Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Nerd Nite in August! Cool off the dog days of summer with a refreshing beverage and some crisp education. We’ll teach you about your cognitive biases through cool optical illusions, all about the controversial beauty of Lake Merritt, and give huge depth around one of the briefest poems by a great. Be there and be square!

Doors will open promptly at 7. The bar opens then and you can grab some grub from Miss Arepita and from Natty Cakes.

Rick, Rebecca, DJ Citizen Zain, and the Oakland Public Library will be chillin’ the Coronas.

Be there and be square.

This event is 21+. Any door tickets will be $10.

Monday 8/31/2015
Doors (+food,drink) at 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm and ends at 10:30 pm
Club 21, 2111 Franklin St, Oakland
(two blocks from the 19th St BART)
$8 in advance/$10 at the door

Don’t Believe Everything You See (or Think): Optical Illusions as a window on Intuitive Biases by Paul Sas

Psychologists now have enough evidence to prove what your grandma always claimed: People’s actions aren’t consistently rational. This research program was recognized when D. Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics
We all experience optical illusions, where an item might appear larger or smaller depending upon context.
By analogy, a change in framing often triggers cognitive biases, causing the same outcome to appear as either a loss or a gain.
Paul has collected a set of trippy optical illusions. Each illusion can help illuminate a similar ‘cortical’ illusion. ‘Cortical’ illusion is a term coined here to focus on ways our brain often delivers snap judgments about complex statistical inferences with the same immediacy that we perceive an object’s size or color.

Paul began his psych PhD at Stanford in 1994 (the year Netscape IPO’d). Ever since, he’s been combining the twin waves of the ‘heuristics & biases’ research with Steve Jobs’ vision of building a bicycle for the mind.

Lake Merritt…where people are exposed to the seedy under belly of life among wild critters, such as floaters, hangings, killings and homelessness Or simply put “What Impression do you want to leave behind” by Stephanie Benavidez

What entered your mind when I printed those above words, well it’s not what you think. Come and be entertained by the trials and tribulation of a Urban Naturalist in the City of Oakland. It is not for the faint hearted so beware.

Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge: Where We Bring People and Nature Together or is it Where We Bring Urban Sprawl and a Wildlife Refuge Together.

What is the point of historically being the very first concept of a safe place for wildlife in the Nation if 145 years later were turning this legacy for generations to come as just another Watering Hole? And what do folks take with them after visiting this rare gem.

Stephanie Benavidez is a professional Raconteur, Native of Oakland, a City of Oakland Employee for over 40 years. Featured in several books: “Blues City” by Ishmeal Reed or “I Can Hear The Sun” by Patricia Pollacco, Radio and T.V. and part of the DuPont Oral History Project housed at Mills College library, Stephanie understood the importance of the Nature Deficit Syndrome way back When Prop 13 reared its ugly repercussions.

Cummings and Goings: Super-States of Language by Daniel Ari

A mere 23 typewritten characters combine to contain and convey a charged image and a complex emotional state. The words and letters unpack through the mechanics of their placement into meditations on:

  • the nature of language
  • the methods and purposes of poetry and Art as a whole
  • mathematics
  • life
  • death

For those willing to look closely, to dive in, to invest time, and to go as far as they can—for nerds, that is—one poem emerges as the likely candidate for the most linguistically dense and dynamic poem ever written in English.

Ready? Let’s dive.

Daniel Ari married poetry in 1987 after a passionate, rocky and brief engagement. Though he’s grown accustomed to many of poetry’s idiosyncrasies—how it leaves every door, drawer and lid open and sings tunelessly for hours before belting out a supremely harmonic aria—Daniel is still constantly surprised at the new and unexpected things poetry does even in the most familiar of contexts. Daniel also likes that it’s an open marriage. His new book of poetry isOne Way To Ask, forthcoming this September in print and digital formats from Zoetic Press. The book pairs poems in an original form called queron with artwork by 67 artists including Roz Chast, Tony Millionaire, Bill Griffith and R. Crumb. Daniel leads monthly creative writing groups at his home in Richmond and blogs. When it comes out, buy his book.