August 21, 2009
William Little is a freelance journalist based in London, England. He has written for the Saturday Telegraph magazine, Weekend Telegraph, the Guardian, The Times and the Financial Times. He has also worked for Arena, Esquire and Cosmopolitan, and contributed articles to the Independent, the Daily Express and the Big Issue, among many others. His recent book is The Psychic Tourist: A Voyage into the Curious World of Predicting the Future.
In this interview with D.J. Grothe, William Little recounts his experiences researching The Psychic Tourist, including his seminar with Sylvia Browne, meetings with UK mentalist Derren Brown, scientists Richard Dawkins and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Jospehson, attending a psychic college, and his sister's star chart predicting her death. He reveals his motivations writing the book, and talks about how his journalistic approach is different than the approach of some academic skeptics who write for more of an already skeptical audience. He explores what it might say about society if there is such widespread belief in psychics when there is so little evidence to support psychic claims. He contrasts the harm psychics do with how they may help people. He explains why he thinks of psychic belief as "disorganized religion." And he talks about the skeptics he met who weren't cold-hearted, but instead were interested in helping people.
Also in this episode, Jim Underdown recounts his experiences with famous psychics making bad guesses, including John Edward and James Van Praagh.
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Books Mentioned in This Episode:
June 5, 2009