270 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
    • 4.1 • 7 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.

    To-do Lists

    To-do Lists

    Feed the cat, take the bins out, listen to this podcast. From the timeless paper and pen to the more recent digital calendar or kanban board, to-do lists - whatever their form - are an attempt to remove chaos and inertia from our lives. But do they work?

    In this week’s podcast, we discuss the efficacy of to-do lists. We try to ascertain whether there is an optimal number of things that should go on a to-do list, delve into the great irony that to-do lists are rarely ever completed and attempt to discover if there is something fundamental about writing lists in the first place. We discuss the birth of early forms of writing, the psychological phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik effect and why studies show that producing a to-do list may bring you closer to achieving your goals. Finally, we disclose some of the things we just can’t seem to cross off our own to-do lists.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - The Zeigarnik Effect https://www.psychologistworld.com/memory/zeigarnik-effect-interruptions-memory
    - The Cognitive Effect of Making Plans https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21688924/
    - Going on Holiday? Leave the ‘To Do’ List at Home https://www.ft.com/content/06ffe40d-fdcc-4be8-b536-810cedce7ed1
    - The Psychology of the To-Do List – Why Your Brain Loves Ordered Tasks
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/10/the-psychology-of-the-to-do-list-why-your-brain-loves-ordered-tasks

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

    • 26 min
    The Early Internet

    The Early Internet

    We take for granted the speed, reliability and ubiquity of today's internet, but it wasn't ever thus. Do you remember AltaVista, the ZX Spectrum or the iconic tones of a dialup modem? What about the absurdly long wait times to download an image or to log in to an internet chat room? We indulge our nostalgia to gain insights into the evolution of one of humankind's most important inventions.

    In this week’s podcast, we look back on the early years of the internet. What will future historians write about the internet? What inspired its creation and who were the key figures and innovators in its design? We assess the capacities and limitations of the primitive internet, reveal where you are likely to find the next internet innovation and suggest industries and sectors that have been forever changed by its arrival. Finally, we reminisce about moments when we realised the age of the internet had finally dawned.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

    - I Bought a Million Dollar Piece of Internet History https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuJFvgfBV54
    - History of Technology https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_technology
    - Wired UK https://www.wired.co.uk/
    - CERN https://home.cern/
    - From Arpanet to the Internet https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/arpanet-internet

    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: SecretLondon123 via Flickr

    • 36 min
    Simple Pleasures

    Simple Pleasures

    Why do some small things give us so much pleasure? Tidying up the desk, putting on new socks or changing the washing-up sponge, all seemingly insignificant and yet capable of providing us with an immense sense of joy and satisfaction.

    In this week’s podcast, we discuss pleasure. We ask why we routinely undervalue the things from which we derive pleasure, if we spend too much money on big things and not enough on small things, and whether the removal of pain is the same thing as the manifestation of pleasure. Nick also outlines his taxonomy of pleasure generation. Finally, we discuss the most prominent predictors of happiness and share our own memories of sheer bliss.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

    - The Sun surveys Britons to find the top fifty ‘simple pleasures’ https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/14632933/brits-reveal-simple-pleasures/
    - What correlates with happiness and life satisfaction? https://ourworldindata.org/happiness-and-life-satisfaction
    - The World Happiness Report https://worldhappiness.report/
    - What government interventions improve wellbeing? https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/277593/What_works_to_improve_wellbeing.pdf
    - Velten et al. (2018): Lifestyle Choices and Mental Health https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5526-2

    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: David Jackmanson via Flickr

    • 34 min
    Greatness

    Greatness

    Greatness is a tricky subject: it is difficult to pin down yet we know it when we see it. In this week’s podcast, we mark the passing of technology pioneer and Aleph Insights hero Sir Clive Sinclair by discussing what makes greatness.

    We discuss objectivity versus subjectivity: can we simply call someone great or is it a title for which unspoken, yet consistent criteria exist? We also look at whether greatness is historically contingent, reliant on being in the right place at the right time, but also whether greatness can be revoked because of changing social mores and revisionary analysis. We address the inherent problem of trying to measure greatness through counterfactuals and examine formal systems that seek to institutionalise the conferment of greatness. Finally, Nick shares his brush with the late Sir Clive and we debate our personal heroes and why we regard them as great figures.

    - Sir Clive Sinclair https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Sinclair
    - Nietzsche on Human Greatness https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10790-016-9570-9
    - The 'lone genius' myth: Why even great minds collaborate https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210308-the-lone-genius-myth-why-even-great-minds-collaborate

    Image: Charis Tsevis via Flickr

    • 29 min
    Discovering Everything

    Discovering Everything

    Humans have been on the move since time immemorial. But with the fabled age of discovery well and truly over are there still geographical mysteries left to uncover? Is there an innate human capacity for exploration and what drives our desire to venture into uncharted territory?

    In this week’s podcast, we discuss discovery. Is human exploration a metaphysical quest in search of the unknown or is it a process that simply assists technological advancement? We discuss the long history of human migration, some of the quirkier recent human discoveries and ponder the unconquerable vastness of space. We suggest where you are likely to find the next frontier of discovery and consider the daring peregrinations of our ancient ancestors.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - Berkner Island https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkner_Island
    - Sandy Island, New Caledonia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Island,_New_Caledonia
    - 65% of Earth Is Unexplored https://sentientmedia.org/earth-is-unexplored/#:~:text=Still%2C%20we've%20only%20mapped,percent%20of%20the%20Earth%20unexplored
    - Hypothetical star https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothetical_star

    *Maybe the age of discovery isn't over just yet. Shortly after this podcast was recorded scientists discovered a new island in Greenland. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/28/scientists-discover-worlds-northernmost-island-off-greenlands-coast

    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
    First-mover Advantage

    First-mover Advantage

    Does being the first to market give you a competitive edge? Is first-mover advantage still the harbinger of success that economic theory suggests? When does being the first mean you might end up finishing last?

    In this week’s podcast we discuss first-mover advantage. Now that Amazon have suspended their drone delivery service, will it be easier for others to succeed? We present some of the most significant inventions in recent history and assess how pivotal first-mover advantage was to their success. We evaluate the economic principles of first-mover advantage and Peter unleashes another of his eponymous typologies with the “Coghill Taxonomy of Failure”. Finally, we ask which market is ripe for disruption and Nick announces a novel plan for his own market raid.

    A few things we mentioned in this podcast:


    - Amazon's Drone Deliveries in Doubt https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/08/03/amazons-drone-deliveries-doubt-cambridge-cutbacks/
    - The Slow Collapse of Amazon’s Drone Delivery Dream https://www.wired.co.uk/article/amazon-drone-delivery-prime-air
    - The Half-Truth of First-Mover Advantage https://hbr.org/2005/04/the-half-truth-of-first-mover-advantage

    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

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

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Consistently excellent

Im not sure why this show doesn’t have over 1k ratings! These guys are consistently interesting, reflective, and high quality. This show is a hidden gem for sure!

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