Steven Jonas

Steven Jonas
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Meetups This Week

As the summer ends in the northern hemisphere, the number of QS meetups is picking up and there are some great groups getting together this week.

Amsterdam will have a combined meetup with Behavior Design AMS. They will have toolmaker talks from Kenkodo (tracking metabolism) and Fithacking.nl (fitness), as well as, a researcher talk from Marleen Onwezen on whether apps can be designed to help people make better decisions.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own! If you are a QS Organizer and want some ideas for your next meetup, check out the myriad of meetup formats that other QS organizers are using here.

Monday, August 31
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tuesday, September 1
Toronto, Canada
Reno, Nevada
Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, September 3
Auckland, New Zealand
Denver, Colorado

Saturday, September 5
Denton, Texas

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Maggie Delano: Building Myself Back Up

Maggie Delano hit her head while helping a friend move. She was diagnosed with a concussion and, later, post-concussion syndrome. In order for her to heal, she had to give her brain a break from cognitively stimulating activities. In this show&tell talk, presented at the 2015 Quantified Self Conference, Maggie discusses how she tracked her progress toward recovery with Habit RPG (recently renamed Habitica) and improved her sleep with Sleepio.

To see great presentations like Maggie’s in person and get the chance to talk with the speakers, come to our Quantified Self Europe Conference on September 18 & 19. Our early-bird tickets (€149) expire in less than 24 hours, so get yours now!

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Meetups This Week

We have a trio of tremendous QS meetups occurring this week. In Portland, I will be giving a presentation on the best of the Quantified Self Global Conference in June. Los Angeles will feature toolmaker talks. And in Atlanta, they will be discussing their experiences with the Apple Watch, as well as, reviewing the recent QS Public Health Symposium.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own! If you are a QS Organizer and want some ideas for your next meetup, check out the myriad of meetup formats that other QS organizers are using here.

Tuesday, August 25
Los Angeles, California

Thursday, August 27
Portland, Oregon
Atlanta, Georgia

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QSEU15 Preview: Morris Villarroel on Slowing Time with a Lifelog

Morris Villarroel at QS14

The 2015 Quantified Self Europe Conference will commence in less than four weeks, bringing together the QS community to share what they’ve been learning with personal data.

Anyone who engages in any sort of self-tracking discovers that the data collected is not a mere recording of some aspect of your life. Rather, engaging with and reflecting on that data can change the way that you relate to an aspect of yourself. Something as simple as getting on a scale each morning can change the way you think about weight. Morris Villarroel has discovered a novel way that this relationship can develop. At this year’s conference, Morris will talk about how using a Narrative camera to keep a visual record of his days, along with detailed notes, has changed his subjective experience of time, “bringing it closer to the present.”

I experienced something similar when I used a spaced repetition system to memorize entries from my daybook. Frequently recalling recent events kept the past distinct and novel. When a month passed, it no longer seemed like a blur, but a container filled with distinct experiences that differentiated itself from any other month.

You can find out more about how Morris gleans value from his lifelog at the 2015 QS Europe Conference. In addition to his show&tell talk, Morris will be leading a breakout discussion on how we can learn more from our lifelogs. We invite you to join us in Amsterdam on September 18th & 19th for two full days of talks, breakout discussions, and working sessions! Early bird tickets are still on sale. Register today for only €149!

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Meetups This Week

We have two great Quantified Self meetups occurring this week. St. Louis will have talks on crowdsourcing clinical research and tracking for athletic performance. After Austin‘s show&tell talk on using eeg’s to improve everyday performance, they will have a roundtable discussion.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own! If you are a QS Organizer and want some ideas for your next meetup, check out the myriad of meetup formats that other QS organizers are using here.

Monday, August 17
Austin, Texas

Tuesday, August 18
St. Louis, Missouri

 

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Meetups This Week

There will be three Quantified Self meetups this week. Zürich will have a toolmaker talk from Boonea on taking a quantified approach to relationships and personal networks.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own! If you are a QS Organizer and want some ideas for your next meetup, check out the myriad of meetup formats that other QS organizers are using here.

Tuesday, August 11
Lansing, Michigan
Zürich, Switzerland

Saturday, August 15
Denton, Texas

Meetups Last Week
Here are some images from Berlin‘s great meetup last week. If you organize a QS meetup, please post pictures of your event to the Meetup website. We love seeing them.

