Tag: Self Experiment

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Bryan Ausinheiler: Diet and Digestion

November 21, 2014

Bryan Ausinheiler was experiencing gastrointestinal issues for years and decided it was time to figure out what was causing it. By precisely controlling his diet – eating exactly the same quantities at exactly the same time – for a month and then measuring the quality of his stool in a self-designed spreadsheet he was able…

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Peter Lewis on Meditation and Brain Function

July 18, 2014

As a long-time meditator, Peter Lewis had a suspicion that meditation could improve brain function, so he conducted a self-experiment and enlisted a few other individuals to help test his hypothesis. By using an arithmetic testing application, a timed meditation app, and an ABA research design he was find out that there was some support…

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Why Self-Track? The Possibility of Hard-to-Explain Change

August 22, 2012

My personal science introduced me to a research method I have never seen used in research articles or described in discussions of scientific method. It might be called wait and see. You measure something repeatedly, day after day, with the hope that at some point it will change dramatically and you will be able to determine…

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QS 101: It is Not About the Tools

June 7, 2012

There has been an exponential rise in the number of people talking and writing about Quantified Self. Some call it a movement, some call it “the next big thing.” In most, if not all cases, there is a an overwhelming emphasis on the role of technology. Be it new sensor systems, applications, or analytical tools,…

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Nicholas Manolakos on Twenty Years of Self-Experiments

April 8, 2012

Nicholas Manolakos is a programmer and avid reader who has been self-tracking for twenty years. He’s recently been improving his left-right body balance, and can write proficiently with both hands now. In the video below, he talks about many of his experiments, including optimizing cognitive performance, managing anxiety, introducing complexity, dietary experiments and fasting –…

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Mark Drangsholt on Tracking a Heart Rhythm Disorder

April 2, 2012

Dr. Mark Drangsholt is a long-time self-tracker who also teaches evidence-based medicine at the University of Washington. He has tracked blood pressure and exercise, atrial fibrillation and what triggers it, deep sleep and sex, diet and body fat. In the video below, Mark shares what he learned about his arrhythmia triggers, and how his self-tracking data…

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Randy Sargent on Tomatoes and Irritability

March 28, 2012

Randy Sargent has an hypothesis that eating certain foods, like tomatoes, makes him irritable and anxious. He asked himself, “How can I structure an experiment on myself so that I don’t know whether I’m eating tomatoes or not?” and “How would I go about quantifying my irritability?” In the video below, he explores ways to…

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Trust Your Results: Afternoon Sessions on Food and Health

November 27, 2011

In the last session of the day, we had a few experimental talks on noticing how food changes physical condition. It was also an interesting series of talks that shows the importance of collecting our own subjective data to back up or refute the other technological data that we might also have access to. I…

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Eri Gentry on Social QS Studies

October 24, 2011

Eri Gentry describes her presentation ‘Social Studies’ as “like Quantified Self, but Quantified Us!” She has always been wiling to be a participant in normal experiments; however, she now realizes that she wants her data to improve herself. Now she uses Genomera.com to run her own experiments that allow the participants to be actively involved…

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Robin Barooah: I am broken, or I can learn

September 18, 2011

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…

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My n=1 Quest to Live Headache-Free

August 29, 2011

I started getting headaches as a teenager, and migraines when my first daughter was born 9 years ago. I’m 34 now, so that’s about 20 years of some kind of regular head pain, and who knows how many ibuprofen pills popped. When I started seriously self-quantifying a couple of years ago, pain was high on…

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Percentile Feedback Update

July 19, 2011

In March I discovered that looking at a graph of my productivity (for the current day, with a percentile attached) was a big help. My “efficiency” — the time spent working that day divided by the time available to work — jumped as soon as the new feedback started (as this graph shows). The percentile score,…

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Announcing: the Quantified Self Forum

July 18, 2011

By popular request, we have just launched a global QS forum at: http://forum.quantifiedself.com/ Gary, Dan Dascalescu, and I took some exciting topics from the conference and turned them into forum discussions, with expert moderators to help explore ideas and answer questions. You’ll find discussions on: – Apps & Tools, moderated by Dan Dascalescu – Data Ownership & Privacy,…

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Keeping motivated in your tracking

July 1, 2011

I recently received an email from someone having trouble keeping up with her experiment. While there is lots of general advice about discipline and motivation, this got me thinking about how doing personal experiments might differ. Following are a few brief thoughts, but I’d love to hear ways that you keep motivated in your quantified…

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Self-Experimentation: A Call for Change

June 18, 2011

In 1981, Allen Neuringer wrote a paper in the journal Behaviorism, calling for self-experimentation. Consider it your weekend reading assignment, should you choose to accept it. Neuringer presents a fascinating history and philosophy of self-science, as well as his perspective on the importance of self-experimentation. There are even some early experimental graphs on needing less sleep…

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What makes a successful personal experiment?

June 10, 2011

As I continue trying to stretch the concept of experiment so that a wide audience understands applying a scientific method to life, I struggle with defining success. While the trite “You can always learn something” is true, I think we need more detail. At heart is the tension between the nature of experimentation’s trial-and-error process…

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Personal Development, Self-Experiments, and the Future of Search

May 13, 2011

We experiment on ourselves and track the results to improve the way we work, our health, and our personal lives. This rational approach is essential because there are few guarantees that what works for others will work for us. Take the category of sleep, for example. Of the hundreds of tinctures and techniques available, clearly…

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Announcing: Why Personal Science Really Matters

May 3, 2011

T minus 25 days until the Quantified Self Conference, and we have another exciting announcement. Seth Roberts will be giving a keynote on “Why Personal Science Really Matters.” Seth Roberts’ pioneering work in self-tracking and self-experimentation has led to discoveries about diet, cognition, mood, and sleep. His use of daily measurements of basic activities as a…

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Percentile Feedback and Productivity

May 2, 2011

In January, after talking with Matthew Cornell, I decided to measure my work habits. I typically work for a while (10-100 minutes), take a break (10-100 minutes), resume work, take another break, and so on. The breaks had many functions: lunch, dinner, walk, exercise, nap. I wanted to do experiments related to quasi-reinforcement. I wrote R programs…