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I’ve stumbled upon a new means of relaxation at Open Yale Courses. It sounds strange that recordings of university lectures are relaxing but I find they are. Paul Bloom’s PSYC 110: Introduction to Psychology is far more interesting than television. I’m currently on lecture ten of twenty.

His has an enjoyable speaking style; the hour flies by. A sidebar at the end of Dr. Bloom’s lecture on Freud exemplifies his sense of humor.

“One other thing on Freud–just a story of the falsification of Freud. I was taking my younger child home from a play date on Sunday and he asked me out of the blue, “Why can’t you marry your mother or your father?” Now, that’s actually a difficult question to ask–to answer for a child, but I tried my best to give him an answer. And then I said–then I thought back on the Freud lecture and so I asked him, “If you could marry anybody you want, who would it be?” imagining he’d make explicit the Oedipal complex and name his mother. Instead, he paused for a moment and said, ‘I would marry a donkey and a big bag of peanuts.’ [laughter] Both his parents are psychologists and he hates these questions and at times he just screws around with us.” [source]

The lectures are available on the Open Yale Courses website as audio, video and text transcripts. There are reading assignments, which I skip. (I’m currently taking courses elsewhere with considerable reading requirements.) One could probably get most of the value found in the original course if they completed the assignments but that’s not really my objective. For me, the lectures are firstly informative and secondly entertaining.

I originally downloaded the audio files from iTunes U but found that I had to move the audio out of iTunes U and into music so I could create a playlists. The lectures show up out of order in iTunes U and I cannot for the life of me puzzle out how to rearrange the order except as a playlist.

It’s nice to find a gem among the dredge that we know as the internet.

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