#128 – Shrink Rap Radio LIVE! #4

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Dr. Dave and co-host Jerry Trumbule respond to a listener comment about the previous show on artificial intelligence with more discussion of the intelligence concept, referring to a review by Malcolm Gladwell in the December 17, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, in which he discusses the Flynn Effect. James Flynn of the University of Otago in New Zealand has found that IQ scores across the world have been rising over time, 3 full points per decade. Also discussed are Feeling On The Internet and research on rats laughing and playing.

(Psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.)

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12 Comments

  1. Rafal
    Posted December 25, 2007 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Dr.Dave,
    it is a pleasure to see you take on the AI, it is an interesting and amazing field, which I am very interested to explore myself.
    I would like to thank you for all the great casts this year and wish you and all the crew (do you have one :) as well as other listeners Merry Xmas
    best
    Rafal

  2. honeyrococo
    Posted December 25, 2007 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I left this on the Blogspot site but it truncated it, so here it is again (if you care). Anyway, this is honeyrococo and I just wanted to apologize if my comments in the chat room during the podcast didn’t make sense. I am in Paris and I didn’t realize that I was hearing the show on a 30 second delay (like Anne in Israel I guess) and also that the first part of the show I was listening to as I was trying to figure out how to sign in was actually not “Live” but was maybe show #127! I was thinking “Wow! Dr. Dave is talking to (the same person) again! And they are saying the same things! I had registered for the site during the week but on Sunday the link took me straight to the show and not to the sign-in page. So I actually had to open a new tab and start from scratch to get back to the show. So that is why my comments didn’t make a lot of immediate sense sans-context. Also, I think I was too chatty with Susanonymous! So I listened to the podcast on my iPod today and it all made much more sense.

    Anyway, if you get this, I really enjoy your show. In fact it is rather sad because I find so few podcasts that I really like. Mostly I just look forward to Shrink Rap Radio (and now Wise Counsel too) and one from the SETI Institute called “Are We Alone?” which deals with science and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. I am actually thinking of starting a podcast when I get back to the Bay Area (I’m ABD at Berkeley in History of Art) and *I Think* it would be great if you would do a show about how to do a podcast!! What kind of equipment you need, how to post it on iTunes etc. That would be great! Anyway I also wanted to apologize again if you thought that I was saying that you or Jerry were espousing Eugenics. I just think it is dangerous to think that we should start brain-scanning Presidential candidates. I actually have real problems with all the biometric data collecting going on now. I think of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s refusal to give a lecture in the United States because under the US-VISIT he would have been required to give up his biometric information, which he believed stripped him to a state of “bare life” (zoe) and was thus akin to the tattooing that the Nazis did during World War II. I really do think that until we actually do something wrong we should be free to live our lives untracked and unsurveilled. And even if we commit some kind of crime, we should question what types of illegal activities should deprive us of our right to live without being tracked or watched. Admittedly my politics are so far to the left that even the idea of a “President” is problematic for me, but I think as long as the system exists, that person should be judged by their work and actions and not by anything a catscan, MRI etc. could reveal. In this sense I also do not begin to understand why it was necessary for me as a teenager to learn on the nightly news of Reagan’s colon polyps and other such things. Some things really should be private!

    Okay, well that was a tangent. Maybe I will cut and paste this into your other mail too, because I don’t know if you look here. I hope to listen next week! Happy Holidays!

  3. honeyrococo
    Posted December 25, 2007 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    P.S. Tell Jerrry that I *am* really sorry that I didn’t buy GOLD 5 years ago! I used to do dishes at night while listening to Art Bell’s crazy radio show and there were always these advertisements for gold! But as a poor graduate student what could I do? Doing research here in France with my lousy US dollars is no fun. I tell myself that at t least no one can foreclose on my brain, which is where all my money has gone for the past 10 years! Still, a sack of Doubloons or Krugerrands would be very nice right now!!!

  4. honeyrococo
    Posted December 25, 2007 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    P.P.S. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to give you a five-star rating on BlogTalk Radio. I click on the stars like on YouTube but nothing happens. Have you any idea? Maybe you should do a “Blink” type show on psychology and the visual field and how some websites fail to take human cognition and cultural modes of looking into consideration when designing a site!

  5. honeyrococo
    Posted December 26, 2007 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Okay, one more thing (sorry if this is annoying or if you never read this) but maybe last week I think you and Jerry were talking about tinnitus — that high-pitched frequencies that you hear subjectively/internally are actually the part of the spectrum that you no longer hear in real life for whatever reason and the brain is still supplying that information (something like that). I was wondering if the EMDR treatment that works for phantom limb pain would maybe also work for tinnitus because in both cases the brain is still trying to process input from something that no longer exists. Did that make sense? Anyway…

  6. Posted December 26, 2007 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Hey Honey:
    Thanks for all the comments. Never for a moment think that we don’t read and appreciate all of the feedback we get.

