Nicola Monaghan's news, events and general thoughts about life and writing.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

A personal thank you to Derren Brown

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Derren Brown for increasing the readership of my blog by, well, quite a lot. Actually, it's not really his doing, to be honest. I wrote a wish on a piece of paper and put it in my pocket. If anyone asks me, I'll say it was a trick...

I'd also like to point out to the new readers of this blog, who may or may not have spotted book launch photos on the right hand side from a few years ago, that I am thinner now.

And, while, I'm here, I'll just announce the next part of Derren's trick before it comes to light by itself. By showing a (bogus) method to the world on Friday suggesting that, if only we get together in groups of 24, do automatic writing and average out the numbers, we too can win the lottery (forgetting the small fact, of course, that he didn't) I'm guessing he may have set something in motion. I'm guessing that enough people will have seen and believed it, or think, what the hell that they'll actually get together in groups of 24 and give it go. There will probably be a significant number of these groups set themselves up and try to win using the wisdom of the crowd.

Of course, one of them will...

PS See this blog here for yet more evidence of misdirection by Derren Brown. Derren Brown fixed the lottery. Yeah, right. His second explanation was just as likely as his first one. ie absolute nonsense. Still, interesting that he showed the studio audience extra footage. I bet he didn't expect them to talk about that on blogs, facebook or to their families and friends, did he? Lmao.
PPS. My husband just won twenty quid on a scratchcard and gave it to me. Bless...

UPDATE: 15th September. Do a search on Facebook for "Derren Brown Lottery" and see the groups beginning to proliferate there along the lines of 'Let's predict the lottery Derren Brown stylie'.

38 comments:

Chris said...

Hmmmm interesting.

I think the extra footage the audience saw was 1 of 2 things:

1) Something he is saving to show perhaps after The events or during another part of them.

2)A purposeful method of misdirection. This man does not do anything that he has not thoroughly planned out. He is 100 steps ahead in everything he does, and would never consider showing the footage to the 140 people without having a plan for it. He might have very well done this to continue the theorizing and the guessing.. adding layer upon complicated layer..making it more and more impossible to really figure out what in the bloody hello is going on. People who might have been convinced it was a camera trick might read it and then not be so sure anymore. He is in the business of chaos and misdirection.. and hes bloody great at it.
He dangles small pieces of fruit here and there, knowing the public will bite here and there, narrowing the chance for us to ever agree or reach a consensus... thats what he wants!!! The more people talk about his tricks and him... the better for him!! Doubt he loses any sleep over the critics .. or the twitterverse hate...or heightened outcries of his most recent lottery stunt. This man is comprehensive and calculating from A to Z.

SO either A) You can try to figure every thought, intention, or plan he has (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT)
or B) You can just sit back and bloody well enjoy his brilliance.

Either way....No one can argue the genius that has and always will be Derren Brown.

-Chris.

Niki M said...

Well, people can argue with it but I suspect they'll always end up surprised. I must admit, I do enjoy trying to work out what he's playing at. It has entertained me all weekend. The (not always obvious) complexity of his illusions is what makes them very interesting to me. And the (not always obvious) simplicity too - like the original trick. Everyone's looking for the Derren Brown standard of explanation for it and ends up overlooking or dismissing the more obvious answer.

I know I'd kill for the ability to pull the kind of publicity stunts he can! Lol.

Chris said...

Hey Niki,

A few fun questions:

1) If you could be Derren Brown, would you switch places with him?

2) Would you believe me if I told you I am Derren Brown?

3) Would you believe me if I told you I was from Derren's Team?

4) If you tried the 24 person team for the lottery and you lot won it, would you think it was random or would you attribute it to wisdom of crowds?

-Cheers,
Chris

Niki M said...

I love your questions Chris. (or Derren! Lol)

So in answer...

1. I wouldn't switch places with Derren. The egomaniac in me is pretty happy with who I am so I don't think there's anyone I'd swap places with. Except perhaps a younger me who knew everything the older version knows now...

