Magic tricks (which are really just scams) are now possible to pull off thanks to good old Science.
For centuries, ‘magicians’, ‘Houdinis” and psychics have been helping
themselves to the cash of gullible people as they dazzle them with their
magic tricks. Today, though, science is here, and with it comes the
real possibility of actual magic!
Let us check out five technologies that we have now, that if we took
them to the past, would make you a legit magician to those old-timers.
A wise man once said of mind reading: “mind reading is very much like
the digestive system in that no matter what you put into it, all you get
in return is a pile of shit.” Psychics (even the legendary ones) just
use a lot of leading questions and body language to get clues for their
act. This is why a psychic would see a man wearing a pair of suits,
carrying a suitcase and riding a decent car, and make a statement like
“the spirits tell me you work in a bank.” No kidding, Sherlock. And the
gullible guy grins and goes "that’s amazing”, and parts with cash to
hear about his future.
And we know how it usually goes from there…
“I’m picking up something. A pet…a pet dog.”
“We don’t own a dog.”
“Oh. Does your neighbor own a dog?”
“Nope. But we own a cat though.”
“Aha! That’s what I saw. Animal spirits are confusing to read…I saw a small animal…”
“Our Labrador isn’t exactly small…”
By guessing, probing and leading you on, you unwittingly supply your
‘psychic’ the information that helps them make impressive half-truths
about you, and you give them money for being ‘so good.”
Now Science Makes it Real!
A few scientists at Berkeley University made an impressive breakthrough.
They discovered that by looking at your brain through an MRI machine,
it is possible to see what your brain is doing in various states of
mind. With this, they can make a machine that can ‘see’ your thoughts.
So far, they have made a machine that can ‘see’ what word you are
thinking about with an impressive 90% success rate.
Ah, if you watch Criss Angel, you probably know everything about this
one. The magician holds a spoon before you and tells you he’s going to
bend it using only his mind. The spoon bends and you’re like “whoa!
Calm down, bro. It’s a pretty easy trick, if I do say so myself. All
you’ve gotta do is misdirect the audience while you bend the spoon at an
angle that it still looks straight to the viewers. Then slowly turn the
spoon around so its bent state becomes obvious to everyone and there
you are, mind-screwing everyone.
Science’s done did it.
A few years ago, scientists finally stopped playing Call of Duty for
long enough to crack the link between human brain signals responsible
for movement and manual control. They then used this technology to
create chips that they implanted in the brains of monkeys.
The outcome? Monkeys with the ability to move computer cursors with just their brains!
They are not stopping there, though. A company called Cyberkinetics
manufactured a chip that allows your brain activity control machinery
via computer commands. The initial plan was to finally empower our
paraplegics and amputees. The company, however, received a $4.25 million
grant from the US Department of Defense and it went quiet after that.
Alchemy is the less precise ancestor of chemistry, characterized by tinkering old men trying to make gold out of ordinary lead.
Bazinga: Science’s done it already!
In 1980, Glenn Seaborg, a scientist, accidentally converted bismuth to
gold, using the method of changing the protons of lead. Sure, the cost
of converting bismuth to gold was way more than the cost of the
resulting gold, but he did make gold, didn’t he?
Since then, the science of transmutation of elements has been on the
uprise, although scientists have kind of deviated from trying to make
gold out of ordinary elements and have begun seriously trying to convert
the world’s radioactive waste into something less mutating.
Palm reading, better known as chiromancy is the ‘ability’ of someone to
tell your dominant personal traits by the whorls in your palms. What
most people do not know is that your palm is, well, an open book. I can
probably deduce a lot about you from the calluses on your palm, the
hygiene level you give your nails, and even the indents from the rings.
“Your Palms Say Everything We Need to Know”, Science Says!
In a one-up move again, science puts it to magicians that your palms are
really a directory of all information about you. For one thing, the
Digit Ratio Theory can be used to determine your sexual preference.
That is not all – your fingerprints can give a hint to genetic
disorders, if you have any. As an example, if you have Ulnar Swirls,
chances are that you have Down’s syndrome.
Old-school palm readers are already jumping in and saying that
scientists have merely proved them right, and that they have been able
to read palms, only without science. Of course…
FORTUNE TELLING (PREDICTING THE FORTUNE)
This, to me, is the greatest scam you can ever pull off – predicting the
future. We’ve seen it all (‘look in my crystal ball….I see your
future’), the people predicting world wars and the end of times.
Whatever form it comes in, predicting the future is BIG BUSINESS, and
proof that humanity is a bunch of insecure people looking for spoilers
in their life.
Predicting the future is a pretty accommodating occupation, and you can
make 100 predictions and be off target 99 times, but once you hit
jackpot with one, you’re legit! It doesn’t hurt to be vague too. Why say
“the president of North Korea will die this year”, when you can say
“there will be a major disaster in Asia this year”? You know, because
major disasters don’t happen every year.
Science Huffs and Puffs, but Finally Gets There!
So science hasn’t been sleeping over the ‘predicting the future’ thing,
and it would look like they are close to bringing up something , the
computer version of the good ol’ crystal ball.
All it takes is software that can analyze previous data (copious amounts of it) to draw a highly accurate path into the future.
Scientists acknowledge that it will take a whole load of computing power
to get the Nostradamus Computer started, but the truth is, they are
already recording success. According to the news, a computer model
predicted the crash of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.