    Re: Gold and Silver – I am not a financial advisor nor have I played one on TV – but I would say that it’s not too late. In my opinion the bull market in precious metals has just begun.

    Re: tinnitus – interesting suggestion about EMDR. My own research (internet) indicates that there are two kinds of receptors for each frequency, one excitatory and one inhibitory. Physical damage to the inhibitory one lets the excitatory one “play” all of the time. I downloaded a tone generator for my computer and found that 1) it was difficult to home in on the exact frequency I was hearing as it seemed to shift away as I got close and 2) after listening to tones as close as I could get to what I hear (they also seem to be composed of more that one frequency) there was a lingering aftereffect of a decrease in amplitude of the tone(s) I hear for about 5 minutes. Dr. Dave tells me that there is similar research going on elsewhere.
    What I have learned after my initial horror of waking up with these constant tones in my head is that attention is the most important factor. Most of the time I don’t notice because I’m not paying attention to them any more. Kind of like the sound of my motor running.

    Keep on listening and commenting!

  7. Posted December 26, 2007 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Hi Honey (for lack of any other name),

    Thanks for your several comments you posted on the site. Yes, I really do see them all. They come to me as e-mails for approval first, so that I can weed out the spam.

    Your tinnitus/phantom limb/EMDR suggestion is brilliant! Evens so, I’m skeptical that it would work, probably just because I’ve had the tinnitus for so long and so far the research shows it is impervious to pretty much everything, except for the the occasional odd result that this or that individual may experience. Supposedly, EMDR works best on trauma or experiences resulting from trauma. My tinnitus is not rooted in trauma, at least not in the usual sense. Still I think your idea is an intriguing one and I may get a chance to discuss it with Francine Shaprio who I’m hoping to interview again.

    When you get ready to do your own podcast, I’ll be happy to share info and answer questions. I probably won’t put up a podcast on the topic inasmuch as it wouldn’t be about psychology, which is what my podcast is supposed to be about! :-)

    I don’t know if you caught it or not but my friend, Jerry, is also an ABD, in psychology. He decided to throw in the towel some time mid-dissertation, many years ago.

    Thanks for giving us some background on your comments and the fact that you were commenting on a past show,thinking it was the live one! Ha!

    I really appreciate your very intelligent remarks in the comments you posted. I especially resonate with your remarks about the darker potential of technology and the ways it is being used for tracking, etc. I have an ambivalent relationship to technology. I’m a reflexive technophile, for sure. But in recent years I’ve become more aware of its dark side, as well. It seems nothing comes without a cost.

    Paris must be a wonderful place for you as an Art History ABD. Are you there for additional schooling/research?

    Thanks for taking the time to communicate with us and I hope you’ll continue to be an enthusiastic and involved listener!

    Warmly,

    “Dr. Dave”

  8. Posted December 26, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Hello Rafal,

    Thanks for the comment you posted and for your Christmas greeting! I’m glad you enjoyed our discussion on AI. Are you located in the U.S. or elsewhere?

    Keep listening and commenting! :-)

    Warmly,

    “Dr. Dave”

  9. honeyrococo
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jerry and Dr. Dave,

    Thank you for the very nice responses here, which I did not expect at all. First to Jerry…I would certainly invest in precious metals if I had any disposable income at all, but as a grad student I live semester to semester. It is really kind of ridiculous. Maybe someday I will figure out a way to make money on the side but right now I am just trying to finish my dissertation.

    And yes, Dr. Dave, Paris is wonderful. In fact, I never want to return to the U.S. I feel like I am at home here in a strange way that I have never felt in the U.S. I am here doing archival research for my dissertation and I am just so in love with the city and the people of Paris. Everyone is so nice and … I could go on and on about how much I love the culture.

    Re: tinnitus: If I am understanding Jerry’s comment here, he is saying that if one has tinnitus, one can in some cases decrease the amplitude of the tone(s) one hears if one listens to a tone of the same frequency being played – much like those noise-cancellation devices they install under the seats of luxury cars that create (an oscillation/sound-wave pattern?) of the same frequency but in canceling wavelengths (I hope you understand what I am trying to say…I never took physics so my language here is probably impressionistic). I guess *you* would have to listen to an exactly similar tone to the one you “hear” in your head. The idea that it seems to shift away as you get close is really interesting – like some kind of uncertainty principle. Hmm.

