download Hey Everybody!  This week Chad digs into his bag of psychiatry to talk about a concept called splitting.  We all do it, some more than others, but it’s a concept that we should all be able to identify and acknowledge. We also introduce our Pokemon Go challenge!  Gotta Catch Em All!  Try to beat the Good Guys and catch more distinct pokemon.  Prove it and send us a pic of your Pokedex! Thanks for listening!!   What is Splitting? Splitting is the psychological term for a defense mechanism in which people utilize “all-or-nothing” thinking to make the world more comfortable and predictable.  We all do this to some degree, and most of the time it’s not really an issue – think about when your cheering for your favorite sports team as they play their rivals.  You might catch yourself assuming only benevolent actions from your side while the opposing team is constantly trying to cheat their way to victory.  Of course, the reality is that both teams are made up of a group of people who likely have many good and bad qualities, and your perception of the game is ignoring all of that.

In a sporting event, this probably isn’t a big deal, but when we employ splitting in our everyday lives, it can become very problematic.  At it’s worst, splitting can lead to incredibly unstable relationships, violent mood swings, complete losses in one’s sense of self-worth and purpose in life, and may require help from a therapist or psychiatrist.
Thankfully, most of us end up somewhere in the middle – we can appreciate the subtleties of life without being threatened by them, and can limit our splitting to engagements in which it is socially acceptable.  In fact, some degree of splitting behavior was likely crucial in our ancestors’ development of social groups (we’re good, the other clan is bad, so let’s work together), and may be very engrained in our evolutionary psyche.
Our hope is that this episode may bring the process of splitting to your attention, so that you can examine where in your life it is helpful and where it may not be.  Enjoy!

Driverless Cars (Sort of…)


robot-driving-car.0Hey everybody!  This episode Perek uses his time to discuss driverless cars in the context of ethical implications.  Should cars be programmed to kill?  Will robot overlords take over the earth and never let go? I guess you’ll have to listen to find out!


Thanks for listening!


Also, here is the article Perek mentions in the show – a lot of the thoughts and insights were drawn from this article by David Roberts:  http://www.vox.com/2016/6/13/11896166/self-driving-cars-ethics

Cloud Computing


So it was a little bit of a windy path as I was researching this pillar. As I looked around life, the thing I’m most excited about is stuff like Amazon with their new(ish) Amazon NOW service that gets me stuff delivered to my door same day. So as I started looking into that, it became clear that Amazon is taking over the world. There is SO much going on with Amazon that this might even be a series of pillars for me, but I thought it might be most interesting for listeners if I dove into one part of their business that might not be at the top of everyone’s mind. We all know about Amazon Prime, and their foray into streaming content, and their cool drone stuff, and Alexa, etc. But have you guys heard of AWS?

Stands for Amazon Web Services, and if we really simplify it, it’s “The Cloud.” that you may have heard of. So I still know embarrassingly little about what ‘the cloud’ actually is, especially because I’m in IT for a living, but with just the little research I’ve done, I think it is an important and cool phenomenon that’s happening, with Amazon leading the way. So I’m going to do the best I can at explaining what Cloud computing is, what the three flavors of it are, and then end with how Amazon is kicking ass in this space.

At its highest level, it just means “internet-based computing.” Whenever you hear “the cloud” it’s pretty much half the battle to just replace “the cloud” with “the internet.” We get what the internet is, that’s easy to understand, but what does ‘computing’ mean in this definition? Let’s try and replace the word “computing” with something we understand.

We’ll start with an easy example of how I’m computing right now as an individual consumer user. I’m currently typing this pillar in Microsoft Word. This is called an “Application.” There’s a bunch of stuff that the application allows me to do – when I hit the letters on the keyboard, those same letters appear on my screen, I can highlight them and make them bold, change the font, send the page to a printer etc. That’s all “Code” that someone had to write to tell the application what to do when the user does certain things. (C++). I’m using this application that Microsoft created, to generate a bunch of data. All applications have data associated with them. At some point, I’m going to want to save this data, so I go File>>Save – choose a location, and when I want to look at this tomorrow while we’re recording, I go back to that location and retrieve my data.

So that’s a long example of a bunch of aspects of “Computing,” but the way I traditionally use Microsoft Word, isn’t very cloud based. I installed Microsoft word on the hard drive of the computer that I’m also typing on right now, so it’s taking up space on my computer. When I save my data, a little icon appears on my desktop and it’s also saved on my computer. If I want to work on this on another device, (without the internet) I’m going to physically copy it onto something else like a thumb drive and bring it to another computer.

