Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Foreigner » Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:29 pm

Good one, bravo, the only other weakness i can spot is that you assume that since you yourself are not able to predict the future it is therefore inherently impossible for me to do so, too.

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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:47 pm

Foreigner wrote:Good one, bravo, the only other weakness i can spot is that you assume that since you yourself are not able to predict the future it is therefore inherently impossible for me to do so, too.

I presume you're talking about the "Determinism and Indeterminism" vid.

We can certainly "predict" the future . . . the question is whether our prediction is guaranteed to be correct or not. Let's say that I have a dice to throw, and I predict that I will throw a "6". I argue that no matter how much we know about the current conditions of the Universe, we still can't predict the result of such an event with guaranteed 100% certainty, since no matter how much we know, there is always an infinite amount we do not know.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Foreigner » Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:42 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
Foreigner wrote:Good one, bravo, the only other weakness i can spot is that you assume that since you yourself are not able to predict the future it is therefore inherently impossible for me to do so, too.

I presume you're talking about the "Determinism and Indeterminism" vid.

We can certainly "predict" the future . . . the question is whether our prediction is guaranteed to be correct or not. Let's say that I have a dice to throw, and I predict that I will throw a "6". I argue that no matter how much we know about the current conditions of the Universe, we still can't predict the result of such an event with guaranteed 100% certainty, since no matter how much we know, there is always an infinite amount we do not know.

No problem there, but that's not exactly what you said, i disagree that its "inherently impossible" to know the future, to predict it with accuracy (of course).

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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:41 pm

Foreigner wrote:i disagree that its "inherently impossible" to know the future, to predict it with accuracy (of course).

If it's inherently impossible to know all the causes that are in operation, then it's inherently impossible to predict (with certainty) the future, is it not?
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Carl G » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:15 am

We may forecast but not predict the future.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Foreigner » Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
Foreigner wrote:i disagree that its "inherently impossible" to know the future, to predict it with accuracy (of course).

If it's inherently impossible to know all the causes that are in operation, then it's inherently impossible to predict (with certainty) the future, is it not?

Sure if by predict you mean something like guesstimate.
But if someones prediction comes true because he knew the future just like he knows facts in the present or of the past, then could you say that for HIM predicting the future is inherently impossible?
Last edited by Foreigner on Thu May 21, 2009 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Foreigner » Fri May 01, 2009 4:23 pm

Carl G wrote:We may forecast but not predict the future.

Carl is that a forecast or a prediction?
lol
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Kevin Solway » Sat May 02, 2009 12:34 am

New Video: "The Power of Suggestion"

(Sorry, not accessible from the UK, for copyright reasons)
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Carl G » Sat May 02, 2009 1:07 am

Well done, Kevin. Except for the last part. There it is stated that the hypnotist hypnotizes the audience, and gets them to give him cash, but we do not see those things. The street stuff was prime, though.

Humans are hard to teach but easy to program.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat May 02, 2009 11:30 am

Hmm, that's not a bad point about the cash claim. Maybe Kev needs to add an annotation at the end stating that that's what the guy actually does - or somesuch. It didn't occur to me watching it that there's no visual evidence of that claim. Bias rears its ugly head!
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Ataraxia » Sat May 02, 2009 11:45 am

That Derren Brown is incredible. I saw one show where he managed to convince a group of very ordinary and law abiding citizens to literally rob a bank.

Another-- similar show to the one Kevin posted-- where he is at the race track and manages to repeatedly collect the winnings on losing tickets.

Brown is using neuro linguistic programming,it is very powerful. A friend of a friend teaches it in Melbourne.

He reckons from his observations George Bush (of all people)was most likely trained at least to a rudementary level in its practice. 'Freudian' and other linguistic slips aren't always accidental.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Kevin Solway » Sat May 02, 2009 3:32 pm

Carl G wrote:Well done, Kevin. Except for the last part. There it is stated that the hypnotist hypnotizes the audience, and gets them to give him cash, but we do not see those things.

Yes, my lack of professionalism in video production was showing there.

In my mind, I was simply stating that that is what he does, but not that you will see the actual cash being handed-over in the video.

But we did see the audience being hypnotized.

However, you can watch the full video (details in the sidebar) to see the cash being handed over.

