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This week Derek has a discussion with David McRaney about his latest book, 'You Are Not So Smart'. David is a journalist who mainly covers psychology and technology which lead him to researching many of the focal subjects which Skeptics gravitate to. Find out why you have too many friends on Facebook, why your memory is mostly fiction, and other ways you are probably deluding yourself.
Show Notes

– Date – March 13, 2012
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.

Skeptic History Notes

Duncan MacDougall measured the weight of a human soul as 21 grams. Reported March 11, 1907.
Giovanni Schiaparelli described “canali” on Mars, he was born March 14, 1835.
Percival Lowell, primed by Schiaparelli’s illusory discovery, saw them too. He was born March 13, 1855.
Rods were named by Jose Escamilla who first photographed them March 19, 1994.
– The “Phoenix Lights” UFO incident occurred March 13, 1997, 15 years ago this week.
– The 15th anniversary of the Heaven’s Gate cult tragedy is also this month, it occurred March 26, 1997.  We previously mentioned it on Skepticality episode #124.
– The 30th anniversary of the failed “Jupiter Effect” predictions is this month, it was supposed to happen March 10, 1982.  We previously talked about the Jupiter Effect on Skepticality episode #130 and episode #150.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at the Skeptools blog.

Interview Notes

– Thank you to everyone who has been helping support Skepticality by purchasing from our book store or logo store!
David McRaney is a journalist and science geek.
– His latest book is ‘You Are Not So Smart‘.
– Started out wanting to be a psychologist.
– His blog has been running for over three years which focuses on self-delusion and psychology research.
– First writing was on the famous ‘Invisible Gorilla’ effect.
– Attempts to slip under the radar and get a skeptical message out to a general audience.
– An argument between himself and his friends about brand loyalty and the Apple iPhone theft.
Logical Fallacies are a big focus of Davids work.
– Popular science advocates, like Carl Sagan, pulled him out of a gullible family situation.
– The goal of the book is to chisel away at some of the deeply conservative views and ideas held by many these days.
– Things like the Dunning-Kruger Effect keep shows like American Idol on the air.
Dunbar’s Number can tell us a lot about why we have too many friends on Facebook.
– Skeptics tend to unwittingly fall into the ‘Third Person Effect‘ now and then.
– We all tend to be conformists, even if we believe we are not.
– Online we all believe we are in our own Reality TV show centered around ourselves.
– David’s favorite fallacy or fuzzy thinking is Confirmation Bias.
– His newest item of interest is the ‘Backfire Effect‘ where people dig in more when shown evidence.
Humor seems to be the best way to combat people who fall prey to some of the worst lines of thinking.
– You must chisel away at people who have deep seeded beliefs or ideas, to make a positive effect.
– We are not deeply rational and are all prone to biased thinking.
Politicians should be required to read many of the newest books dealing with how our brains work.
– You can find David on his blog, his twitter handle, Google+, or the Not So Smart Facebook page.
– Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing books or Skepticality stuff from our stores.

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