Friday, June 15, 2007

Mentalists are honest, psychics are mental

` Really, I think this HastyPostTM ties somewhat into my last one....
` What can I say? Mentalists are really something. First of all, look at Max Maven here. How does he do it? And how does he know what that guy is looking at? Looks like Cold Reading, though it could also well be Hot Reading. He's good in any case....

` He's not the only one, of course....
He will read your thoughts. Predict the future. Cheat at cards. Detect falsehoods. Control the outcome of events. Convince you beyond a doubt that he has supernatural powers. But all the while, speaking from in-depth firsthand knowledge, he will tell you that he is NOT doing these things -- he is merely creating a terrifyingly convincing illusion.
` So says the website of Jamy Ian Swiss, mentalist extraordinaire.
` So, what is a mentalist, precisely? Someone who pretends to be able to read people's minds. They use the same techniques as so-called psychics. But unlike psychics, the mentalist will tell you that you're being deceived. This is why Jamy Ian Swiss calls himself the Honest Liar.
` 'The Honest Liar has challenged psychics and exposed con men on national television shows like CBS 48 Hours, PBS Nova, and many more' brags his website.
` Here's a promo video for the man. I have to say I was somewhat impressed.
` Besides freaking people out on his stage shows, he also does a very valuable educational lecture which is advertised thusly:
In his lecture/demonstration on The Illusion of Psychic Powers, Jamy Ian Swiss reviews some of the history of parapsychology; addresses the difference in ethical constructs between those who use magic to entertain and those who claim to have paranormal powers; describes the basic principles of conjuring techniques and psychology as used by both magicians and self-styled "psychics;" and demonstrates how the latter use these techniques to deceive the public and scientific community alike.
` By combining his unique expertise in deception with compelling presentations of apparent mind-reading and other psychic phenomena, he dramatically challenges such academic preconceptions as the suggestion that mere innate intelligence and/or formal education can serve as adequate protection against fraud; illustrates how and why scientists have so often become the defenseless targets of fakery; and demonstrates why the conjuror's specialized expertise in deception is the only adequate defense against such charlatanism.
` Sounds tempting, especially considering that if I went I might be able to squeeze some secrets out of him. That is, after I got him to the lab and put him in a head-vise. Those things are strangely useful on living subjects.
` Swiss also does a magic/lecture called Magical Metaphors, which is about business strategies. The video, which is password-protected, well... I 'psychically' guessed the password! It was in fact the first word that came to mind. I don't want to tell you, lest it be changed on my account, but let's just say the website 'put it into my head'. (But please don't give me any 'the website is telepathic' bull....)
` To prove that I saw the video, I'll write a description of parts of it: After the list of shows and contributions he's made, there is a quote by Confucius - "What I hear, I forget, what I see, I remember, what I do, I know." It's also on the backdrop behind Swiss.
` Jamy says that the magician doesn't so much fool your eye, he fools your mind. And now, one of the audience members is doing the trick (the magic domino), not just seeing it. That's how you learn things effectively, it's true!
` How did he get the coin from the outside of the jar? "Instant matter transfer! Now you're talking! I want a piece of that patent!" But then he reveals the secret! (I won't tell.) Let's just say, "If you have to think outside the box, sometimes you have to think inside the jar."
` He then demonstrates with the Magic Square (which is vaguely like Sudoku) that there are 24 ways to make 51 - and more than one way to solve a problem. How the hell does he do that, anyway?!?!

` Needless to say, I must leave - as is characteristic of HastyPostsTM - so that's all I have to say on this particular subject. However, if you're not tired of videos already and you want to watch something that is considerably more action-packed, try checking out the trailer for this movie I was in! Rockstar superhero Lou Ryan kicks ass - literally!
` But be assured I will be back, as this is my week off from school!


Galtron said...

If those guys are so good at reading people, I wonder if they could make money giving dating advice?

Charles said...

Lets get this guy on Montel Williams with that charlatan Sylvia Browne. I'm sick of changing channels and seeing somebody promoting idiocy.