2. You know I wouldn't think it was out of the question. Your google profile is very interesting in that it's so very anonymous and the blog it's attached to is also very mysterious. Created, I suspect, only for commenting on other people's blogs. Except you can't have done that much of that, either, because not many people have viewed your profile and tried to find out who you are... Curiouser and curiouser...

3. Even more so, I would not rule this out... But then, you may just be having a go at a bit of misdirection here yourself. Fun and making me smile in any case.

4. I would think it was random. In a way, I'd say it was as good a way as any of picking your numbers, except then you'd have to share your prize! I don't believe in 'wisdom of the crowd' at all. It just doesn't work on any logical basis for me. The whole set up of it - having people look at previous numbers and try to deduce in some way what the most likely next numbers will be... I'm an ex mathematisto so I get probability, and understand that the lottery is as random as it gets in real life, meaning that future outcomes have absolutely nothing to do with previous ones. Nothing about that method makes sense. Don't get me wrong - I believe there are more things in heaven and earth than we will ever understand - but this isn't one of them...

sunsir4244 said...

Hey, I'm curious, what do you think Derren will do with this extra piece of footage? And what will happen as a result?

sunsir4244 said...
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Chris said...

Cool answers Niki. Thanks for playing along :) I'll think of some more for your next blog post. Looking forward to it.

Cheers,
Chris

Niki M said...

Thanks Chris. Look forward to them..

Sunsir... I don't think he'll do anything with the extra footage, except keep it hidden away. My point wasn't that he had extra footage he wasn't showing us - more that he probably filmed several groups, one of which gave him footage that would back up his fake explanation...

ninethirtyfive said...
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BaronBigShoes said...

if you want to know what all the derren brown Events stuff is about (i mean--really about) then i honestly think i have the answer.

please feel free to use this on your blog as you wish, as i'm so smug about sussing this out LOL

the real question has never been how the trick was DONE (it's a split screen) but rather what the trick MEANS in relation to the other forthcoming Events...and if I'm right about the following then the pay-off is going to be superb.

so here goes with my theory

derren has already told the audience what he's doing. however he's been very very sneaky and very stylish about it.

it's all out in the open but kind of hidden in plain sight.

the first thing to note is the main ad that ran for the show--the one in which derren walks across the busy road narrowly dodging the traffic. the key point is that the ad only made sense if you played it BACKWARDS. you had to start at the end and go back to the beginning to understand what was going on...which is exactly how he's structured The Events! you'll only get it once all five shows have finished. then everything will become clear when reversed. of course, this point also includes the use of these adverts...including the one which uses a CAMERA TRICK to make it appear that derren is upside down standing on his hands

secondly the ads show computer generated effects and the manipulation of film as a central feature. do you see? he's just shown you how he did the lotto effect!!! it's right there in front of you--completely clear in the flamin' adverts while he's casually juggling some CGI lottery balls. and when looked at in retrospect it shows that he cheekily hid nothing.

thirdly, derren described each Event as being purely about misdirection. so all this stuff is designed to get you confused and throw you off the scent. that way when the final show goes out (more about that in a minute), you'll be left kicking yourself for not having put the bigger picture together.

the fourth and final sneak is that last show has been described as containing a twist. well, i'd put money now on that twist being simply that none of the final show is about taking down a casino. what it's really going to be about is taking down the audience with total nonsense. that's almost...nearly...the whole point of the series but there is one more thing to note.

i think derren will use all of this to push the skeptic/atheist/anti-woo position beloved of dawkins, randi and so-on. he'll talk about the way people are deceived by pseudo-science--i.e., such as the wisdom of crowds used in a way that it never could be. likewise this will be the same theme that carries through the subliminal show this friday and the psychic spy show with it's silly remote viewing experiment.

along the way he'll also talk about how the media manipulates people and how we need to think carefully about the images and ideas we soak-up. my bet is that the final show will include footage of all the forums, you-tube and bits of the press that lit-up after the first show (and probably also the others yet to come). he'll then applaud the really perceptive viewers while taking the mickey out of those not thinking hard enough.

so there ya' go!

consequently The Events will be seen as one of the most spectacular demonstrations of mentalism and showmanship ever seen on tv, while also dealing with some very serious issues.

ofc, the other thing it will do is pave the way for derren's new show (listed at C4) in which he sets-out to debunk psychic phenomena lol.

nice one derren--all the way round!

it's so brilliantly devised, constructed and executed :)

Niki M said...

