You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2019 (0)2012 (3)2011 (73)
December (1)

Robot Insects
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
November (6)October (5)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Women's Intuition
Friday, October 21, 2011

Thinking with your Fingers
Monday, October 17, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Souls and Confections...?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
September (7)

On Souls...?
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beware the False Consensus Effect!
Saturday, September 24, 2011

Your Preferences - Preliminary Results
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Popularity Survey - DO IT FOR SCIENCE!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zietsch's Response to PZ, Laden and Scicurious.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Personality of Cities
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Discussion #1 - Walking Speed and City Size
Sunday, September 4, 2011
August (6)

People who Doodle Learn Faster = Bullshit
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good News Everyone!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Got the Time? Part II
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Got the time?
Sunday, August 14, 2011

Can Randomness Predict the Future?
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The House of Psycasm
Sunday, August 7, 2011
July (7)June (6)May (8)

Part 1: Do We Have Freewill?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Open Letter: A follow-up
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This is a lie, she said.
Sunday, May 22, 2011

MSPaint is mightier than the Sword
Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Art of Indecision
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Skeptical Checklist 1.1
Friday, May 13, 2011

The Skeptical Checklist 1.0
Sunday, May 8, 2011

Of Chimps, Children and Post-Grads...
Monday, May 2, 2011
April (5)March (5)February (7)January (10)

Magical Thinking: Voodoo, Prayer, Black Cats, and You
Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Art of Character Creation
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Video Game Morality: Actions inside the box?
Friday, January 21, 2011

Psychobabble goes live!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Trolley Problem: Who cares?
Sunday, January 16, 2011

Podcast delay and misc. Drugs!?
Saturday, January 15, 2011

My very own Natural Disaster
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A window into your Genetics and Mate Preference?
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh sorry, I totally phased out there...
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Porn: A force of Mutual Benefits
Sunday, January 2, 2011
2010 (35)
December (7)

Statistical Pwnage
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why you should care...
Thursday, December 16, 2010

The paper of Influence
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sharing: Part I - Emotions
Sunday, December 12, 2010

No-one cuts deeper than a Science Blogger.
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Me Meme [Ohh, links now]
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Half Full, or Half Empty? Well, That Depends on the Shape of the Glass.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
November (11)

What Your Voice Says About You
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Babushka Blog: A Meta-Blog on ResearchBlogging.
Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Announcement:
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Willful Self-Deception is Bliss
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dance, Blogger, Dance!
Friday, November 19, 2010

The Science of Marriage
Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Moon and Antarctica
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Available: One Mentee. Good Condition.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Again we are limited by our puny human-ness
Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blogging Carnival - What is Psychopathology?: Origins
Friday, November 5, 2010

*sigh* Psi: A Rebuttal
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
October (12)

The Science of Mind-Reading
Thursday, October 28, 2010

How not to think yourself smart...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to Assassins' League
Sunday, October 24, 2010

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...
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Smoking (maybemightcould) is Good.
Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to stop the Apocalpyse
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to trick yourself creative
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Siesta - It sounds like Fiesta, but isn't.
Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Dread Pirate Rift
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Being Blonde. Natural or otherwise...
Sunday, October 3, 2010
September (5)
Rate This Post
Total votes: 0
Blogger Profile


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.

Post Tags

Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Thursday, December 16, 2010

This is not something I normally do, but by the very fact that I shy away from it, it seems appropriate now.

I can't understand why anyone cares about anyone else. Not in any pathological sense, but why you - some potato farmer in Kansas - care about me - some poor under-grad from Land of Oz. Furthermore, I'm probably right. As most bloggers (probably) do, I watch my stats*. My most popular posts are strike a balance between commentary and science, and are usually on something pop, like music, or video-games. My least popular posts are about my opinions and about me. Personally, I thought 'The Moon and Antarctica' was an excellent post, and expected to watch the stats counter climb. I was wrong. My most popular post, however, was 'We should be Music Testing Athletes', which I personally thought was a poorly constructed treatment of a topic that deserved more (and which I intend to revisit at some point in the future). By contrast, 'The Paper of Influence' (all about me) ties for one of the lowest scores with 'The Moon and Antarctica' (above) and 'The Dread Pirate Rift' (again, all about me).

The most obvious explanation is I don't have a loyal readership base (apologies to my 8 adoring fans), despite fairly regular and justified treatments on a variety of topics. Don't get me wrong, I begrudge no-one for this, nor do I feel sore or hard-done by - it just raises some interesting questions. Why haven't I developed a stronger base? Maybe I'm right, and people don't care about other people, and you fact-groupies just come here for my science. But if I am right, that's a bleak future, and doesn't explain the success of other more science-cum-diary blogs, of which I follow a few.

So given that I avoid sharing like that plague**, I'm going to share with you right now. This is my year-in-review: Everything unblog-related.

This year started like so many - with my birthday (ok, so not the first of Jan, but pretty soon afterwards). I don't really remember much from that time, but then I have trouble remembering yesterday's breakfast, too. I do know that I was trying pretty hard (as I had been for 6 months prior) to achieve some personal goals in my Martial Arts training. As of December I achieved that goal (no mean feat), and am now focusing on the next level. During the same period I was considering testing for my 3rd Degree Black-Belt. I was all gung-ho, but was unable to undertake the extra responsibility that it would have required. Basically, I would have needed to have become a full-instructor (again) and run my own club. Having done this once before I understood what this meant, and decided to maintain my priority on my study.

