Monday, November 05, 2007

It's a kind of magic

I like magic. Depending upon the scale of the illusion, a good magician is a good actor or a good director.

The actual mechanics of tricks are usually fairly obvious to anyone who thinks through them like an engineer. They rely on science and common sense. I am not going to explode the Magic Circle if I say that various combinations of sleight of hand, drapes, mirrors and misdirection account for most illusions. But we do not need to dissect every one in detail, because instead we can just enjoy the show.

Those who claim that their magic is powered by supernatural or paranormal ability are not magicians. They are cheats, liars, fraudsters, and worse. Those who claim to communicate individually with your dead relatives are not only liars but evil vultures.

But an honest magician is just putting on an act. And the good magician, like the good actor, can make you briefly forget about reality … or make you think that the marketing message was really targeted just for you.

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