TAM 5 Report #3: The magic of Jamy Ian Swiss

Contributed by
Jan 23, 2007
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One of the things I love about The Amaz!ng Meetings is the intersection of science and magic. Science depends on critical thinking and skepticism, for obvious reasons (we try to pry the truth from nature, and not rely on fantasy and self-deception).

But magicians rely on it too! Their whole job is to fool you. They have to know how to discern fantasy from reality, so that they can in turn blur those lines to deceive you!

Jamy Ian Swiss is a master at this. He is truly incredible at close-up magic tricks. I have watched him manipulate a deck of cards from inches away, and I absolutely cannot figure out how he does it. At TAM 2 I watched him force the four of hearts on Julia Sweeney over and over again, until she exclaimed "With power like this you could rule the world!"

I think she might be right. Jamy agreed to do a small selection of wonderment for my camera. Check it out.

At TAM 5, Jamy interviewed Randi about his career, and showed wonderful video of Randi debunking charlatans on Korean TV. Here's a shot of Jamy and Randi watching the video on a monitor:

The host of the Korean show Randi was on was excellent about setting up these montebanks and exposing them, and Randi even said he couldn't have set it up better himself!

Jamy also did a mentalism show at TAM 5 that was a lot of fun. All in all, as usual, he was a great addition to the merriment.

Previous entries about Tam 5
Report #2: Adam Savage videoblog
Report #1: Name Dropping and geekery