I like what you're say BaronBigShoes... It completely fits and is consistent with the ad campaign and what we've seen so far. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how it all pans out. One thing I'm certain of is that Derren had more up his sleeve than we've seen so far. And, yes, I must admit when I saw the news about the series he was doing next it did strike me how well it fitted with what I'd seen on the lottery show. Thanks for posting.

sunsir4244 said...

BaronBigShoes, you are truly a genius. Well done, I'm just curious, how would you explain the footage of him in 2008 in Oxford with the kids and the balls and the numbers?

ninethirtyfive said...

Great post Baron Big Shoes, I've linked to it on my blog http://ninethirtyfive.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/derren-brown-lottery-reveal-missing-footage-proves-he-rigged-it/#comment-508

Niki M said...

Oh no. Thirteen comments! I feel compelled to add another... Lol. I do like the BaronBigShoes theory and it will be fun to see if it plays out...

Sunsir - I really don't think it would be that hard to play with that footage or rig it, and the whole point of my post here is that it wasn't aired to make us all talk about it like this. Much more fun and misdirection (on Derren's part) in all sorts of ways.

Tricki said...

I really like BaronBigsShoes theory as it says a lot of the things I have been thinking ever since I saw the first advert.

I also thought after seeing the mice in the show that we were a little like lab mice running a maze of Derrens devising, especially on the web with viral advertising style websites, clues, rumours and endless speculation about the show.

The link here

http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/commissioning/derren-brown-goes-interactive-for-c4/5004581.article

Give an hint that interactivity was part of the show from the beginning, and also hints at what he could be doing. The little suggestions to try this at home were not the main interactivity - that comes from people discussing the show, and weather they were disappointed or not, it was spreading the word - He said it could be a career breaker - He knew the first show might alienate the audience, but knew that it was worth the risk for the full effect at the end.

While others moaned about how it should have been better I sat and thought about where he was leading us to here.

After seeing ninethirtyfives blog I was a little dismissive of the rigged lottery theory, but knew that it was an easy assumption to fall into minus relevant information about how they are run. So I think that your theory was indicative of some of the things that ordinary people would think at first, which give another clue to what I think is really happening.

cont next post

Tricki said...

I am going to make my own wild speculation here, and not feel the least bit foolish if is way off the mark because even if incorrect or inaccurate is indicative of the way you would create an illusion of using psychic powers to do something impossible so that when you prove it was a hoax you get the maximum publicity for a show that shows how frauds use the same tricks to fool people for profit or status.

You see I think that working backwards it all points to the idea of winning the lottery. And to do that I think he is trying to seed the idea of rigging the lottery or other gambling event into publics minds so the last show he can appear to rig the casinos and win big using his big psychic mind and then the twist is its all fake this is how I did it and btw my new show is how frauds con you with the same sort of tricks.

All the shows will have pseudo science but another piece of seeding. The list of ways he could have done it he waved off the idea of faking the ticket by only referring to an actual lottery ticket so the idea is not at the forefront of peoples minds, when he really faked the ticket by a bit of camera trickery that will be shown later.
The wisdom of crowds was the misdirection but useful to show how people don't understand statistics. The lottery rigging was a seed to plant the idea of rigging gambling

The next show will plant the idea of having the power to freeze somebody so as to make a switch that normally would be impossible without inside help. I have a feeling that the method will have a get out clause like only works on those susceptible (and who wants to think they are susceptible and by inference gullible) so as to explain why it doesn't work on the audience, but will have to see.

The third show - remote viewing mmmm how COULDN'T you rig a casino if you could do that?

Plenty of seeds on the net ofc - the bus trick and the cryptic quote in the link I posted also hint at prior knowledge or methods to beat the system, meant to be found by those interested, so that even those who disbelieved the pseudo science explanations on the shows would start to think again.

