Superstition and magic are still blowing in the October wind, and as a result, I continue pop up here and there. One of my most enjoyable recent experiences was appearing on The Guardian of London’s tech podcast “Chips with Everything” to talk about the peculiar superstitions spawned by technology. Why do some people believe they have to shake their phones to “wake up” the GPS? The episode is called “Magical thinking, superstitions, and technology.”
Just today I was quoted in a very good article on superstition in U.S.News & World Report. The piece, entitled “How Superstitions are Affecting Your Behavior,” also quotes Jane Risen of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, who has done some very interesting work on jinxes and on the conflict between our intuitive and rational selves. Our rational brain often tells us a superstition is silly, but our intuitive side forces us to be superstitious nonetheless.
Finally, for months I have been looking forward to attending the Committee on Skeptical Inquiry‘s convention, CSICon 2016, in Las Vegas this weekend, but now, due to a last minute scheduling change, it looks like I will also be speaking at the convention. Other speakers include Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Elizabeth Loftus, Paul Offit, James Randi, and many more luminaries of science and skepticism, so I am quite honored to be selected to pinch hit. You can learn more about CSICon at the conference website.
Given the short notice I will present an updated version of my July, 2015 Behavior & Belief column, “Neuro-Pseudoscience,” which is about the brain training industry.
That’s all for now.