Lucy Powell MP replies to #thedaywefightback

Lucy Powell
Following on from…. My healthcare thoughts and the #thedaywefightback. I got a email back from my MP Lucy Powell (well ok a email back from one of her team)
Thank you for your email regarding the revelations of GCHQ and NSA data gathering.
I agree that these are, of course, extremely serious allegations and I know from the many e-mails and letters I have received that there is considerable public concern about this issue.I agree it is vital that these allegations are thoroughly investigated and that we ensure there is effective oversight and a clear legal framework to our intelligence operations. As I am sure you are aware, there was an important debate on the intelligence and security services in Parliament on 31st October last year.Our intelligence and security services undertake vital, often unrecognised, work to protect our security and to counter the threats we face. Given the global nature of their work it is also crucial that our intelligence agencies are able to share information across international borders with our allies, including the USA.

There also needs, however, to be public confidence that our intelligence agencies are themselves law-abiding and accountable and that any intelligence information received from the USA or any other country has been obtained legally. These recent allegations also underline once again the need for effective Parliamentary and Ministerial oversight of all three of our intelligence organisations.

I believe that the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which has the remit to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the country’s intelligence agencies is the right body to investigate these allegations, but I do think it is important that we look at all the options to ensure that there is proper parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services.

I hope that in the future the ISC will hold as many hearings in public as possible and that the ISC can become a full Parliamentary Select Committee, as I believe this would improve its transparency and accountability to the public.Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.Yours sincerely,

Lucy Powell MP

Well at least she replied I guess? I imagine many others are getting nothing back…? Quite a generic email to a complex issue…

Wonder what would happen if I replied to her? Wonder if I would get a reply again?

Why you should come to the Quantified Self 2014?

Quantified Self Europe 2014, May 10-11

Everyone knows the Quantified Self is really starting to hit the mainstream now. I was lucky enough to go last year and had a great time learning all about different aspects being quantified. I even ended up on the national radio following this video.

Its quite an amazing conference/unconference. Lots of different angles and opinions. Lots of interesting people looking at many different sides of life. All with the belief in knowledge through numbers.

The community which surrounds the Quantified Self are passionate and so sharing friendly. I think this is what makes it very different from the eHealth and personal informatics sectors. It can seem a little quirky at first, but only in the same way BarCamp seemed a little quirky on paper. After attending and spending time with the QS community, I was inspired and setup Manchester Quantified Self group.

But I’ve only just scratched the surface… Trust the community to explain why you should go, on top of what I already said…

Our conferences are different than typical industry or business conference. They are community-driven events that we like to refer to as  “carefully curated unconferences”. All of our sessions and talks come from our conference attendees, which requires more hands-on work from our program staff. The end result is dynamic program that reflects the interest, insights, and experiences of our community.

Show & Tell Talks: These talks are personal first-person self-tracking stories. We ask speakers to present their tracking experiments with an emphasis on what they’ve learned. At previous conferences we’ve heard talks on tracking Parkinson’s disease, computer use, continuous heart rate, and other fascinating subjects.

Breakout Discussions: We also program breakout discussions, which are held concurrently with Show & Tell talks. The breakouts are group discussions about a particular topic related to Quantified Self. Each discussion topic is proposed and led by a conference attendee. Previous breakouts have touched on issues related to privacy, the “missing trackers”, DIY tracking, visualization design, the role of open data in the QS community, and many others.

Lunchtime Ignite Talks: After a healthy and delicious meal (lunch is provided for attendees) we encourage attendees to listen to six or eight rapid-fire Ignite talks from attendees. These talks are similar to our Show & Tell talks, but typically have a more light-weight and entertaining feel. A great example is this talk given by Mark Moschel on tracking rejection.

Office Hours: In addition to the talks and breakouts, we also encourage attendees to bring current projects, tools, or applications they’re working on. We provide space during a program session for them to interact with attendees and have one-on-one conversations with interested individuals . At previous conferences we’ve been delighted to see a wide range of concepts exposed during office hours such as art projects, new visualization methods, meet and greets with luminaries in the field, and new tool prototypes.

It very certain I’ll be back this year and hopefully have some more experiences and maybe somethings to show this time? Massive thanks to Rain by the way for actually introducing me to the Quantified Self ages ago. Before that I only knew of Personal informatics which in comparison seems so dull and boring.

When should you start paying??? Really?

Thanks to Hollie for sending me this… When I watched it I almost screamed at the laptop screen.

Seriously! I wonder which decade do we live in…?

How to get the guy worries me deeply… Anyone who says

…All Without The Risk Of Rejection…

Is frankly chatting out there ass. Rejection is a normal part of the process. The important part is learning to get over it and understanding how it effects you.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I speak about Matthew Hussey