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Baxter
Skeptic Friend

USA
131 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  18:41:22  Show Profile Send Baxter a Private Message
Looks like no one really cares that it's the 13th. But, I heard that commerce plummets a billion dollars, cause people are scared to get out I guess. That gets me to thinking, are skeptics superstitious people? I am not superstitious much at all. I enjoy irritating those people though by opening umbrellas in their house.

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  19:31:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
A billion-dollar drop for a day, worldwide, is nothing.

I used to be superstitious. Now I use the phrase "knock wood" to be shorthand for "I really hope that doesn't happen." I still don't walk under ladders, so that I'll be less likely to have a tool or bucket dropped on my head. And I'm teaching my four-year-old son not to open umbrellas in the house because he's hurt himself doing so, already. I avoid breaking mirrors because they're expensive.

But I step on cracks all the time, and spilled salt just gets swept up with the crumbs.

Oh, and I was born on Monday the 13th, and every seven years or so, my birthday falls on a Friday. 13ths which are Fridays don't particularly bother me. I get presents on some of them.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Baxter
Skeptic Friend

USA
131 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  20:56:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Baxter a Private Message
Oh, I guess 'plummet' would not be the right word then. I also think it is cuckoo that some elevators don't have 13th floor buttons and some buildings "don't have" a 13th floor.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  21:29:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Baxter

Oh, I guess 'plummet' would not be the right word then.
A billion bucks divided by six billion people is a little more than a 16-cent drop in spending, per capita. Even if it were just the U.S.A., it would mean a per-capita spending drop of a little more than three dollars. A billion bucks is a drop in the bucket in today's economy.
quote:
I also think it is cuckoo that some elevators don't have 13th floor buttons and some buildings "don't have" a 13th floor.
According to A Hotel is a Place..., tall hotels actually have two 13th floors. One, they don't usually label the 13th floor on the evelators, so the 14th floor is actually the 13th. But then, many have a "mezzanine" floor between the lobby and the 2nd floor, which means the 12th floor is actually the 13th, too.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  23:10:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
That gets me to thinking, are skeptics superstitious people?


I'm sure that some are. I think, however, that skeptics are less so than other groups, as a rule.


quote:
Now I use the phrase "knock wood" to be shorthand for "I really hope that doesn't happen."


Yeah. Same here.

That's about the only "superstitious" phrase I use though. Can't even think of any others off hand.

As a kid I used to love horror movies(still do), especially the kind that kids weren't supposed to be watching. A couple of friends and I would load up the VCR with a couple of movies on friday nights, and procede to scare the shit out of ourselves. I don't remember what movie it was, but to this day I can't (well, I can, but it requires conscious thought and effort to not turn on a light) go into the bathroom without turning on a light.... it's freakin comical. Self induced traumatic stress!

Also (this isn't really a superstition, but it is kinda like one), like the greatest Peanuts character, I was overly fond of a certain blanket. Not nearly as neurotic as poor old Linus, but I didn't sleep well without it. To this day I have to have some sort of covering to get truly sound sleep. Not as comical as the bathroom thing, but still funny in retrospect.

Anyway.... my point is that as a person who almost always applies critical thinking to claims (especially ones that are new to me), there are still times when behavior is not 100% rational.

So yeah. Skeptics can surely be superstitious. Atleast a little.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2005 :  23:15:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
This is an interesting topic. I would think superstitious and skeptical would be mutually exclusive adjectives. However, there are those who are able to maintain two separate trains of thought, I suppose. "Well, I know this is silly, but I'll just do it to make certain" type of thing.

One thing I find difficult to understand is phobias, which are by definition irrational fears. (I understand that some fear* is healthy.) I don't think I have any phobias, nor can I comprehend exactly why you couldn't just reason yourself out of one.


*Speaking of which, I once heard that humans only have 3 natural, "inborn" fears and that all the rest are learned. Not sure if this is true or not, however. Anyone care to guess what they are?


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 05/13/2005 23:21:52
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  01:23:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
The Friday the 13th superstition has an interesting if somewhat hazy history. Here's Wikipedia's take on it:
quote:
The origins of the Friday the 13th superstition has been linked to the fact there were 13 people at the last supper of Jesus, who was crucified on Good Friday, but it probably originated only in medieval times. It has also been linked to the fact that a lunisolar calendar must have 13 months in some years, while the solar Gregorian calendar and lunar Islamic calendar always have 12 months in a year. Another suggestion is that the belief originated in a Norse myth about twelve gods having a feast in Valhalla. The mischievous Loki gate-crashed the party as an uninvited 13th guest and arranged for Hod, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Baldur, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Baldur was killed and the Earth was plunged into darkness and mourning as a result.

Some also say that the arrest of Jaques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and 60 of his senior knights on Friday, October 13, 1307 by King Philip IV of France, is the origin of this superstition. That day thousands of Templars were arrested and subsequently tortured. They then 'confessed' and were executed. From that day on, Friday the 13th was considered by followers of the Templars as an evil and unlucky day.

