How sure are you of the world around you?
How sure are you that your brain is interpreting the world correctly?
Anybody who has ever witnessed a talented magician performs knows the feeling of bewilderment that can go along with it. Whether you are the type that can just sit back and be amazed, or (like me) a person who has to scrutinize every second of a good magic show, you have to admit that there is something both unnerving and entertaining about losing control of your sense of perception.
In case you have forgotten what these sensations feel like, or you have never felt them before, today we bring you a TED Talk that has been one of my favorites for almost a decade!
Magician Keith Barry can be more accurately described as a brain hacker. What is a brain hacker? Well, by the end of this TED Talk you might understand that a little better…or not..or maybe you will…or maybe not…See for yourself!
Well, what do you think of your brain now?
Every time I watch this, I have to resist the urge to find a logical explanation for everything I am watching, because even though I know the answers are there, my poor confused brain is too easily misdirected, so explanations are always just beyond my grasp. For me, these are the loopholes where wonder exists. When we go beyond what we know, just beyond our powers of logic. When it happens, we suddenly feel less sure of ourselves and the world around us. Is that so bad? Do we really need all of the answers?
Perhaps the spirit that drives us to see magicians perform, or to watch a brain hacker on the TED stage over and over, is the same spirit that drives us to inquiry in the fields of science, mathematics, and technology. That insatiable desire to explore, and to apply logic to the mysteries of the universe, spurs on our desire to dig deeper, to ask more complex questions.
So while we may be left scratching our heads after having our brains hacked, why not start to ask “why?”
And then, why not head off in search of answers?
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge
Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV
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- Barry, Keith. “Brain Magic.” TED.com. TED, Feb. 2004. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <https://www.ted.com/talks/keith_barry_does_brain_magic?language=en>. ↩