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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Science of Magic » » Mentalism/Science (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Laurent van Trigt
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Since I have adopted the scientist-magician character I have had to ditch a few mentalism effects from my repertoir. I am looking for presentational ploys to make mentalist effects fit science. Any ideas?
The Burnaby Kid
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Can you be specific on the the relationship between the two aspects, and some examples of presentations you're already using?
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Johnny Butterfield
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What kind of scientist are you? If someone asked how you did it, what would you say?

Come up with the bogus explanation that suits you best, and work back from there.

If you play it straight, maybe you analyze the micro-tremors in human voices, or read body language, or have developed a stochastic algorithm that predicts random events with uncanny accuracy. Maybe you've discovered trans-temporal physics. Maybe you've researched ESP, and you're going to share your findings.

If you play it wacky, the sky's the limit - a stethoscope so powerful you can hear thoughts, or a neuro-recombobulator that bends free will, or an iPhone app that shows you the future. Maybe you've invented an artificial luck generator that makes you the world's luckiest guesser.
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Laurent van Trigt
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Thanks for responding. Not sure if this interests everyone so I'll be in touch with you behind the scenes.
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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There are several scientific demonstration that you can do that most people will consider "paranormal" -- then it is easy to shift to mentalism effects as "the next generation"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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MrHoudini666
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You could go one of the following ways:

Psychology/Body Language

Muscle Reading

Behaviour Patterns


Etc.
Steve_Mollett
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Eh, so I've made
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Or just, plain WEEEEEEEIRD science!
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Pakar Ilusi
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If you play a Scientist, just say you're researching the subject, then most anything goes imo... Smile
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MobilityBundle
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Try this. It's all actually good science and history, except for a bit at the end to connect it to mentalism.

Its tone might be a bit academic. Maybe even a bit Max Maven-y. If that doesn't work for you, I'm sure you can adopt it to more suit your style.

"In the late 1800's, two scientific revolutions were brewing: quantum mechanics and general relativity. Never before was mankind's understanding of the universe so radically shaken in such a short period. We are still coming to grips with the implications of those revolutions. In fact, today I will demonstrate some of the more peculiar aspects of space and time that have no explanation in the paradigm of classical physics. But as I'll explain, these peculiarities are perfectly reasonable -- inevitable, in fact -- in our more modern understanding of the universe.

To appreciate what's going on, consider one of the central principals of quantum mechanics: Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Without getting too technical, this principal stands for the proposition that things we thought were knowable about physical objects in the universe are actually unknowable. Different facets of physical systems blend together at a quantum level. This was famously illustrated by Schroedinger, who apparently demonstrated a situation in which his eponymous cat was both alive and dead.

Continuing this theme, a central realization of general relativity is that space and time are actually different aspects of a single thing, which we came to call spacetime. This realization lead to very strange predictions, in which certain objects are able to travel through time instead of traveling through space.

Combining these theories produces yet more bizarre conclusions. For example, the famous Princeton physicist John Wheeler once realized that the universe contains but a single electron, bouncing forwards and backwards through time, from the universe's beginning to the universe's end, over and over. When we look at our universe and see billions of electrons, according to Wheeler's theory, all we're seeing are the billions of times that single electron "pierced" our time on one of its laps from creation to annihilation. Like a single thread that is used to sew a billion stitches.

(... and now is where the little script stops being good science...)

Today I will demonstrate a remarkable proof of Wheeler's theory. You see, that single electron, on its countless journeys, continuously picks up information from its surroundings. The story of our universe... and indeed, countless other universes... is written on that electron. Fortunately for us, our brains use electrons to understand the world. We see, we talk, and we think by sending electrons up and down our nerves and through our intricate network of neurons. And with careful training, one can actually become sensitive to all the information carried by the single, universal electron.

In the past, these people were called magicians, psychics, fortune tellers, witches, or sometimes even demons. They were revered or shunned, depending on the particular whims of their society at the time. But thanks to Wheeler, we understand now that their brains were simply adept at reading the information off their electrons. The information about the past, the present, and the future.

After a great deal of study, I have acquired only marginal competence in that art. Nevertheless, you might find what I can demonstrate to be interesting..."

And off you go. Smile
Mindpro
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I too would be very interested in this as well. I prefer to stay away from "paranormal" as a theme, and bogus explanations. I would be looking for plausible explanations and demonstrations. Would also prefer to stay away from the "trick" perception, and would rather be perceived as a real "wow, he really did that". This is the difference between magic and mentalism. With magic the audience knows it's a trick or an illusion-the know it's not real, with mentalism they want to believe it is or could be real, or possible.
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