The invisible gorilla: And then some

Seed Magazine interviews Ig Nobel winner Dan Simons, co-author (with his co-winner Chris Chabris) of the new book The Invisible Gorilla (mentioned here recently). They discuss a new video [below] that shows a new Simons demonstration. In the interview — see snippet below the video — he discussed the Ig.

From the Seed interview:

Also, the Ig Nobels didn’t hurt, for having it take off, but it had actually taken off before that.

Munger: Yeah, what do you think about that? You seem to have sort of embraced getting an Ig Nobel award.

Simons: Yeah, I loved it. I thought it was great. I’ve always been a big fan. The tricky part is that there’s a combination of stuff that’s really good science but just happens to be funny and stuff that’s clearly not good science. They actually changed the way they describe it. It used to be “results that cannot or should not be reproduced,” and they changed it to “things that make you laugh and then make you think.” And I think that was a good switch because a lot of the stuff they cover is interesting science. The year that we got our Ig Nobel for that study, Michael Turvey got one for the dynamics of hula hooping. That’s funny, but it’s actually a really hard problem: How do you figure this out, it’s a dynamic system? So it was really computationally sophisticated work, it just happened to be on a topic that has humor value.

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