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Related Readings
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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join Julia Galef and guests as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking was co-created with Massimo Pigliucci, is produced by Benny Pollak and recorded in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Sunday
Aug262012

RS68 - Applied Rationality

Release date: August 26, 2012


You've heard plenty about biases: the thinking errors the human brain tends to make. But is there anything we can do to make ourselves *less* biased?  In this episode, Massimo and Julia discuss what psychological research has learned about "de-biasing," the challenges involved, and the de-biasing strategies Julia is implementing at her organization, the Center for Applied Rationality.

Julia's pick: Dan Ariely's blog
Massimo's pick: "Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music"

Sunday
Aug122012

RS67 - Freudianism as Pseudoscience, With Assorted Comments on Masturbation and Castration...

Release date: August 12, 2012


Can everyone's problems always be traced back to sex, love, and masturbation? In this episode, Massimo and Julia talk about the pseudoscientific aspects of Freud's theories of human psychology. Along the way they explore what philosophy of science has to say about testing theories -- and some of the similarities that Freudianism has with religion, new age mysticism, and psychic reading.

Julia's pick: "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal"
Massimo's pick: "10 Totally Different TV Shows that Doctor Who Has Been Over the Years"

References:
http://simplycharly.com/freud/frank_cioffi_freud_interview.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Freud-Question-Pseudoscience-Frank-Cioffi/dp/081269385X
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/books/frank-cioffi-philosopher-and-critic-of-freud-dies-at-83.html

Thursday
Jul262012

RS66 - Matthew Hutson on The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

Release date: July 29, 2012


You may think you're a skeptic, but are you really as free from superstition as you think you are? Matthew Hutson thinks not. The author of "The Seven Laws of Magical Thinking" joins Massimo and Julia on this episode of Rationally Speaking to discuss some common, innate forms of superstition that affect even self-identified skeptics, and why the human brain is predisposed to magical thinking. Along the way, the three debate: Overall, are our superstitions good for us?

Matthew's picks: "Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition,"
"SuperSense, " and
"The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life"