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.
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!
“[People with diabetes] are the original self-trackers.” -Ernesto Ramirez, Program Director for Quantified Self Labs
The entire thing is worth watching, but that quote made me smile.
I had this grand plan of intelligently commenting on the notion of online accountability and its many forms. Of citing examples of this accountability in the form of Foursquare check-ins at the gym, blog posts detailing a healthier lifestyle, twitter chats devoted to specific or general health topics, pictures of meals validating the time and energy spent in the kitchen, or even the many pictures of Dexcom graphs.
The last one is the idea that is responsible for this post. It doesn’t take long to search for Dexcom pictures – they are everywhere. But what gives me hope for this particular form of accountability is that these pictures aren’t just of the no-hitters, but the moments that are far from in range. The words of encouragement that follow are just as meaningful for the momentary victories and defeats.