Friday afternoon session QSEU15: Lifelogging breakout session

breakout_session_QS_lifelogs

Photo 1. Some notes on white board for Breakout session on Lifelogging

Session 4 – Friday, 2:00 PM

BREAKOUT SESSIONS: LET’S LEARN MORE FROM OUR LIFELOGS – Morris Villarroel, Alberto Frigo

In reading up for the session I found a definition of life-logging in Allen (2008), who in turn quotes Dodge and Kitchin (2007), “A life-log is conceived as a form of pervasive computing consisting of a unified digital record of the totality of an individual’s experiences, captured multimodally through digital sensors and stored permanently as a personal multimedia archive.” I don’t know how many of us are actually doing all that, but at least we make an effort.

I offered to lead this session with Alberto Frigo (see http://wp.me/p5gQ8v-22), who has been lifelogging now for 12 years (his web site, http://2004-2040.com). We had been thinking about how to organize it properly and decided it depended highly on how many people ended up there and how into life-logging they really were. About 13 people showed up. We drew three words on a white board to help organize the comments and discussion. They were “capture”, “organize” and “learn”. We then asked each person to introduce themselves and mention if they were capturing, how they were organizing and what they were learning about their data.

By the end of introductions, the chart was quite top-heavy for capture techniques (see photo 1). Data can be organized in different ways but normally in terms of time, and learning is mainly based on visualization and sharing with others (i.e., come to QS conferences and meetups!).

The capture part was quite varied and included mentions of diairies (log books, one sentence diaries, daily diaries taken for 20 years, twitter diary), to photos and health related measures (glucose, food, alcohol, steps, weight, sleep, mood, running, work). Some more original activities that people were tracking were chess moves/games, background noise, scalp dryness, family care giving and use of kanban flow charts.

My overall impression is that many people have tried many things but then give them up, they start using one app or one way of tacking and leave it after a few days or weeks, rarely looking back on the data. I personally find life-logging motivating. It doesn’t really matter what is measured, but doing it is interesting and then looking back on it, trying to organize it and learn from it just potentiates a reflexive process that usually provides interesting information. It’s important to consider uncurated life-logging, not thinking to much of the learning when capturing, just being sure that something will be learned.

Refs for the breakout session: Allen, Anita. “Dredging Up the Past: Lifelogging, Memory, and Surveillance, 75 U.” Chi. L. Rev 47 (2008). and Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin, Outlines of a World Coming into Existence: Pervasive Computing and the Ethics of Forgetting, 34 Envir & Planning B: Planning & Design 431, 431 (2007).

Session 5 – Friday, 3:30 PM

SHOW&TELL TALKS (University of Amsterdam 3/4)

THE DATA IS IN, I’M A DISTRACTED DRIVER – Robby Macdonell

Robby discovered he used his phone more often than he thought in the car, while complaining about others who did the same. This was a great talk, but I didn’t write down too much about it. The slides were nice, I guess I’ll have to watch in on the QS web page when it goes up.

THE ARCHIVE ALREADY EXISTS – Awais Hussain

As in the first plenary talk in the morning (about hair loss), Awais did not actively log anything, he just used a lot of data that was already being collected around him (mostly email, calendars and journals) to see if he could find chains of events that could explain different decisions he made during his college years. Overall this has helped him to be able to step outside of himself, identify causal chains and access his creative mode.

DIAGNOSING MY AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASE – Vedrana Högqvist Tabor

This was a fun talk to listen but also some concern seeped in, since Vedrana told how she found out she had an autoimmune disease. She has always had a low core body temperature (also like the hair loss talk) and then found out she had hypothyrodism and Hasimoto’s disease. She also talked about her problem digesting cheese and allergies and how it was not that easy at all to talk to doctors.

PERSONAL LESSONS FROM COMBINING MY DATA – Frank Rousseau

Frank tracked his mood, sleep, expenses and work activity and saw how walking affects sleep several days later. He also started to realize how much alcohol he was drinking without realizing it (12.78 glasses of wine a week! I guess he can be forgiven since he is living in Paris). And the more data he had, the more data he wanted.

MEASURING MY BLOOD GLUCOSE – Philipp Kalwies

Phillipp’s genetic analysis by 23andme showed he had a 40% increased risk of having high blood glucose, so he bought a cheap glucose measuring device. He did not find large diurnal differences in blood glucose, and a positive effect of coffee and in the end his glucose was quite normal.

DATA VISUALIZATION AND MEANING Doug Kanter, Joel Goldsmith, Jana Beck

This whole session was about diabetes and new instruments to measures blood glucose in people with Diabetes I. One problem is that patients have to prick their finger every day, a new device (Free style Libre Flash glucose monitoring system, from Abbott labs) avoids that. It is strapped onto the back of the arm and talks to your phone. It’s an advantage since you can get diurnal changes and not just a daily average. Good quote from Joel, “doctors do not like data pushed onto them, they do not like data or technology per se, but like faster decision making and things that are clinically relevant”.

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