Tag Archives: QSSV1
Self-described hacker Fenn Lipkowitz gives a rich update to his lifelogging activities in the video below. Fenn created a detailed diary with start and stop times as a simple text file, generating a color-coded chart of daily activities.
During his experimentation, Fenn began to read about the Life Extension Foundation and visited a site known as Longecity, a community of self experimenters who share experiences on the neurochemistry of cognition. In addition to monitoring and tabulating the time spent in various activities, Fenn also experimented with supplementation of various nootropic compounds to improve cognition and neural activity. The compounds he used included amino acids, vitamins, fish oil, and ginkgo extract.
Fenn discovered drastic changes before and after his use of nootropics. Subjectively, he used a numerical scale and quantified his level of energy. A graph showing a moving average of these values indicated a significant increase in his subjective assessment of his energy level.
Objectively, he performed typing tests as well as other brain training test found on Lumosity. His typing speed increased from a maximum of 92 to 143 after the use of nootropics. Fenn also lost 15 pounds, now has a girlfriend, and said he feels like a different person.
Another interesting component of Fenn’s lifelogging was his tabulation of all the food he ate over an extended period of time. Fenn found that his logging of food preferences has caused him to no longer be addicted to sugar. Fenn’s lifelogging website as well as the source code for the program that he used can be found here: http://fennetic.net/sleep/
(Filmed at the Silicon Valley QS meetup at Stanford University.)
The entertaining and curious Joe Betts-Lacroix shares his investigation to decide which device he will use to track sleep. He includes how he uses each device, his opinions and how one device makes him feel that his sleep matters! (Filmed at the Quantified Self Silicon Valley meetup at Stanford’s Calming Technologies lab.)
–This review was written by Ryan Viglizzo for my class DIY Health at NYU ITP (Tisch School of the Arts). In this class, students design systems of self-care that help people take stock of themselves by exploring ways to measure, reflect and act upon their health and lifestyle.–
Moraveji asks, “What would it be like to have perfect self awareness?” His talk suggests that having perfect self-awareness means having an optimized mind. He describes an optimized mind as one that is calm, aware, and emotional but not driven by emotions. Moraveji points out that we can achieve this state of mind by changing and self-tracking our breath. Moraveji focused on social influence and staring at a computer screen to test change in breath rate. I would like to relate his talk to exercise.
As a runner, it took me years of doing the sport to start understanding the importance of breath. As we run we get better—run longer distances, feel better, and increase our speed. I realized that when I trained I trained my breath. I controlled my breath; which inadvertently taught me how to manage my body. This poses the question—Can we teach our body to regulate or does our body teach us to regulate?
Moraveji explains that breath connects all of the body’s major and vital nervous systems. If we use our mind self to regulate our breath, our body follows. I would say agree with this notion. When I run I think about relaxation. I think about my breath being steady, calm and rhythmic. As I think about that I fall into my pace with my breath and my body’s nervous system follows. It all starts with my mind.
This process can be described in a first order feedback loop. Goal: become relaxed, efficient and calm during the run. Action: Thinking about and making breath rhythmic, calm and steady. Environmental distractions: increasing pace, other runners, weather, change of terrain, etc. Sensing/monitoring: BMP (breaths per min.) Comparing my states: Am I breathing slower and feeling calmer as I run? If so I achieved my goal. If not I go back to Action (to start loop over).
I see the breath as a function that is controlled by our mental intention. As we calm our breath it triggers the body’s nervous system to sit at a certain resting state. I think Moraveji is trying to make people aware of the fact that if we are conscious of our breath we can improve our self-awareness and in turn be more productive, happy, and clear.
One issue I had was that Moraveji only measures breath solely on breath rate. I feel like there are other parameters of breath that needed to be included in his study. The study also touched on social motivation. I think that the social motivation piece is not a constant in its ability to keep people self-monitoring.
Seth Roberts offers an interesting perspective on how he has been able to accelerate his own self-discovery. He suggests combining the QS rigor of self-experimentation with the Paleo ideas on diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Seth believes both QS and Paleo communities can benefit by learning from each other. In the video below, he also compares his experiences at the Ancestral Health Conference and the Quantified Self conference. (Filmed at the Quantified Self Silicon Valley meetup at Stanford’s Calming Technologies lab.)
Robin Barooah gives an insightful talk below on embodied learning. He used a binary self-tracking system, without keeping any of the data, to train his body to know what foods made him feel energized or lethargic. This awareness helped him to lose 45 pounds over the course of several months, but more importantly, it serves as a model of the power of self-tracking to develop intuition and well-being. (Filmed at the inaugural Quantified Self Silicon Valley meetup hosted by Stanford’s Calming Technologies lab.)