Topic Archives: Videos

Catha Mullen: Tracking My Financial Health

Catha Mullen has a long history with tracking, primarily from her experience as an elite-level distance runner. In this talk, presented at the Bay Area QS Meetup, she describes how tracking and data analysis helped her understand and improve her financial health.

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Anna Nicanorova: My Year in Numbers

AnnaNican_2014

Anna Nicanorova is a data scientist. Starting in 2013 she started making an annual report, but what stuck by how difficult it was to access her own data she was collecting through different apps and services. Early this year she put together her 2014 annual report based on a few different tools and using If This Then That as a data backup service. In this short talk, presented at the New York QS meetup group, Anna describes her process, her data, and what she learned from examining a year in numbers.

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Alice Pilgram: My Journey with Diabetes

In 2008 Alice Pilgram was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Faced with numerous life changes and having to now track multiple pieces of data, she started to feel overburdened. In this talk, presented at the Bay Area QS meetup group, she explains how a new simple tracking system helped her see the bigger picture.

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Ulrich Atz: Tracking 120,000 Pushups Together

In 2013 Ulrich Atz completed a unique non-digital trackign experience. When the beginning of 2014 rolled around he was convinced by a friend to start an ambitious project to complete 10,000 pushups in one year. Using his interest in habits and self-tracking he built a simple system to bring his friends into the fold so that they could all track and learn together. In this talk, presented at the London QS meetup group, he explains just how this all got started, what happened to different “types” of people throughout the year, and what he learned.

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Gordon Bell: Every Beat of My Heart

Gordon Bell has been involved with self-tracking for over a decade. From his ground-breakign MyLifeBits project to his popular book on the possibilities of a fully digital life he is constantly thinking about new ways we can understand ourselves through the data we collect. We are always excited to see him at our QS events and were especially happy to have him reach out to us about presenting at our last Bay Area QS meetup.

Gordon Bell's HR data from a day he visited with his lawyers. Note the spike during the meeting in the morning.

Gordon Bell’s HR data from a day he visited with his lawyers. Note the spike during the meeting in the morning.

Gordon has experienced two heart attacks, one in 1983 and another in 1996, two double bypasses, and currently is living with his third pacemaker. It probably isn’t surprising given his medical history that he has a keen interest in understanding his heart. In this talk Gordon describes what he’s been learning from the data collected from his pacemaker and the 320 days of heart rate and activity data he has collected with his Basis watch.

We’re also excited to have Gordon joining us at our upcoming QS15 Conference & Activate Expo. We’ve made some early bird tickets available for readers of the Quantified Self blog (for a limited time): Register here!

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Greg Kroleski: Six Years of Tracking My Time

Greg Kroleski has been tracking his time for the past six years, starting when he was 20-years old. Using a spreadsheet he designed himself he collects how much time he spends in eight different categories: Survival, Labor, Social, Spiritual, Mind, Expression, Body, and Distraction. In this talk, presented at the San Francisco QS meetup group, Greg describes the data he’s collected and what he’s learned about where his time goes. If you’re interested in applying his tracking methodology he’s graciously put his spreadsheet template online here.

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Richard Sprague: Fish Oil Makes me Smarter

Richard Sprague is interested in understanding peak performance. Over the last few years he’s been tracking various aspects of this life to try and understand what helps and what hinders. Inspired by our friend and renowned self-experimenter, Seth Roberts, Richard decided to test if consuming fish oil affected his response time. Using a simple reaction time test developed by Seth to test if butter made him smarter, Richard tested himself when he was and was not taking fish oil pills. In this talk, Richard explores his data and discusses what he found out when he ran his analysis.

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Beth Martin: Healing & Change Through Quantification

In 2013 Beth Martin was dealing with a failing startup, starting a new venture and working so much she moved her office into her bedroom to limit the time between waking and starting work. After a series of additional changes led her to near breakdown she decided to take six months off to rewrite her life. In this talk, presented at the Berlin QS meetup group, Beth describes the series of self-imposed challenges she created for herself and what she learned while tracking them and their impact on her life.

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Paul LaFontaine: Heart Rate Variability and Flow

Paul LaFontaine is on an incredible journey to understand himself, his stress, and how he works through consistent examination of his heart rate variability (HRV). We’ve featured a few of his talks here on the Quantified Self website, and we were happy to have him present at a Bay Area QS meetup this past December. In this talk, Paul describes how he experimented with cognitive testing and recording his HRV to better understand if he was in a Flow state, and how to attain that balance between challenge and skill. Some very interesting personal conclusions about the role of belief in one’s own abilities versus actual skills.

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QS Access: Ian Eslick on Personal Experimentation

“Science is really about repeatability, about process, about discipline, about characterization, about controlling noise, and there are lot of different mechanisms that we can pull together to tell a story or inform a decision.”- Ian Eslick

This past April we were lucky to host a meeting of researchers, toolmakers, science funders, and government representatives for our first Quantified Self Public Health Symposium. This one-day meeting, and the work leading up to it, helped to shape our thoughts and ideas around what data access means and how it can be used to shape personal and public health. Access can take on a variety of different meanings from being able to obtain a copy of your data, to being able to contribute to and use public data sets. But access doesn’t always have to deal with the transfer of bytes of information. What about access to process, people, and ideas?

At that 2014 Quantified Self Public Health Symposium we were happy to have Ian Eslick join us and give a short talk about personal data and the scientific process. Access to the methods of science and the scientific process is an important piece of the puzzle, especially as personal data become easily captured and more readily understood. Too often, the world of science and research is help up on a pedestal, out of reach for individuals struggling to understand themselves. In this talk, Ian touches on his personal journey of self-experimentation and how access to the “tools of science” can be highly impactful, especially for those battling chronic conditions.

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