The Honest Liar, Episode #11

May 7, 2010

Deirdre Barrett talks about supernormal stimuli, which are exaggerated versions of natural stimuli to which there are existing instinctual responses. She discusses how our evolved instincts are overwhelmed by technological advances and other facets of modern society. She explores how pornography, unhealthy diets, and even the quest for nuclear energy as opposed to wind or solar energy are supernormal stimuli. And she explains how undue credulity in the supernatural and the paranormal may be a function of our natural instincts to believe becoming overrun by supernormal stimuli.

Also, in this week’s edition of the Honest Liar, we consider the similarities between a streetside scam artist and a billion dollar Ponzi schemer.

Ponzi scheme: http://www.skepdic.com/ponzi.html

There is a wealth (as it were) of material to be found concerning the Madoff case, however here are some of the sources cited in my commentary:

Madoff Had Accomplices: His Victims
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/14/business/14nocera.html?pagewanted=all

Madoff Victims: Get Over It
http://executivesuite.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/madoff-victims-get-over-it/

Ire at Madoff Swings Toward the Referee
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/04/business/04nocera.html

The Talented Mr. Madoff
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/business/25bernie.html?pagewanted=all

And here is my colleague Michael Shermer, who first drew a connection between Madoff and Monte:
http://skepticblog.org/2008/12/23/ponzi-dilemma/

 

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