On Thursday I went up to Manchester to talk to Manchester Skeptics about addiction.
On the way, I experienced a dreaded awful Pendolino train which was a sort of vomitorium. (See what I did there? Yes, I know.) Luckily, the most excellent Danny from Newcastle Skeptics came and met me for tea when I finally emerged from my hotel, and everything began to look more chilled. We then had a really great curry. Only in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, perhaps, can you get a curry with fresh naan and mango lassi in a place with pictures of the food and yellow plastic signs, and then a pot of tea made of organic rosebuds, all in the same street. If anyone reading knows the name of the curry place, please remind me.
The Manchester skeptics were a really excellent audience. Right on the ball and full of questions and ideas. During the Q&A several people came out with some very personal stories that it was a privilege to hear. What’s more, I sold out of books.
I talked for an hour, and then, after a break, did an hour’s Q&A. Later, I went back to my hotel and ate a Co-op sandwich in bed, with my socks on. This sorry scene was more than compensated for, however, by the stash of vintage porn I found in a second hand bookshop the next day. (I mean 60s, 70s, and 80s, rather than anything with line drawings or scratched on a slice of narwhal’s tusk.)
Thanks to the lovely Janis for asking me and to Allan for masterfully keeping control of the Q&A. Congratulations to both of them on their wedding today.
Here are a few things I read while researching:
The Addictive Personality – Common traits are found. Round up from the New York Times from 1983. Interesting period tone to it all.
The Neurocircuitry of Addiction Very detailed neuroscience paper from 2008.
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works Really excellent piece in Wired by Brendan Koerner from 2010.
Is AA For You? AA leaflet.