There's a classic line (in the full video) where he says to the audience something like "Hands up all those who are willing to trust me" . . . and they all put their hands up . . . and he then says, "Thank you very much, so go to the back of the room now and sign up . . . we accept all major credit cards."
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Kevin Solway » Sat May 02, 2009 3:35 pm

Carl G wrote:Well done, Kevin. Except for the last part. There it is stated that the hypnotist hypnotizes the audience, and gets them to give him cash, but we do not see those things.

Very good. That means I've successfully immunized you against the power of suggestion.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby |read| » Sat May 02, 2009 4:41 pm

The bit with Derren Brown and the fake money is unbelievable. In fact, I'm not sure I believe it. How do you know his victims aren't accomplices? Perhaps Brown is a classier version of Criss Angel. Angel's MO is to appear in videos performing amazing magic in front of live spectators positioned so as to remove any possibility of trickery. The only thing is, the "spectators" are all in on it. Wouldn't that be ironic: it's not Brown's "victims" who've fallen victim to the power of suggestion - it's us, the viewers of his videos! What makes you think he'd have any more compunctions about tricking us than tricking them?

You're not bad yourself, Kevin. You almost had me with your point about people putting their heads in the sand (which is a good point.) I thought, I certainly don't want to be like those delusionals! Then I realized this had nothing to do with the specific fact of whether or not Derren Brown's victims are accomplices.

Of course, Brown's victims don't have to be accomplices in order for his videos to be trickery. How many dozens of potential victims did he go through who caught on to his game right away before he found the one or two numb-nuts who actually fell for it? The world may never know, but it will probably assume he tricked the very first people he tried.

There was this great show on TV called Con (canceled now, unfortunately.) It was a reality show about the life of a con man and his various real-world scams. Except that if you look closely, you start to suspect that it wasn't that at all. It was really a show about a con man tricking the show's audience into thinking they were witnessing real-world scams, when in fact they were dramatizations. To add yet another level, he made an episode parodying another show called "Punk'd" (wherein celebrities are made the victims of practical jokes.) In this episode, he pretends to be hosting a show called "Bitch'd", in order to trick the staff of a 5-star restaurant into helping him "bitch" Brad Pitt (actually an impersonator), and get free food in the process. But I wonder about the staff of the restaurant. Conning the audience into thinking he's conning the staff into thinking he's conning an actor... brilliant.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby |read| » Sat May 02, 2009 4:53 pm

As for Bush, I think he's just about as dumb as everyone says he is. I think Cheney (and others) conned us into thinking we were being conned by Bush. Entertainers make us feel smart when they expose the "secrets" of single-level cons, but the big, world-fooling cons are always many-leveled.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby |read| » Sat May 02, 2009 5:19 pm

In this video (which is awesome), Brown's victim is pretty clearly in on it. Derren, meet Criss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrmFYGO-_T0
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat May 02, 2009 7:32 pm

Indeed, some people tend to forget Derren's goal is to entertain and mislead the audience (which is you, not as much the people on the street). So even the suggestion that he's always demonstrating some universal suggestibility has to be taken with a large grain of sold. Some of his tricks use old-school magic preps and props and only try to make it look like someone is falling under some simple power of suggestion.

One of the secrets of the trade is the knowledge that people have difficulty to imagine "multiple causes" happening simultaneously. So you're being deceived on the left, misdirected on the right and screwed from the back all on the same moment.

By the way, ever wondered why the classical magician's assistants are so often show girls or that the magician walks and acts like a seducer? Together with the stage decoration and your "role" as sitting audience they form a distraction at a very base level, it literary suspends part of your critical thought processes, just as nature intended! The most basic props of illusions: the stage, smoke and curtains: all designed to make you think that whatever is happening there, is happening only there.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby David Quinn » Sun May 03, 2009 12:36 pm

|read| wrote:In this video (which is awesome), Brown's victim is pretty clearly in on it. Derren, meet Criss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrmFYGO-_T0

What makes you think he was in on it?

My impression is that Brown rarely, if ever, indulges in that kind of fakery. Having said that, there are a certain percentage of his clips (around 20%) that still mystify me, where I haven't yet worked out how he has performed the trick.

For example, there is a clip on one of his shows (not yet on youtube, unfortunately) where he meets a woman (a middle-aged housewife) on the street and takes her upstairs to a second-floor room and then "teaches" her to stop pedestrians in their tracks on the street below using just her mind. I haven't worked that one out yet, short of invoking the fakery card.

Perhaps he does indulge in fakery on occasion, but I think it is more fruitful to relegate that as a last resort explanation.

