Mentalism, mind reading and the art of getting inside your head | Derren Brown



“Magic is a great analogy for how we edit reality and form a story — and then mistake that story for the truth,” says psychological illusionist Derren Brown. In a clever talk wrapped around a dazzling mind-reading performance, Brown explores the seductive appeal of finding simple answers to life’s complex and subtle questions.

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44 comments

  1. I thought he went too detailed with the "reads" here, left no room for any mystery. Would've been more fun if he emulated those traditional hoax mentalists' generalized answers but added just a bit more accurate information to keep people wondering.

  2. Huh, I was really expecting him to start explaining in the end, how self-proclaimed psychics and others claiming similarly mystical “gifts” work by misleading people in one way or another. This type of stuff is seriously dangerous and is a fairly common & lucrative scam. I get that TED isn’t always represented through unbiased, fact-oriented, educational speakers, but plugging something very similar to a scam(psychics), on their platform, without any kind of preceding/proceeding warning about this kind of predatory practice, seems extremely careless. Pre-preparedness, in certain contexts, can seem like magic in the eyes of outside observer.

  3. I mean, the point is that no matter how trustworthy he claims to be, he is still capable of lying. Look at the facts. He's WEARING AN EARPIECE. There's no reason for him to wear an earpiece. He points it out. HE WRAPPED HIS HEAD IN ACE BANDAGE. Why? Because you're focusing so hard on that you forget to remember that he's LYING. We tell ourselves stories. One of them is that everyone is being truthful at all time, especially if they say they are. He's lying. He's very obviously lying.

  4. The ted talk is about the wrong narrative we make up to believe in illusions. He then demonstrates an illusion and states he has no super powers or anything, he is just a normal person like everyone else. It's obvious it's fake because what he is doing is impossible but looking at the comment section he is right in thinking peoples stories in there heads are often fiction. People still believe he is reading minds

  5. 'Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc' galore. At no point did he expressly say 'no one went through these cards beforehand/after they were written in order to tell me what they were.' nor did he say 'I didn't go through these cards before/after they were written to see what they were.' Saying 'someone has been guarding [the cards]' is a misleading statement designed to cause the viewing audience to believe he told them something he didn't say. Anyone with prior interest in Derren Brown may remember he has studied methods which give him an above average capability in the field of mnemonics. Stating that the cards were at some point guarded, whatever that may mean in this case, has no inference to what happened before and what happened after that event.

    If you want to practice the ability to reconstruct and generate understanding of arguments, both logical reasoning and logic games on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT in the U.S.) and Law National Admissions Test (LNAT in the U.K.) are designed to measure exactly that ability. Studying for these tests then would cultivate this ability. This is the kind of lesson I would think many would've liked to see mentioned in the video instead of merely a preview to his next stage performance.

  6. I was in the audience for a TV recording of a Christmas Special magic show. It was some years ago and I’ll spare any blushes by not naming said magician. Every audience member "picked at random" was a stooge… wires could be seen for "levitation" tricks, gaps in solid metal hoops when pushed etc and it ruined the fantasy of a boy. I’ve only managed to get one ticket to see Derren Brown and if he picked stooges I’ll eat my hat. He is a brilliant psychologist and an outstanding NLP exponent. The little boy in my head had his belief in "magic" restored. If you ever get the chance to see one of his shows do so, you won’t be disappointed.

  7. Huh..?? Where is the educational value in this?? If I want to watch entertainment, I turn to some Vegas show. Heck, even Penn and Teller teach me more than this dud. When I turn to TED, I expect to learn something. The way it is, this is nothing more than a successful stage artist promoting himself. You call that an "idea worth spreading"?!?

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