Ideas for Quantified Self experiments

Once I will be reasonably confident that I have a semi-OK-baseline, it would be great to actually start doing stuff.

How to do self-experiments:

I’d also like to make predictions at the beginning, and to ask myself some question (how hard was it, do I feel deprived or tempted, etc). This will keep me focused

Those are the ones that I suspect will be very interesting and easy to do and formalize and with the biggest possible impact:
  1. Eliminating caffeine (ABAB)
    1. Semi-regularly but tracked except for tea (right now)
    2. Use caffeine+L-theanine systematically and see how (and when) does it influence the following: (for two weeks)
      1. CBS
      2. DNB
      3. typing speed
      4. General wellbeing(=mood)
    3. Phenibut 2-3 times in the middle of those two weeks
    4. Eliminate both caffeine and phenibut totally after that, for two weeks
  2. Jogging/exercise on sleep and mood the following day/night (I think I can do it at the same time as 1.)
  3. Creatine and citrulline on workouts and jogging (keep them consistent, 2-3 times a week, and just either take them or not, and see what happens)
    1. The workout/run itself
    2. Muscle soreness next day
  4. Food on cognition, especially a lot of it, especially junk food
    1. Not as experiment, just record it, and see what happens.
Not a priority but very interesting:
  1. No caffeine or alcohol for 30 days
  2. ISR every evening for 2 weeks
  3. Vegan for 30 days
  4. Intermittent fasting
  5. Mindfullness meditation every evening for 20 days
More abstract:
  1. Recite affirmations every day
  2. Activity alarm every 30 minutes
  3. MINDFULLNESS and outside
  4. Eat only on response of hunger
  5. Write 1000 words a day for two weeks

Over and out for now

Exporting Cambridge Brain Sciences data

Now playing: Ry Cooder – Jesus on the Mainline

Cambridge Brain Sciences is a nice way to measure brain health. After quick (~10 minutes) tests, it gives you your score in three main areas (Verbal, Reasoning and Memory) and your C-Score, which is “the summary of your cognitive function”. It’s meant not as a semi-static measure (~IQ), but as a “how are you feeling today” kind of thing.

I use it both as a way to track/manage some depression symptoms, and as an objective way to measure how various things influence your mental performance (think exercise/nootropics/sleep/…). I wrote a bit about it and how I use it here.

It’s pretty awesome, but lacks a CSV export, or even just a way to get the data in a readable format, without having to hover on their charts. I wrote them (they are pretty responsive and open to suggestions, by the way) and they said that they will add that as a planned feature. I  didn’t want to wait (patience is not one of my virtues) and wanted to start running some analyses on the data I have, but didn’t want to it down manually. Hovering over the data points in their chart to get the individual data points would have been very very tedious.

Looking at the source code (and hoping to find some “data.json” or something similar), I saw that for their charts they use Highchart. After skimming the documentation, I wrote small and extremely basic javascript snippet that would output the dates and datapoints of the currently open chart:

To use:

  1. Open the CBS dashboard
  2. Open the developer console.
  3. Paste snippet above

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Then, if you need the verbal/memory/reasoning data, just switch to that tab and repeat the process.

For individual tests the process is very similar.

The snippet is the same, but you need to change the “chart” parameter. Switch to the “Tests” page, then right-click on the needed graph, “Inspect element”. You are looking for the data-highcharts-chart parameter:

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This is the number you need. Set it in the first line of the snippet (chart=” “) and run.

To work with the data, I pasted it into LibreOffice calc with the following settings.

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You need the “Separated by space” and “Merge delimiters”.

That way, it gets outputted to different cells, and you can copy the ones you need. I’m sure Excel can do something similar.

To merge the AM/PM on the other cell, I used the following formula to convert the time:

with B37 as cell with the time, and C37 as cell with AM/PM.

I hope I’m not infringing any terms of service, it’s not even scraping — just accessing the data already in the graphs. And I am not doing a tool or Greasemonkey script out of this, because I think that I won’t need to do this often (I add the data manually at the end of each tests if I do them), but if there’s interest, I could do something more “beautiful” and portable — let me know!

(Y)

SH.