Topic Archives: Conference

Jacek Smolicki: Self-Tracking As Artistic Practice

“I don’t have a concrete goal. I don’t have a concrete aim to advance myself. It’s a way to explore different aspects of my life through data.”

Since 2009 Jacek Smolicki has experimented with using personal data as a mode for artistic exploration. In this talk, he presents some of his practices:

To learn more about Jacek’s practices, explore his website. Check out other examples of self-tracking as artistic expression with talks from Laurie Frick and Alberto Frigo, and pieces from the art exhibition at the 2015 QS Conference in San Francisco.

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Building a Culture of Health by Stephen Downs

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From the Quantified Self Public Health Symposium

Stephen Downs, Chief Technology and Information Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looks forward to the day when healthy choices are easy choices. That day may not be tomorrow, but identifying the early adopters, innovative thinkers, and technological disruptors can move us closer to that healthier world. In this short talk Stephen explains why the foundation decided to support the Quantified Self movement.

“One of the things you can do in philanthropy as a funder is find new and exciting sources of energy and tap into them, because social change comes from that. There’s an opportunity to leverage the data that are generated by millions and millions of people about their day to day experiences to transform health, health care research, and how health care is delivered.”

Watch Stephen’s video on Medium.

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Scaling the QS Movement by Larry Smarr

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From the Quantified Self Public Health Symposium.

Larry Smarr’s major contributions to scientific progress are well known. A physicist and the founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), he helped bring the power of computing to scientific research at a time when computers will still highly specialized instruments. Today he is the Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), one of the most innovative research institutes in the world.

He’s also an avid self-tracker, using his own data to correctly self-diagnose the onset of Crohn’s disease. At the 2015 Quantified Self Public Health Symposium, Larry spontaneously launched the meeting with a description of what it was like to be at NCSA in the early 90’s when his student Mark Andreessen, the creator of the first popular Web browser, could review every new website in the world by hand. “We could keep up with that little bit of the exponential.” Larry asked us to consider that a similar experience of scaling lies ahead of us in the Quantified Self movement. What happens at the birth of new technologies and new fields of knowledge, when very early participants get to know each other and reflect together on what values and uses will be encoded in our tools, can influence developments that affect hundreds of millions of people.

Watch Larry’s talk on Medium.

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Tuning My Brain With Music For Reading, Programming, and Archery by Rocio Chongtay

In this fascinating talk Rocio Chongtay shares her novel and thoughtfully designed experiments in using music to adjust her concentration and relaxation depending on what she’s doing. Using a consumer EEG device from Neurosky, Rocio tried different types of music while tracking the relaxation and concentration dimensions identified by the Neurosky algorithm. She had experience experimenting with Neurosky in her lab, and then turned these techniques on understanding something about her own mind.

 

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Re-Living My Life with Mood Tracking by Kouris Kalligas

Kouris Kalligas, a long time participant and contributor at Quantified Self meetings, is the creator of the very easy to use data aggregation service AddApp. AddApp is an iPhone app that makes it simple to gain insights from data gathered on dozens of different devices. While running his startup, Kouris has also been doing  ongoing self-tracking experiments. At QS Europe 2014, he gave a excellent show&tell talk about his sleep, diet, and exercise data. In the talk below, he discusses using mood data in combination with calendar data to reflect on the relationship between emotion, experience, and self-image.

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Daniel Reeves on Frictionless Tracking with Beeminder

It’s  been an honor to have Beeminder founders Daniel Reeves and Bethany Soule participating in Quantified Self meetings, giving us a chance to watch the evolution of their very useful tool for setting and achieving personal goals. These days they are working on the forefront of device and service integration. In this talk Daniel gives a brief explanation of how to bring data into Beeminder with minimal hassle.

(Note Daniel’s generous shout-out to another great QS toolmaker, Rescue Time.)

 

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Randy Sargent on Using Spectrograms to Visualize Heart Rate Variability

Let’s start 2016 with a very interesting talk by Randy Sargent about how to visualize the very large data sets produced by some kinds of self-tracking. Randy’s idea about using spectrograms, normally used for audio signals, to create a portrait of your own time series data, is completely novel as far as I know. If you have tried something similar, please get in touch.

 

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Effects of A Year in Ketosis by Jim McCarter

In this fascinating short talk by geneticist Jim McCarter, we see detailed data about the  effects of a ketogenic diet: lower blood pressure, better cholesterol numbers,and vastly improved daily well being.  Jim also describes the mid-course adjustments he made to reduce side effects such as including muscle cramps and increased sensitivity to cold.

Jim begins: “When I tell my friends I’ve given up sugar and starch and get 80% of my calories from fat, the first question I get is: Why?”

The rest of the talk is his very clear answer.

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Vinod Khosla on machine learning and the Quantified Self

I talked with Vinod Khosla over the summer about machine learning and the Quantified Self.

Khosla was a founder of Sun Microsystems and is one of Silicon Valley’s most experienced investors in Quantified Self companies. His portfolio includes AliveCor, Ginger.io, Jawbone, Misfit, Narrative, and many other toolmakers that people doing QS projects will recognize. In our conversation, I ask Vinod about the role machine learning can realistically play in QS practices.

Below are links to three papers Vinod mentions in the interview:

Khosla, Vinod. “20-percent doctor included: Speculations & musings of a technology optimist.” (2014).

Beck, Andrew H., Ankur R. Sangoi, Samuel Leung, Robert J. Marinelli, Torsten O. Nielsen, Marc J. van de Vijver, Robert B. West, Matt van de Rijn, and Daphne Koller. “Systematic analysis of breast cancer morphology uncovers stromal features associated with survival.” Science translational medicine 3, no. 108 (2011): 108ra113-108ra113.

Ioannidis, John PA. Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med 2, no. 8 (2005)

 

 

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Track HRV, Make a Dashboard, and Have Fun with Fitbit at QSEU15

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We just published a preview of our program for the upcoming 2015 Quantified Self Europe Conference. This year we’re experimenting with some new “how-to” sessions to help everybody learn something new and apply right away in their self-tracking practice.

We’re thrilled to have ten how-to  sessions on the program. From spaced repetition, to heart rate variability, and tracking sneezing (really!), these sessions also give you a chance to learn directly from some of the most pioneering and experienced participants in the global Quantified Self community. You can see the full schedule in our just-posted preliminary program.

Tickets are almost sold out, so if you want to come this is the last week to register!

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