Topic Archives: Uncategorized

Tracking Happiness: Ellis Bartholomeus

Sharing Ellis Bartholomeus, again–not only because she’s awesome–but, the project she presented at 2015 QS Europe Conference in Amsterdam, Draw a Face a Day relates to a recent post on Tracking Happiness.  Like Ashish’s project, Ellis tracks her mood with 1 simple task at the end of the day–but, instead of using a number (at least not in the beginning), she draws a face: happy, sad, confused, melancholic, etc.

As a designer by trade, drawing is a fun way for Ellis to track her mood, however, she struggled to find ways to visualize the data to actually learn from it. She eventually came up with a number system (1-3) and a color coding system that she could then look at weeks and months at a time. She began to add to the face-a-day tracking and drew glasses of wine for each drink she had, pots for when she cooked at home, etc. She learned what color she typically lived her best life at and found that she became both happier and healthier from doing this project.

Ellis' daily drawings tracking various aspects of her life

Ellis’ daily drawings tracking various aspects of her life

Ellis' weight decreased while she actively tracked her mood and alcohol usage using pictures.

Ellis’ weight decreased while she actively tracked her mood and alcohol usage using pictures

Ellis' visualizations from her project "A Face a Day"

Ellis’ visualizations from her project “A Face a Day”

 

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

 

 

 

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Tracking Happiness: Ashish Mukharji

Another conceptually simple idea, but still just as profound, comes from a project by Ashish Mukharji called Tracking Happiness, presented at a Bay Area Meetup in 2013. It’s another great example of the timelessness of QS projects. QS’ers are constantly asking ageless questions where the answers are often in flux as our bodies and minds grow. It’s fascinating to reflect back on both what we are learning individually and collectively at Quantified Self; for, the confirmation from similar answers, makes the projects all the more profound.

Ashish is the author of Run Barefoot and Run Healthy. In 2010, Ashish bought a book called How of Happiness for an extra boost in happiness. He wasn’t unhappy, but he enjoyed the instructions the book provided and began tracking his happiness for three years, rating each day with one number between 1-10.  He learned that he is on average a 7 out of 10. But, more importantly, through tracking his happiness, he learned that it was most greatly affected by sleep and other variables such as mean people and solitude.  After tracking his happiness for three years, he essentially learns some important tools to help keep his life as happy as possible. (Certainly a worthwhile project for all of us to learn from!)

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

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Tracking Gratitude: Dan Armstrong

Dan Armstrong kept a gratitude list for two years and shared his project Learning from Gratitude at a New York Meetup in 2015. Armstrong is a writer and in this talk, he shares how keeping a gratitude list every day for the past two year has changed his habits, actions and outlook.

Every morning Armstrong writes down five things that he’s grateful for, five things that happened in the previous day and five things that he is feeling right then. When he shared this talk, he had collected over 3,000 items. His findings are simple, but a good reminder for all of us to stay present with a mindset of gratitude, especially as we live through very challenging times. How do you track your gratitude?

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

 

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Tracking Our Past: Ellis Bartholomeus

Ellis Bartholemeus is a big fan of quantifying and at QS17 she presented her project My Health Scars that shares her “quantified body” from tracking and measuring her physical scars. Scars represent memories from the past that are often derived from traumatic events. However, there can be deep learnings lived through each “representative” scar and Ellis inspires us to identify and celebrate these marks, as opposed to hide them.

Ellis’ project reminds us to look at our own personal scars and history lived through them. And today, on the Fourth of July (The United State’s Independence Day), we can open our lens even further to investigate the scars of our country and our planet. What can we learn from simply looking at them, measuring them, tracking them? Scars represent history; recalling that history helps us see what we missed, who we hurt, what we lost, or perhaps, what we gained. If we ignore the scars, we potentially lose sight of who we are and where we’ve come from. In this talk, Ellis exposes the intimate and deep learnings that come from slowing down to track a part of one’s life, and in her instance, scars.

Ellis tracks the data on her scars which includes the date of the injury, size of the scar, impact of the scar, and healing time

Ellis tracks the data on her scars which includes the date of the injury, size of the scar, impact of the scar, and healing time

Ellis measuring a scar

Ellis measuring a scar

Ellis' talk at QS17 in Amsterdam

Ellis’ talk at QS17 in Amsterdam

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

 

 

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Music Habits Analyzed Through Tracking: Steven Jonas

Steven Jonas presented his interesting project, Spaced Listening to the Bay Area Meetup Group at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley in 2017. In this project, Steven takes a very active role in his music engagement to increase his listening palate.

Steven knows that he needs to listen to an album a few times before he begins to like it. Despite knowing this, he found that he often chose not to listen to a new album because he knew it would be somewhat unpleasant. In this talk, he shows a system he created that schedules when he should listen to a particular album in the hopes that it would lead him to liking new music.

