The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


happiness

Moneyball For Your Life: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz on Using Data to Get What You Really Want

Most people rely on their gut instinct to decide how to date, who to marry, where to live, what career path to take, how to find happiness, but what if our gut is wrong? Biased, unpredictable, and misinformed, our gut, it turns out, is not all that reliable. Michael Shermer speaks with economist and former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz on using data to get what you really want in life.

Leonard Mlodinow — Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking

Extraordinary advances in psychology and neuroscience have proven that emotions are as critical to our well-being as thinking. In this conversation, Michael Shermer speaks with Leonard Mlodinow about his new book Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking.

eSkeptic for January 11, 2022

Extraordinary advances in psychology and neuroscience have proven that emotions are as critical to our well-being as thinking. In this conversation, Michael Shermer speaks with Leonard Mlodinow about his new book Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking.

Bobby Duffy on The Generation Myth: Why When You’re Born Matters Less Than You Think

Boomers are narcissists. Millennials are spoiled. Gen Zers are lazy. We assume people born around the same time have basically the same values. But, do they? In episode 224 Michael Shermer speaks with social researcher Bobby Duffy who has spent years studying generational distinctions. In The Generation Myth, he argues that our generational identities are not fixed but fluid, reforming throughout our lives.

eSkeptic for November 6, 2021

Boomers are narcissists. Millennials are spoiled. Gen Zers are lazy. We assume people born around the same time have basically the same values. But, do they? In episode 224 Michael Shermer speaks with social researcher Bobby Duffy who has spent years studying generational distinctions. In The Generation Myth, he argues that our generational identities are not fixed but fluid, reforming throughout our lives.

eSkeptic for May 25, 2021

In episode 184 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with Alexander Green about one of the most important and yet poorly understood concepts in modern society: money and why it matters.

Alexander Green on Money & Why It Matters

In episode 184 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with Alexander Green about one of the most important and yet poorly understood concepts in modern society: money and why it matters.

Angus Fletcher — 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante.

eSkeptic for May 1, 2021

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante. PLUS: From now through May 3, 2021 all print and digital back issues of Skeptic magazine are on sale for only 99 cents each! Now is the time to complete your collection!

Scott Barry Kaufman — Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization

In Science Salon # 111 Michael Shermer speaks with psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman about his book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization. Kaufman picks up where Abraham Maslow left off, unraveling the mysteries of his unfinished theory of transcendence, and integrating these ideas with the latest research on attachment, connection, creativity, love, purpose and other building blocks of a life well lived.

eSkeptic April 14, 2020

In Science Salon # 111 Michael Shermer speaks with psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman about his book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization. Kaufman picks up where Abraham Maslow left off, unraveling the mysteries of his unfinished theory of transcendence, and integrating these ideas with the latest research on attachment, connection, creativity, love, purpose and other building blocks of a life well lived.

Catherine Wilson — How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well

In Science Salon # 96 Michael Shermer speaks with Catherine Wilson about the ancient wisdom of Epicureanism: a philosophy of living well that promoted reason, respect for the natural world, and reverence for our fellow humans.

eSkeptic for December 24, 2019

In Science Salon # 96 Michael Shermer speaks with Catherine Wilson about the ancient wisdom of Epicureanism: a philosophy of living well that promoted reason, respect for the natural world, and reverence for our fellow humans. PLUS, Jonathan Kay tells us what board games teach us about capitalism and how to modify it.

Bruce Hood — Possessed: Why We Want More Than We Need

Psychologist Bruce Hood explains why our uniquely human preoccupation with ownership governs our behavior, even when it is often irrational, and destructive. Possessed is the first book to explore how ownership has us enthralled in relentless pursuit of a false happiness, with damaging consequences for society and the planet — and how we can stop buying into it.

eSkeptic for September 3, 2019

In Science Salon # 81, Michael Shermer speaks with award-winning University of Bristol psychologist Bruce Hood about his brand new book, Possessed: Why We Want More Than We Need, which draws on research to explain why our uniquely human preoccupation with ownership governs our behavior from the cradle to the grave, even when it is often irrational, and destructive.

Derren Brown — Magic, Happiness, and Skepticism

Derren Brown and Michael Shermer

Derren Brown: Mind Control received immediate success after the TV show aired in 2000. His specials include Russian Roulette, Seance, The Heist, Hero at 30,000 Feet, How to Predict the Lottery, and Apocalypse. His live shows Something Wicked This Way Comes and Svengali have won him two Olivier Awards. He garnered the 2012 BAFTA for Best Entertainment for The Experiments.

eSkeptic for March 1, 2017

The media love to hype “Fountain of Youth” claims. Many diverse treatments being promoted as “anti-aging” remedies are not grounded in science, are misleading, and sometimes even illegal. In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. discusses some of the those treatments.

Anti-Aging Claims: The Fountain of Youth is Still Only a Legend

The media love to hype “Fountain of Youth” claims. Many diverse treatments being promoted as “anti-aging” remedies are not grounded in science, are misleading, and sometimes even illegal. In this column, from Skeptic magazine 21.4 (2016), Harriet Hall, M.D. discusses some of the those treatments.

The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter

Face-to-face contact matters. From birth to death, human beings are hardwired to connect to other human beings. In this lecture, psychologist Susan Pinker shows how face-to-face contact is crucial for learning, happiness, resilience, and longevity.

Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity

In this lecture, based on his book Trying Not To Try, Edward Slingerland explains why we find happiness and spontaneity so elusive. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives.

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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