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Dr. Edward Slingerland "Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity"

For those of you interested in psychology and human behavior:

WHY IS IT ALWAYS HARD to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a politician who seems wooden or a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? In all of these cases, striving seems to backfire. In Trying Not To Try, Edward Slingerland explains why we find spontaneity so elusive, and shows how early Chinese thought points the way to happier, more authentic lives. We’ve long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through careful reasoning and conscious effort. But recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life, like happiness and spontaneity, are best pursued indirectly. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives.

A book signing of "Trying Not To Try" will follow the lecture.

This lecture series is sponsored by Dr. Michael Shermer's Skeptics Society.

To subscribe to free eSkeptic:

Tickets and Entry:
First come, first served at the door. Line starts at the South Door entrance. Limited seating at 375.
$15 for nonmembers
$10 for Skeptics Society members and the JPL/CalTech community.
Your admission fee is a donation that pays for lecture expenses.

Due to security concerns, Baxter Hall will be locked and the audience will be admitted only through the doors on the South side of the building by the lily ponds. If, for medical reasons, you cannot climb the stairs to the hall on the 2nd floor, someone at the main entrance (located in the middle of the West side of the building) will escort you to the elevator.

Directions to Baxter Hall:

Building Location and Parking Map:
Baxter Hall at CalTech in Pasadena. Free parking on weekends:

Early Dinner Together:
In keeping with their standing tradition, The Skeptic Society reserves tables at Burger Continental for early dinner for those who attend the lecture.  So go ahead and join in!  

Click on this link for their menu:
535 South Lake Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

Join or login to comment.

  • Arden R.

    Even though I cannot come in from Santa Barbara, I am sorry to miss this interesting lecture.
    Also, bravo to whomever thought of arrangements to
    make it handicapped accessible. This is the first meetup aside from mine, Socialize through Art Therapy, that was proactive in doing this. Thanks.
    Hope to see you all soon.

    April 13, 2014

  • Al B.

    Does it strike anyone else as funny that we could RSVP to this? Just curious

    April 3, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member


      April 5, 2014

  • Jasmine B.

    See you there 8-)

    April 1, 2014

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