It’s like a mood ring for the heart. I practice with the emWave2 five minutes at a stretch, because any longer than that and its beeps begin to bug me and drop me into the red zone, which defeats the purpose.