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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, November 7, 2010

My post is light today because I have a rather large exam in a few hours. It's worth 50% of total course credit and it's on ef-off-sophisticated statistics. I really don't know what kinds of statistics other disciplines require, but this is the third and final statistics course for the undergrad component and it's getting worryingly difficult. I'm relieved to think it'll be over in a few hours.

Statistics is might ordinarily be a dry and boring subject, but I need to thank my lecturer, who most excellently taught the subject with personality and insight. Addtionally, I have been involved in a number of lab-groups where academics throw around statistical language with incredible ease. That blows me away, but thanks to this course I actually understand what they're talking about.

In order to celebrate how well this subject was taught I have compile a list of all the things my lecturer said that tickled me in the listening and re-listening of all 26 hours of content (that's 26 hours of stats content in the last week, excluding self-driven work...).


"…these green people are more beautiful, or score more highly on a test of existential worth…" 

"…here you see the structural model... You guys are like ‘I would be happier, frankly, had I not seen that…"

"...Here we see the simple effect. Tah dah!. Let me show you again. Tah dah!" 

"…In the old days, how happy they were, just minutes ago…now we see a hideous new level of complexity…" 

"…if you give this lecture six times, you too will have a deep understanding…"

 *shows comic* "…enough people have laughed that I’m satisfied emotionally…"

 "…at once you can feel the hope and the terror…"

 "…both gender and age you can’t be randomly assigned to. Yet."

 "…keep things simple is a really worthy aim… don’t get carried away with a 4-way or a 5-way interaction. Noone will love you. You will be rejected."

 "…we can observe with horror the structural model. Just 2 weeks ago we were feeling sad about the 2 way factorial and it’s complexity. Now we look back on that time of innocence and laugh!" 

"…motivation plus energy plus knowledge, that creates something awesome. We’ve got something exponentially positive. Motivation plus energy plus ignorance creates something wretched…"

 *asks impossible question and laughs* " I’m just amusing myself by tormenting you."

"…Some things we cannot assign, like brain damage. Tempting as it is to take you all and hammer a sharp spike through your head…"

"…you can see the seductive power of it, but also the extremely strange dodginess of it…"

 "… you guys are like ‘woah, you’re freaking me out’…"

 "...I’m hopefully that at least one of you has had an awesome experience of statistical ecstacy…"

 "wait till we get to the wibbly hyperspace…"

"…but is represented by what we’re calling ‘a hyperspace blob’, so this technical language I use…"

 "...again we’re limited by our puny human-ness…"

 "…and you can easily change the significance if the IV’s… by introducing a HMR. Sometimes you can use this power for good, but frequently people use this power for evil…."

 "… you guys are averting your eyes. It’s sad to see your fear…"

 "…this is where people begin to feel bitter. Bitter and sad…"


I'm not sure if, taken out of context, this will be funny for anyone else. But it's my way of thanking my lecturer for an excellent course taught well.


As an afterthought, what kind of stats do other disciplines frequently use? If any?

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Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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That guy sounds hilarious.  I never had to endure a stats class, but my Calc prof in undergrad was a total bore.  I can't believe you re-listened to all of the lectures. I always wondered if those people who recorded lectures in undergrad actually listened to them or were just doing it for show :P

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it's standard practice at my uni to internally record all lectures (well if the lecturer wants it). We can get them right off the website. It has it's pros and cons though...
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