Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I need a stage prop.

I'd give my laterals (if I had them -- not my eye teeth cause I actually have those) for a shop stool. That'd be so great for a "car guy" teaching a class trying to have intimate moments.

Monday, March 17, 2008


We're fine

For those that are worried about us after the tornadoes, we're fine.

Palila and I were sitting on the couch playing Wii. We had mostly sunny weather on Saturday as the tornadoes went north and south of us. I've got a weather radio, so we just kept it on waiting to see what would happen. We didn't even know downtown was getting bashed on Friday night. We were at home getting another kind of bashed since I finished my first round of comps on Friday (though I won't hear back for a couple of weeks on how I did). We'd talked about hanging out in midtown, which is only a couple miles north of downtown, but went home instead (thank God). I think J.O. (the other guy in the program with me) and I rocked comps so hard it messed up the weather!

Monday, March 10, 2008


I hate the new Apple Time Capsule

10 Reasons I HATE My New Apple Time Capsule

  1. Cannot get it setup with my printer.

  2. Network intermittently drops out.

  3. Appears to be incompatible with an older G4 iMac.

  4. Even if I could get the printer to work through the Time Capsule there is currently no capability for the built in scanner on my printer to work.

  5. Network inter ... mittent ... ly drops out.

  6. Does not work with Vista Backup and Restore Center as promised.

  7. Requires additional software for full capability (i.e. OS X 10.5).

  8. If this thing drops the network again I'm going to punch it.

  9. Smells terrible and runs hotter than the surface of the sun.

  10. Thats it! I'm hooking my Netgear back up and throwing this network-dropping-piece-of-shit out the window.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Myth Bustin'

I watch the show Myth Busters almost like it is a religion. The major topic that interests me in my PhD program is creativity. For those that have ever watched the show, quite a bit of what they do is creative. While they do spend considerable time just trying to reproduce existing plans and methods, the show usually ends up taking some existing plan or method to an extreme. This is where the creativity really comes into play.

What we know about creative people right now includes very little with a bit of not very much. Considering that we've been at this for nearly 100 years makes our current knowledge less than impressive. One of my favorite professors at Tech has been developing measures of implicit personality. It is starting to look like, from decades of research, that most of human social cognition is implicit. In other words, we have our own individual implicit theories running around in our heads about how the world works. When we observe the world, we use these implicit theories to put together cause and effect. Measures of implicit personality (the two most popular are for Achievement Motivation and Aggression) have really taken off and are doing very well at explaining human behavior. The important thing about these implicit theories is that most people cannot self-report them. In other words, if I ask John Doe on the street about his implicit theories, he cannot tell me what they are. More often than not, he'll tell me what he thinks I want to hear or what he thinks is appropriate for a conversation with a stranger (we call this social desirability).

So what does all that mean for creativity? To date, we've mostly been exploring self-report data to gain measures of creative personality. Furthermore, many of the measures of creativity were not even designed to measure creativity at all but are a junk factor out of a factor analysis of other personality dimensions. This means that the opportunity for developing a measure of creative personality is wide open. And, since our current understanding and measurement of creative personality is so bad it may mean that creative personality exists nearly exclusively in the implicit domain.

So how does one develop an implicit measure if you cannot ask people about the very thing you want to know about? You watch people, you read interviews, etc. This is where my interest in Myth Busters comes into play. In watching the show, I've been watching how the Myth Busters attack problems. After watching many episodes, some of them multiple times, I was able to start picking out some of the ways these individuals work compared to my experiences in working with non-creative types. So far, I've been able to identify 8 or so biases that seem fruitful for further research.

So .... I am going to go to San Fransisco in April for a SIOP conference (Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists). M5 Industries and the home of Mythbusters is in San Francisco. I thought it would be fun to e-mail Jamie Hyneman just to see if I'd get a response and maybe an interview. He's an Indiana farm kid too, so I hoped my interest and my heritage would all work in my favor.

I just got a real and positive response back ...

(to be continued)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Get 'em!

Stupid President

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