Btw ninethirtyfive that's not suggesting that I think you are part of Derrens scheme, The video was likely true, and not shown later so that the studio would blog about it in anger that it wasn't shown. Even if nobody had said it meant it was rigged, I have no doubt plenty of people might have thought that.

Well that's my theory, for what its worth I think it will be a little more complicated than that and will only get a good picture after seeing the next two shows as to what his final stunt will be. Even if I'm wrong it will be fun finding out. Maybe the theme is really about speculative thinking and conspiracy theories and I'm walking right into his trap here :)

On that last thought, read this, coincidence or planted report?
Bulgarian lottery repeat probed
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8259801.stm

Niki M said...

Tricki - I'm a bit confused about whether you think the lottery was 'rigged' or not... You seem to imply we're supposed to dismiss that, then dismiss it. Maybe I'm missing something. I haven't dismissed this explanation because it just sounded too hard - but because I've thought through the way Derren explained it and it's clear to me that, even if he'd got over the practical issues with this, the method he described wasn't enough to ensure six or even five numbers came up...

You seem to be saying more or less what I've been saying all along - that this is a bigger misdirection and that people are missing the point (see my previous posts). Your theories certainly fit with what I've seen and thought about, and are similar, I think, to what BaronBigShoes has suggested.

All very interesting, anyway... Thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to finding out what this is all about over the next few weeks.

Niki M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niki M said...

My blog seems to be randomly double posting comments. Not sure why. Apologies to those who have this happen... I noticed it earlier this week but then it just happened to me (hence the deleted post above...)

Tricki said...

NickiM:
No I do not think it was rigged.

What I am suggesting is that he could be trying to make people more open to the idea of rigging a casino - it doesn't matter whether they believe each individual piece of information, rumor or likewise, only that the thought is at the back of the mind when he does his last show. That makes some people that normally would ignore such explanations a bit more susceptible to the one I think he will give.

Exactly what he will do I do not know - only that he may appear to cheat the casino and give a "psychic" explanation that sounds real if you believe that sort of thing, only to completely prove it was false to show how psychics are using magic tricks and psychology to fool you.

It works on a few levels - those slightly gullible get an idea that they could be tricked like this and so watch the show.
The more worldly wise might not get tricked, but get to see a nice stunt that illustrates how people are tricked, and so watch the show.
Those on the net who worked out the tricks, spotted the pseudo science get to pat themselves on the back for seeing through it, and, well you get the picture.

The point is that a few people that should know better might start to think there is something into this psychic stuff against their better nature because of all the hints and rumors. If they do that they are more likely to want to avoid being fooled like that again.

I'm sorry if the way I worded it seemed confusing, the idea came to me in a flash while reading the blog and I had to write it down quick while it was fresh in my mind.

Tricki said...

When I said watch the show in the post above, I of course meant the new show about debunking psychics

You are right - I sometimes make things confusing by posting without making sure things are easy to read first.

Niki M said...

Hi Tricki

No problem - sometimes it's more interesting to see what comes out first :D

I completely agree with you. I think he's doing a great job of making people believe in all sorts of things they wouldn't usually give any credit to.

I don't know about rigging a Casino - it'll depend what he implies he can do - but people have managed to cheat casinos in plentiful ways. Card counting, which isn't exactly cheating but can include colluding, so flies close to the rules, but other stuff too. My hubby likes a flutter and I often accompany him and have been stopped from taking my laptop because they've had some very innovative cheaters apparently. So it depends on what Derren suggests he can do. I agree with you that I think all of these shows will contain elements of misdirection, and mischievous, bogus explanations like we've seen so far, and that it will elad into the next show. I'm looking forward to finding out exactly how it pans out and I'm sure that Derren's gamble will be worth it in the end. (I hadn't thought of it in those terms until you described it that way - very clever...)

Niki M said...

Hi again Tricki (et al). Thought you might be interested in this... Proof that people (including the editors of a national newspaper) are completely open to believing one of two impossible things ie 1. Derren has psychic powers or has tapped into someone who does OR 2. Derren rigged the lottery. I love the certainty of this article, especially under the circumstances. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/2637434/Derren-Brown-predicted-Lotto-result-before-Xmas.html

Tricki said...

