Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Speed Learning Survey: The Results Are In

Thank you to the 52 people who took the time to respond to the survey I posted two nights ago. In the wake of last week's Trick or Treat 2 episode, the survey asked: How did Derren Brown make Glen Brighton place second at a pub quiz?

The votes broke down like this:

1. Derren has supernatural powers. 1 vote, 1.92%

2. DB taught Glen a super-learning system, as shown in the broadcast. 6 votes, 11.54%

3. DB taught Glen a super-learning system, but the real system was not shown on TV. 37 votes, 71.15%

4. The quiz show was rigged. 4 votes, 7.69%

5. Other. 4 votes, 7.69%

Three of the "Other" votes shared their theories:
a. money, earpiece and a contract of silence
b. None of it happened
c. DB knew answers and "planted" them into Glenn's mind

Also of note, two readers left comments on the prior blog entry, positing their own theories:

The first comment suggested that the pub quiz trick might be like the piano-player trick from season 1 of Trick or Treat. As you'll recall, DB led viewers to believe that he was using hypnosis to teach a woman to play the piano. In fact, she was already a concert pianist and he was merely restoring the state of mind (confidence, concentration, etc.) that she needed to play well.

Comment 1 is suggesting that Glenn already knew a lot of trivia, and Derren was restoring his confidence or helping him develop the right state of mind to perform well at the quiz.

The second comment was a little more cryptic:

"Carfax". Explore that and you find your answers. Well played, Derren.

I can only assume that this was left by one of the magicians who read this blog, and who actually can figure out how the tricks are done.

"Carfax" was the answer to one of the two trivia questions Derren asked Glenn.

I looked up the definition of "carfax." In the UK, it is the "intersection of four roads." or, stated differently, "the intersection of two roads that change their names." Is the fact that the roads change their names a hint that the "speed learning" system is not what Derren says it is? I don't know.

The pub quiz trick reminds me most strongly of Derren's photoreading trick. He went to a university library, scanned a book very quickly, and then appeared to be able to recite a passage chosen randomly by a librarian. Later, in an interview, Derren acknowledged that he was not actually photoreading -- that he was instead using a magic trick.

But if the speed-learning system was not real, how could Derren be certain that Glen would perform well at the quiz? No idea.

In summary, the first episode of Trick or Treat 2 was excellent, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time scanning textbooks.

Correction to the Previous Blog Entry

David Tennant's website is now saying that the episode of Trick or Treat 2 in which he appears will air May 16th, 2008.


Qualia said...

Any idea/s how he did the coffee bean trick...that had me stumped!

totalsuperbot said...

I searched Carfax and found some papers/articles on...
''Capture and rumination, functional avoidance, and executive control (CaRFAX): Three processes that underlie overgeneral memory ''
Google Carfax Memory. I didn't get time to look into it further.