More Sanity November 26, 2012Posted by Ubi Dubium in Responses.
Tags: basketball, Cognitive Biases, critical thinking, power balance, scams, Skepticism
I use the example of “power balance” bracelets as a critical thinking exercise for the RE class that I teach. I show them all the balance demonstrations that the salesmen use, but using a plain-old rubber band, then let them think about it for a week. I want them to come to their own conclusions about whether a rubber band could be having all the effects I claimed for it. (Usually some rubbish like “balance your harmonics, energize your chi, unlock your chakras, and clear up your zits.”) The following week I teach them how to do all of those tricks themselves. Now that they are on to the scam, they are never going to be fooled by “magic rubber bracelets” again.
Now Mark Cuban is publicly throwing these things out, and declaring them scams! YES! There’s somebody in the sports world who is not only thinking rationally, but is also willing to do it on YouTube! I don’t even follow basketball, but Mark, you are one of my favorite people today.