Hehe yes seen that, the Sun is not exactly know for its subtle views - it knows how most of its readers think :)

Tricki said...

Just finished looking into the last thing I mentioned on my initial post about the Bulgarian lottery. If there only seemed to be one story and others had just referenced it I would have thought it was a planted story, but there is plenty of other sources with different information, so is just a coincidence. Sometimes I overthink these things.

Quite lucky timing for Derren though it puts his trick in the spotlight without having to do a thing.

BaronBigShoes said...

thanks all for nice comments ;)

@sunsir: i think there are two possibilities with the footage on the bus.

the first is that derren intends to build it into some final amazing kicker effect (here's hoping). i can imagine how cool that would look as a freeze frame at the very end of the last show--with the kids holding the numbers up to the camera.

the second is that he perhaps intended to show and then remove the footage all along. it's a great way to get all the conspiracy theories rumbling imo.

a couple of thoughts that have occurred to me focus on the kind of trickery needed to create the effect in the first place.

the multiple take theory is silly--just as silly as the idea derren filmed all 14 million lotto predictions and only showed the right one! so excluding that i'd bet on more computer manipulation...and as we've all seen the result of the last attempt was dissected fast, just as it was very possibly meant to be.

so i think it he used a bit of CGI to doctor the film, showed it on a grainy screen in the tv studio to the audience (who couldn't view it repeatedly to spot any flaws) and then pulled it from the show with every intention of always doing that.

imo another bit of sneakiness.

thoughts?

@tricki

i really like the seeding idea lol. i think that would be an elegant way to tie all the shows together into a neat little bundle.

so maybe there will be a casino after all?!?! i think your version and my version would be great tv either way!

(now watch them both be totally wrong LMAO)

one thing you said really made me think:

"Maybe the theme is really about speculative thinking and conspiracy theories and I'm walking right into his trap here :)"

indeed.

i've been doing a mentalism routine for the last 10yrs or so and one of the things magicians sometimes depend on is a mechanism called...erm...nope...actually i've decided not to directly name it in case you google the thing and spoil some really excellent tricks ;)

instead think of a mike leigh film in which everything has been created via improv during the production. you have a core theme and the actors kind of flesh it out as they go.

so...

is that what we're doing for derren?

are the Events purely core ideas, a skeletal frame, and we're the ones fleshing it out and choosing a conclusion for the whole thing by the way we react?

if so it's a win-win set up for db as the Events could turn out to be one of 50 things and still make him look brilliant.

as someone said, he always plays the long odds.

i don't think there could be a better way to it that this!

Bob said...

Hi all,

If you re-watch How to Win the Lottery, some rather intriguing language reveals itself after transcribing his pieces-
to-camera between segments, get this:

"... so maybe there was a way of predicting the numbers. This was to lead me down a fascinating path into mathematics, superstition and a powerful beautiful secret that can only be achieved when we all put our heads together."

"...we all got together to give it another go."

"Perhaps the key to predicting the lottery lies in the hands of groups, of you, working together..." [he stumbles over the phrase "of you" and motions to the viewer]

"It's quite possible that many of you simply won't believe it, you may choose not to believe any of what I've told you. Maybe you still believe it was some sort of super technology. Whatever you choose to believe is up to you... here's the option three explanation and you can decide which you prefer."

This repeated use of the words "you" and "together" is clearly an appeal for the viewers to cooperate and take action.

The Heads & Tails segment has a bunch of people forming a team. The automatic writers are sent on a team-building course.

Capisci?

This couldn't be any more blatant if he wrote it on a brick and hit you in the face with it.

Niki M said...

Interesting breakdown Bob. Certainly fits with the stuff I'd been thinking about. It sounds blatant when you put it like that but it didn't feel that way watching. Very interesting.

Tricki said...

Baron:
Interesting that you do your own mentalism routine, might I have heard of you, or do you do just as a hobby?
I have an interest in it, but have never studied it so I am unsure exactly which mechanism you mean. But I have an idea what you may be alluding to if not sure of the correct way to put it because I am not completely familiar with the language. So I will describe it in my own words and hope I am close to what you mean.

