Sam hates gambling. So why does he end up a victim of loan sharks and con-men? The answer is only obvious after we evaluate the mind’s fascinating journey from birth to death. Our brains rewire with every decision we make, for better or worse. And wisdom isn’t always about being right.


Aristotle. 2012. Rhetoric. Courier Corporation.

Banerjee, Mita. 2019. “27. Mark Twain: Autobiography of Mark Twain (1870–1910).” Handbook of Autobiography / Autofiction.

Coenn, Daniel. 2014. Mark Twain: His Words. BookRix.

Crouch, Gregory. 2018. “Mark Twain Claimed He Got His Pen Name From a Riverboat Captain. He May Have Actually Gotten It in a Saloon.” Time. Time. June 19, 2018.

Doidge, Norman. 2010. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Scribe Publications. Editors. 2010. “Mark Twain.” HISTORY. April 5, 2010.

Powers, Ron. 1968. Dangerous Waters: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain.

“Printer’s Devil: Mark Twain and the American Publishing Revolution.” 2007. Choice Reviews Online.

Twain, Mark. 2012. Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1, Reader’s Edition. Univ of California Press.

———. 2017. Mark Twain, the Globetrotter: Complete Travel Books, Memoirs & Anecdotes (Illustrated Edition): A Tramp Abroad, The Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, Old Times on the Mississippi, Life on the Mississippi, Following the Equator & Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion, With Author’s Biography. e-artnow.

“Was Samuel Clemens an Honest Gambler?” 2018. June 21, 2018.

“Workplace Learning Report 2020 | LinkedIn Learning.” n.d. Accessed May 11, 2020.

  • It’s been said Twain adopted his moniker from a riverboat phrase “Mark Twain” to call out when the boat was in two fathoms of water. But I like the other version, the one that comes from Virginia City. Legend states that this was a fabrication. That, in fact, the term Mark Twain was a local term for two blasts of whisky. The patron would use the term, and the barkeep would make two marks against his account on the back wall of the saloon. I like the legend better.
  • Doidge has been the one to popularize neuroplasticity. And though many have taken issue with some license, I believe his work helps people gain neural hope.
  • A special thanks to Dr. Goldberg. His work on schemas, attractors, and growing neuroplastic responses is the basis for much of this podcast.
  • Most quotes come directly from Twain’s autobiography and, as is the case with most history, a great primary source filtered through the actual viewer. Even though these stories came years later we seem to grant Twain more license because he’s too darn entertaining. 

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