Pseudoscience

Piano Myths: Part III

Piano Myths: Part III (See Part I and Part II) There are many young women, who, when they sit down to the piano to sing, twist themselves into so many contortions, and writhe their bodies and faces about into such actions and grimaces, as would almost incline one to believe that they are suffering great [...]

By | 2018-11-01T20:11:13+00:00 November 1, 2018|Music, Musings, Piano, Science|0 Comments

Piano Myths: Part II

(Piano Myths Part I here) Myths of Piano Touch and Tone Could you hear a difference in a single piano tone depending on the way its key is depressed? Are accomplished musicians able to discern sounds produced by a virtuoso’s hand versus those made by an object? Is there any physical approach to a piano [...]

By | 2018-06-01T14:22:27+00:00 May 30, 2018|Music, Musings, Piano, Science|0 Comments

Piano Myths: Part I

Old Myths Die Hard It’s human nature to look skeptically at information that contradicts something we believe. Once we become anchored to untruths, reality is an annoying intrusion. Psychology has terms for the ways we receive new knowledge. Confirmation bias: seeking only information that conforms to the belief, dismissing new information; Assimilation: reshaping new information [...]

By | 2018-05-28T20:22:09+00:00 April 29, 2018|Music, Musings, Science|0 Comments

Researchers ask: Why do people think total nonsense is really deep?

Someone has finally asked the question! There's no clear answer yet (despite Wonkblog's headline "Why people think total nonsense is really deep"), but researchers at the University of Waterloo have done some serious studies into 'BS Receptivity.' In a sequence of tests, participants were asked to rank the profundity of various statements. Some sentences were randomly created by two [...]

By | 2016-12-01T22:00:38+00:00 December 4, 2015|Musings, Science|0 Comments

Unfortunate Pseudoscience: Part III

This is Your Brain on Placebos It seems the Brits are way ahead of us. At least there’s an effort in the U.K. to disabuse educators of what are now called “Neuromyths.” As I’ve mentioned, some citizens across the pond were aghast not only at BrainGym itself, but also at the amount of taxpayer money [...]

By | 2018-06-18T14:14:00+00:00 January 25, 2014|Musings|1 Comment

Unfortunate Pseudoscience – Part I

It’s bad enough when silly ideas are made marketable. It’s worse when smart people buy into them. And it’s worst of all when many, many people buy into them. Years ago, a teacher observed one of my classes and remarked enthusiastically that I’d had my students “cross the midline.” When she explained that moving a [...]

By | 2016-12-01T22:00:44+00:00 September 24, 2013|Classes, Musings|0 Comments