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Podcast delay and misc. Drugs!?
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My very own Natural Disaster
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

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Porn: A force of Mutual Benefits
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No-one cuts deeper than a Science Blogger.
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What Your Voice Says About You
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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*sigh* Psi: A Rebuttal
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A man and his words.
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Little kids, little minds...
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Smoking (maybemightcould) is Good.
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How to stop the Apocalpyse
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How to trick yourself creative
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Blogger Profile

Psycasm

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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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

After months of blue-sky musings, and weeks of preparation I stand to make an announcement.

I am releasing a Psychology Themed Podcast.

Let me outline a bit of my reasoning:

I listen to a number of podcasts, as they're an excellent way to receive ongoing news and information, and are frequently accompanied by skilled dissection. I personally (and regularly) listen to Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, Astronomycast, Freakonomics, and Skeptically Speaking (as well as a number of others on a less regular basis).

You'll notice none of the mentioned are Psychology themed... and that's a big problem I've noticed. There's a lot of Psychology-themed podcasts out there but they all suffer from a number of problems (in my opinion). Mostly they're a lecture series delivered by smart and (no doubt) interesting people, but not an interesting way.

I aim to do what Skeptics' Guide does for Skepticism and Science News, and what Astronomycast does for Astronomy - make a big all-encompassing topic digestible by those interested in the area, but not formally trained. For instance, I've always loved Astronomy, but if I were ever to pick up a book on the topic I would be swamped by jargon, hit with maths, and experience a general sense of being overwhelmed. Astronomycast takes a single topic, critically treated, and presents it in a natural and entertaining way.

This is what I hope to do.

Up until now I have been hesitant to make any public announcement. But with our first 'trial run' turning out a million times better than expected I feel confident that a polished product will be ready soon(-ish).

Here's the outline (which will be subject to some minor tweaks over the coming weeks).

The show will have a rotating cast of 7 regulars, with each show featuring only 4. The cast includes 2 undergrads, a number of PhD's and, hopefully, a Dr. or two. In this manner I hope for an ever changing dynamic and points of view that will often be contested and remain fresh.

Each show will begin with a general discussion of a given area. Our first recording was on Language, specifically second languages. How we use it, how we learn it, why we forget it, and the power of words. One of regulars told us of her first experience of English - a Bosnian born native speaker attending grade 1 (in Australia) without a lick of English. Yes, her parents still laugh about it.

Following this we enter the science of the area. For instance, we discussed what the literature had to say about the best ways to learn language, what some of the theoretical reasons were as to why we forget language (as we learn a second), and why swearing is so damn enjoyable.

We then give a detailed treatment of a specific paper. In this instance we tackled a paper that looked at the emotional weight of the phrase 'I love you' in the multiple language of multilinguals. We meandered covering topics from Bosnian insults to Schadenfreude.

And in this particular trial run we gave a run down of Psych-news in the pop media. Why we think a particular press-release was overstated, interesting experimental tweaks to a report that suggested that women prefer dieting information from other women (and not men), and why the Drongo is essentially a racketeer.

If anyone is interested in listening and returning an opinion I would be excited to give you a dropbox link. Just hit me up with a labspaces DM, in the comments (make sure to include an email addy), or email me at psycasm@gmail.com.

Some caveats: This was our first run through. As the moderator I'm a little stiff to begin with but we find our groove soon enough. The beginning is probably a little science-lite and a tad unstructured - details which will be remedied in later productions. Finally, one regular had a terrible mic and was edited out heavily, and where retained, sometimes had some weird sound-level issues.

Having said that I'm extremely proud of our first attempt and would like to share it with anyone interested. Naturally, we'll only be getting better and more interesting as we practice and release more.  

 

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Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Let me know how you decide to host the podcasts.  I have server space and we can track bandwidth ;)

I'm 100% behind this!


Psycasm
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Thanks Brian. Still a small while away yet on the final product. The opportunity is highly appreciated.


Tideliar
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Fucking brill mate! Email on its way!


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I just got done listening to your alpha release of the show.  There's some awesome stuff in there!  The audio on it is phenomenal, how'd you do that??  Like you said, it probably needs some editing, but I'd say that it'd be a great first release.  My only negative comment is that it runs a bit long.  I'd try to keep the pieces around the 20 minute mark.  I think this one ran like 40 or 50?

But yeah, great stuff.  I can't wait to hear what's next!


Psycasm
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It was 40 mins. The idea is to break it down into two seperate 20 mins halves (we didn't do that very well on this time) with generally independent material in each section. I figure about 20mins is a standard bus ride or bike ride to work.

We recorded an hour of material, and I edited it back. Though the editing in parts was rough and ready as I'm learning as I'm going.

...and it was just recorded on Skype with off-the-shelf 20 dollar mics, and edited with Audacity.


Prabodh Kandala
Texas Tech University Health Science Center
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Awesome.

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