Essays

I write for the general public on topics both professional and personal. My essays on psychology and science have appeared online at CNN, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Skeptical Inquirer, and The Huffington Post and in print in Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

My personal essays have appeared online at Medium, ObserverTabletThe Good Men Project, and The Huffington Post and in print the the Hartford Courant, the Boston Herald, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Providence Journal, where I was an occasional contributor from 2005-2012.

PERSONAL ESSAYS (SELECTED)

Strange Days,” Medium, October 3, 2017.

How We Talk to Each Other,” Medium, February 22, 2017.

Listen to the Weirdos on the Mall,” Medium, June 9, 2016.

Not Your Typical Disease Memoir,” Medium, May 17, 2016.

Don’t Ask, ‘How’s the Book Going?'” Medium, February 19, 2016.

How a Headache Saved My Life,” Observer, November 2, 2015.

An Introvert’s Guide to Eating and Drinking Out,” Medium, July 27, 2015.

You Fired Me,” Medium, July 6, 2015.

The Kindness of a Stranger,” Medium, June 15, 2015.

An Introvert’s Guide to the Coffeehouse Workspace,” Medium, May 29, 2015.

An Introvert’s Guide to Greeting Strangers, Vague Acquaintances, and Friends,” Medium, April 23, 2015.

Layman’s Terms,” Tablet, January 12, 2012.

A Mere ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ Might’ve Helped,” the Providence Journal, August 13, 2011. (pdf)

He Did the Best He Could,” the Providence Journal, May 6, 2010. (pdf)

The Hidden Brightness of the Dark Season,” the Providence Journal, November 27, 2006.(pdf)

The Other Sacred Places,” the Hartford Courant, August 9, 2005.(pdf)

On Selling ”Letter from Birmingham Jail,”” the Providence Journal, June 14, 2006.(pdf)

NPR Made Me Hip to My Kids,” the Providence Journal, November 28, 2003.(pdf)

PROFESSIONAL/SCIENCE ESSAYS (SELECTED)

Do Superstitious Rituals Work?” Skeptical Inquirer, December 8, 2017.

Statistiquement significat: les critères sont-ils suffisamment exigeants?” Science et pseudo-sciences n°323 – janvier / mars 2018. [pdf]  This a French translation of my article “Moving Science’s Statistical Goalposts,” which was published the Skeptical Inquirer, both online and in the November/December, 2017 issue of the print magazine.

Before Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, There Was Dan Q. Posin,” Skeptical Inquirer, November/December, 2017.

P-Hacker Confessions: Daryl Bem and Me,” Skeptical Inquirer, June 13, 2017.

Good News for Grouches: Happiness is Overrated,” Skeptical Inquirer, March 7, 2016.

“Guns: Feeling Safe ≠ Being Safe,” Skeptical Inquirer Magazine, 40(2), March/April, 27-30.

Nudging People to Save the Planet,” Skeptical Inquirer, January 29, 2016.

Psychology’s CAM Controversy,” Skeptical Inquirer, November 23, 2015.

Welcome to the Season of Conspiracy Theories.” Skeptical Inquirer, October 8, 2015.

Neuro-Pseudoscience,” Skeptical Inquirer, July 29, 2015.

Facilitated Communication: The Fad that Will Not Die,” Skeptical Inquirer, May 11, 2015.

How Superstition Works,” The Atlantic, October 22, 2013 (excerpt of Believing in Magic).

Can Believing in Luck Actually Make You Lucky?” Huffington Post, February 2, 2013.

Why We Fear Friday the 13th,” CNN Religion blog, May 13, 2011.

Our Love-Hate Relationship with Plastic,” the Providence Journal, April 23, 2008.(pdf)

Recent Posts

RBG, Experts, & Another Mass Shooting

Hello from the depths of February.


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I recently attended oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court, and the experience prompted me to write a short piece in The Coffeelicious about the experience. The essay is called “Miss Jeanne Louise, Stand Up,” and it is an unabashed appreciation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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The January/February issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine included my column, entitled “Yes, We Do Need Experts,” and this week it became available online for the first time. In it, I review an important recent book by Tom Nichols entitled, The Death of Expertise.

 


Finally, on Wednesday there was yet another mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Once again a legally purchased AR-15 assault weapon was used to kill—in this case—seventeen people—high school students and teachers—in seven minutes. The gun control debate has begun again, and yesterday Skeptical Inquirer magazine reposted my December 2015 article, “Guns: Feeling Safe Does Not Equal Being Safe,” which once again sparked a lively debate on the SI Facebook page. Typical-AR-15-1024x301.jpg


That’s all for now. On a positive note, it feels like spring might be coming soon. Let’s hope.

SV

  1. William James and the Psychics Leave a reply
  2. Superstitious Rituals & French Statistics Leave a reply
  3. Dan Q. Posin & more Leave a reply
  4. Friday the 13th Roundup Leave a reply
  5. The Doors, Las Vegas, and a Friday the 13th Preview Leave a reply
  6. Probability and the Immunity Dog Leave a reply
  7. P-hacker Confessions: Daryl Bem & Me Leave a reply
  8. March for Science Report Leave a reply
  9. Those Pesky Unintended Consequences Leave a reply