244 episodes

Welcome to the Cognitive Engineering podcast. Occasionally coherent musings of Aleph Insights. We hope you like listening to them as much as we like recording them.

Cognitive Engineering Aleph Insights

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Welcome to the Cognitive Engineering podcast. Occasionally coherent musings of Aleph Insights. We hope you like listening to them as much as we like recording them.

    Anniversaries

    Anniversaries

    We recently reached our five year anniversary of producing these podcasts, and (in true meta fashion) thought we would celebrate by analysing why we recognise such occasions.

    At the point of recording this podcast, there have been 241 episodes of the Cognitive Engineering podcast and nearly 100,000 listens. For some reason, though, we find it much more significant that this achievement has taken us five Earth years to complete. In this podcast we examine why humans are drawn to recognise the passing of the years and whether it is useful to do so.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - Places with the least seasonal variations https://earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/2966/are-there-locations-on-earth-that-only-have-one-season#:~:text=The%20region%20on%20Earth%20that,experience%20cold%20and%20warm%20seasons
    - Javanese calendar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javanese_calendar

    For more information on Aleph Insights visit our website https://alephinsights.com or to get in touch about our podcast email podcast@alephinsights.com

    • 39 min
    Revolutions and the Arab Spring

    Revolutions and the Arab Spring

    Ten years on from the Arab Spring uprisings, we look at whether revolutions constitute an effective way of improving a country’s governance, with Dr Alia Brahimi, an expert in Middle Eastern politics.

    In this podcast we look at the precursors and aftermath of the Arab Spring, examining several of the affected countries - then and now - to see whether their lots have been improved. We also examine revolutions in general and consider how you might determine their success or failure, and over what period of time it is appropriate to judge their outcomes. Finally, we analyse different types of revolution and try to understand how they might be predicted.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - Jihad and Just War in the War on Terror https://global.oup.com/academic/product/jihad-and-just-war-in-the-war-on-terror-9780199562961?cc=gb&lang=en&
    - ‘Life has got worse since the Arab Spring’ https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/dec/17/arab-spring-people-middle-east-poll
    - Alias Advisory https://aliasadvisory.com/
    - Quality of Government data https://www.gu.se/en/quality-government/qog-data

    For more information on Aleph Insights visit our website https://alephinsights.com or to get in touch about our podcast email podcast@alephinsights.com

    Image: Shawn Hayward via Flickr

    • 37 min
    The Lowest Form of Wit

    The Lowest Form of Wit

    Which is more grating, constant punning or permanent snarkiness? We examine the hierarchy of humour in order to determine what is, indeed, no laughing matter.

    In this podcast, we consider whether humour value can be objectively measured, and if so, whether it is a separate concept to that of wit. We also look at why we bother to attempt humour in the first place. Finally, we engage in a slightly awkward exercise to determine whether we are good judges of our own funniness.


    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - The eleven kinds of joke according to The Onion’s founder https://bigthink.com/stephen-johnson/every-joke-falls-in-one-of-these-11-categories-according-to-the-founder-of-the-onion
    - The Atlantic: What Makes Something Funny? https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/funny-how/550910/
    - Do animals have a sense of humour? https://www.livescience.com/60864-do-animals-have-humor.html
    - Humor ability reveals intelligence, predicts mating success, and is
    higher in male https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/attachments/95822/humor-predicts-mating-success.pdf
    - Walter Nash’s ‘The Language of Humour’ https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Language_of_Humour.html?id=Ef0NAQAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y
    - ‘Biggus Dickus’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQkQAU9iU7I

    For more information on Aleph Insights visit our website https://alephinsights.com or to get in touch about our podcast email podcast@alephinsights.com

    • 36 min
    The Real Heroes of Lockdown

    The Real Heroes of Lockdown

    What is more virtuous, delivering a pizza or administering a Covid test? As we begin to end lockdown, we discuss who was most helpful during this difficult period.

    In this podcast, we examine how data can be used to assess the societal value of different jobs. We look at the Covid risk exposure of different roles, consider whether salary is a good indicator of value, and explore where duty ends and altruism begins. Finally, we ask whether heroism can ever truly be measured.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - Death rates by occupation (National Statistics) https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/causesofdeath/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19relateddeathsbyoccupationenglandandwales/deathsregisteredbetween9marchand28december2020
    - Wages by occupation (National Statistics) https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/datasets/grossweeklyearningsbyoccupationearn06

    For more information on Aleph Insights visit our website https://alephinsights.com or to get in touch about our podcast email podcast@alephinsights.com

    Image: via UCL Partners

    • 25 min
    Open versus Closed Standards

    Open versus Closed Standards

    What3words provides its users with an easy way of referring to any geographic location, but nobody knows how the three word reference is generated. Is this the right approach or should all standards be open?

    This podcast looks at how open and closed standards work, investigates the pros and cons of both and considers their economic consequences. We explore existing examples of open and closed standards and delve into the relative levels of control and investment value that both models offer. We also look at the rights of users, such as the right to repair.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - What 3 Words https://what3words.com/daring.lion.race
    - Why bother with What Three Words? https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2019/03/why-bother-with-what-three-words/
    - Vendor lock-in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor_lock-in
    - Prisoner’s Dilemma https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/prisoners-dilemma.asp#:~:text=The%20prisoner's%20dilemma%20is%20a,expense%20of%20the%20other%20participant.
    - Right to repair https://repair.eu/
    - A list of format wars https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/65305/winner-takes-all-8-most-dramatic-format-wars


    For more information on Aleph Insights visit our website https://alephinsights.com or to get in touch about our podcast email podcast@alephinsights.com

    Image: Wiyada Arunwaikit via Getty Images/ iStockphoto

    • 27 min
    Are Governments Effective?

    Are Governments Effective?

    The Covid pandemic has seen a sharp rise in government spending, and large scale testing and vaccination programmes. Some of these have been successful, while others less so. We look at whether, on balance, governments are an effective mechanism for achieving desirable outcomes.

    In this podcast, we explore the rationale for having governments in the first place and consider what activities it is appropriate for them to carry out. We look at what happens when the government gets it wrong and also examine what various data sources say about the relative effectiveness of the private and public sectors.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

    - Chicago School of Economics https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/chicago_school.asp
    - Milton Friedman – Four ways to spend money https://investorjunkie.com/economics/milton-friedman-ways-spend-money/
    - Principle-Agent Problem https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/principal-agent-problem.asp#:~:text=The%20principal%2Dagent%20problem%20is,roles%20of%20principal%20and%20agent.
    - Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Good and Bad Government
    https://www.visittuscany.com/en/attractions/siena-ambrogio-lorenzetti-good-and-bad-government/
    - PSIRU report summarising some of the evidence https://www.epsu.org/sites/default/files/article/files/Public%20and%20Private%20Sector%20efficiency%20EN%20fin.pdf
    - The effects of bad government https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/06/01/effects-bad-government/
    - What’s so bad about government anyway https://fee.org/articles/whats-so-bad-about-big-government-anyway/
    - What is rent-seeking? https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/economics/rent-seeking/#:~:text=Rent%2Dseeking%20is%20a%20concept,It.

    For more information on Aleph Insights visit our website https://alephinsights.com or to get in touch about our podcast email podcast@alephinsights.com

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Top Podcasts In Science


Listeners Also Subscribed To