Podcast Review: Is Google Rewiring our Brains?

The Nature Podcast of 4.9.2008 covers a number of interesting research and topics. There is a discussion of some research on 3000 people from across Europe, finding a relationship between where people lived and variants in their genes. This research has a number of implications ranging from having controls for effects of medications through to creating genealogies. There is a very interesting discussion of science blogs and the science blogging conference including an interview with the author of MindHacks and the idea that blogs are pushing science forwards. There is another discussion of how science manages large quantities of data. In the Shrink Rap Radio Podcast described below a different idea is discussed namely that the large quantities of data do away with the need for science.

Shrink Rap Radio Podcast #161 is a discussion between Dr David Van Nuys and Jerry Trumbule about whether search engines are making us ‘smart’ or ‘stupid’ as well as some discussion of cloud computing. The discussion is centred around a number of articles on this topic. There is discussion about an article in Wired suggesting that science will become redundant in the petabyte age (of course I disagree with this point!). There is another article asking the question ‘does google rewire our brains’. One of the points in that part of the discussion was that attention spans might be affected by our new methods of ‘interacting’ with information. The idea is that we might be mimicking the way the net handles information i.e. sending and receiving it in small packets at very high speeds! Another way of looking it is that we are reading for ‘immediacy’ and ‘efficiency’.

There is a short sociology podcast about progress in society. Dr Kutz asks the question ‘do we progress’ in society’ and the obvious answer to this is not always. There are some interesting insights and historical considerations. Well worth listening to if you have five minutes. The background music and sounds make this podcast stand out!

There is a weekly round up of archaeology news (17-23rd August 2008) here. There is a report on a recent discovery of a native american settlement and a large temple discovered in India as well as a finding that Berlin was 45 years older than previously thought. The episodes vary in their relevance to psychiatry. The 5th July 2008 episode for instance examines administrative practices in ancient egypt as well as plans to improve living conditions in Tbilisi, Georgia by delisting protected buildings and then rebuilding them.


The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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