YANSS 046 – Unlearning, Laser Eyes, and Reptilian False Flags

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The Topics: Just-So Stories and Conspiracy Theories

The Guest: Steven Novella

The Episode: DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

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In this inbetweenisode you will hear an excerpt from a lecture I gave at DragonCon2014 all about unlearning, superseded scientific theories, post-hoc rationalization, just-so stories, laser eyes, goose trees, spanking and more.

Steven NovellaAfter that segment, you’ll hear a rebroadcast of an interview from episode 016 with Steven Novella who is the host of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, and an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. He blogs at NeurologicaSkepticblog, and Science-Based Medicine. Listen as he explains why we love conspiracy theories, how they flourish, how they harm, and what they say about our culture.

Next episode, Jon Ronson discusses his new book, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.”

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Links and Sources

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

Damasio, Antonio R. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: Putnam, 1994. Print.

Grabmeier, Jeff. Does Something Leave Our Eyes During Vision? Many Adults Say Yes. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/eyerays.htm

Gross, C. G. “The Fire That Comes from the Eye.” The Neuroscientist 5.1 (1999): 58-64. https://www.princeton.edu/~cggross/neuroscientist_5_99_fire.pdf

Mercier, H, and D Sperber. Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 34.2 (2011): 57-74.http://www.dan.sperber.fr/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/MercierSperberWhydohumansreason.pdf

Rusbult, Craig. Extramission Theory of Vision is a Misconception about Vision. American Scientific Affiliation. 2007.http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/views/extramission.htm

TV Tropes. Eye Beams: Folklore.

Winer, Gerald A, and Jane E. Cottrell. Does Anything Leave the Eye When We See? Extramission Beliefs of Children and Adults. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 5.5 (1996): 137-142. Web.http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/5/5/137.full.pdf

Zaidel, E., Zaidel, D. W., & Bogen, J. E. The split brain. In G. Adelman & B. Smith (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, 1999; 2nd Ed. : 1027-1032.http://www.its.caltech.edu/~jbogen/text/ref130.htm

YANSS 044 – James Burke on the Coming Age of Scarce Scarcity and Abundant Abundance

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The Topic: The Future

The Guests: James Burke and Matt Novak

The Episode: DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud – Transcript

This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses. Order Your Deceptive Mind or another course in this special offer and get 80% off the original price.

Episode 44 is a rebroadcast of two interviews from episode 20 which was all about how we are very, very bad at predicting the future both in our personal lives and as as a species.

Thanks to your support on Patreon, you can now read a transcript of my interview with James Burke from that episode. More transcripts are on the way. I hope to add about four a month. This is a link to the James Burke transcript.

JamesBurkeSmallJames Burke is a legendary science historian who created the landmark BBC series Connections which provided an alternative view of history and change by replacing the traditional “Great Man” timeline with an interconnected web in which all people influence one another to blindly direct the flow of progress. Burke is currently writing a new book about the coming age of abundance, and he continues to work on his Knowledge Web project. In the interview, James Burke says we must soon learn how to deal with a world in which scarcity is scarce, we are more connected to our online communities than our local governments, and home manufacturing can produce just about anything you desire.

mattnovakWe also sit down with Matt Novak, creator and curator of Paleofuture, a blog that explores retro futurism, sifting through the many ways people in the past predicted how the future would turn out, sometimes correctly, mostly not.

Together, Burke and Novak help us understand why we are to terrible at predicting the future and what we can learn about how history truly unfolds so we can better imagine who we will be in the decades to come.

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YANSS Podcast 028 – The Sanity of Crowds with Michael Bond

The Topic: Crowds

The Guest: Michael Bond

The Episode: DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

A rioter dressed in a Vancouver Canucks jersey cheers on while a car burns - Source: Wikimedia Commons, User: David Elop, Original here: http://bit.ly/1tqXdx6

A scene from the 2011 Vancouver riots, described by the photographer as, “a rioter dressed in a Vancouver Canucks jersey cheers on while a car burns” – Source: Wikimedia Commons, User: David Elop, Original here: http://bit.ly/1tqXdx6

It is a human tendency that’s impossible not to notice during wars and revolutions – and a dangerous one to forget when resting between them.

In psychology they call it deindividuation, losing yourself to the will of a crowd. In a mob, protest, riot, or even an audience, the presence of others redraws the borders of your normal persona. Simply put, you will think, feel, and do things in a crowd that alone you would not.

Psychology didn’t discover this, of course. The fact that being in a group recasts the character you usually play has been the subject of much reflection ever since people have had the time to reflect. No, today psychology is trying to chip away at the prevailing wisdom on what crowds do to your mind and why.

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