Like Magic

Brian Dunning wants to know What’s Your Sacred Cow?

What I want to hear from you is your sacred cow. Only ten percent of people claim no superstitious beliefs, and those ten percent are liars.

One point I’m drawing from the comments there is that magical thinking comes in a lot of forms, not all of them easy to wrap up in a nice tidy package of folklore that we call superstition. Magic can sneak into your thinking.

I once heard the phrase “the perversity of inanimate objects” and I’ve never been able to shake it out of my thoughts entirely. The idea is that objects will behave in exactly the way you don’t want them to. The most common example is the claim that bread falls buttered side down.

My favorite magical thought comes from comic Maria Bamford: “If I keep my kitchen floor clean, no one will die.”

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