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Topic: Seeking Clarity
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 6, 2014 04:08AM)
You are at a family holiday gathering.

You feel called to perform something …

a) someone asked you,
b) your ego needs bolstering,
c) you lost a bet,
d) you want to impress your cousin’s new girl friend
whatever …

you spy a bowl of assorted nuts on the table – five varieties in shells.

With open hand gestures to draw victims in you ask your brother Freddie
to name his favorite type of nut in the bowl.

He says, “filbert” because he has never tried one or something.

You open your left hand to reveal a Filbert alone on your palm.

Now, without concern over method …

have you just demonstrated:

1) you can read his mind?
2) you are a Mentalist?
3) you can do magic tricks?
4) you guess good?
5) you are an idiot?

assuming you get some encouraging applause you continue.

You say to sister Lenora, “I will secretly take one of those nuts into my fist. You try and read my mind and tell me which kind of nut I chose.”

She says, “almond.” You open your hand and prove that she is correct. Same questions.

Now you repeat the experiment four more times and she is always correct no matter what nut she names. Same questions.


regardless of what answers you tell yourself, what story will the observers tell of the demonstration? What they say to your face is not important. What is the story?
Message: Posted by: Stephen Young (Dec 6, 2014 06:21AM)
Ignoring the fact that performing for family (I'm talking mentalism here) can be a tricky thing to pull off anyway.....

With regard to Lenora, you asked her to read you mind and tell you what kind of nut you are holding.
She did so, so the only inference you can expect an audience to take from that is that she read your mind.
Assuming they would believe what you say.

With part one it could be 1,3 or 4 in my opinion. (and/or 5 depending on presentation)

What story people give to the event cannot rely only on the effect itself.
They will always colour it with experiences from their lives.
To some people everything is a trick.

Family have prior knowledge of your background which may colour their "story" .

Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 6, 2014 09:20AM)
I think most will NOT believe Lenora has any Psychic ability but several WILL believe that YOU do. :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 6, 2014 09:26AM)
I choose idiot.... but to be kind I ad savant at the end.
Message: Posted by: Galileo (Dec 6, 2014 12:15PM)
Plot twist participant number one is fatally allergic to nuts....
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 6, 2014 02:24PM)
For ME, the answer is that I'm a mentalist who uses tricks... I do routines for my family because they enjoy them and I want their feedback. But I don't expect them to believe what I'm doing is real, whereas with a real audience, that is the goal (at least for the duration of the performance).
Message: Posted by: Nestor D (Dec 6, 2014 04:32PM)
It's family so 'a' (someone asked me), 2-3-4 at first (I am a mentalism, I can do magic tricks and I am good at guessing but I am no mind reader) but if I can repeat it over and over, I might be psychic... but I doubt I will ever graduate to 1 in their mind...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 6, 2014 04:51PM)
..luck and potentially, fun...

"what story will the observers tell of the demonstration?" - we can't say what the observers will tell of the demo, this is an imaginary tale isn't it...so they will say whatever reinforces our preconceptions of them, ourselves and how we feel the world works...what we choose to believe they will say will only ever be a reflection of what we want to hear (or maybe project)...
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Dec 6, 2014 08:57PM)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 6, 2014 09:16PM)
My reaction would be, "Either eat the nuts or don't, but stop playing with them!"
Message: Posted by: C.J. (Dec 6, 2014 10:55PM)
I think people are overlooking (or deliberately ignoring) the rhetorical, philosophical nature of the questions here. This is actually a good, provocative post in light of a couple of the threads that have been emerging in Penny over the last 2 weeks.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 7, 2014 08:04AM)
[quote]On Dec 6, 2014, C.J. wrote:
I think people are overlooking (or deliberately ignoring) the rhetorical, philosophical nature of the questions here. This is actually a good, provocative post in light of a couple of the threads that have been emerging in Penny over the last 2 weeks. [/quote]

Maybe - but without context I feel the no provocation ;)

I mean, "family" - are these regular family members who always watch a person working on effect presentations i.e. alpha and beta tests?
Is the family in on the secrets already because the kids walk into the sanctum sanctorum and read Tarbell, 13 steps, etc. and like playing with with clear forcing bags
Is this an extended family gathering? Are you the expected "uncle" who always does walk around and entertain people?
Is this the first time demonstrating this effect? Have you done card tricks in the past or you always have portrayed being a mentalist?
Is the effect mind projection, prediction, or prophecy, or reality reengineering... or maybe its all a dream....

I guess I am need clarity on what the secret philosophical question is - is it "are you a mentalist when you decide to do an impromptu effect for your family involving anticipating their guesses?" I am not sure
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 7, 2014 09:24AM)
If it were me doing it, I'd choose the hidden option 6: it takes one to know one. XD

It runs in my family; I come from a long line of nuts.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 7, 2014 10:26AM)
[quote]On Dec 7, 2014, Dr Spektor wrote:

I guess I am need clarity on what the secret philosophical question is [/quote]

the secret is that there is no "secret philosophical question."

I am honestly interested in how performing Mentalist consider "know you audience" and how they feel about "how a spectator views an effect?"

Certainly there are psychological components to one's self appraisal. Actually, I would never perform such an effect for my family at all.


my "hidden agenda" is to see if responses to a fictional scenario are more helpful than those received when posting an idea or opinion.

I does appear that asking a question rarely gets the help desired -- so maybe allowing people to pose their own questions will be more helpful.

Helpful to whom? I am not sure. I believe that the number of those reading a post compared with those responding indicates an audience of "answer seekers" afraid to ask questions.

Perhaps in our entertaining dialogue about a "pretended situation" about "pretending to do magic" they can find a "nut" to savor, or the kernel of a creative idea.

Thus, the questions you have posted are more valuable than any advice I can offer.
Message: Posted by: JayFredericks (Dec 7, 2014 10:33AM)
Can't help you here. The problem is.. I'd never let family play with my nuts.