Here is an interesting clip of his with a psychologist. I'd be interested in anyone's explanation on his methods in this one.

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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby |read| » Sun May 03, 2009 2:31 pm

I'm pretty sure that one is blatant fakery. You found the shrink's heartfelt testimonial very convincing, did you? I think Kev made a good point in his video about the efficacy of lying big - it seems so impossible, so audacious, he can't have simply made it up! Also, I think Brown banks on people's arrogance - it's so much easier to admit someone else can be manipulated...
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby |read| » Sun May 03, 2009 2:36 pm

There were several small details that made me suspicious of the zombie video, mostly logistical, but the dead giveaway was the little blinks of light that can supposedly induce a catatonic trance in 1/3 of the population. Sometimes, a little knowledge of worldly matters goes a long way.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby David Quinn » Sun May 03, 2009 3:15 pm

|read| wrote:I'm pretty sure that one is blatant fakery. You found the shrink's heartfelt testimonial very convincing, did you? I think Kev made a good point in his video about the efficacy of lying big - it seems so impossible, so audacious, he can't have simply made it up! Also, I think Brown banks on people's arrogance - it's so much easier to admit someone else can be manipulated...

It looks authentic to me. I'm finding your attitude rather puzzling, given that you are someone who, if I recall correctly, values science.

Diving immediately into the refuge of "fakery" is not unlike a religious person instinctively diving into the refuge of "mystery". The aim is to resolve an unsettling perception as quickly as possible, even at the cost of intellectual understanding.

Let's consider one of his easier tricks to work out - Stephen Fry. Tell me what you think is happening here.

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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby David Quinn » Sun May 03, 2009 3:18 pm

|read| wrote:There were several small details that made me suspicious of the zombie video, mostly logistical, but the dead giveaway was the little blinks of light that can supposedly induce a catatonic trance in 1/3 of the population. Sometimes, a little knowledge of worldly matters goes a long way.

It was the blinking light artfully combined with several other little tricks which caused the hypnosis. The blinking light was the final step of the process.

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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby Blair » Sun May 03, 2009 3:40 pm

Read is viewing it out of fear. To people like him, there is a mystery to it, and they are afraid that they will be tricked in the same fashion. Thus they respond with the cynical outburst, it's fake!

Fact is, they are being tricked in this way all the time. Light and Aural effects can alter a human mind in much the same way a virus affects a computer.

The way the mind processes information is not infallible, not outside of the realm of exploitation, or just subtle suggestion.

Oh, unless you are enlightened.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby |read| » Sun May 03, 2009 7:20 pm

The card trick could be done using a deck with only 3 different cards, which Stephen Fry is shown only briefly, and which we cannot make out in the video. The deck could contain the 3 of hearts (which he is told not to pick), the king of diamonds (which Brown effectively guesses while illustrating how to repeat the name of a card), and a third card which Brown would have finally guessed if Fry had not reacted to Brown's mention of the king of diamonds. The deck may have contained a few more unique cards, and Brown happened to light on the correct one early in his verbal process of elimination. The deck would then be swapped with a standard one by slight of hand (although perhaps not on camera like Brown's cigarette), or the standard cards could even be on the back.
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Re: Announcing "TheAbsolute TV"

Postby |read| » Sun May 03, 2009 8:10 pm

David Quinn wrote:It looks authentic to me. I'm finding your attitude rather puzzling, given that you are someone who, if I recall correctly, values science.

I'm not sure if this is disingenuous, or if it represents a genuine lack of understanding of science. Science deals in observable evidence, not speculation. My previous post is one possible explanation of what we saw and heard in the Fry video, but there are many others, including complete fakery. None of them can be scientifically ruled out, which has been my point.

The obvious interpretation is to take a magic trick at face value or close to face value, that is, to assume all or at least most of what you see is exactly as you are being lead to believe. That's why they work; most people unconsciously rule out large sets of possibilities. You seem to like to rule out fakery. Are you worried someone will think you're diving into the refuge of "mystery"?

David Quinn wrote:It was the blinking light artfully combined with several other little tricks which caused the hypnosis. The blinking light was the final step of the process.

I thought this bore repeating. So we're clear, you actually think the man, who Brown had never met before he walked into the bar, was hypnotized into a catatonic trance while playing the video game, lay unconscious as he was transported through the streets on a gurney, and after thinking he was really fighting zombies, was finally cornered in a room by Brown, who grabbed him by the head and once again placed him into a trance. Is this true?
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