For a full year, A.J. Jacobs followed every piece of health advice he could — from applying sunscreen by the shot glass to wearing a bicycle helmet while shopping. Onstage at TEDMED, he shares the surprising things he learned.
In our second episode of QS Radio we shake things up a bit. We start with a brief discussion by co-host Steven Jonas about his experiences using the SunSprite light tracker and what he’s been learning. Next up, we have a great Toolmaker Talk with Kevin Holesh, the creator of Moment for iOS. Moment is a self-tracking app that helps you track how much you use your iOS devices (iPhone or iPad). Lastly, we wrap up with a short discussion about some interesting news and tidbits about personal data, self-tracking, and quantified self. Links to everything we discussed are below. Enjoy!
What We’re Reading
The End of Asymmetric Information
Download Your Google Search History
Impact of music streaming on my listening habits by Maciej Konieczny
How We Are Measuring Happiness at Whitesmith by Daniel F. Lopes
Tracking Joy at Work by Joe Nelson
Keep in touch with us! Follow along with your co-hosts on twitter: Ernesto Ramirez & Steven Jonas. Also stay up to date with What We’re Reading by signing up for our weekly email newsletter.
Don’t forget to register for the QS15 Conference and Exposition. If you’re interested in Quantified Self, self-tracking, and personal data there is no better place to meet expert users, advanced toolmakers, and learn first-hand through our may talks, sessions, and demos. Register now!
Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogle +1TumblrLinkedInEmail
Show Notes:Quantified Self - wikipediaQuantified Self (Official Site)Ernesto Ramirez (Twitter) Alex’s pick: http://newbooksnetwork.com - Great way to listen to authors talk about new books, new podcasts regularly on a wide variety of subjects.Matt’s pick: The Ice Balloon by Alec Wilkinson6:24 - Alex: Quantified Self is interesting for those who may want to use data for self-improvement.7:35 - Ernesto on QS: The act of collecting information - data - about your individuality, about yourself, whether that’s your health, your activity, your mood, all the things that make up who you are in the world.People have been doing this forever. Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues is just one example. But I think why this has come to the fore recently over the last five or six years is the increasing ease of collection, and an increasing ease of analysis. This is why there is a thing called Quantified Self.10:50 - The technology is really what’s driving this forward - there are more and more technologies that are allowing us to gather information about ourselves that a) we were never able to gather before and b) we’re able to gather it much more easily.11:33 - As these technological changes have come along, there’s been an increasing focus in the individuality of human nature and that - what works for me, may not work for you.13:15 - The Human Genome Project14:51 - What we’ve found is that individual stories actually can inspire lots of other people.17:21 - Rescuetime - an app for time management. Lift - an app for hitting your daily goals. 19:51 - I collect data in the hope that I can use it in the future to help me answer questions I may have. It can help you develop a rich autobiographical narrative as this data is continually collected.25:23 - Ernesto’s recommendations to start QS in your life:Make sure the system you choose to record this data lets you access the data it collectsStart with simple things - simple data visualizations can tell you great stories. Start with scatterplots.Share your observations with others - you’ll come up with new ways to look at this information29:50 - Alex: What I like is that in this data, in these visualizations - there’s always a story embedded in that, as to why things happened the way they did.31:42 - Right now, it’s all about data aggregation, about pulling it all together. But there are a few people working on how to create a subjective context that you need to have to make those more datasets more understood, more useful.33:01 - Basis Watch that tracks exercise and sleeping in particular.34:56 - Different companies take different approaches - Jawbone is trying to create automatic insights into your data that they can push to you in the form of simple correlations. Or Basis, which is more focused on helping you develop a stronger habits.40:10 - Gary Wolf, co-founder of Quantified Self: Ted Talk42:55 - What would be great would be to see a highly interactive computer system with these data systems that humans could work with, to really start to make this very useful.44:18 - What people do most often with this technology is actually use it to share their experiences.46:47 - We hear this all the time: ‘we just want people to donate all their data to us so we could create something interesting.’ What I think is more interesting would be to involve people in the discovery of data itself. Once you have this data, how can you feed back this information to the users who are generating it so it can be more useful?47:58 - We know that the act of data collection in itself is a mechanism to change their behavior. You give someone a pedometer, they’re going to take more steps, it happens time and time again.49:28 - I think that’s what it all comes down to - how can people understand and tell the story of their life? In some cases people want to improve, and sometimes people just want to understand, and some people just want to share what’s going on.