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Beware the False Consensus Effect!
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Your Preferences - Preliminary Results
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Popularity Survey - DO IT FOR SCIENCE!
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Zietsch's Response to PZ, Laden and Scicurious.
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The Personality of Cities
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Discussion #1 - Walking Speed and City Size
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People who Doodle Learn Faster = Bullshit
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This is a lie, she said.
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MSPaint is mightier than the Sword
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The Art of Indecision
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Skeptical Checklist 1.1
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The Skeptical Checklist 1.0
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Of Chimps, Children and Post-Grads...
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Video Game Morality: Actions inside the box?
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Psychobabble goes live!
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The Trolley Problem: Who cares?
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Podcast delay and misc. Drugs!?
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My very own Natural Disaster
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A window into your Genetics and Mate Preference?
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Oh sorry, I totally phased out there...
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Porn: A force of Mutual Benefits
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Statistical Pwnage
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Why you should care...
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The paper of Influence
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Sharing: Part I - Emotions
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No-one cuts deeper than a Science Blogger.
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Me Meme [Ohh, links now]
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Half Full, or Half Empty? Well, That Depends on the Shape of the Glass.
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What Your Voice Says About You
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Babushka Blog: A Meta-Blog on ResearchBlogging.
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Willful Self-Deception is Bliss
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*sigh* Psi: A Rebuttal
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How not to think yourself smart...
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Welcome to Assassins' League
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TODO LATER. A story of procrastination and forgiveness.
Thursday, October 21, 2010

A man and his words.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Little kids, little minds...
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Smoking (maybemightcould) is Good.
Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to stop the Apocalpyse
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How to trick yourself creative
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Psycasm is the exploration of the world psychological. Every day phenomenon explained and manipulated to one's own advantage. Written by a slightly overambitious undergrad, Psycasm aims at exploring a whole range of social and cognitive processes in order to best understand how our minds, and those mechanisms that drive them, work.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Welcome to Assassins' League.

The first rule of the Assassins' League is:

You know what, I don't have a punchy one-liner. But let me explain. Previously I've stated that I've adopted 'Be indispensable' as my personal motto. Well, this is part of the overall plan, but the story starts earlier than that.

I started studying psychology knowing I didn't like failure. As soon as I had a bit of knowledge under my, after my first semester (when I was technically a second-year), I began to network. I boot-strapped myself up by making sure I talked to all my lecturers and by getting to know other people who work hard. Fortuitously I met an acquaintance who was post-honours and working on campus who introduced me to a number of postgrads. I don't know how - but I managed to get to know and build rapport with them all (well, most) - after all, who am I? An undergrad with delusions of ambition?!*

With step 1 handled I moved on to step 2. I figured if I can make myself central to something, make myself indispensible to many people, to offer something that's hard to achieve alone, and make it easy for anyone to do the same as I did, I'd be in like Flynn. So I started the Assassins' League. The League does two things:

First, the Assasssins' League is a gaming community. As the moderator I organize the game. It involves taking everyone's name, assigning code-names and targets, and setting the rules [and networking]. The rules of the League can be found here. The basic idea is that all players anonymously stalk other players, shoot them with water pistols (without any witnesses), and working the way up the ladder. Last Man Standing wins. The prize? Fear and Honour. Fear. and Honour.

Second, the League is exclusive. I recruit intelligent, passionate, and engaged individuals. They're at both post-grad and undergrad levels. The idea is that undergrads are preferentially given RA work and references; and postgrads can find RA's (of high caliber) quickly and easily, as well as having a network of people ready and willing to be involved in their studies.

In the future, as members move around the country, graduating and finding jobs, the idea is the the League becomes a rallying point for resources. A recently moved member might contact their old League Chief asking for someone with experience in such-and-such, maybe for collaboration, maybe for data, maybe for a conference.

