Thursday, June 02, 2011


I have far too many thoughts jostling inside my head, my fingers itch to type out plenty of words, but I don't have enough time to give vent to those thoughts and words. Well, I shouldn't be complaining. Anyway, I couldn't contain myself from sharing this (and I will try to keep it as brief as possible). 

I happened to watch a new program that premiered on Discovery channel last night, called Deception. And I was bursting with excitement and mini "revelations" all through the show. Those of you who are fans of the movie, Inception, should definitely try to watch this show (it airs at 10:00 PM on Wednesdays). It is mentally exhilarating!

Ok, so what is so fascinating about this show that I am jumping about like an energizer bunny? The show is hosted by the mentalist and illusionist, Keith Barry, who claims he can "hack" into people's minds, "read" their thoughts, and implant thoughts! No, no, he is not someone like David Copperfield, or other such illusionist/magicians. There is no "magic" to his approach, merely science - the science of the human mind! In his first show, he visits a car dealership, and demonstrates how salesmen persuade people into buying cars, how they read body language and other behavioral cues to understand the customer and use the knowledge against them, etc. In parallel, he shows how he can read the salesmen's "thoughts", how he can "implant" numbers, ideas, colors, brands, and words into their subconscious and make them think of the resultant thoughts as their own, etc. 

Again, why does this excite me?! Because, Keith Barry offers logical, scientific reasons behind his mind-reading abilities! I am thrilled because, I can finally, FINALLY, come close to understanding so called psychics and religious men who predict our thoughts, who can guess numbers, dates, and names from our past, who can even retell our past, predict our future etc! It was flabbergasting to me that these men could mention things from our past even without us giving them any clues, but now I realize (as I have intuitively felt), we do give plenty of clues! In terms of body language, subtle manner of speech, and our physiological responses (subtle muscle movement, eye movements, heart-rate, sometimes lines that appear on our palm etc.). Besides, plenty of scholarly articles have demonstrated how irrational the human mind really is! For example, we suffer from confirmation bias - we set out to collect evidences to prove what we believe in, comfortably neglecting evidences that threaten to disprove our belief. Slight changes in the environment influence our thoughts, seemingly casual words thrown out by clever salesmen and psychics settle into our subconscious, and even without us realizing it, it gives rise to thoughts and ideas that corroborate with the "predictions", and we believe them to have solely originated from us, out of our free-will. But not so! Not all the time, at least. Again, those who have watched Inception will hopefully see where I am going with all this. 

Anyway, there's more to come from the shows, and I can't wait to watch them all! I am sure to chime in when one of these shows sparks another wave of excitement in me!


Karthik said...

Sounds very interesting ! I'm very curious now after reading this! Will catch it if it airs in India too. Thanks for the pointer :-)

Anonymous said...

Meticulous observation and intelligent thinking can indeed lead to brilliant inferences. I can guess it gets better and better with practice and experience. Interesting post :) Continue to enjoy uncovering the mysteries of the mind!

Neeraja said...

Karthik, yeah hopefully they have started airing this in India as well!
It's a very interesting show.

Anonymous, very true! Those with exceptional sensitivity to notice subtle human responses and behavior can indeed read us!