Basically, by performing magic tricks for animals, or employing equipment inspired by stage magic techniques, we can figure out what is surprising to various animals and what is not. By learning how they expect to the world to work and what is unexpected to them, we can understand more about their models of cause and effect and their capacity for various sorts of abstract thought.
If we are at the place where the natural and the supernatural meet, it is a place of fruitful collaboration, not strident conflict.
Hollywood loves the idea of a genius. Amadeus, The Social Network, A Beauiful Mind, to name but a few cinematic portraits of brilliant men, men who apparently have a direct line to the rarified realm of mathematics and music, perhaps even the mind of God, while the rest of us dabble in the shadows. This year added The Imitation […]
At a neighborhood Christmas party, I had a lively and stimulating conversation about some of the technical elements of filmmaking–editing, cinematography, action choreography, and the like. . . . Now, if you’ve made it this far, you’re possibly wondering why I’m talking so much about art in a column nominally about science. I think it helps to illuminate how I think about magic, and how that relates to miracles. . . .