So what would this look like in “the cloud?” Well instead of installing Microsoft word on my computer, I’d just go to something like ‘microsoftword.com’ in my internet browser. I would probably login with a username and password and the entire ‘application’ would be right there in the browser, I could make stuff bold, type letters, etc, but would be doing it all over the internet. That “Code” is still somewhere – maybe at some big Microsoft server, or maybe somewhere else (hopefully we’ll get to that later), but it doesn’t have to be on my computer anymore. Similarly, when I’m done for the day and want to save my work, in true cloud fashion, I wouldn’t save this document to my computer, I’d save it to my online storage locker. So there are a couple layers there that are in the cloud. The application itself is in the cloud, and my data is also saved and stored in the cloud.


So what I’ve just described there is very end-user and consumer centric, but where this starts to get a little more exciting is when you scale this up to big organizations, and that is where you’re going to start hearing about things a little more in the news. So cloud computing for business falls into 3 categories:

SaaS – Stands for Software as a Service, and is probably the easiest to get our heads around. It’s basically the Microsoft Word example I gave above. A cloud provider installs and operates the application in the cloud, and the users access it from the internet. An example of this might be something like salesforce.com. Security is a big deal for businesses here.

PaaS – Stands for Platform as a Service. This is a little weirder – this is giving the people who write the code access to tools to create them over the internet. So in the word example, that coder who wrote the C++ code, did so with some really heavy duty tools. In the PaaS model, they would have done that online. An example here is the google app engine that allows developers to write and host web apps. The cool part about these, is that they are free until you hit a certain level of ‘consumed resources.’ Memory/space/etc.  So if Perek wrote a GG2K app using the google toolkit and hosted it for free, since we are using Google’s ‘platform’ it would automatically scale. So if it blew up all of a sudden because we hit the Itunes top 10 list or something, we wouldn’t fall over because it was running on a crappy server in Perek’s basement, Google would just automatically allocate more resources to our app, and charge us for it later.

IaaS – Stands for Infrastructure as a service. This one is the ‘cool’ one. This is where providers offer Computers, servers, storage, networking services etc. This is all the stuff you think of when you think about IT nerds. You think about them plugging things in, and making sure that things don’t overheat. Running fiber optic cables, etc. All of this is stuff that small and big companies had to do themselves until the last few years. I know at the company I work at right now, we have multiple huge data centers across the country and we do all of that work ourselves.

So those three things combine to create “Cloud Computing” at a really high level. Amazon is a player in all of those spaces, but the stuff you’re going to hear about is that last one. Their cloud-based infrastructure stuff is far and away the leader. They have 31% of the market in 2015. The closest to them is Microsoft with 9%. Companies like Spotify, AirBnB, and even the CIA rely on them for infrastructure stuff. But where it’s MOST interesting is with the case study of Netflix. Check out this article from early in February where Netflix completed moving to Amazon’s cloud! https://media.netflix.com/en/company-blog/completing-the-netflix-cloud-migration

The Netflix product itself has continued to evolve rapidly, incorporating many new resource-hungry features and relying on ever-growing volumes of data. Supporting such rapid growth would have been extremely difficult out of our own data centers; we simply could not have racked the servers fast enough. Elasticity of the cloud allows us to add thousands of virtual servers and petabytes of storage within minutes, making such an expansion possible.

So I’d really recommend if people are interested in this, to read this article – here’s another quote if we have time:

The cloud also allowed us to significantly increase our service availability. There were a number of outages in our data centers, and while we have hit some inevitable rough patches in the cloud, especially in the earlier days of cloud migration, we saw a steady increase in our overall availability, nearing our desired goal of four nines of service uptime. Failures are unavoidable in any large scale distributed system, including a cloud-based one. However, the cloud allows one to build highly reliable services out of fundamentally unreliable but redundant components. By incorporating the principles of redundancy and graceful degradation in our architecture, and being disciplined about regular production drills using Simian Army, it is possible to survive failures in the cloud infrastructure and within our own systems without impacting the member experience.

So Netflix and these tech companies that deliver content online to users are the clear early adopters and users of cloud infrastructure. But the cost/efficiency/reliability benefits to these models are something that even staunch companies like the bank I work for are starting to seriously think about. Google is trying to get into this space and announced a little less than a year ago that companies like General Mills, Coca Cola, and Best Buy are customers of their infrastructure cloud products.

