NPR: Invisibilia Podcast: How to Become Batman
January 24, 2015 6:48 PM - Subscribe

Alix and Lulu examine the surprising effect that our expectations can have on the people around us. You’ll hear how people’s expectations can influence how well a rat runs a maze. Plus, the story of a man who is blind and says expectations have helped him see.
posted by radioamy (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought that Daniel's story was incredibly interesting. I can't imagine not being blown away by how well he operates in the world.

There are tons of videos of him on YouTube, and it's pretty cool to see him in action. I can see why so many TV shows trotted him out like a trained monkey. This one is from an unknown source but has the Mythbusters voiceover guy.

The one thing that annoyed me is that I felt like his story didn't really fit with the overall premise of the show. The experiments with the rats was interesting...but Daniel's success didn't just come from his mother's "expectations" that he would be able to "see."
posted by radioamy at 6:54 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

This episode also aired on This American LIfe #544 a couple weeks ago.
posted by jazon at 8:16 PM on January 24, 2015

I've defended the "banter" of the co-hosts in the discussion of previous episodes, but the shouting from the rooftops was a particular low-point and the rest of the show is not good enough to make up for that kind of annoying nonsense.

Lulu Miller did a follow-up of sorts to this piece with this NPR story about a woman who is learning Daniel Kish's method. I actually heard it before I heard this episode. I found it interesting how, as happy as everyone is that the woman is gaining more independence, it's putting unexpected strain on her relationship with her husband and children who have grown so accustomed to helping her for their entire lives together.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:39 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I heard this episode today and really enjoyed it just in terms of the interesting topics it blended: the neuroscience of vision and how info about it is gathered, the social construction of ability and disability, research on learning, lots of ethical conundrums, complicated people, and the slipperiness of nurture, neglect, etc. The rooftop shouting was dopey, but this type of program could be a fun conversation starter or topic-generating prompt for a writing class or something. I mean, it's just disposable entertainment, but I like entertainment that makes me more curious about things instead of just a passive consumer.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:38 PM on February 20, 2015

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