From the start I felt he was leaving clues but they could be misdirection, and could be leading us the wrong way, but from the language Derran used that Bob quoted (thanks Bob - very helpful to have them in print) I started thinking that he may be wanting us to solve the puzzle and predict the outcome, just like he "predicted" the lottery.
Finds on the net like the promo material I linked to showed that the events were interactive from the start and combined with the use of viral marketing type websites led to a logical inference that the web and view discussion is part of the interactivity.

While I like the idea of our discussions being like a bit of improv acting as a side show to the tv event I am cautious because it would be easy for misdirection to be happening on the web as well as on the TV. It is possible to read too much into things I do that all to often myself, and easy for Derren to trick us into believing a viewpoint by careful placement of certain comments that, combined with things said on the show, and from the anecdotal stories from the participants could lead us in the wrong direction. I think its fun whether we are playing his game or being played by his game, so am going to carry on despite not being completely sure.

Tricki said...

Anyway a couple more musings.

My first thought - the flash described in my earlier post, before I considered the casino angle I described, was that he could be trying to install the belief that he had rigged the lottery itself. but I saw certain problems with that idea as it encounters the problem that some people would on seeing that not believe the explanation that it was false and continue to belief that he had rigged it and go on to cause trouble by demanding their money back and an investigation etc. Too risky to do that in my opinion, its one thing to get publicity, its another to risk public outcry. (I also decided to see what reception the casino idea would get before I continued explaining my thoughts)

So I looked at the idea that he would use the the same sort of thing in the casino as they are very similar in feel and the same technique could be used for a good effect and prove a point that his new show can give answers to.

Because after seeing the first advert and coming to the same conclusion as Baron that the events might have a theme that makes more sense if you look at it backwards I considered what the lottery show might tell us about what he is planning.

So play the shows so far you get first the lottery prediction; then a couple of tricks with the answer that the mice wasn't there all along; then one trick that is at the time explained as being down to the power of having a crowd cheering you on but is really down to maths;a long bull**** pseudo science bit then finally a recap of the ways to win the lottery.

I do not think that we should try to shoehorn an answer into a strict sequence that makes sense if you do these things backwards, but I do think that could roughly be the sequence of his final show.

so from my theory the last show would start with a recap, then would have a long bull**** experiment to set up the trick which will seem to confirm to the explanation given before but which will have a proper scientific explanation which he will expose (the mice wasn't there all along and neither was any psychic ability perhaps) and then as the kicker show the bus trick to leave the audience amazed and wondering how his did that (and cue trailer for the new show?)

Faking predicting the lottery is safer than faking rigging it - if someone believes are they going to demand Derran stop using his psychic skills? would be fun if a little sad to see. And it makes a nice Derren Brown surprise ending.

Tricki said...

Had to write the last two posts in a hurry as had to go out. So just to clarify a couple of things.

I think that things are leading up to instilling belief in the psychic pseudo science tricks actually being used in the casino trick in order to tear it down with logic later. I also think that the casino could still be a bluff and that he is really going to try to install belief that he really predicted the lottery instead, but until I see the next two shows I do not know how that could be done, and am hedging my bets with a scenario that fits observations about the first advert.

To make sense of that advert you have to play it again backwards, that leaves you with two mirror versions of the same video. So I took that and imagined that is the effect he wanted on the events. It would explain why the lottery show didn't really explain anything as it would be a mirror of the final show which would actually explain things.

I forgot to say that the second trick was a case of the object that was supposed to be there (the knife) ended up not being there in the first place and a real mouse being there. In the context of what that would mean in regards of the idea of the mirror shows am not sure at the moment. probably best not to over analyse it though as a general shape is all that matters really, trying to fill every detail would be over egging it a little.

Baron: I think my answer to you was a bit off from what I was trying to say as I was rushing a little to put into words my viewpoint of where it could be going and it wandered off course a little.

