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May 20, 2010

I wouldn’t call myself a superstitious person, but I do follow some routines. I listen to the same music playlist before every test. I don’t step on seals on the Berkeley campus. My reasoning is that maybe I’ll get some kind of good luck from doing these things.

If you look into sports, you’ll discover so many superstitions. In baseball, pitchers don’t step on the first or third base line when they jog off the field after finishing an inning. In hockey, players often grow playoff beards and keep them going until the season ends. In pretty much any sport, athletes will meticulously follow a specific pregame routine over and over again.

Superstitions are not based on reason, knowledge, or experience. It’s likely that they have no rational backing at all.

But they seem to make us feel better, and that’s got to count for something, right?

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