Science | Page 69

past these automatic assumptions as we are all human and assumptions are programmed into our brains , probably for survival or other reasons . The question is how to bypass this mechanism and train yourself to look at everything and see things in a different way .
When you ask the question , how many times the number 9 appears from 1 to 100 , most people will answer 11 , which is the wrong answer . The correct answer is 20 . Most people quickly get 9 , 19 , 29 , 39 , 49 , 59 , 69 , 79 , 89 , and 99 , but for some reason miss 91 , 92 , 93 , etc . Can you learn to not miss something so seemingly obvious and invisible , these “ blind spots ”? The more you know and think about magic , the more you become trained to be more watchful and cautious in your observations and answers .
Magic teaches us that things are not always what they appear to be , and by performing magic it allows us to watch first-hand how people ’ s minds work and the assumptions they make when they are fooled . Because the magician knows exactly how the tricks they perform work , it is often amazing for them to hear the spectators ’ explanations or theories of how they were done . Each trick performed is a kind of controlled experiment by the magician of a spectator ’ s thinking process . Also , after performing a trick , magicians usually analyze their performance based on their
“ Thinking Outside of the Box ”
Creativity is about looking at the world in a different way ; and studying and performing magic makes one more creative . Magicians don ’ t want their spectators to figure out their tricks , so they are constantly trying to intentionally create “ blind spots ” for their spectators . These mental blocks are like writer ’ s block or creative blocks .
An exercise sometimes practiced when creativity is attempted to be taught is to write down as many things you can do with a paper clip except clip papers . The average person will come to only a few answers , whereas the more “ creative ” person will think of many more ideas .
A question that is often asked is , can creativity be taught , or can any person learn to “ Think Outside the Box ”? One of the things I have done to try and teach myself to be more creative is to collect novelty pens . Not just ordinary pens , but ones that are novel , such as the way they fold , an innovative mechanism , an unusual theme or styling . To me , it ’ s not a collection of pens , but it is a collection of ideas . How do you take a simple object such as a pen and make it interesting , inventive , and / or unusual ? Different solutions to the same problem – design of a pen .
There are two kinds of ideas , or solutions , to problems . The first are ideas that you could have thought of had you been given the problem , for example , design a pen . The second are ideas you never would have thought of . Even if you had worked on the problem of designing a pen and thought about it for many years , some ideas would have never


69 69 audience ’ s reactions to see what worked and what didn ’ t , and then they try to tweak the performance of the trick to make it stronger .

All magicians are sometimes fooled by a trick or performance by a fellow magician . This allows the magician to analyze their own mind and thinking process . They will walk away completely fooled and will think to themselves , what fooled me and where were my blind spots ? Often magicians are fooled by tricks or methods they know and have even used themselves , but because something was slightly changed , they didn ’ t see it .
One can be fooled by physical gimmicks such as a trick cards or a hidden thread , or you can be fooled by subtle interactions such as misdirection or being psychologically manipulated , or a combination of both . Magic is one of the best ways to exercise our brains and expand our creativity because we see and learn so many tricks and principles .