I think your idea has a lot of merit. The online discussions could be a side drama, an event in itself perhaps, with no real aim or ending but just as a bit of theatre and maybe used later to show how speculation can lead to false conclusions and how just one or two strange things or comments presented in the right way can lead to all sort of wild theories. (like ours perhaps)

I also thought, as I said, that it could have a goal, one were we prove the point of using logical thinking to predict what is going to happen, while those who think in terms of supernatural terms and do not understand science can be led into a totally false conclusion that is easily explained by science.

I also think he could be merrily laying a false trail to see how many bite as well, so am also not expecting all the clues to be correct. I know how confirmation bias can lead you to ignore things that do not fit a certain theory and how if you seem to discover something hidden you are more likely to believe its veracity if you are expecting an official source to be misleading.

Hope this is a little clearer. (I can understand my point better myself on re reading which is a good sign:-) )

I think your idea on how the bus trick could be done is pretty spot on, CGI or camera tricks would fit into the theme very well.

Tricki said...

Btw Baron, do you have the link to info about the new show on C4 site or elsewhere? Having trouble tracking it down whenever I have time to search for it. I have never been good at thinking up keywords to easily search for things so a little help would be handy.

Tricki said...

Nm found eventually but not on c4 site which is where I was going wrong

http://derrenbrown.co.uk/blog/2009/09/derren-brown-science-scams/

http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/technology/objective-show-puts-science-into-paranormal/5005493.article

I thought it was going to be a tv show, but would work as a web show as well. plus you can watch at your leisure unlike tv. I gave mine up a year or two ago and do not miss it unless the connection is dodgy.

Bob said...

My apologies for such a long post, and a repeat of my comment on the Guardian article, but we're up to page 15 there and I suspect it would have gone mostly unnoticed. We need a threaded forum thingy to keep all all our thoughts organized!

1. I am definitely sensing a narrative that loops or goes backwards or something. If we assume it finishes with the bus footage, I can just imagine the final scene linking to the collision with Derren himself that happens during the backwards-talking promo, the first footage we saw.
2. If we assume he genuinely knew the numbers in Nov 2008, and planned to use CGI effects, another piece of film for the reveal that could conceivably have been faked may take the drama out of it. Why not put the REAL prediction somewhere completely irrefutable? I am not a UK resident so don't know London well, but maybe a building, landmark or geographic feature that is right under your noses and would dispel any accusations of fakery, or a second prediction to coincide with the end of the series?
3.Now on with the observations. Mice are a reoccurring theme obviously. Two tricks involving mice in this episode, plus subsequent Twitter banter from DB also regarding mice.
4. Association of mice with fear. One participant has a fear of mice, another (stomping cups) is terrified he is going to get a knife through his foot (as are the viewers) but there is not a knife under the remaining cup, but a mouse.
5. I think the idea of youth, or children is significant. Bus footage is with children. Child holding balloon in backwards promo trailer. Next event has a sequence in a toy store.
6. Possible association of children/childhood and mice? When revealing Jenny the mouse under the cup, DB puts on his talking-to-little-kids voice.
7. Possible intention to have viewers regress to childhood thoughts, as he did for the infamous kitten-zapping episode. DBs twitter request for people to relate funny stories from when they were 10, and then publishing excerpts seems to confirm this.
8. Reoccurrence of the word Tail. e.g. Head or Tails game, DB claims he was eating ox-tail soup when he remembered the Galton ox weight guessing revelation. After the bogus automatic writing sequence "That concludes the tale of how we reached Wednesday night."
9. As previously pointed out, he definitely says "the balls are down... I will be TALKING TO YOU THROUGH THEM" during the draw.
10. Also mentioned above, more emphatic dismissing of the bonus ball - and some rather colourful tweets from DB himself about bonus balls.
11. Repetition of The Wisdom of Crowds.

Bob said...

I think the repeated use of the word "together", having us watch things like the automatic writers having a team-building exercise, and the statement about the "key to predicting the lottery lies in the hands of groups of you working together" is a call to action.

It may sound like I'm reaching - but when I replayed the statements a couple of times, it stood out as plain as day and actually spooked me a little.