There’s  a ton more to get into that I just don’t have the time or technical expertise to give a good treatment to, like Public cloud versus private cloud, versus hybrid etc. but hopefully this gives you guys a little understanding about how this is really changing the way the technology of businesses are being run.

English Premier League


EPLAny sports fan in the world has recently heard of the ultimate Cinderella story as Leicester City secured it’s first ever English Premier League title. However, how many Americans actually know what the EPL is?! In this episode we bring in two experts; Jeff, a friend of the podcast and previous short-term resident of England, and Paul, a listener from the England! Both share their expertise as they introduce us to the EPL. Thanks for listening and a HUGE THANK YOU to both Paul and Jeff for joining us on the podcast.

Campus Protests


trumpchalkIt’s challenge time! See if you have what it takes to be drafted in the NFL by taking the Wonderlic test! http://footballiqscore.com

In the same vein as Chad’s pillar on the black lives matter movement a few months ago, I wanted to do a pillar on what’s been going on on university campuses for the past year or two years. I remember quite a media buzz around what happened at Mizzou last fall, but never really dug into the details. It was only the last couple weeks when I read a story about the “chalkings” at Emory University that there was something out of the ordinary going on. So I’d like to give just a quick play by play of what happened at each of those events, and then get your guys’ opinions on a few things.

I should say before we start – that this was actually really hard to research. It seemed like every single news story I read had some sort of editorial slant. I did my best and will do my best as we go through them to start out with just the facts, but the way people are reacting to these things is very entwined in the story so not sure how good of a job I’ll do.

So first, Mizzou – do you guys remember this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015%E2%80%9316_University_of_Missouri_protests

  • September 12, 2015, a Facebook post[6]by the student government president Payton Head complained of bigotry and anti-gay sentiment around the college campus, which gained widespread attention.[7][8] He claimed that in an incident off campus, unidentified people in the back of a passing pickup truck directed racial slurs at him.
  • September 24, “Racism lives here” protest claiming nothing had been done to address Head’s concerns.
  • October 4, Drunk white student said a racial slur while getting kicked off the stage of a “Legion of Black Collegians” event.
  • October 24, “Poop swatstika” on a bathroom stall door http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/12/mizzou-releases-photos-of-poop-swastika-discloses-details-of-previously-unreported-racial-slurs/

Now it starts to get interesting:

  • November 3, Student Jonathan Butler launched a hunger strike, vowing not to eat until the president resigned. One of the reasons is that the president Tim Wolfe’s car hit him during the homecoming parade. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIiovJ77vsg
  • November 8, Black football players announced they would not practice or play unless Wolfe resigned, which would mean a $1M fine for the forfeit.
  • November 9, Wolfe announces his resignation: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/10/university-of-missouri-president-tim-wolfes-very-telling-resignation-speech/
  • Melissa Click incident shortly after that – I don’t really want to get into that one.
  • KKK hoax – Payton Head made a facebook post saying that the KKK was on campus – he apologized later for the misinformation.
    • One professor, Dale Brigham, was at the center of controversy when he chose to administer a planned exam for Nutritional Science 1034, saying, “If you don’t feel safe coming to class, then don’t come to class… I will be there, and there will be an exam administered in our class,” while allowing students an option to take a make-up exam. After some students complained that the professor was not taking the threats seriously, Brigham apologized and offered his resignation, saying, “If my leaders think that my leaving would help, I am all for it. I made a mistake, and I do not want to cause further harm.” However, the university turned down the resignation later that day


So that was Mizzou – any reactions with that limited information? Ok on to Emory just a couple weeks ago: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/

  • March 24, students wake up to a bunch of Pro-Trump messages written in chalk around campus.
    • Ranged from “Vote Trump” to “Build a Wall” and “Accept the inevitable”
  • That afternoon, a group of 40 to 50 students protested. According to the student newspaper, the Emory Wheel, they shouted in the quad, “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” and then students moved into the administration building calling out, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
  • Jim Wagner, the president, met with them right away, and shortly issued a campus-wide email with language like:
    • the students with whom I spoke heard a message, not about political process or candidate choice, but instead about values regarding diversity and respect that clash with Emory’s own.”
  • Quotes from other student minority organizations:
    • Yesterday, the Emory community was witness to an act of cowardice, when someone decided to plaster pro-Donald Trump slogans all over campus. The people who did this knew that what they were doing was wrong, because why else would they do so in the dead of night when no one else could witness them? They did not do this merely to support the presidential candidate, but to promote the hate and discrimination that goes along with him. While some students only see the name of a potential nominee, others see hostility and venom which promises to destroy lives.


