Freakonomics Podcast: This Idea Must Die

A really interesting podcast in which experts in various fields discuss ideas that seem to persist that really should go away. Sometimes these are ideas that exist among experts (the use of mice in clinical trials of cancer drugs) and sometimes these are ideas that exist among common people (the idea that people are either left or right brained)

“In our latest episode of Freakonomics Radio, we run that progression in reverse. Rather than asking if a new idea is a good one, we ask whether it’d be better if some of the ideas we cling to were killed off.”

Freakonomics Podcast: “It’s Fun to Smoke Marijuana”

“A psychology professor argues that the brain’s greatest attribute is knowing what other people are thinking. And that a Queen song, played backwards, can improve your mind-reading skills.”

“‘Another One Bites the Dust‘ — when played backward — contains a secret message that, in the end, may help people communicate better.”

On the same topic, here’s a compilation of songs along with lyrics played forward and then backwards with the alleged secret messages.

If you watch the video, try not to watch the words on the video when listening backwards and decide what you think the “secret” message is. It seems only to be “clear” when you see the words on the screen and are otherwise unintelligible.

The “Curse of Knowledge,” or Why Intuition About Teaching Often Fails

“This ‘curse of knowledge’ means is that it is dangerous, and often profoundly incorrect to think about student learning based on what appears best to faculty members, as opposed to what has been verified with students. However, the former approach tends to dominate discussions on how to improve physics education. There are great debates in faculty meetings as to what order to present material, or different approaches for introducing quantum mechanics or other topics, all based on how the faculty now think about the subject. Evaluations of teaching are often based upon how a senior faculty member perceives the organization, complexity, and pace of a junior faculty member’s lecture. In the pages of APS News, this same expert-centered approach to assessing educational experiences has played out recently in the debate over the use of interactive simulations vs. hands-on labs.”