Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Podcast: Good vs Bad Distractions

Is procrastination a total waste of time or can it be productive? If you have something important to do, you should really spend the next 25 minutes listening to us discuss the topic.

In this podcast we discuss why we feel the urge to procrastinate, and whether it reduces or increases stress in the long run. We also consider the nature of tasks we like to avoid and what the potential benefits of time wasting activities might be.

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Podcast: Lost and (not) Found

What does it mean when we lose something and why are some of us better at finding things than others?

We define the concept of losing something and discuss different heuristics, strategies and technologies that have developed to help us find things. We also mention the psychological impact of losing something, how much time we spend looking for stuff and consider why some people may be better predisposed to locate misplaced objects.

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Podcast: Declining Fertility

Recent research suggests there will be a significant reduction in the birth rate over the course of the next century. What would this mean if it were true? 

In this podcast we discuss the accuracy of population forecasts, the assumptions they are based on, and the relationship between the number of people and factors such as productivity and societal innovation. We also attempt to predict some of the implications of an aging population with fewer children and ask whether there is an optimal number of human beings.

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

BBC coverage of declining fertility  

The ‘Lump of Labour’ fallacy 

Derek Parfit’s repugnant conclusion 

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Podcast: Toast and Marmot

With a case of the bubonic plague being contracted in Mongolia after consumption of a wild marmot, we consider whether disgust at certain foodstuffs serves a protective purpose.

We all experience disgust, but do we really think about it? In our latest podcast, we list some of the more disgusting foods we've come across while discussing why we find somethings more repugnant than others.

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:



Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Podcast: Don't Buy the Album

In the age of music streaming, does the idea of an album make sense any more?

In this podcast we discuss the conceptual origins of the album and talk about the implications of its evolution from vinyl, to tape and CD, and finally to the cloud. We also touch on the artistic purpose of an album, and whether this has been destroyed or merely altered by the move to digital streaming. Fundamentally, we question the purpose of an album and whether it still has meaning.

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:



Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Podcast: Dispensing Wisdom

 “Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise” - so definitely don’t listen to us, as we discuss what to do with others’ wisdom.

In this podcast we explore the value of intergenerational advice, whether age equates to wisdom and what makes someone receptive to advice, regardless of its quality. We also address the areas in which people seek advice and how this has altered over time. 

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Podcast: Storm in a Teacup

An American makes tea badly and suddenly the British are up in arms. What does the way you make tea tell someone about you? 

This podcast addresses the information we obtain from little shibboleths such as making tea, and discusses whether it is accurate, valid and useful. Does it merely foster class and cultural exclusion, or do these ceremonies and their preservation still serve a valuable social purpose?

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44



Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Podcast: High Anxiety

With our current pandemic related concerns, we seem to have forgotten about other scary things, like terrorism or environmental catastrophe. Should we be concerned by our lack of worry?

We discuss whether we worry about the right things, whether we are worrying less than we used to and whether worry can even be accurately measured. What is the right amount to worry and what is the purpose of worrying? Does it serve a rational function?

Things mentioned in this podcast:





Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Podcast: The Worst Year Ever?

How bad or good is 2020 by historical comparison? Should we stop moaning and just be glad we weren’t living through 536 AD or 541 AD?

We mull over how to go about determining the overall amount of suffering in a given year and what constitutes the worst year ever. How should it be measured? Is the size of the human race at the time relevant? And are we predisposed to recency bias, where terrible events in the past are largely ignored?

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:




Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Podcast: One-hit Wonders

Is it better to live one day as the comic singer of a novelty number one, than 100 years as a respected indie band with a cult following?

Nick, Chris and Fraser discuss what constitutes a one-hit wonder, how it applies to other art forms and areas of human endeavour, and whether we should aim for sustained mediocrity or concentrated brilliance.

A few things we mentioned in this podcast:





Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Podcast: Pre-digital Relics

Do pre-digital relics have a purpose in our technology-driven world? How have digital technologies changed our world and what pre-digital relics are worth hanging on to.

