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Today we are looking at magicians. They say that a magician never reveals his/her tricks. But you know that there will always be a whistle blower who ruins the magic for all. If you want to stay in awe of magic, then stop this video right now. And if you continue on, don’t say that we didn’t warn you.
The key to magician tricks is dexterity on the part of the magician. They might be doing something to get you to focus on a certain task. However, they are secretly doing something else with that same hand. Take for instance the deck of cards. The magician might show you a certain card. But, the magician has to be quick, not psychic to save that card for future viewing. They might seem to put away the card, but they are actually stuffing it up their sleeve. Still though, it is done so quickly that you never see it coming. And when it comes time for them to say “is this your card?”, they are simply retrieving it from their stowed away location.
This chain of events is called misdirection. The onlookers are only looking at what they think that the magician intends to do. In this instance, the magician is setting out to shuffle the deck perhaps or put the card back in place. But, with the same motion, he/she is doing something else that the audience is not consciously aware of because all they are doing is watching what they think was intended.
The brain is not capable of seeing one motion as having two goals. So all the magician needs to do is convince the audience of what he/she wants them to think that is being done, and that actually turns out to be what the brain picks up. The other motion is merely slight of the hand. So is magic really a game that uses the laws of psychology? It certainly seems like magicians use a lot of the tenets to their advantage. In fact, the Royal Institution argued in one of their Christmas lectures that magicians have been examining the brain longer than brain scientists.
Now you might be disappointed wondering “is that all there is to it?” But of course props really serve as the tools that magicians employ as well. For example, take the magician Apollo Robbins who became famous for pick-pocketing the Secret Service Agents who guarded Jimmy Carter. The Robbins will use anything to distract the agents from what is actually going on. He would clap or take a spoon and wave it in the air. Confusing lingo and instructions can even be a prop in this instance so long as the person who he is pick-pocketing thinks that he is just explaining a complex trick when he is actually reaching into their pockets.
Magicians will pretty much do whatever it takes to get us to see what they want us to see. Sometimes this means they will use our brain’s propensity to thinking something is still in the same place even if it has been moved. This works well with the rabbit in the hat trick. Although the stimulus- the rabbit- has been moved, the brain doesn’t really want to process that. It would rather just believe that the rabbit wasn’t in that hat before, but now it just magically appeared. It is quite the illusion. However, before you think you have that one solved, another magician might employ different mind tricks to make the audience assume the hat was empty and the rabbit magically appeared. They do this through our optical system’s propensity to view contrasts. Now it’s here, and now, it’s not!
It really does boil down though to how much people are paying attention. We are taught to look to one teacher in school who will dispense the correct information. But if everyone in the class is looking at Billy goofing off in the corner, then we will look there too. That’s because of the concept called joint attention. If everyone is looking at Billy, we will probably look there too. So even when the magician looks up and onto an audience member or someone he/she has called onto stage, the spectators in the audience will divert their attention too. It will become a more powerful trick if the magicians starts up a conversation about the onlooker. Just like in the classroom, all eyes pop to Billy, who is essentially just shooting the breeze in the corner while the magician performs the necessary tricks.
The darker side of magic is of course, paranormal magic. This is the type of magic that magicians claim cannot be explained through the typical optical, mechanical, or psychological trickery. For this magic, the help of spirits from another realm is elicited.
That’s probably why audience members of “Asia’s Got Talent” were so scared by The Sacred Riana. This 25 year old from Indonesia twitched most of the trick and didn’t talk very much. Her anti-social behavior mimicked someone who was possessed. And since she never broke character, judges began to wonder if they were witnessing some supernatural magic from the other side.
Riana even brought along a creepy doll and looked down, not up. Some of the judges pretended to walk away in fear as audience members laughed. At the end, she just scowled at the judges who were amazed by her feats. All jokes aside, do you believe that all magic can be explained through logical means? Or are you one of the believers in supernatural magic that has an element of other-worldliness to it? That’s all for today, but we still have our shout outs. Miggi so bad says, “love the ideas. I am going to try out one of them.” Byron McCrosky said “I subscribed and turn on the notifications, like the video, and shared it.” Asphalt8 Pro commented “you pretty good.” Thanks to everyone who replied, and keep your comments coming to be featured in the next shout out.