Before I was aware of these hidden suggestions, after watching the episode for the first time, I was naturally drawn to join the online discussion, so it worked - and I dare say the same is true for those reading this!

His blog currently shows a picture of DB engrossed in a newspaper with the subtitle How to Control the Nation, I suspect monitoring and even nudging along the online debate is part of this.

He is also anchoring certain ideas in our minds, the significance of which will become clear later.

I can imagine The Events will build up to a climactic ending with a crossover of the "real life" story and the pre-recorded narrative.

I am also predicting a Trick Or Treat style experience where people who have let themselves become drawn in are given a bit of a shock, and then have a moment of profound clarity about one of DB's pet causes.

I have a few ideas, but will spare you the tedium of sifting through them.

Anyhoo - I see the next episode has aired so I better shut up and watch it.

Tricki said...

Bob:
Haven't had time to read the comments on the Guardian blog (15 pages is a bit much so only skimmed a few posts earlier then gave up as no time to keep up), so haven't seen your other posts to give context to what you are thinking, so excuse me if I am off the mark.

The comments "If we assume he genuinely knew the numbers in Nov 2008, and planned to use CGI effects" and "Why not put the REAL prediction somewhere completely irrefutable?" make me think you are going with the lottery prediction being the important point, but the first comment confused me as I do not know the theory you are exposing. Perhaps you could explain this or link to the post where you do.

Thank you for your observations on the show, it is useful to review what has been said, and possible significance thereof, and your comments in the second post gel well with what Baron and I think.

Have you read Baron and my own posts and does anything in them ring true to you?

Will be watching the show tomorrow as have to download it, so won't be reading here till seen so have no preconceptions of the show going in, so ill look back in tomorrow.

Niki M said...

Bob, Tricki. Thanks for all your comments. Definite food for thought and no probs Bob for the length or reposting.

I don't think for a moment that Derren had the lottery numbers before they were drawn, or I think he would have shown them somehow, somewhere like you suggest. I really believe that bit is all a trick.

I have definitely felt hynopotised over the last few weeks to blog about this, to post on forums, to generally join in, which is really interesting, because I've had no big interest in Derren Brown, or mentalism/illusion until now, and suddenly I'm fanatical. What you say about Derren using suggestion to get us all doing this makes perfect sense. Well spotted.

That call to arms, if you like, completely makes sense in terms of what I was saying in this post. I still think this is how he'll get people believing there was something in his 'tales' on the first show.

I love all the patterns you've spotted between you.

Bob said...

Tricki:

Sorry, I think I'm not explaining myself very well. I have had a couple of other exchanges with people on the Guardian website and forget what I have and haven't said here. It's probably impractical to provide links as they are embedded in scores of other comments, so let me try to explain my statement about the lottery draw.

Assumption 1: It is impossible to predict such a random outcome.

Assumption 2: The televised prediction was a camera effect.

Assumption 3: The automatic writing explanation whereby 24 people can think really hard and work out the numbers as a group is bogus.

The supposedly "missing" bus footage hints that DB knew the numbers in Nov 2008.

I am convinced from his previous performances that he would not bank his career on a talentless camera trick. I am expecting a "prestige" moment which he has yet to deliver.

This lead me to re-examine the machine-rigging explanation he so expertly dropped in at the end of How to Win the Lottery. Combined with the anecdotal reports that he knew the numbers in Nov 2008, a camera effect AND a genuine rigging of the machine stunt would explain what we've seen, and deliver the prestige moment I want to see.

As I think Baron Big Shoes has pointed out, that would be perfect. A double-bluff. He said he would reveal how it was done on the show, and perhaps he actually did? But we just all initially dismissed it.

I assumed we would see the bus footage properly televised at the end of The Events.

If so - then he would effectively be trying to refute allegations of a cheap camera trick with another piece of film, which would be just as open to the same allegations of doctored evidence.

My point was that if he is going to respond to the criticism about it all being a cheap camera trick, then he will need to raise his bet. Not just play a weeny bit of extra footage and say "There, I told you so!", but do something that leaves us feeling amazed & delighted.

I have some observations on the sofa-sticking episode which I will post separately.