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Dec 31, 2008

Video of the Year 2008

2008 was another year of huge growth in online video of all kinds. User-generated, institutional, events coverage, films, pubcasts and supplements, and anti-TV as well as some broadcast television (remember it?). It gets harder to keep up with and sort through the volume but with this narrow a niche, Channel N is doing fine. Here's what I really liked in 2008.

Funny - The Experimental Philosophy blog ad is fresh and funny and well-made.

PSA - Suicide PSA. Most professionally-produced mental health PSAs I saw this year were utter rubbish, but user-generated PSAs (mostly student assignments) really shone. This one is good at inducing guilt.

Short - Trapped: Mental Illness Inside America's Prisons. Visually exquisite with a strong message about severely mentally ill folks who are in prisons instead of now-closed hospitals.

Long - My fave DIY lecture video this year was from the 1st INCF Congress of Neuroinformatics. The presentation quality isn't great, but the quality of the content is fantastic. Integrating Neuroscience Knowledge: Brain Research in the Digital Age is a dazzling tour of what's new in the field(s).

Innovation - JoVE. The whole Journal of Visualized Experiments, now included in PubMed.

Overall - Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight. This neuroanatomist's description of her stroke and recovery went viral, leading to Oprah, a bestselling memoir deal, and millions of inspired viewers. I'm proud to say Channel N was one of the first to promote it.



At 05:05, Blogger Anony Mouse said...

It's a pity Bolte Taylor sprouted such nonsense... The experience plus the science would have been great, but the addition of mysticism was very unfortunate. Then again, Oprah isn't a member of the reality based community, so she wouldn't have gotten on there with just science...

At 13:41, Blogger Sandra said...

I'm not a mystic either, but her story is one that can be shared with a spiritual interpretation (as Oprah did) or a secular psychological perspective.

She found an unexpected way to change her emotional and behavioural priorities. She worked on eliminating critical voices to simplify her life. That's not a message of woo. I'd sure like to stop worrying about mistakes and letting them shape my present, which is what resonated for me and probably many others even if they framed it as spiritual.

Bolte Taylor isn't pushing a religious agenda and is still a working scientist. Why should her personal experience be invalidated because it sounds a little Buddhist?

Her book is more nuanced, the TED Talk oversimplified (especially the neuroanatomy, due to a lay audience). But it sure is rousing!

At 07:47, Blogger Shecky said...

The Taylor video is a worthy choice as it cuts across several levels and layers of "knowing." Neuroscience is in an EXTREMELY primitive stage with our actual understanding of neuro-anatomy, function, and chemistry subject to vast changes.
I suspect 20 years from now, Taylor's video may still have some pertinence while much that appears in neuro"science" journals today will lay in a dustbin of squandered efforts.


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