Originally published at https://tavian.blog
Upon scrolling through YouTube today, I came across some clips of one of my favourite shows, Penn & Teller Fool Us.
I have always been fascinated by magic since the age of 13. It all started on my way home from school when a magician used to get on my bus. He would sit at the back of the bus and perform tricks for us as students.
It did not take long until he had an audience of school kids. No matter what the trick, there was always a cooling silence before the big reveal. Then once he said, “This is your card” The whole bus would erupt in astonishment.
I have found it interesting ever since as to why we respond in this way to being fooled. Many of us know that it is not really some supernatural power. Instead, it is explained through skill and knowledge, whether that be sleight of hand or misdirection.
Yet still, because we were fooled, our bodies jump in amazement and unbelief. All of sudden what we know about the world seems to have been disproven at an instant. For some of us, like myself, we have to dig more. I remember going home and reading up on magic techniques, and even learning a few myself.
I have not come across one person who does not respond in this way to the wonder of magic. And it makes me think that maybe the art of being fooled makes knowledge a more worthy pursuit.
Wonder Should Be Placed In Education
Maybe the education system has it wrong. If we wish to make people pursue knowledge, we need to first show them what they can do with it. Make them realise that they will forever remain astonished or fooled until they find out. And even if some never want to find out, at the very least, knowledge remains mesmerising to them.
The wonder of magic is lost once we know how the trick is done.
Originally published at https://tavian.blog on February 10, 2021.