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Magic is a cold, cognitive experiment in perception

Feb 26, 2012

Magic is an art, as capable of beauty as music, painting or poetry. But the core of every trick is a cold, cognitive experiment in perception: Does the trick fool the audience?

Brilliant psycho-entertainment theory from Teller, of increasingly legendary magician twosome Penn & Teller.

Points include the following, which come together in an explanation of how a single trick works:

Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth. You will be fooled by a trick if it involves more time, money and practice than you (or any other sane onlooker) would be willing to invest.

Nothing fools you better than the lie you tell yourself. When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable.

If you are given a choice, you believe you have acted freely.