I’m all for helping science. But after I share what I know, my neuroscientist friends thank me by showing me eye-tracking and MRI equipment, and promising that someday such machinery will help make me a better magician.
I have my doubts. Neuroscientists are novices at deception. Magicians have done controlled testing in human perception for thousands of years.
I think you’ll see what I mean if I teach you a few principles magicians employ when they want to alter your perceptions.
1. Exploit pattern recognition. 2. Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth. 3. It’s hard to think critically if you’re laughing. 4. Keep the trickery outside the frame. 5. To fool the mind, combine at least two tricks. 6. Nothing fools you better than the lie you tell yourself. 7. If you are given a choice, you believe you have acted freely.
I was watching this episode of the Mark Steyn Show on Sunday and they made mention of Casablanca. It occurred to me that it had been so long since I watched these old movies, I no longer remember much about them. My generation was probably the last to grow up seeing these old films on television.
He now mentions two key issues:
1. The acting is the part that does not work as well today, as the old films were acted like stage plays, which required the audience to use their imaginations. Modern technology lets the audience drop into a coma while watching a film.
In 2008, Jimmy bought 500 acres of tropical rain forest and was going to build a traditional city in paradise. Then the market crashed. Realizing the old model of “if we build it, they will come” was broken, he flipped it to “if they come, they will build it” and has since attracted hundreds of young people through social media who, in the face of potential climate disaster …
And so on and so on, yada. yada. As if on cue, a sane review:
It appears a young man who is desperate to make a success of his failed real estate investment has chosen to victimize the young and vulnerable with his flawed ideals. By creating a youthful mono-generation environment, it is far easier for this fellow to extract monetary resources from his victims, all while using the common media induced paranoia to sell his false bill of goods.