246 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 • 10 Ratings

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.

    Town Planning

    Town Planning

    Are you allowed to choose the colour of your house, the height of your grass, or more importantly can you have a garden gnome?

    In this podcast, we delve into the world of town planning. We discuss the evolution of urban planning, its pros and cons, and whether new cities have it right or if there are still lessons that can be learned from old towns. We also look at how town planning can affect people's happiness and examine what should be the key considerations when it comes to planning a new town.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - Hampstead Garden: The History of The Suburb https://www.hgstrust.org/the-suburb/history/index.shtml
    - Annual personal well-being estimates https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/datasets/headlineestimatesofpersonalwellbeing
    - ‘Britain’s Love-Hate Relationship with New Towns’ https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/may/15/sterile-or-stirring-britains-love-hate-relationship-with-new-towns
    - The Private Production of Urban Planning https://mises.org/library/private-production-urban-planning
    - 10 Reasons Explaining the Importance of Urban Planning https://planningtank.com/city-insight/importance-of-urban-planning

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

    • 31 min
    Can You Whistle?

    Can You Whistle?

    Have you ever tried to teach someone to whistle? Highly frustrating for both instructor and student. This week we examine what makes a skill difficult to teach.

    This podcast looks into how skills are taught and what factors create barriers to this process. We try to classify different types of skills, as well as different types of teachers and learners. We also discuss what we have personally found difficult to master, and as a bonus Tom teaches us how to make a noise like a dolphin.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - PACEY survey on the hardest things to teach kids https://www.pacey.org.uk/news-and-views/news/archive/2020-news/april-2020/news-tricky-to-teach-new-pacey-study-reveals-the/
    - Tom learns the piano in six easy steps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbxAHsxDML4

    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: Dean Michaud via Flickr

    • 34 min
    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

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Littlecog ,

Chewing gum for the brain

I really enjoy listening to this podcast. It’s very entertaining but also challenging. It gives me food for thought; I often find myself thinking about the subject matter for the rest of the day.

Kp2627 ,

Refreshingly challenging

In the era of alternative facts and fake news, this is a genuine attempt to challenge the way we think and operate. Love the informal atmosphere and feeling of an “intelligent bar-room chat”.

Badgerbear1 ,

Excellent

Influence v popularity podcast was great, the lines between influencers and popularity on Social media are not so defined now as it was with music. I remember seeing Grateful dead and Captain Beefheart at the hope and anchor in Islington back I the day. John Peel was a real music influencer to me.

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