The article continues with the effects of it and a list of when the unlucky day will fall through the year 2020.

Fortunatly, I didn't go fishing yesterday. I might could have fallen out of the boat or lost my snuff box, or all sorts of other, bad stuff. But I ain't superstitious!!


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  08:54:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Humbert:
I don't think I have any phobias, nor can I comprehend exactly why you couldn't just reason yourself out of one.

Well, that is why they are called phobias. If you could simply reason one away, it would be a simple fear and not a phobia. Phobias are listed in the DSM as one kind of Anxiety Disorder, and more specifically as a Specific Phobia
(Formerly Simple Phobia.)

The owner of a phobia usually understands that whatever the fear is, is irrational. For example, I have a fear of heights or Acrophobia. Being afraid of heights is reasonable up to a point. When that fear becomes so intense that it leads to rubber knee's or a panic attack, as it does to me, the fear becomes dangerous. You don't want to have a panic attack while looking over the edge of a roof. That particular situation is easy to avoid, so I remain acrophobic.

A really good rundown on exactly how phobias work can be found here.
.
The good news is that the prognosis is good when treated correctly.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  09:08:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Baxter:

I also think it is cuckoo that some elevators don't have 13th floor buttons and some buildings "don't have" a 13th floor.


Hopefully the elevators without 13th floor buttons are in the buildings without 13th floors!

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  16:53:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Speaking of which, I once heard that humans only have 3 natural, "inborn" fears and that all the rest are learned. Not sure if this is true or not, however. Anyone care to guess what they are?



Darkness, heights, and loud noises?

No idea really.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  17:27:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kil

Well, that is why they are called phobias. If you could simply reason one away, it would be a simple fear and not a phobia. Phobias are listed in the DSM as one kind of Anxiety Disorder, and more specifically as a Specific Phobia (Formerly Simple Phobia.)
In the "you learn something new every day" category, thanks to your links, Kil, I've learned that what I thought I had (acrophobia and apiphobia) are in reality just me being a wimp around high places and bees, respectively. 'Cause while I don't like heights without walls or flying, stinging insects, I've never made any changes to my life because of them, never had a panic attack, nor rubber knees.

I can get a good case of vertigo looking down from over 20 feet or so, but as long as there's a solid railing to hold onto I'm okay with it (no problems looking down out a 104th-floor window at the WTC when I was 12, either). And I'll run from wasps that take an interest in me, but otherwise I just keep an eye on the little bastards.

To tie all this back to the OP, does anyone know anyone who's had triskadecaphobia?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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ljbrs
SFN Regular

USA
842 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  18:08:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ljbrs a Private Message
I have never been superstitious. I never believed in "Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc., etc., etc.

I have never been religious, either, although my parents attempted to force it on me.

I have always been a skeptic.

Whatever...

ljbrs

"Innumerable suns exist; innumerable earths revolve about these suns in a manner similar to the way the seven planets revolve around our sun. Living beings inhabit these worlds."
Giordano Bruno
(Burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church Inquisition in 1600)
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  21:21:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
DaveW:
To tie all this back to the OP, does anyone know anyone who's had triskadecaphobia?


Fear of the number 13. Good one!

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  23:47:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude
Darkness, heights, and loud noises?

No idea really.

Actually, that's a pretty good guess. Originally I heard heights, loud noises, and snakes, though it's the snakes one that I believe might be folklore. Goes back to the fall, you see. Although I have heard that monkey's have an innate fear of snakes, though again that may simple be a case of compounding folklore with folklore.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 05/14/2005 23:48:27
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2005 :  05:13:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by Dude
Darkness, heights, and loud noises?

No idea really.

Actually, that's a pretty good guess. Originally I heard heights, loud noises, and snakes, though it's the snakes one that I believe might be folklore. Goes back to the fall, you see. Although I have heard that monkey's have an innate fear of snakes, though again that may simple be a case of compounding folklore with folklore.



Monkies do indeed fear snakes and for good reason, particularly the smaller species. They are often preyed upon by various serpents, notably boas and pythons, most of which are not giants. Monkies fear them as much as they might fear any mammalian predator.

Most of these snakes are at least semi aborial and blend in well with their surroundings. The monkey might go aloft escape the predator on the ground only to find itself in the fatal but grateful embrace of the hungry boa that it failed to see in time.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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ktesibios
SFN Regular

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2005 :  10:21:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ktesibios a Private Message
Once in a while, when it's a non-Friday 13th of the month, I get on the paging system at work and say something like:
quote:

Your attention please. It has just been learned that Friday the 13th comes on a Tuesday this month.

So watch it.




"The Republican agenda is to turn the United States into a third-world shithole." -P.Z.Myers
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