At around March I began the Assassins' League (also one of my less popular posts), which from humble beginnings of... well, me - is now a nicely supported and active community numbering upwards of 20. I'm pretty happy with that, but there's definitely more to do, and more to tweak to really achieve the goals of that Organization.

Towards the end of Semester 1 I offered my services to one of my lecturers, and gave up my entire mid-year break coding mind-numbing videos of people arguing. Though tedious, doing so has led me to the inclusion in some very interesting lab-groups, as well as giving me access to interesting academics and has given me the opportunity to run a complete study, from start through finish (though I'm not at the finish just yet).

At some point Brian contacted me and invited me to Labspaces - which was a completely unexpected little success. I have noticed my stats climbing progressively since moving here, though interestingly, I get sometimes get more stimulating comments at including, Lisa-Joy Zgorski of the NSF, regarding a quotation of hers***.

A few months back I visited The Philippines, my first international excursion (well, not if you include New Zealand****). The Philippines is the home of my Girlfriend, and all-in-all, was an interesting experience. Though I'm afraid I haven't been infected with the travel bug (but I was infected with a travel bug...). People are people wherever you go, I think. And despite the fact that my first re-experience with Australians was one of whinging and complaining, it did highlight how there is no place like home. (Oh, and my girlfriend and I celebrated 4-years together).

Which brings me to my final project - The Podcast, which, thanks to many who may be reading this right now, has been met with great suggestions and roundly positive feedback. Though I'm yet to go live, the website is up and running, and though I'm still yet to recruit the whole team, I'm certain it will go ahead and be met with a modest degree of initial success (longer-term success? Who knows...).

All that's left (or all that's missing, rather) is having a more financially rewarding job. My extreme aversion to job-hunting may be in part to blame, but at the same time, 24 year old unqualified students aren't typically given sweet jobs, and the best retail jobs go to pretty girls and people they can pay far less (I think I'm worth 3x the hourly rate of a 16 year old).

So there you have it. Rift (yup, I'm not given out the real one freely, just yet) in review. I'm not sure that will necessarily make you care, but I gave it a shot. Maybe if I included more heart-wrenching set-backs I'd appear more endearing, but the truth is (despite being poor) it's been a year of steady upward progress. I'm not sure how much further the progress needs to be maintained before I can really stand on my own feet, but it's in the right direction.


*At least, I like to think other bloggers watch their stats... it soothes my narcissistic tendencies.

**I also avoid sharing the plague, if that's an endearing feature

***Ok, so it was a misquotation, but the point is she read it.

****and I dont. For good reason.

This post has been viewed: 602 time(s)

Blog Comments

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Interesting post, Rift.  It'd be interesting to go back and look at my most popular posts, though mine don't see nearly as many hits as yours, in general.  It sounds like it's been a pretty fun year for you.  I didn't realize that part of the black belt hierarchy involved running your own group of martial artists.  DO you think your assassins league would count toward your black belt training? :P


Guest Comment

Nobody else cares about their stats, dude. Just you.

Genomic Repairman
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

What DM said, I don't value my posts based upon hits or stats but rather on comments and discussion generated.  Numbers don't mean jack as it could be a casual clickthrough but when someone leaves a comment that is an active function versus a passive one, and that matters more to me.

Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Ok, so it appears me watching stats is something I thought was more universal than it was. Weird.

And I agree with Drugmonkey, the comments are a much better metric of impact and popularity that stats, but I feel that stats do have some predictive power.

My highest stats pieces have comments off the charts (The Psi and Sigh series). But otherwise it appears random.

This seems like an excellent (albiet flimsy) reason to run recreational statistical analysis. I'll put together some graphs soon.

Thomas Joseph
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Rift, have you correlated views with comments? While it may appear random, it may not be (though the sample size is still rather small).

Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I haven't, not yet. I suspect there's a weak/moderate correlation; There's a bunch of analysis I'll run - number of commenters to hits, number of links that direct to the page, number of outgoing links, etc etc.

Any other thoughts out there?

Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I think it has little to do w you, and everything to do w where those other readers happen to be in their lives at the moment.. Also, the internet is weird, and you never know who your post will reach, or when they will click that link.


Guest Comment

Umm, I was kidding. of course stats and comments both function as positive reinforcers which enhance the frequency and/or probability of the blogger posting something new. Anybody who actually looks at their stats and tells you that it doesn't affect them is in denial.

Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Rift- it seems obvious to me that some of us (*cough*drugmonkey*cough*) are very prone to shall we say... addicted type behavior when it comes to blogging, commenting, page views stats and so on. Such activities serve as a proxy for both being liked and having influence, either of which are things social little primates get off on. Therefore, when some people denigrate paying attention to this, they are, perhaps, overcompensating to forcefully adjust their own standards so as not to end up drolling over their computer, hanging on every update, waiting for more comments. Not that we know anyone like that...

Add Comment?
Comments are closed 2 weeks after initial post.