Engineer & Entertain

Ideas I grapple with

Cold Cuts

A skill I have long admired, but despised by its frequent unethical use, is cold reading.  Cold reading is the skill which allows a magician/mentalist or a psychic to apparently talk to the dead or perform other mental miracles.  Essentially, the magician casts a wide net with a general statement and reels the volunteer in by becoming more and more specific.  Due to subtle psychology (people remember correct statements but forget the wrong ones) and the magician’s charisma, the audience witnesses a stunning display of mentalism.

Want to learn more?  Derren Brown, a British performer, discusses the skillset with Richard Dawkins, scientist extraordinaire.


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