    Well I know nothing about any of this – but I wonder if, since as Dr. Dave says, this kind of hearing loss is not generated by a concrete trauma but is a cumulative effect of damage over time – if there could be some kind of EMDR treatment that incorporates this tone-feedback loop, so that the “trauma” you lack in hindsight is “present” in the EMDR situation – namely the externally produced tone. Maybe focusing on the tone and the “trauma” of living with tinnitus and the eye movement at the same time could extend the after-effect Jerry experiences after listening to “his” frequencies. Now that might be a far-out idea but since I don’t really know anything about sound, EMDR or tinnitus I am very uninhibited in my suggestions! And if we are curing children’s asthma by hypnotizing their mothers, anything is possible!

    I have a friend who hears that “Taos Hum” which is somehow the same thing. She only notices it when she is not paying attention to other things.

    As far as Jerry’s ABD status, hey, it is a hard and not-always-interesting thing writing a dissertation. Most of the time I don’t even know what I am doing. But for some reason I just keep going. Jerry seems to be doing just fine!

    Okay, this was just a response to your nice messages.
    Happy New Year!

    P.S. my name is joni

  10. honeyrococo
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Oops, to finish the thought about … the noise cancellation device that cancels the sound of the car engine.

  11. Thea
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Honeyrococo is too funny! Really enjoyed your posts Rococo. :) I understand your feeling of being more at home in France than in the U.S. I felt that way in France and Italy as well, and I suspect it has to do with how deeply rooted the culture and history are there, compared to most of us rootless Americans suffering from anomie malaise. On the flip side, so many Europeans find the ‘freedom’ from tradition of American culture to be liberating and exhilarating.

    I agree with you about being free to live life unsurveilled and untracked. I met a woman from Poland a few years ago who told me that she feels less free, i.e. more ‘watched’ in America than she did behind the Iron Curtain! I started thinking about that and all the times I have to show ID or give personal info, and of course now all the cameras!

  12. honeyrococo
    Posted January 13, 2008 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Thea….if you ever get this…I never thought *I* would look here again, but then I did because I miss Shrink Rap Radio! It has been almost 10 DAYS and so I thought I would check to see if there was something I was missing on iTunes, and here you had left a note for me!

    I would like to feel liberated and exhilarated in the American culture, alas. I *do* usually feel liberated and exhilarated hiking in the National Parks, which in a sense formed the basis for the American psyche, but as far as *society* goes, I much prefer Europe.

    The cameras *are* creepy. It is like a virtual version of the Panopticon! Except that everyone is in the dual role of watcher and watched but with still an overarching surveillance system in place, and a police state to enforce arbitrary laws that benefit only the wealthy. I know there are cops here in France too, and indeed, in the train stations they are very intiimidating because they are in better shape than American cops and are festooned in their fetishized “special forces” regalia and their AK 47s (or whatever they are called now) but for the most part I don’t see police here in Paris.

    And in fact the only time I have encountered police here was one night when I was waiting for the train at the station in Thomery, which is in the middle of the Fontainebleau forest. Two police came out to check on me because I was sitting on the ledge (waiting, tired) and they wanted to make sure I was not going to throw myself in front of the train. No cop in the US has ever cared about my state of mind or the potential PTSS of a train operator. I was like, Mais non! J’adore ma vie!! And they didn’t even care that I only had my BN library card with me as ID! Soooo different than in the US!

    Now granted, as an Anarchist I would prefer just to be left alone altogether regardless of whether I was thinking of offing myself or not, but if I am going to be hasseled (sp?) I prefer it to be because I seem to need help, as is seldom the case in the US where it is all about meeting quotas and making revenue.

    A story I once heard about Poland and the Iron Curtain was from a woman I knew who had a friend who left Poland and came to the US and the first time that she ever went to a grocery store she saw that there was a whole aisle devoted to dog and cat and bird and fish food and sheltor and toys and litter etc. and she just started crying saying “I had heard that there was wealth in the US but I never dreamed that there would be more things for the animals than we have for our children!” Of course this could just be one of those “Rah! Rah! USA #1! Reader’s Digest” types of stories, except that my friend told me.

    Okay, well I feel bad because now Dr. Dave has to screen yet another crazy-long and not so relevant email from me to you, but that is the system in place and I cannot circumvent it. Hope you are having a happy new year which is almost the Year of the Rat which, according to our beloved Wikipedia, favors, “Professions including espionage, psychiatry, psychology, writing, politics, law, engineering, accounting, detective work, acting, and pathology.”

    Salut!

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