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Measuring Well-being (Take 2)

Given the unexpectedly large number of signups and waiting list for the first event, I'm creating a second for those who are unable to make Sep 13th and want to participate in this topic.

Cities like Somerville are measuring citizen happiness as part of personal well-being.[1] Many EU countries are also measuring well-being.[2] Since governments use surveys, there are many biases to account for, significiant time delays, much effort required, and time (often years) before policy makers can act on the data.

Surveys are also impractical for personal use, especially when monitoring our own behavioral data. How often would we complete a survey to tell us how our sleep patterns affect our daily performance, or how we're progressing toward some personal goal, or how we're feeling about that progress?

QS efforts for both personal and society benefit can currently take a lot of time, effort, and discipline. Can they be easier?

For example, our phones often gather large amounts of accelerometer data throughout the day. What if we could mine that data to find patterns in our daily movements that quantify our life satisfaction or well-being? Could such information be actionable for improving ourselves, our cities, and/or our schools? Could we share it with our spouse, our friends, our doctors, our teachers, our policy makers?

We're in a town swimming in cutting-edge medical, psychological, and educational technologies, so there are bound to be interesting possibilities. Let's enjoy some great beer and explore ideas together.


Join or login to comment.

  • Master C.

    When measuring human qualities like happiness, IMHO there are two valid approach to this task, one being the scientific and the other is the subjective method. I am no scientist by choice but I do respect their approach and use number of science based devices to gather quantified data about my life. On the other hand I created and made use of a simple subjective method -since 2003,- to quantify my Spiritual, Emotional, Mental and Physical energies and these data points when put into historical perspective are also valuable and even more when they are used in instant communication. I am still waiting for the technical write up to be complete and published but if you want check out the web site on this subjective way of measuring ourselves. You will need to contend with my “Hungarian English” but you will find the just of it here:

    October 4, 2012

  • Ryan H.

    I just signed up to this meetup group and I'm so disappointed to find that I just missed the last meeting by a matter of days. Looking forward to getting on board with the next meetup.

    September 23, 2012

  • Adam L.

    Howdy all! Wonderful discussions last night. Since we each couldn't participate in all of them, what were your takeaways?

    Steve (from Zeo)'s Nike Fuel bracelet was cool - a water(proof) bracelet that can gather 3 days of accelerometer data between charges is cool. Too bad there's no api to get the raw data, but there are other ways to get accelerometer data.

    Folks in the Media Lab's affective computing group are measuring stress and various emotions with diverse combinations of biofeedback, accelerometers, facial recognition, and other methods. Zsolt (MasterCoachZ) created an iphone app that measures well-being acroll multiple perspectives.

    Funf and - - originated from the human dynamics group in the media lab. Software that gathers health data gleaned from our movements.

    Funf and - originated from the same group. Similar to ginger, though focus on creating a data gathering platform we can use to mine our own data.

    September 21, 2012

  • Adam L.

    Hey Aerjen, sure. We have the room until 8:45.

    September 20, 2012

  • Adam L.

    Location update. We got the back room at Mead Hall. Come up the stairs and look for the enclosed room past the upstairs bar.

    September 20, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will be running late from work and probably arrive at 6.30 will that still work?

      September 20, 2012

  • Adam L.

    Hey Kathy. It's about a block from the Kendall Sq T on Broadway. Searching for mead hall on Google maps is your best bet.

    September 20, 2012

  • Adam L.

    Howdy all, I called around. Mead hall in Kendall Sq. has their upstairs open, first come first serve, so I'm going to go there a couple hours early and stake out some space. It will also allow us to remove the cap, so everyone who wants to come can, and we can order food/drinks as we'd like.



    September 20, 2012

    • Kathy

      I'm not very familiar with that area. Is it near the movie theater? Thanks for finding a bigger place. I'm very glad to get in.

      September 20, 2012

  • Master C.

    Folks, the ultimate venue now presented itself!!!! Microsoft Store in the Prudential Building 800 boylston street next to food court FREE OF CHARGE!!! Call Allison Knight:[masked] these guys are cool. Awesome visibility, big screen display n more toys to be put to use! All that at no cost!!!!
    Meetup organizers , this is a dream come through!!

    September 19, 2012

  • Jacqueline O.

    I won't be able to come tomorrow, so you should have someone on the waiting list come instead. Thanks very much.

    September 19, 2012

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