And for the sake of nostalgia, here are some things that we grew up with that are unknown today because of the evolution of digital technology: writing a letter, calling someone on the phone for a chat, reading the papers, looking stuff up in reference books, reading maps, surprise visits, being uncontactable, remembering things like phone numbers and waiting for news.

Things mentioned in this podcast:





Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Podcast: Individual vs Group Decisions

Is there wisdom in crowds and is group decision-making effective? Fraser, Nick and Peter reach a swift and conclusive judgement.

Things mentioned in this podcast:







Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/106IQEoV

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Podcast: Dust

It gets everywhere - but what is it and where does it come from?

Things mentioned in this podcast:




Cognitive Engineering · Dust

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 12 June 2020

Podcast: Technologies That Never Quite Catch On

Why is that some technologies are perennially about to transform our lives, but never really take off. Do they have something in common?


Things mentioned in this podcast:




Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 5 June 2020

Friday, 29 May 2020

Podcast: Mob mentality

Is there a wisdom in crowds, or are we all heading over the cliff like lemmings?

Things mentioned in this podcast:

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 22 May 2020

Power shifts

Does the way different nations have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic tell us anything about the international balance of power?

Things mentioned in this podcast:

Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 15 May 2020

Friday, 8 May 2020

Podcast: What makes a good excuse?

Explaining the situation or avoiding your responsibilities - are excuses valid and is there an art to them?

Things mentioned in this podcast:


Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 24 April 2020

Podcast: Good things coming from bad things

Are there any positives to emerge from the global pandemic? How can we make the most of a bad situation?

Things mentioned in this podcast:



Find more Cognitive Engineering episodes here https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 17 April 2020

Podcast: The Best Thing since Junction-Field Effect Transistors

Penicillin, the printing press, and cheese and onion crisps - What makes an invention well known rather than merely successful?

Things mentioned in this podcast:

For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 10 April 2020

Podcast: Health Data

Fraser, Nick and Peter discuss health data and measuring medical outcomes with special guest Neil Bacon. 

Things mentioned in this podcast:


For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 3 April 2020

Podcast: Fame. What’s the point?

Here lies Matt Goss: look on his works, ye mighty, and despair.

Things mentioned in this podcast:

For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 27 March 2020

Podcast: Old Squares

Does experience make us wiser or simply more boring? Three middle aged men will tackle the question with a total lack of bias.

Things mentioned in this podcast:




For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 20 March 2020

Podcast: Moderation v Excess

Small doses, or all or nothing - what is the best way to live life?

Things mentioned in this podcast:


For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 13 March 2020

Podcast: What are Extremism and Terrorism?

Was it useful to label Extinction Rebellion as a terrorist organisation? How is terrorism different from extreemism?


Things mentioned in this podcast:



For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44



Friday, 6 March 2020

Podcast: Psychological Resilience

We ask whether mental toughness is all in the mind.

Things mentioned in this podcast:


For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Podcast: Knives are dangerous, so why do we use them?

Edged tools have been used by hominids for millions of years, but the elastoplast was only invented just over 100 years ago. Did we get our priorities right?

Things mentioned in this podcast:





For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 21 February 2020

Podcast: Charity

Emotion, recency and virtue signalling - does it matter what drives charitable behaviour?

Things mentioned in this podcast:



For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Monday, 17 February 2020

Podcast: Does revenge work and how do you de-escalate?

A dish best served cold, or not at all? We discuss revenge as a strategy.

Things mentioned in this podcast:



For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Podcast: Death Of Serendipity

Does our always on, instantly connected world mean that we’ve lost the joy of serendipity? Can we engineer our environment to maximise the chance of good things happening to us?

Things mentioned in this podcast:


For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Friday, 10 January 2020

Podcast: Does inequality actually matter?

Does inequality actually matter? If it does, why? What problems does it cause? Is it self fulfilling? Is our objection to it a moral one, or is there there rational economic issues with it?

Things mentioned in this podcast:



For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Podcast: Cats vs Dogs

Are you a cat or a dog person? Which is best?

Things mentioned in this podcast:


For more Cognitive Engineering episodes find us on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, or add this RSS feed to your preferred player https://link.chtbl.com/SQeIgc44