Feb. 24th, 2007

alobear: (Default)
Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown was both unsurprising and unexpected. The opening chapter about his youth as an evangelical Christian and subsequent questioning of religious faith was really interesting. Then, the several chapters about the various techniques he uses to perform magic, hypnotise people, or improve his memory, were actually both boring and annoying. His style was smug, arrogant and pretentious, which is perhaps not particularly surprising, considering his on-screen persona. Irritating as it was, though, I couldn't help but think it must be very difficult *not* to be arrogant and superior when you make a living manipulating the idiot masses.

Anyway, I skimmed a bit in the middle, but I'm really glad I persevered to the end, because the last section about belief in the paranormal versus scientific theory was fascinating, well-written, rational and often quite self-deprecating. It was like it was written by an entirely different person! While Derren quoted and praised both Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris (both of whom who fall into the category of writers who are vehemently derogatory about anyone who doesn't agree wtih them) and apologised for ranting, his writing on this subject was actually very balanced and reasonable.

Definitely worth reading the book for this last part - plus I expect a lot of people would find the memory and hypnosis sections more interesting than I did.

Cartoon

Feb. 24th, 2007 09:20 pm
alobear: (Default)
Have you ever been lulled into a false sense of security and accidentally revealed too much?

Happens to me all the time.

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