PC468 Nov 2009
Crime there is something called cruelty
- At the BBC radio 3 Freethinking Festival; was a lecture called "The Woman's Right to be Evil" : What she was talking about to me is cruelty not evil that there is a type of crime which is not caused by need or mental illnes, but by people not repressing a human need to be cruel.

- there is such a problem in using the word evil cos it's so religious : it means permanantly bad, whereas cruelty can be controlled.

Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind by Graham Hancock
- It's not very good it's overlong 600 pages etc. He quickly concludes that since the ancients man has taken mind altering drugs to reach another dimension. Hence religion arose as people realised there was another place after death. I still say all that happens is your mind creates a dream like when you sleep so the mystery comes from your own brain not from another dimension. He babbles on about "see to preserve the the great secret yet keep it from humans the gods encoded it in mans's own mind" and speaks of how common caves images of entwined serpents resemble the double helix.. I say if you stare at enough wallpaper you'll see something that's looks real.

- Freedom 0f the Press doesn't equal freedom of speech or guarantee the truth
- She was clever.. She pointed out how press fight laws against them by saying freedom of speech is being restricted. But clearly the press does need some laws.. Far from the truth it often lies and distorts and fails to correct. - They got away with having self regulation but there is a cause for having laws say about the size and position of corrections - In practice truth don't triumph

- laws are claimed to be censorship.

- Can't deny that black kids are X times more likely to be stopped if that's the stats that's the stats. It may seen strange, but it doesn't mean that the main reason is the police are racist.

- more powerful people's opinions and least responsible get published so it's not a level playing field

I can do Derren Brown's predict the lottery trick
- In 1 minute I worked out how to do the trick in the Derren Brown show yesterday where he predicts the National Lottery result. It's so simple, but surrounded by a lot of fluff.

- On the Masked Magician they had shown a trick where the magician turns his back and you write the name of your friend on a pad. Seconds later he reveals he has your friends name written on his arm. Wow !

- Then they reveal that all he hid was hide a sheet of carbon paper in the pad ... so simple, but you are distracted by all the fluff.
- The same is true with Derren's trick.. the trick itself is ridiculously easy.. of course he has no idea what the lottery numbers are before they are drawn, he just has all the fluff that makes it look like he has.

Where do we go next : teach kids magic
- Daniel Loxton of Skeptic magazine asked where do we go from here ? How can the Skeptic movement move forward instead of exposing the same types of fraud again and again only to see the next generation believe the same type of frauds so easily.
- What's the answer ? Magic ! teach the kids magic.
- The Masked Magician is doing the public a great service by showing people that when we think about something there is the obvious straight line thinking how, but also other alternative, but simple thinking that explains the same situation. It teaches kids to say "OK it seems that X has happened, but maybe there is another explanation which also explains the situation without the need for something mysterious an magical."

- It's obvious when someone goes into a school to teach a course that they should begin by doing a trick just like Randi or Richard Wiseman does. Actually there's no need to tell daniel as the podcast before his was about the importance of magic to skepticsm so it must be widely known.
- I suspect that far from been angry with the Masked Magician the Magic Circle know he is stimulating youth to get excited about learning magic. The Skeptic magazine should have a puzzle page where readers are invited to guess how a well known trick is done, before they look at the answers in the back of the magazine.

a Stew Green Opinion
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