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photos courtesy of Johannes Breyer

 

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Meetups This Week

Five Quantified Self meetups are getting together this week. Manchester will be talking about data dashboards and Berlin has a great slate of talks on blood glucose tracking, transitioning to a Colemak keyboard layout, and how to look for signals from one’s body.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own! If you are a QS Organizer and want some ideas for your next meetup, check out the myriad of meetup formats that other QS organizers are using here.

Monday, August 3
Manchester, England
Oxford, England

Tuesday, August 4
Reno, Nevada

Thursday, August 6
New York City, New York
Berlin, Germany

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Why Quantified Self Show&Talks are Amazing

I have had the esteemed pleasure for the last couple of years of helping speakers at Quantified Self conferences put together their talks. It’s a lot of work for me, but more so for the speakers. At the QS15 Conference last month in San Francisco, I took the opportunity to not only express my appreciation for our speakers’ effort, but to also speak to why the act of sharing your own personal data experience is so important and has historical precedent.

Below is a video of the speech along with the prepared remarks:

My role at the conference is to help our speakers put together their show&tell talks. For every speaker, we have a forty-five minute discussion to go over their talk.

It’s a role I relish because I get to see the process that people go through to turn their personal experience into the form of 30 slides in 7 and a half minutes.

Unless you’ve given a show&tell talk, it’s hard to know the effort and difficulty inherent in presenting one’s story. There’s the doubt and questioning of why anyone would be interested in my personal experience. How do you decide what is the right amount of context to give people? How do you sequence the information so it is intelligible?

But if I may, I want to spend a moment to talk about this practice of self-examination, and why I think it is so special.

Something that came to mind while mulling this over is something Sarah Bakewell wrote in a book about Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century french philosopher.

“Montaigne and Shakespeare have each been held up as the first truly modern writers, capturing that distinctive modern sense of being unsure where you belong, who you are, and what you are expected to do.”

If you don’t know, Montaigne was famous for a series of philosophical essays written in the 1500’s.

What was special about his essays was how honest and self-reflective he was, if meandering and digressive. But this style was novel at the time. Montaigne’s philosophical inquiries were not expansive and universal. They were small. They were constrained to just himself.

What’s funny is that this sharing of one person’s self-examination was wildly popular. For next few centuries every generation saw itself in Montaigne. Picking out different aspects of him that resonate.

By limiting the scope of conveying an experience, the power to resonate with people is much stronger and wider than it would be if you strove to be universal.

What makes Show&Tells special is that they are personal. They are small, honest, and vulnerable. They are from individuals who are humbly trying to figure out who they are and what they should be doing.

I think we are all blessed by their graciousness and generosity in sharing their experiences, so that we can see ourselves in them and figure out how to navigate our own place in a huge, immensely interesting but very confounding world.

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Meetups This Week

There are four Quantified Self meetups occurring this week. Highlights include St. Louis  giving a recap of the QS Global Conference that occurred last month in San Francisco. As well, the always excellent London meetup will be getting together.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own! If you are a QS Organizer and wants some ideas for your next meetup, check out the myriad of meeting formats that other QS organizers are using here.

Tuesday, July 28
St. Louis, Missouri
Houston, Texas
London, England

Wednesday, July 29
Cambridge, England

Meetups Last Week

Good friend and Chicago meetup organizer Mark Moschel wrote a stellar recap of their last meeting featuring talks on measuring body fat, adaptive resistance, and how one person spends her Friday nights. Below are a couple visualizations from the talks. Well worth a read.

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Meetups This Week

There are three very interesting QS meetups occurring this week. Chicago’s event will be fitness focused, with talks on what it’s like to work out with a weight system that changes it’s resistance in real-time based on your performance and effort and learning from DXA body composition data. Shanghai will have a researcher talk from Preston Estep on using genetic data to improve health.

Ashland will have an amazing sharing of progress on current n=1 projects. Projects include exploring deep sleep with Beddit, looking at the difference between breath-based and blood-based ketone readings, and testing the effects of berberine on postprandial glucose rise. The last one is interesting is because it is placebo-controlled and double-blind, which can be difficult to pull off. I would love to hear more about his experiment design.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Monday, July 20
Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, July 21
Shanghai, China

Sunday, July 26
Ashland, Oregon

Photo from QS Montreal’s meetup last week

What a beautiful venue. If you organize a QS meetup, please post pictures of your event to the Meetup website. We love seeing them.

QSMontrealJuly
Photo credit: Maxime Chabot

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