Book that combines magic, psychology only sleightly interesting
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 (5:07 p.m.)
I’m a serious magician and a big-time psychology reader. So when I heard about Sleights of Mind: What the Neurosicience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions, I knew I had to read it.
I was wrong.
- Sleights of Mind: What the Neurosicience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions
- By Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde
Authors Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde lost me on page four. “Las Vegas,” they write, “is every bit as blisteringly hot in June as Phoenix, and if you take the lap dancing, gambling, and girls into account, it is probably several degrees hotter due to friction.” Yuck.
By page five, I was already skeptical of Macknik and Martinez-Conde. But as the pages rolled on and the authors detailed how magicians exploit neurology to fool spectators, they won me back, to some degree. I found the sections on amodal completion, overt and covert attention and choice blindness particularly fascinating. Other parts, not so much. Many were as unoriginal as the Vegas joke. Seriously, if I have to read about the Monty Hall problem, about invisible gorillas or about wallets that look like guns to police officers one more time, I’m going to switch to romance novels. Nonfiction writers of America, find some new anecdotes.