Photo of Minordata expo (http://www.minordata.org/)
Hello again. This is a summary of the first morning at QSEU15 (Friday Sept 18th, 2015) on the “How to” sessions, “show and tells” and “ignite talks”. These come from notes I wrote down in my log book. I missed some talks, between conversations but most of it is here.
Session 1 – Friday, 10:00 AM
HOW-TO SESSIONS: ACCELERATING LEARNING WITH SPACED REPETITION – Steven Jonas
Steven started off mentioning an article by Gary Wolf on spaced repetition (http://wrd.cm/1OY6jy4), and the software Supermemo. Supermemo is based on the original idea by Hermann Ebbinghaus, that you forget things at different rates and can remember better by recalling those things just before you would normally forget them.
One of the tricks here though, according to Steven is to know how to turn the information you want to learn into flash cards. They should be simple and not contain too much information, direct questions with a specific answer. We went over several examples of texts, like an opinion piece on medicare and an article on the Black Swan theory by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The idea in both was to show how supermemo can work and what kind of questions you can ask yourself to help recall things. This whole session was an eye opener for me since I had never used supermemo (it’s especially useful to learn languages). It does appear quite time consuming but the idea is that the time spent learning is quite efficient since the learning is then set in stone, for life. Other apps mentioned during the session by other participants, Mindmeister, Mindtools, Mindmaps, Timehop and good old Evernote.
Session 2 – Friday, 10:45 AM
HOW-TO SESSIONS: MAKING YOUR OWN DIY DASHBOARD – Joost Plattel
This was a more technical session and there were lots of people (>25). My basic take was that dashboards are really popular to help aggregate personal data but that each one is unique and hard to standardize among all users. Web pages that help to make dashboards include gyroscope, tictrac, fluxtream, exist.io and correlation dashboards that visualize and help analyze data like zenobase. Joost also mentioned he uses lifeslice, but I think its only available for iphones not android.
Session 3 – Friday, 11:30 AM
SHOW&TELL TALKS (University of Amsterdam 3/4)
SLOWING DOWN TIME WITH A LIFELOG – Morris Villarroel
This was my talk I desribed preivously (slowing time).
MY LIFE IN 40 VARIABLES – Justin Timmer
I think Justin has been to the QSEU conference as many times as me, since 2013, and he gave an overview of tracking over the past year. Last year I remember talking to him and him mentioning that most of his best ideas occurred in the shower and that he needed a notepad in the shower. I agree. It seemed apparent from all the data he showed that he was happier during holidays, happier or more productive when slept better (including putting phone into flight mode) but the most interesting thing for me was his skin temperature tracking. When his skin temperature was higher, he tended to gain weight and that was related to wearing more clothes. It seems that the take home message is that if you want to lose weight, you should wear fewer clothes, or at least try something to bring down your skin temperature.
TRACKING AFTER A STROKE: DOCTORS, DOGS, AND ALL THE REST – Andreas Schreiber
Andreas organizes the Cologne QS Meetup and is apparently quite a media star in Germany, with 1-2 TV interviews a month! He works with the German space agency and apparently had quite a stressful job, which led to a stroke. After that he used a series of apps and devices to track his health and share them with his nice collaborative doctors, e.g., blood pressure, tracking coffee drinking with the Taplog app, which helped to make decisions about changing medication. He’s developed some apps called Medando to help track mood and other things and found that blood pressure went down when travelling less and that many apps do not handle time zones well.
FINDING MY OPTIMUM READING SPEED – Kyrill Potapov
Kyrill is a grade school teacher and introduced us to using Spritz, a text reader to accelerate learning. It was fun to hear how he uses it in class, with 12 year olds. Bascially the app reads texts for you, and you can set the reading speed. It presents each word in a text without you having to move your eyes across the text. He quickly went from 230 to 350 to 450 words per minute and gave us a demonstration. In addiiton, he used the Muse head band while reading and reports having entered into a mindfulness like state when reading at the right speed. With traditional reading he gets more distracted while with Spritz he is calmer and can read for longer periods of time. Comprehension is also apparently quite good. Some dyslexic students also apparently like it better and it helps to track reading progress, so most students feel like they are advancing. He also mentioned the app, Focus at will. I’ve tried using Spirtz to read a web page (with Readsy) and it’s quite amazing, it’s as if the page is talking to you and it’s all quite speedy, you do feel a bit more efficient and the focus required towards the screen shuts out the world, big time.
Lunch – Friday, 12:30 PM
IGNITE TALKS (University of Amsterdam 3/4): VIRTUAL VIEW – Danielle Roberts
Danielle, I guess you could call her the in-home QS artist, always participating and full of ideas relating art and technology. She set up a virtual screening room for patients in a hospital providing them with animated nature scenes and then measured their heart rate and other physiological data. Overall, people really liked the experience, were calmed down and many people started yawning (i.e., relaxed) and/or said it reminded them of their holiday. It could be a nice way to enrich the environment in hospitals or old folks residences.
USING GENETICS TO COME BACK FROM INJURY – Ralph Pethica
This was surprising to me, a company (Genetrainer, https://www.genetrainer.com/) that offers to analyze your genetic response to exercise and then proposes a training protocol. It definitely sounds new and is related to each individual’s pain perception. If you are prone to feeling less pain (decided by your genes), you may tend to overexercise, which is bad news in the long run.
RUNNING WITH A SAFETY BELT- Marcel van der Kuil
This was another talk about exercise. One good point was that running has become quite trendy and many amateurs are even running marathons. All this has increased injuries and Marcel is out to make sure that people enjoy running throughout their lives, and avoid injuries and to make sure it is fun (enjoy the runner’s high) and not dangerous.
PERSONAL HEALTH MONITORING WITH BLOOD TESTS – Henrik Ahlen
Henrik mentioned a Swedish company he was using to get blood tests done. Blood testing sites and kits were quite popular at the conference. He used a nice quote in the talk, saying something like, most doctors base their diagnoses on our health on spot checks, which seems almost criminal. He also mentioned the writer Dennis Diclaudio, who I did not know.