Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Quote on My Door

"You know, it's amazing how many supervillains have advanced degrees. Graduate schools should probably do a better job at screening those people out."
-- Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

WEIRD people

I got in this great discussion last week about how published psych studies may not necessarily generalize, primarily because the participant pool is typically comprised of undergrad students taking Psych 101. The example used was the Fundamental Attribution Error, where people over-emphasize personality attributes and de-emphasize situational factors.

In a separate discussion, Alessandro Acquisti forwarded this paper, which has one of the best titles I've seen: The Weirdest People in the World? Here, WEIRD stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. The argument is essentially the same, that a lot of psych research is based on a narrow slice of the world population.

Defeating YouTube's Copyright Checker

I've been watching reruns of Glee recently and noticed something odd on YouTube clips of the show (what can I say, the tunes are catchy). Apparently, many of the clips have been posted in mirror image to defeat whatever system YouTube has in place to look for copyrighted materials. Very clever.