Episode 108: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worthwhile
Dimitris Xygalatas is an anthropologist and cognitive scientist who studies some of the more peculiar aspects of what it means to be human: ritual, music, sports fandom, and other things that help people connect with each other and make sense of their lives. He is an associated professor in anthropology and psychological sciences at UConn, and the head of the Experimental Anthropology Lab.
His most recent book is “Ritual: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worth Living,” which is available wherever you can get books. We’ve been trying to make this interview happen for a while, and we’re thrilled it happened for this great conversation about personal superstition, public ritual, and why it sort of makes sense to wear the same pair of underwear during a historic NCAA tournament run.
After we speak with Professor Xygalatas, Tom and Julie break out the UConn History Bagatelles and indulge in the decadent fantasy of dedicated parking.