Steven's timing schedule of when to introduce new songs

Steven’s timing schedule of when to repeat new songs

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

 

 

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Kids and QS at Quantified Self Conferences: Bill Schuller

To beat potential Summer boredom, hopefully this next highlighted project from Bill Schuller will give some inspiration. Bill Schuller presented QS Adventures with my Kids at the 2013 QS Global Conference in the Presidio, San Francisco. Bill started tracking his exercise and weight in 2010. His preschool-aged son, began to imitate Bill’s tracking behavior by regularly stepping on the scale, not to watch his weight, but to just check his numbers. Bill then designed tracking games for his son. One of them involved putting things away in the house while tracking steps and gaining “clean-up points.” In this talk, he shares more stories about how he and his children play with self-tracking.

Bill Schuller presents at the 2013 QS Global Conference, San Francisco

Bill Schuller presents at the 2013 QS Conference, San FranciscoThe pedometer used by one of Bill’s kids

Image of Bill's QS games with his kids

Image of Bill’s QS games with his kids

The pedometer used by one of Bill's kids

The pedometer used by one of Bill’s kids

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

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Kids and QS at Quantified Self Conferences: Victor Lee

Aligned with QS and learning, Victor Lee presents Quantifying with Kids at QS15 in San Francisco. As an educator, Lee spends most of his time thinking about how learning works. Lee discusses his QS project using a range of technologies (fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin) to track kids’ activities throughout their days. Lee helps the students work with their data, make visualizations and analyze their results.

Graph of the learning gains of kids working with their own data vs traditional instruction

Graph of the learning gains of kids working with their own data vs traditional instruction

We hope you can join us to share your learnings from a project, or simply be inspired at this year’s Quantified Self 2018 Conference in Portland on September 22-23. Register here.

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Join us by livestream for the 2018 Quantified Self Public Health Symposium

Join us today (April 19th), starting at 9am for a special all-day event about the intersection between Quantified Self and public health. The sessions will look specifically at cardiovascular health and participant-led research. You can view the entire program here.

QS CVD Symposium Live Feed

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QS Public Health Symposium Coming Up April 19, 2018

Mark&Dawn

The Quantified Self Public Health Symposium addresses the role of self-collected data in advancing health. This years meeting at the University of California, San Diego brings together invited researchers and advocates from diverse fields, including clinicians, policymakers, technologists, scholars and community members to share progress reports and initiate new collaborations. This year’s focus is on self-collected data and cardiovascular health. To request an invitation, please review the QSCVD Program Outline and send a short email to labs@quantifiedself.com explaining your interest.

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The Ethics of Citizen Science, A Call for Papers

Here’s an interesting call for papers for citizen scientists by the journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

The editors want first person accounts of ethical issues in citizen science. I’ve been part of many discussions of whether QS is part of citizen science. There are some key differences. The most important reason not to think of QS as citizen science is that most QS projects are not designed to contribute to research problems in a scientific discipline. Instead, they are meant to answer one person’s question. The answer may be interesting to science, it may even make a novel contribution, but the disciplinary nature of science, and the non-disciplinary nature of QS, is a distinction too important to ignore. And yet, with all that said, I still think this call for papers is interesting to disseminate.

First: I know that many people who do QS projects face interesting ethical questions, and some of the thinking associated with this work might be interesting in the more institutional context of citizen science. And second: there are an increasing number of QS projects that take place among small groups; while each person has their own reason to participate, the social nature of the projects brings them closer to the kind of group research typically done by citizen scientists. I’m curious about the ethical issues of doing group projects, and I’d like to know how others are handing them. For the Bloodtesters group that I helped organize, we ended up using a process of ethical reflection we called – only somewhat tongue-in-cheek – “self-consent.” What have you done?

The full call for papers is here: Narrative Inquiry in Bioscience

Excerpt:

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a collection of personal stories from individuals involved in citizen science research. Citizen science is a growing area in which the lay public is involved in research in dynamic and important new ways. This enables new questions to be asked, new methods to be pursued, and new people to contribute, often without the usual oversight provided by institutions and funding agencies. Citizen scientists do environmental research, animal research, human research including clinical trials, identification of photographs, or collect other data.

This movement has implications for traditional science and for human participants in trials run by citizen scientists. Among some of the most challenging and interesting are the ethical implications of this new scientific research.

We want to collect true, personal stories from citizen scientists and those who contribute to citizen science. Please share this invitation and guide sheet with appropriate individuals. In writing your story, please consider one or more of these questions:

  • What does citizen science enable that conventional research approaches do not?
  • What unique challenges have you faced doing citizen science?
  • What ethical issues have you confronted in the conduct of the research?
  • Were you able to use existing frameworks (such as Institutional Review Boards) to resolve them, or did you approach resolving the ethical issues in a new way?
  • What advice would you have for individuals who are considering conducting their first citizen science project?
  • What advice would you have for those who seek to regulate citizen science?
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