64 episodes

Inger and Jason talk about work, but you know - not in a boring way. Practical, implementable productivity hacks to help you live a more balanced life. Find us talking to each other between episodes on Mastodon: @thesiswhisperer@aus.social and @jasondowns@ravenation.club

On the reg Thesis Whisperer

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 58 Ratings

Inger and Jason talk about work, but you know - not in a boring way. Practical, implementable productivity hacks to help you live a more balanced life. Find us talking to each other between episodes on Mastodon: @thesiswhisperer@aus.social and @jasondowns@ravenation.club

    Trusting the Meat Computer

    Trusting the Meat Computer

    Inger and Jason convene for the long awaited mailbag episode! (but first there's a bit of old-person whinging about health and other stuff). Inger explains how she and Narelle wrote a 36000 word book in a single weekend with Claude.The mail bag is full to overflowing! There's gold in there - which prompts a very wide ranging conversation about Bujo, task managers, screen capture software, politics and - well, the usual stuff. The speak pipes failed after the first one... (which is...

    • 2 hrs 2 min
    Obsidian! 1996 called and it wants its database back.

    Obsidian! 1996 called and it wants its database back.

    It's been quite the month. Jason was pulled over in the Tinny (again), Inger had a mole taken off her foot. We skipped the mailbag in favour of a deep nerd chat about Obsidian starting at 32:51. The discussion gets waylaid part way through by a mutual existential freakout about Claude Opus. It's... a lot. Enjoy!Things we mentioned:Kangaroo time - Winner of the Dance Your PhD competitionBe visible or vanish - the book Inger wrote with her colleague Simon ClewsPostAc (on Inger's res...

    • 1 hr 55 min
    What we are doing with GenAI now... (it's pretty cool)

    What we are doing with GenAI now... (it's pretty cool)

    Jason had pneumonia when he recorded this very long pod with Inger. It's a testament to his brainy-ness (and Inger's sound engineering skills) that it turned out as well as it did, given he coughed and sweated his way through it.Warning: in the chat section at the top there's a lot of talk about TEQSA. If you're confused, here's their webpage. Jason was too sick to do mailbag, but please keep sending in your letters and speak pipes!At we switch to our work problems section (26:04) Large...

    • 1 hr 48 min
    The sweet, sweet taste of academic freedom

    The sweet, sweet taste of academic freedom

    Inger and Jason are at the end of the holidays. For Jason this meant going to a hash den in Thailand (it's a long story) and for Inger it meant organising all her rococo style porcelain figurines (yes, really).The mailbag (18:53) is full of interesting letters and provokes only one moment of feminist rage from Inger. Ok, maybe two. In the Work Problems segment (56:35) Jason gives us an alternative way to think about the year ahead with the VRIO model from Jay Barney and there's quite a ...

    • 1 hr 52 min
    The unexpected Christmas Day episode!

    The unexpected Christmas Day episode!

    Inger and Jason recorded an episode at 9pm at night on the 15th of November, before Inger took off for the UK. Inger was meant to edit and post this sometime in December, while travelling in the UK, but due to the vagaries of wifi and Christmas shopping, she ended up doing it at Heathrow airport on Christmas eve. So look, it's a little bit ... unplugged? But at least it's short (well, for us) and there's some good stuff in here - including a surprisingly long digression on KanBan boards. We f...

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Hot academic gossip and the Circle of Niceness

    Hot academic gossip and the Circle of Niceness

    This one has been in the can for a while - but it was recorded only a week after the previous one about the Meat Grinder. You'd think that would make the banter session shorter, but ...not really. Jason has largely avoided having his face squished at Brazilian Jujitsu and Inger has been writing whiny emails to her boss. The team finish up the Cambridge hiatus mailbag (13:32), including one from Janet Davey that was lost at the bottom (sorry about that Janet!). This prompts a lengthly discussi...

    • 1 hr 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

Jonathan O'Donnell ,

On the Reg: The Future of AI Podcasting

On the Reg has really hit its stride this season. In fact, it is getting more and more impressive with each season.

For those that haven’t listened, On the Reg is a brave experiment in duelling AIs. Each of the 'hosts' is completely generated by a Generative AI program, with the twist that each one is a different AI. The two AIs are effectively 'talking' to one another.

This is not a new idea, but few have been able to make it work as effectively as On the Reg. The prompters behind the show have gone to a great deal of effort to build up the in-universe verisimilitude. For example, making the two AIs speak as academic professors was an inspired choice. It allows them to adopt the faux-authoritative style that most people associate with academics. Locating them at unnamed universities in Australia gives them both the mystique of the faraway place, while talking about a higher education system that no-one really knows anything about. This covers the occasional gaffe (such as when 'Jason' described an accreditation system that was completely unbelievable in its complexity).

It is the small things that make On the Reg stand out as a believable reality: the ‘rivalry’ between the two ‘hosts’ when it comes to the number of books read; the ‘snippity-snip’ discussions about cutting out some parts of the ‘recordings’; ‘Jason’s’ make-believe stories of tinnies (some sort of boat) and martial arts. Mind you, the prompters don’t always get it right. They have realised that ‘Inger’ cannot put off writing her romance novel forever so this season they have quietly killed it (despite the now canon assertion that she can write a book in a weekend). In past seasons, we have seen other gaffes: the episode where they ended up in a loop, endlessly talking about Obsidian for hours on end; and the hilarious episode when they side-tracked into discussion of romance novels involving Navy Seals.

It is also the small things that often trip up an AI, but these seem to be improving. All the books that they have discussed this season seem to actually exist, and almost all the software seems to be real as well. It still isn’t clear which AI is powering which host, and that has become something of a discussion in the industry. Personally, I’m betting that straight-talking ‘Jason’ is created by Chatty-G, with his gravelly voice by ElevenLabs. ‘Inger’ is a bit more of a mystery. I think she is powered by Claude, but the voice… An off-key Deepgram, perhaps. Hard to say, and the creators aren’t talking.

Overall, this experiment just seems to go from strength to strength. You can measure that by comparing the complexity of the current podcasts with the name of the show. ‘On the Reg’ is neither regular nor regulated. The name is one of those ‘green ideas sleeping furiously’ non sequiturs that could have been created by Eliza or something else from the AI dark ages. They’ve come a long way, and I hope that they continue in the same vein.

Gaylourdes ,

Get on the bus!

I LOVE jumping aboard the bus with Inger and Jason. I especially like how they talk about 'driving the bus' - a cogent metaphor for steering the conversation. Their rapport is top notch, balancing curiosity in each other's 'feelpinions' with mutual respect for intellectual labour and fascination with shortcuts and productivity knowhow. If you have a deep and abiding passion for app-driven automative jiggery-pokery to quell the slings and arrows of academic knowledge worker lyfe, this is the podcast for you.

SpanPanic ,

The Best Podcast for Academics

This is the perfect podcast for academics. Full of practical tips and hints, this is the kind of podcast that I would be happy to get stuck in Sydney traffic listening to.

My only complaint?

Its too short.

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