“The tuned deck” is a curious trick that fooled hundred of professional magicians for years – they were too busy concentrating on specific techniques to realise that there was an art at work…

“As soon as Hull had announced his new trick and given its name to his eager audience, the trick was over. Having set up his audience in this simple way, and having passed the time with some obviously phony and misdirecting chatter about vibrations and buzz-buzz-buzz, Hull would do a relatively simple and familiar card presentation trick

“And so it would go, for dozens of repetitions, with Hull staying one step ahead of his hypothesis-testers, exploiting his realization that he could always do some trick or other from the pool of tricks they all knew, and concealing the fact that he was doing a grab bag of different tricks by the simple expedient of the definite article: The Tuned Deck.”

As a (strictly) amateur magician myself, I’m always inspired by this kind of skill. Magician/showman Derren Brown also uses misdirection as an art – he’ll show a trick, then explain how it was done – except the explanation is actually another level of the trick. He did Russian Roulette live on TV:

“as a magic-related performer to have that even being asked: Was it real? Was it not real? That lifts it to a level that I’m very comfortable with.”

Think of a situation you’re involved in. Where can you use this tactic to your benefit? How can you control the framing of an idea by directing attention to where you want it to be?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*