Author Archives: Charlie Lotterman

I'm a PhD candidate in anthropology at Rice University. My dissertation project explores the ways that personal experience qualifies as a form of evidence in science and pseudoscience in the Czech Republic.
A man sits at a table and looks at the surface of the table in front of him. Two other figures (a woman in a pink jacket and a man in a blue jacket) stand close closer to the camera as they observe the man at the table. A device is located in between the seated man and the two observers.

A coincidence is a strange type of fact

At the top of Václavksé náměstí, the central artery of Prague, in a solemnly gray but geometrically dynamic Socialist Realist hotel that today is jammed between currency exchange windows and fast-food restaurants, up one floor from the busy street and the purple velvet lobby, a young laborer is trying to make a fidget spinner move with just his mind. He looks at it intensely, with sadness and urgency in his face. He looks at it like this for about thirty seconds, then releases his gaze, relaxes, blinks purposefully, restoring his energy, and resumes his effort. Sometimes he twitches but the fidget spinner never spins. And sometimes during his breaks he apologizes to his audience – me and, also, the coordinators of Paranormální výzva, a collective of Czechs who are testing claims of paranormal ability. (read more...)