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interact with yourself

With a PVR and a video camera, you can get to know yourself in a new way
  (+7, -3)
(+7, -3)
  [vote for,

This idea is based largely on an idea published in "The book of highs; 250 ways to alter consciousness without drugs", Edward Rosenfeld, Quadrangle, 1973.

Attach a video camera (a camcorder will do fine) as an input to a DVR (TiVo or Replay TV). Place the camera on top of the TV, both facing the viewer. Set up the DVR to make the camera the current video source. You are now staring at yourself. Hit the pause button. Wait a few seconds. Un-pause it. You are now staring at yourself a few seconds in the past.

Chances are, your first reaction will be to smile. After a few seconds, your image will smile back at you.

You will then react to that. Your next reaction might be to laugh, to stare more intently at the image, whatever. After a few seconds, that reaction will display. You will then react to that.

And so on; each reaction loops back to provoke yet another reaction. You are now interacting with yourself. Get to know you. You should; you are an interesting person and you should get to know yourself better. It'd be good for both of you.

The pause interval doesn't have to be as short as a few seconds. In fact, try other intervals; try 30 seconds, a minute, 5 minutes. The kind of interaction you get can vary with the interval you use. "Playback delay" is BTW a more accurate term than pause interval.

Set this up at your next party. I suggest you leave it in a room by itself, so that people can experience it alone if they like, or with others. This also lets people control whether they choose to interact this way, which otherwise would invade privacy to some extent.

Rosenfeld's 1973 book described the setup of two videotape machines sharing a single tape. The machine with the video camera recorded onto the tape, the machine with the TV played back the tape, and the two machines were a few feet from each other, thus the length of the tape determined the playback delay.

Needless to say this was impossible on home equipment, and a daunting challenge even for an AV whiz. Thus I doubt it was done many times. The sheer technical difficulty kept it just an interesting idea. But today it could be done at millions of homes in America. The equipment is just a PVR and video camera.

A variation described by Rosenfeld, best limited to parties where everyone accepts it as an intense, experimental experience: set up several cameras, say one in each room, each attached to a remote monitor located elsewhere in the house, using playback delays of say at least 30 minutes. That way everyone experiences everyone including themselves both live and via tape delay randomly at all times. So this isn't you interacting with yourself any more, not an individual interacting with himself, but the entire group interacting with the entire group. Get to know you. All of you.

jpk, Jul 10 2002

Time-delayed mirror http://www.halfbake...me-delayed_20mirror
Similar idea, different intent. [phoenix, Jul 11 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

deja vu home http://www.halfbake...ea/deja_20vu_20home
The aural version of this idea [hippo, Jul 11 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Mirract http://windowsphone...4-b2d3-709d65d343a4
Inspired by this idea, I made it for Windows Phone. Check it out :) [Appductors, Feb 06 2012]

Police Officer chased himself. http://www.telegrap...en-for-burglar.html
Tangentially relevant. Big Brother is apparently too busy watching himself to watch you too. [DrBob, Feb 10 2012]


       So you're posting someone else's idea?
phoenix, Jul 11 2002

       A big reason I come to this site I think is the education I get on such a wide variety of different subjects. It's just the sort of 'club' that I'm surprised to be admitted to. So while I have to fish this 'cause of non-originality, I'm glad I read it.
RayfordSteele, Jul 11 2002

       Nice idea - already halfbaked for audio-only personal feedback - see link.
[phoenix, UnaBubba, RayfordSteele, kt] - don't be too quick to chastise [jpk] for unoriginality. For me, the clever bit of this idea is the way [jpk] suggests using the built-in features of a Tivo to do something the designers didn't really intend it to do.
hippo, Jul 11 2002

       hippo: I agree. Let us not be too harsh on jpk. Maybe he has not quite understood what this site is about. His idea of using a TiVo is just sufficiently innovative to prevent this being classed as pure plagiarism; in effect, he is simply describing a "better mousetrap".   

       The idea itself is worthy of discussion and consideration and since it seems to be sincere, I would merely encourage jpk to try for something a little more innovative next time.
8th of 7, Jul 11 2002

       UnaBubba: I'm not sure of its origins, but it's basically a video recording device with a very large hard disk instead of a tape. It has the advantage that it's truly random access, and you can watch one programme while recording another. I think the basic model stores about 8 hours of video. They haven't achieved much market penetration yet as they're rather more expensive than a basic VHS box.
8th of 7, Jul 11 2002

       [UB]: And you can do things with the TiVo like ask it to record every episode of *Law and Order* airing on any channel you have at any time within a specified period. I believe that you can teach it your preferences over time and it will record everything it thinks you would like to watch.   

       And you can choose to never watch another commercial, if that is your wish.   

       TiVo scares the crap out of a lot of advertising types. It's technology like this that will push branding messages into the *content* of programs, rather than existing as interruptions before, after, and in the middle of it.
earl, Jul 11 2002

       I'm guessing that in 2009 people have heard about DVRs (while collective memory is fading about video tape). Most DVRs are integrated with a media provider like DirecTV, Dish, or Comcast. However some DVRs are standalone and accept any video input, like TiVo. These latter devices are capable of this little trick. Try it for your next party.
jpk, Apr 27 2009

       In a way, we've done this here. We're reacting to ourselves seven years earlier.
normzone, Apr 27 2009

       How young and innocent we look!
hippo, Apr 28 2009

       We were young. Everything was fresh and new. What did we know. And that was the beauty of it.
jpk, Oct 08 2010

       I like this idea!   

       There should be an app that can do this using a webcam, no?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2010

       What if you try this, and fall in love? Bone. For the idea, I mean.
bungston, Oct 08 2010

       //What if you try this, and fall in love?//   

       Bun. [+] For the idea, I mean.
Boomershine, Oct 08 2010

       I'm not sure single recursion would be adequate.   

       Shouldn't there be a webcam set to capture (one's response to the delayed version of)^n ?
csea, Oct 09 2010

       If things go very very well with this interaction scheme, you could present yourself flowers in the morning.
bungston, Feb 09 2012

       I wonder if you were to simulaneously view yourself while interacting with yourself from moments earlier could your consciousness become disembodied and lose awareness of its originating head.
rcarty, Feb 09 2012


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