The game is great  [and by 'great' I mean full of anxiety]. It's actually quite shocking how on edge we players become during the two-week period of any given game. Sometimes it's a relief to be killed - just so you can get on with your work without distraction. But, all the same, it's always disappointing - you always secretly hope to sweep the field in a blaze of water-pistol glory. I've met some amazingly talented people through the League, and I've personally set up a bunch of people with RA's and research work - stuff most undergrad's haven't a clue how to achieve. I'm proud of that. It's hard work, but I see a big future, people within the faculty know that the Assassins' exist, but not much more. I like that too. I see a future with us as the Skull and Bones of Psychology, that kind of thing.  

Today marks the end of the last game of the first year of the League (to end 3pm Aus-EST). I post knowing (hoping?) that there has to be some psychology undergrads out there. If you're interested, talented, and ambitious I want to know you. I want to set up sister Leagues at other campuses. Contact me here at LabSpaces, or at psycasm (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested. The process by which I want to set up official networks will be strict, and I'll want to get to know you fairly well (membership criteria for the League is found here, to give you an idea). But seriously, who doesn't want to help form a secret society of psychologists? If you're interested in starting your own club - but perhaps with a greater social bent and less of a tilt at world domination, I'm also happy to share my experiences for running a smooth Assasssins' Game.

Why am I doing this? Why do I want more people setting up official Sister Leagues? I want to give Psychology students the opportunity to network prior to honours, before their PhD's and Masters'; I want people knowing other people prior to conferences and travel; prior to jobs and applications. I want talented, hard-working folk linking up with other talented, hard-working folk.

In the mean-time I lament my early death this round. After having made a kill early on I spent the next day in the Library studying (with occasional break to stalk my target). Out of nowhere I'm tapped on the shoulder and shot in the ribcage, mercilessly. My assailent sits down and laughs at my expense. She had already made one successful kill and had an axe to grind from the last game. I'm watching the tables eagerly to see if she claims a few more today, before the 3pm cutoff. Just quietly, I suspect it's going to get a bit messy.


*Note: Australians hate tall poppies... 


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The game has just wrapped up. Nerisa (Onyx) was the winner. Here's how the game looks:

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Hmm, not great image quality. It can be found here though

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun!  Are these pretty common?  Or did you come up with the idea all on your own.  What's your water pistol of choice?

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Sounds fun - we used to play this in high school, but without the water pistols, you just handed the person a not to tell them they were being killed. But its weird to mix the game with the helping undergrads get RA positions. Why not just help undergrads find RA positions anyway without having them suffer through this secret society/ water pistol business?

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Brian - no, the game has been around for a while. I just adopted it and gave it more sophisticated rules.

Nam - it's a way to get people to bond over something. It's hard to get undergrads and postgrads to mix on their own time, but if they're forced to hunt each other out and shoot them it'd be rude not to introduce yourself. We also have coffee after every game (3 games a semester) and usually have a BBQ before semester begins and drinks when semester ends. Plus, it's appealing to those who aren't already members - it's got a desirably kind of vibe and credability which I wouldn't have been able to generate if it was merely me getting people work.

Dub C Med School
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Assassin is such an awesome game.  We used to allow "poisons," meaning you could spike someone's food with hot sauce or put a note at the bottom of their plate, but someone, that may or may not have been me, got carried away in making hot sauce, that may or may not have included 4kg of habanero peppers.  So we went back to water pistols.  I hunted e-bay specifically for one of the old entertech water guns, but was told it was banned (they kinda sting).


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I am devastated that I didn't get to make any more kills. A combination of going away for a few days and people not showing up to classes, limited my death count.

Also this post makes me sounds just awful! I swear I am not that evil! However, I did have to do better than last round and unfortunately for you, you were my target :)

Congratulations on turning us all into anxious, crazy stalkers!

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Since I was killed early... by you... I had a look at the master list. You don't know how close you were to being killed in the last hour of play... It would have been devestating. You would've died, and your killer would've won on points.

UC Davis
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We used to play this at school.  My favorite was the bombs.  If you could get into someones locker you attach a piece of paper to the inside of the door and the inside of the locker that said "boom".  if they opened their locker and ripped the piece of paper they woudl die.

We were all so careful opening our lockers but sometimes when someone was in a hurry you could get them to mess up.

Those were the good old days!

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