About the Quantified Self Conference and Expo

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Let's do this. #qs15

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Last week I attended QS15, Quantified Self’s annual conference and Expo as a part of my role as the new Associate Editor for Quantified Self Labs. My mandate was simple: attend breakout sessions and show-and-tell talks from the Quantified Self community with the goal of finding some interesting people to interview, and some interesting stories to tell. Having never attended a local Quantified Self meetup before, I didn’t really know what to expect of these three days. I figured there would be a lot of numbers and graphs and wearables – lots of wearables. And while some of what I encountered wasn’t far off from those preconceptions, I came away with a much different feeling about the entire Quantified Self movement than when the conference began.

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Here Are Some Links Worth Clicking

My first piece for Quantified Self was published today. You can read it on Medium.

I started watching Daredevil on Netflix. This show is so good.

Heather Gabel is starting her PhD which will focus on studying the diabetes online community, and is looking for your input on what would be most beneficial for her to study and eventually share with us. Definitely worth checking out.

Tandem Diabetes has decided to not allow current t:slim users to upgrade to their new Dexcom-integrated pump when it hits the market. You can read their justification here. As you can imagine, I wasn’t very enthusiastic.

It’s a bit hyperbolic, but that’s what the Internet is for, right?

And, registration for the 2016 Diabetes UnConference is open. Highly worth considering, especially after hearing what Christel had to say about it on the podcast a few weeks ago.

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An Eventful Week

I’ve spent the better part of last winter and all of this year trying to figure out what it is I want to do. I have all of these side projects and blogs and advocacy efforts, but turning those more-or-less hobbies into any kind of reasonable income is, and has been a challenge. After a gaggle of resumes and inquiries into possible opportunities, my luck finally took a turn last week with not one but two different interviews – on the same day.

The next day I had two offers.

And by the weekend I had written two different announcement posts for my new employers.

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About Quantified Self

Ernesto Ramirez, Program Director at Quantified Self, is my guest this week. We cover Ernesto’s continuing education from Arizona State to his upcoming dissertation at the University of California, San Diego. And naturally we spend a lot of time talking about Quantified Self, its origins, the meetups that drive the Quantified Self community, and the growth of self-tracking and wearable technology. Enjoy!

You can follow Ernesto on Twitter at @eramirez and learn more about Quantified Self at quantifiedself.com.

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Over-Quantified Self

Tonight’s episode of MedX Live covered the topic of self-tracking and touched on components of the quantified self movement. The whole thing is worth watching, but I want to bring up one of the questions that the panel discussed: the notion of an “over-quantified self”, the idea that you can collect too much data.

The whole Quantified Self movement is quite curious from my perspective. As someone who has to actively self track to stay alive, I’m intrigued by the the individuals who elect to embark on this data-based endeavor for reasons not related to carb counts and blood glucose control. But regardless of the purpose, I do think there’s a risk of worrying about too much at once. If you try, really hard, you can collect all kinds of data on everything you do. The risk for burnout is ever-present if you don’t control yourself.

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Quantifying Myself

I’m only a couple of days into my FitBit experience and I’m already torn. I’m experiencing some technical issues with the FitBit Flex that are beyond the help of the user guide and the FitBit forum community. I’m currently in a back-and-forth with customer service that will likely end with me RMA-ing this unit for a new one. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I haven’t been using this thing long enough to be the primary culprit for whatever is going on here.

That said, I think there’s a tremendous potential with FitBit, when combined with the rest of my data gathering – both active and passive.

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