Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

The original lyrical economic throw-down was posted to youtube by EconStories over a year ago and has since racked up over 2 million views, and for good reason. It was catchy, informative, and taught me I was a staunch Hayekian. Now the duo are back to debate economic policy as we come out of the recession. The NYT has an interview with the creator.

Keynes vs. Hayek: A Rap Battle Renewed –

Joi Ito named head of MIT Media Lab

I just wanted to throw up a quick post to congratulate Joi Ito on his new position as the head of the MIT Media Lab. I first met Joi years ago through his IRC channel, which played an integral role in exposing me to the internet and its culture, and gave me a wonderful community of friends all over the world. Joi’s work is a great example of how embracing technology can make the world a better place, and I’m sure we’ll see exciting things happen during his tenure at MIT.

Update: Joi’s post about this.

CNS 2011

My trip to San Francisco was possible largely thanks to the hospitality of my best friend Rupe, who has an incredible view from his balcony.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend the Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2011 Annual Meeting in beautiful San Francisco, where my lab presented some of our recent research.

Sylvia, Dr. Mangels, & Belèn with our poster: "Task goals and achievement mindset influence attention to feedback and learning success in a challenging memory task"

This was my first time at a big academic conference, and I really had an incredible time. Few things make me happier than interesting ideas and intelligent people, and CNS provided 40 solid hours of learning and conversation which left me smiling like an idiot by the time I got on the plane back to New York. Aside from filling 25 pages of my Moleskine with notes (which I’m in the process of transcribing and putting online), the chance to talk with many of the names I’ve been reading for years was really exciting, and possible in no small part thanks to the fact that my advisor turned out to be friends with (or have worked with) almost everyone I wanted to meet. It was particularly great to chat with Roberto Cabeza, whose Attention to Memory model inspired my insight research. On a more practical level, it was really valuable to be able to talk with current graduate students in programs and labs I’m considering applying to for my PHD, and learned some important things for when it comes time to make my decision.

I’m sure I would have enjoyed the conference had I gone on my own, but it was great to be there with 5 other members of my lab. Though I met a bunch of great people at the Student Society dinner, it was really nice to always have someone I knew to grab lunch with or chat to during coffee breaks.

Equally important to having people to talk to is having people to watch your things while you collapse between sessions.

The conference went from 8am to 7pm every day, so I didn’t get much of a chance to see friends in the city, but I did experience my first authentic Mission burrito during our Lab dinner at Pancho Villa Taqueria. The foursquare tips said to get my burrito mojado (wet, thus the sauce and cheese), and it was definitely the right decision.

The horchata was also excellent.

I also rode the cable car for the first time, which I had somehow neglected to try despite all the time I’ve spent in San Francisco. I couldn’t help feeling like a monkey as I hung off the side (thanks Eddie Izzard), but it was preferable to having to walk back up Nob hill to where I was staying.

I’ll post a note with a link when I get my notes up online, but for now, I leave you with nightmare EEG baby courtesy of the EGI booth.

EEG baby knows your darkest secrets.

P.S: Tal Yarkoni, currently a post-doc at CU Boulder, is not just a talented researcher and blogger, but also a very funny man. Check out his CNS timeline for a good laugh.