Welcome to the 51st edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (A Better Mess),Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), and me (Lindsay is out sick so I’m taking the reigns again).
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
This week we look at deception, fiction, and shutting off comments.
Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions
Michael on Deception. Despite our daily dependence on our own senses and memories, few things are more fallible. Our attention is fleeting and our memory is easily fooled. While these shortcomings often cause a fair amount of frustration, they can also be used by skilled magicians to astound and delight.
In a journey that spans a year of their research, neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde examine the many ways our brains can be fooled by skilled magicians. It’s a fun and well written book that will appeal to those curious as to how our minds work or anyone who wants to know as to how many of the most popular magicians, mentalists and pickpockets are able to trick our perceptions time and time again. Hat tip to Jamie Phelps for suggesting this clever mixture of science and magic.
Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy
Howie on Fiction. As I got older I started reading more non-fiction, but growing up I loved reading fiction books and now my two and a half year old is slowly learning her letters. Maybe we can thank Harry Potter if the next generation is more empathetic and we all make peace and harmony.
Popular Science Shuts Down Comments
Gini on Commenting. In an interesting move, Popular Science announced a week or so ago they are shutting down the ability to comment on their stories. Their reasoning makes sense. They say it’s because people are swayed by comments and discussion, regardless of them being fact- or science-based…or even true. They claim is the trolls and the spambots are preventing the intelligent and educated discourse and, therefore, are taking measures to cut that off entirely.
I’m not sure I agree. I stand on the side of the fence that believes writers start the conversations, but the comments extend the discussion and add intelligent information and different perspectives. Mitch Joel, on the other hand, agrees with the decision and calls for other publications to do the same. That said, we have a great community at Spin Sucks. The conversations are overwhelmingly educational and the discourse is always professional. But I write for other publications where the trolls are not just mean, they’re vicious. I guess it’s all about the experience.
Now it’s your turn. Is there a book, podcast, article, TV show, blog post, or stone we should read?