What do lifestyle design and Tim Ferriss have to do with visual analysis and art history?
Plenty. If I had to summarize the essence of the Art of Counting mission and philosophy in 5 words, it would be this: Let the data lead you. With enough data pointing in the same direction, I’d take on Zahi Hawass in a televised debate, in the (unlikely) event that his opinion differed with hard data. If Stephen Hawking told us that 2+2=5, even a young child could stomp him in a debate; quantifiable data trumps the charisma or opinions of even the most gifted academic giants. In this post, we’ll introduce the work of Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week and the recent blockbuster The Four Hour Body, who shows how a data-driven process can be applied everywhere and anywhere.
Here are just a few of the counter-intuitive and fascinating things Tim Ferriss figured out simply by painstakingly recording, and then following, the data:
- How to learn (but not master) any language in 1 hour
- How to peel a hard-boiled egg without actually peeling
- How to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days
- How to increase your reading speed by 300%
- How to lose 20 pounds of fat in 28 days
- How to hold your breath like David Blaine
If a data-driven approach works for just about every other aspect of existence, why wouldn’t it work for art historical research? Do we art historians really think that our research into visual material fundamentally differs from that of virtually every other academic discipline? There is no reason for this approach, which so clearly shows incredible benefits and provides amazing insights into any body of material, to not be fully embraced by the art historical community.
Here is where you can learn more about how the Art of Counting uses data to make groundbreaking discoveries in art history and visual analysis, and here is an actual Art of Counting case study focusing on depictions of the red looped sash in the memorial temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu.