Sunday, June 8, 2008

Miraculous or Inevitable?

Fans of the amazing illusionist, mentalist, and skeptic Derren Brown might want to check out his newest special "The System." Watch as he predicts horse races with unnerving accuracy. But be warned: what seems miraculous to one person may depend greatly on perspective.


SuiginChou said...

I loved it! But when I saw it Sunday night, I didn't have time to reply (see my weblog for explanation), so yeah, I'm a bit late, but man. Let me just say:

1- When watching the quarter trick, I called it, but then I immediately ruled it out by saying, "Naaaaaaaaaah ... Derren's not that crazy ... suuuuuurely he wouldn't record the flipping of a coin 10 times until he got 10 straight heads! That would take hours! Even days!" +1 for my detective skills :3 , but swiftly -1 back for my lack of credit to Mr. Brown's madness. :(

2- Having taken back the quarter trick's explanation (see above), I was at a loss for what "the system" could be and was surprised and amused (see above).

3- I thought the magic trick bit in the middle (where he brings in the four guests) was completely irrelevant given the ultimate explanation. Regardless of Brown's claim that he fooled them into believing he had "a system" when they should have all full well realized he couldn't possibly have one, it doesn't change the fact that the entire segment was one cute magic trick after another and, while entirely up Derren Brown's alley and very entertaining :), it was a waste of this programme's time.

4- I was curious, do you know if this is what Derren did in the end? It's my guess corroborated by one commenter's claim that "Derren is, by his own admission, 'obscenely wealthy'", but of course he never explained his final act and I couldn't find any proof so I thought I'd compare notes with you: seeing as he is a celebrity, maybe he (ridiculously charitably?) purchased all four horses' tickets and, using his sleight-of-hand and other magician's tricks, slipped the correct ticket into Kadeesha's hands at the last second once it was clear which horse was going to win, taking a hit in the amount of £12,000 in order to ensure her own £4,000 (x4) victory.

Jay said...

I have no idea, but your explanation is the same and only one I could think of. Also, I agree somewhat that the middle magic trick was a little superfluous, but it's strange (and perhaps a testament to Brown's mentalism) but I thought the program was sagging and needed something else, another trick, and lo and behold, that segment kicked in!