So that was Emory, then the media got ahold of this story and went a little nuts. The consensus is that these students are whiny, overly-sensitive millennial brats. And that liberalism has gone way too far on college campuses. This was actually the slant of the article I read that got me interested in digging deeper from the Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/a-letter-to-emory-please-stop-fueling-trumpism/475356/#article-comments

Conor Friesdorf here, makes some really logical arguments about how counterproductive these protests and the capitulation by administration is to people who actually want to stop Trump. He ultimately gets to kind of where I’m at, that the energy these activists have could be much better spent at stopping a political candidate than shaming a university president to denounce and punish Trump supporters.


I also read a lot of articles from students, some even of Emory itself that says it’s not so much about the actual chalkings, but that they represent ongoing issues on university campuses relating to racism.

Reactions/Thoughts? Do you guys remember anything like this happening when we were in College? Geo or Chad, can you compare our very homogenous undergrad campus experience to your masters programs that were in cities that had some more diversity? Did you pick up on this type of institutional racism that has been referenced in college campuses all across the country? Is it even possible for white dudes to pick up on institutional racism if it’s not in their face?


If we have time, there is actually a site where you can go see how many Universities are having these types of protests, and what exactly they want. Remember we talked during black lives matter podcast, as well as here and there with other pillars, about how protesters never seem to have concrete demands. Well here they are for these Universities, you be the judge how concrete they are, but at least they are in writing. http://www.thedemands.org/

I think the only school on this list that the GG2K have attended is University of Alabama for Geo, but their link was just to a twitter feed. So I got one from Mizzou and pulled out some interesting ones:

  • We demand that by December 1, 2015 the university issue a public statement that includes the following:
    • An acknowledgment of systemic racism in higher education,
    • A commitment to differentiating “hate speech” from “freedom of speech,”
    • Instituting a zero tolerance policy for hate crimes, and
    • An explanation for moving Multicultural Services from the Division for Diversity & Inclusion to the Division of Student Affairs.
  • We demand an increase in ethnically diverse staff and students that accurately reflects our nation’s demographics within the next five years.
    • The number of staff and students should always be congruent with one another with the number of ethnically diverse staff leading.
    • This will not only assist in an increase in retention rates but actively combat the negative climate on campus.
    • Interview panels should be conducted by ethnically diverse persons.

And a couple from Emory:

  • We demand that the faculty evaluations that each student is required to complete for each of their professors include at least two open-ended questions such as: “Has this professor made any microaggressions towards you on account of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and/or other identity?” and “Do you think that this professor fits into the vision of Emory University being a community of care for individuals of all racial, gender, ability, and class identities?” These questions on the faculty evaluations would help to ensure that there are repercussions or sanctions for racist actions performed by professors. We demand that these questions be added to the faculty evaluations by the end of this semester, Fall 2015.
  • Black staff, faculty, and administrators who advise Black organizations should receive an increase in their financial compensation or salaries. Changes should be made to the hierarchical structure of Campus Life which puts primarily white males at the top of the structure which lead to their increased compensation and salaries. Also, we demand an increase of Black staff, faculty, and administrators to be in higher positions of power so that they can implement the changes that black students wish to see in the university. We align ourselves with the letter/petition addressed to the Advisory Committee of The Board of Trustees and the Presidential Selection Committee signed by many members of the Emory University communities of color. The people who are currently in positions of power have done minimal or no work for Black students, therefore they are not thoroughly knowledgeable about how to implement diversity initiatives that help Black students. Black/POC administrators and staff are overworked and underpaid, but they are the most influential on campus. The staff needs to be paid more for the work and time that they spend ensuring that the Black community has what it needs in the areas of administration, food, maintenance and custodial services, etc.


And couldn’t resist a couple from the university of MN near where we live:

  •      We demand the U of M create and implement a plan for meeting certain benchmarks:
    ○      In one year, the university student body should be proportional to one-half of the Twin Cities demographics of non-white groups. (For example, the student body
    should be 9% Black in one year compared to the city demographics of 18% Black residents).
    ○      In two years, the university student body should be proportional to three-fourths of the city demographics of non-white groups. (For example, the student body should
    be 13.5% Black in two years compared to the city demographics of 18% Black residents).


  •      We demand an acknowledgement that the university exists as a product of colonialistic processes.
  •      We demand that the University of Minnesota Police Department eliminate racialized crime alerts.