Recap: July 2012

Go Optimize Yourself! Measuring Life, Health and Influence: An Introduction to Quantified Self

Monday, July 9, 2012
6:30pm – 9:30pm
ING DIRECT Cafe, 221 Yonge Street

“Quantified Self is a collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self knowledge through self-tracking. We exchange information about our personal projects, the tools we use, tips we’ve gleaned, lessons we’ve learned. We blog, meet face to face, and collaborate online.” Source: quantifiedself.com

We think the Quantified Self movement is a well-deserving topic for our attention. It may sound like a statistics lecture, but the weird and wonderful ways we can track our lives is worthy of discussion and debate!

May we proudly present July’s line-up of speakers:

Ariel Garten – “Brain Guru”, CEO InteraXon Inc.

If there ever was a gap between science, art, business and technology, Ariel has closed it. Her work converts the workings of the mind into tangible solutions.

Ariel has researched at the Krembil Neuroscience Institute studying hippocampal neurogenesis, displayed work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, DeLeon White Gallery, and opened Toronto Fashion Week. The intersections of these diverse interests have culminated into various lectures with topics such as “The Neuroscience of Aesthetics” and “The Neuroscience of Conflict, featured on TVO’s Big Ideas.

Referred to as the “Brain Guru” by Now Magazine, CBC Radio and the Toronto Star, Ariel has also run a successful real estate business, spent time as the designer and owner of a Canadian fashion boutique, and is a practicing psychotherapist.

Follow Ariel on Twitter.

Alan Majer – Founder of goodrobot.com and Mad Scientist

Alan Majer is the founder of Good Robot. He has always been interested in how science, technology, and society intersect to shape our future. Over the last 12 years, Alan has pursued this interest directly in his career as senior analyst and writer – interviewing hundreds of startup companies to distill their strategies and forecast the currents of change. Now, Alan is exploring these frontiers hands-on: transforming care for seniors with the use of sensors, home automation, and robotics. Alan’s current venture uses technology to help elderly people live independently in their homes by sharing information with family and caregivers. Monitoring the activity within a home (when the fridge was last opened for example) allows families to know how their loved ones are doing, or even alert them of unusual patterns.

Follow Alan on Twitter.

Sacha Chua – Experimenter-at-large!

Do you really only wear 20% of what’s in your closet, and can knowing which 20% help you declutter? Sacha started tracking the clothes that she wore, and found that you can load-balance your clothes and pack for vacations more effectively. Along the way, she discovered that you can substitute mathematics for fashion sense. She also tracks time, money, stuff, and precisely how much cabbage she and her husband survived on in the community-supported agriculture program. Find out how asking questions and collecting data can help you tweak your life.

Follow Sacha on Twitter.

Nicholas Manolakos – Performance Management Architect

Nicholas Manolakos is a programmer and avid reader who has been self-tracking for twenty years. He’s recently been improving his left-right body balance, and can write proficiently with both hands now. He’s given various talks on a range of experiments, including optimizing cognitive performance, managing anxiety, introducing complexity, dietary experiments and fasting – interestingly, one of the things he discovered is that fasting and giving blood improved his cognitive performance. On the 9th, he will be talking to us about his adventures in lucid dreaming!

Check out Nick’s blog.