What if people came with care labels? Quantified emotions

It started off as a discussion on Twitter and ended up as a blog post on Zoe’s blog.

Sometimes it’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. You may feel over-whelmed, worried that you might make others feel over-whelmed, just not have the words or want to avoid thinking about what it is that is really occupying your mind…

…That’s what got me started thinking about “what if people had care labels like clothes?”.

The concept of people with care labels is a fun and intriguing one. What would your care label say? But it goes deep into the quantified universe.

Are there somethings which can not be quantified? You can go down to the chemical functions, maybe even the watch the neutrons firing away but does that give you enough scope over emotion?  Zoe talks about some apps which allow you to self track mood but as someone who assigns a mood to my self reported dreams with Dreamboard. Its sometimes difficult quantifying it down to a single emotion.

I feel it would work better like a colour picker. I feel a little bit of this and a little bit of that but also a dash of the other.

So less set labels but more mixable pallets. But of course the idea of them being visible still stands. And of course the question of what other people will do once they know how you feel? This certainly would make playing hard to get… a whole different game.

Intriguing and collides right into the work Rain’s been working on, with wearables.


NHS care.data

The state of care.data is a unbelievable and sorry tale. The more you look into it the more you think something is seriously missing. Its almost like the UK government want to sell off the NHS in return for an American style health care system (tin foil hats at the ready). I would suggest thats not the extreme view it sounds like, going by the mess which is on the table.

Following getting the NHS leaflet telling me I have a choice about where my medical records exist and the stellar work the likes of the Open Rights Group and others have done. I decided to look a little deeper into what is care data? I went to Threats to your medical confidentiality as I wanted to understand the other side which seemed to be hidden from public view.

What I found was something almost acute to the practice of health care.

The NHS will be legally barred from selling personal medical records for insurance and commercial purposes in a new drive to protect patient privacy, the Health Secretary will announce next week. Jeremy Hunt will unveil new laws to ensure that medical records can only be released when there is a “clear health benefit” rather than for “purely commercial” use by insurers and other companies.

Its important to note these facts…

  1. Care.data has nothing to do with medical care, you will get the same care regardless
  2. This is all about extracting confidential medical information from the GP-held records. Once they have it will never be deleted
  3. Identifiable data can/will be sold to almost any company. Medical research will get another slice regardless
  4. There is no medical lost from opt-ing out, this is all about access to data
  5. You can opt-out using a form or using the new FaxyourGP service but you can also opt-out people you look after/care for or are dependent on you (like your children for example)

To make things worst if you did decide to opt-out (remember its your lawful right to do so) the NHS made it extremely tricky to do so, they finally gave us 6 months more to decide.

Awwww what nice people… Nothing to do with ill thought-out communication or patient data going to insurance companies. No of course not… Whats also shocking is the lack of mass publicity this is not getting.

Me personally, once fax your GP is back will be using that service to make sure I’m opt-ed out, unless something dramatic happens. Even got a google task to remind me to opt-out…

Why internet dating makes me angry

Rosie shared with me a post from Girl on the Net, titled The ‘science of dating’ and why it should make you angry

When Rosie shared it on Twitter, I did what I usually do. Add it to Instapaper for a more relaxed time and so I can read it on my Kindle. Days later, I found some time during a lunch break, while eating my soup and started reading. I was unprepared for how much I wanted to scream “YES!”

I’m aware of Girl on the Net, but there’s so much great points in the post I can’t help but say “I knew I wasn’t crazy!”

Here’s a few of the points which had me shouting yes inside!

Relationship advice, on the other hand, screams absolutes no matter how little data the authors have. I recently received an email advertising a site that claimed to give me the “science” behind dating – by “science” it looked like they meant a survey they did of 100 single women. From this tiny sample not only did they draw conclusions like “all women want you to text back within 48 hours” but also that they could tell which of the survey respondents was a “hot babe”.

If only people would see relationship advice as just that… Advice! You can take it or leave it, but its certainly not something you can quote and put money on. The advice is also Anecdotal, which leads on to…

Anecdotal evidence is always popular – whether it’s Peter, who managed to overcome his fears about talking to women after reading The Game, or a few quotes on a forum for pick-up artists assuring us that this magic method helped our hero get laid three nights in a row, honest. The anecdotal evidence of dating advice is rarely challenged in the same way as we’d challenge it elsewhere

Anecdotal at best. But the problem is people treat it like fact. The fact is my advice is as good as their’s. They will never admit it but it is full of holes and bias, just like mine.

This is why, when Northern Lass 32, said in the Guardian… I was the human dating Wikipedia. I quite liked it.

Wikipedia isn’t always correct and is very human with its mistakes, lack of citations and verification. While this is fine for me, not claiming to be a expert. Its not so good for those who claim to be experts and know exactly what you’re doing wrong.

I’ve found things which work for me, but I can only suggest they may work for others. I try and caution the advice I give. But ultimately I could also be seen as adding to the dubious information state. Never meant to, I always felt I was just opening peoples eyes to the possibilities which they never took.

…this onslaught of dubious info will prevent us from doing what’s natural – meeting people and having relationships with them – but it certainly hurls a few obstacles in the way of people who might be struggling. What’s more, it matters because all such misinformation matters: it demonstrates to people that you can package waffle as wisdom and make money from it. It teaches us that anecdotal evidence, vague appeals to authority and ad hominem are perfectly valid ways to win an argument.

I feel the difference here is, I am always welcomed to be challenged and I am by friends and strangers. Like testing a new formula or concept, I welcome push back. Oh and get it from those who say I’m too picky, too data centric and trying to quantify the unquantifiable.

Ultimately there is simply not enough clearly non-bias open data to give sound advice about online dating. Unfortunately in the void of this, the dating company’s get away with making insane statements and the dating experts go unchallenged. And as Girl on the net makes very clear…

…above all it matters because it paints a skewed and inaccurate picture of reality: in which women want nothing more than a free lunch and an open door, and men must jump through hoops and clap their flippers like performing seals in order to secure a gesture of love.

Sobering words for us all to think about…