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Robot Insects
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Women's Intuition
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Thinking with your Fingers
Monday, October 17, 2011

Choice
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Souls and Confections...?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
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On Souls...?
Thursday, September 29, 2011

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

Your Preferences - Preliminary Results
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Popularity Survey - DO IT FOR SCIENCE!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

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
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good News Everyone!
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Got the Time? Part II
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Got the time?
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Can Randomness Predict the Future?
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The House of Psycasm
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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.
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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
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Of Chimps, Children and Post-Grads...
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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
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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
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The Science of Mind-Reading
Thursday, October 28, 2010

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

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...
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)
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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, October 5, 2010

What would I be doing if I wasn’t doing this? This question has two answers for me – one constrained by circumstance, the other by my imagination.

I’ll start with circumstance, because that’s where everything starts…

Three or Four years ago a finished a degree in Business with an extended Major in Advertising. I don’t have much evidence to support the following statement, but I think it was the truth - I was good in Advertising. In fact I maintain that I am no better in Psychology than I was in Advertising. The only difference is that this time round I’m doing a better job of reflecting it in my grades, reflecting it in the people I work with, the networks I make, and the goals I set.

Some part of me back then – the unmylenated adolescent, presumably – believed my raw talent would carry me over the line. These days I recognise what I thought of as ‘raw talent’ was in fact ego. At the very least, I think, I carried the Ego well.

And so I set out all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed into the world of advertising. Step by small step. I worked in an Agency for a while – but they were small and didn’t give me one iota of training, and when I inevitably made mistakes it reflected poorly and – to make a long story short – I was unable to keep that job. I spent the next 18 months applying for anything in Advertising, anything Marketing, anything Media. I had dozens of interviews; some with the best agencies in town. I was too green for the big guys, and I never quite caught the break with the little guys. I was always short-listed, but never made it over the line. In one instance I was called back a year later based solely on my interview and CV from the last encounter. Whatever the cause I never quite cut it.

The best job I managed to get was as a Valet in a Service Garage and Car Yard. I’m going to sound like a snob here, but I was above it.

Six months later I was enrolled in Psychology. It seemed as if the world was unwilling to bend to my will, I therefore needed something to ply it with. Education seemed my metaphorical crowbar.

And so here I am in Psychology – making damn sure people know what I’m trying to do. I read a story about the very first enlisted Psychologists for World War Two… No-one, not even the Psych’s, knew what they were supposed to do (during that period psychologists were big on dream interpretation and Freud’s Penis, and those flirting with experimental psychology were shocking rats and orphaning monkeys). And so the fellow in charge of the enlisted Psych’s gave them this brief:

“Become Indispensible”

I have adopted this as my personal mission statement. Find someone important and become indispensible; find other capable people and make yourself a valuable asset to them; make sure that people know your face, know your name, and know what you can do for them. And never be afraid to ask for what you want – half the time you get it, and the rest of the time they point you in the right direction.

And so here I am – optimistic and hopefully invaluable; I expected myself at this time to be earning decent money writing beer commercials. So in sense ‘this’ [Psychology and Blogging] is what I’m doing if I wasn’t living my previous life….

The second answer to the question of What would I be doing if I wasn’t doing this is… I don’t know. In a sense I was given a choice to do something else a few years ago. Advertising was not an option – and so everything else, in a sense, was.

I guess I could have become a cage fighter, a drug smuggler, an artist, a poet, or a ... whatever; but I chose education with no real end. I’ll know it when I get there, and I’ve had ideas along the way (among them was starting a blog…), but at the moment it’s a journey for the journey’s sake – because the last place I ended up wasn’t worth hanging around.

But I guess, if I had to answer what else I’d like to be doing – completely unconstrained - I’d run a little bar-and-tattoo-parlour in Portugal; I’d live on a self-sufficient property and write fiction and brew beer; I’d become a pirate, seize an Oil-Rig, and declare myself an independent nation; I would – physics permitting – live in sky-ship in the clouds, floating from nation to nation on the wind, sharing stories, taking fare from fellow travellers, and contemplating the heavens.

buuutttt, I’m here. Wondering where the hell I’m going to find a decent N-Back programme that I can use in my current methodology, wondering if my next pay is going to be enough to cover rent + beer, and hoping that my approach of becoming indispensible lands me a job, money, and the respect of my peers. And you know what? I’m pretty damn sure I made the right decision. I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.

(Unless, of course, you do have some kind of cloud-faring vessel – a Zeplin, perhaps – and require additional crew. Consider me the Westley to your Dread Pirate Roberts of the Sky…)

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Blog Comments

Evie
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Not bad @Rift. A pirate's life it is, for me too. Specially if it's one living in the clouds :)


Prabodh Kandala
Texas Tech University Health Science Center
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First post to read today morning.  Inspirational too.

Is it mixture of a reality and fantasy?


Dr. O
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...but at the moment it’s a journey for the journey’s sake...

Best way to go, IMO. And now I can't get Jimmy Buffet's "Son of a Son of a Sailor" out of my head.


Jason Goldman
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Now I can't help but imagine you with an eye-path and a parrot on your shoulder.


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Evie, You CAN'T BE BOTH A PIRATE AND A NINJA.  That's Anime sacrelidge.

I think it's awesome you're coming from advertising, Rift.  It's kind of like a subfield of psychology.  The art of tricking people into buying a product or service they probably don't need.


Evie
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I don't have to be a pirate to live on the boat in the clouds.. duh... with my stealthy ninja skillz they won't even know I'm there.


Psycasm
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Yeah, I see psych as a side-ways step from advertising. In advertising the H1 is always :people are going to buy more shit (more or less); psychology is just a little more sophisticated in their H's, and their methodology, and their analysis, and their research,..... but yes, a sideways step.

Most people see them as worlds apart, it's nice to see someone who seems them more like cousins...

Also, I can see a position opening up for a mad ninja skillz on ship... that seems useful for all the art heists I'll be pulling...


Evie
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Sweet! I might lose my stealth appeal during band practice though.. hmm.. I may have to install a sound proof deck on board. We'll iron out details later.


JanedeLartigue
UC Davis
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'Become indispensible' - fantastic advice, definitely a good life strategy to adopt, especially with social networking these days, there are so many new ways to wedge yourself into a new niche.  Now, where to find that millionaire looking to indulge his mad scientist fantasies and pay me to do random experiments?  I think those Myth Buster dudes beat me to it, damn!


Psycasm
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What an idea, is it to late to say that I'd prefer to be Adam or Jaime??

Or maybe they can join my crew. A ninja and two dudes who like to blow stuff up. Awesome...


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Who is going to take care of your treehouse village while you're off with Rift using your ninja skillz to steal gand master art pieces, Evie?


Evie
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I suppose Ill have to have a number 1 to take care of business while Im away. You volunteering overlord?


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I already ahve enough shit to do...But I guess this website is kind of like an on-line version of your treefort village


Evie
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Soo.. you're saying we should start a rock band?

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