Magicians are inescapably linked to skeptics. Join one of the world's most renowned magicians, Jamy Ian Swiss, and a CFI professional skeptic, D.J. Grothe, as they explore the basic methods of deception used by magicians. They also will examine the similarities between magic and skepticism and how the conjuring arts can inform the skeptical movement.
2-6 pm Workshop
DJ Grothe, The History of Magic in Skepticism
Jamy Ian Swiss,The Illusion of Psychic Powers
A longtime student of both the psychology of deception and the history and science of the paranormal, in this remarkable lecture/demonstration Swiss defines the four kinds of paranormal events - telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance and psychokinesis - declares them to be non-existent, and then proceeds to demonstrate all of them and more, thereby proving that even the most intelligent and wary of audiences can be fooled by a determined charlatan. A stunning, informative and entertaining lesson in critical thinking.
In his lecture/demonstration on The Illusion of Psychic Powers, Jamy Ian Swiss reviews some of the history of parapsychology; addresses the difference in ethical constructs between those who use magic to entertain and those who claim to have paranormal powers; describes the basic principles of conjuring techniques and psychology as used by both magicians and self-styled "psychics;" and demonstrates how the latter use these techniques to deceive the public and scientific community alike. By combining his unique expertise in deception with compelling presentations of apparent mind-reading and other psychic phenomena, he dramatically challenges such academic preconceptions as the suggestion that mere innate intelligence and/or formal education can serve as adequate protection against fraud; illustrates how and why scientists have so often become the defenseless targets of fakery; and demonstrates why the conjuror's specialized expertise in deception is the only adequate defense against such charlatanism.
Q & A with Swiss on Magic, Skepticism, Science and Reason
8 pm- Performance by Jamy Ian Swiss
Jamy Ian Swiss's acclaimed new show, Heavy Mental
Acclaimed master of the art of sleight of hand, Jamy Ian Swisspresents a program of baffling, unnerving "mind reading" phenomena -- accomplished with pure psychology, subtle influence, deft illusion, uncanny intuition, and a healthy dose of downright deception -- what he calls "sleight of mind."
Are your innermost thoughts your own or can Jamy see them, too?
$100 challenge fair game or mind game? Jamy isn't telling.
How's your poker face? Does your body language give you away?
Think you have free will? Think again. And again.
After all, if you can't control your thoughts, who can?
Swiss has performed magic throughout the United States and in 13 countries. He has appeared on CBS 48 Hours, PBS Nova, the PBS documentary The Art of Magic, and Comedy Central. He is also a founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics. For more information on Jamy Ian Swiss, please visit www.jamyianswiss.com.
Magic for Skeptics 2007
Only want to see the evening show?
May 19 - Austin, TX
Austin Community College
1020 Grove Blvd
Austin, TX 78741
To register, contact Jeff Jones at (512) 293-4808 or email@example.com.
June 2 - Chicago, IL
Harold Washington Library
400 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
To register, contact Adam Walker at (312) 226-0420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 9 - San Francisco, CA
1310 Mission St. (near 9th St.)
San Francisco, CA 94103
To register, contact Michael Adkisson at (415) 596-5963 or email@example.com.