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Hacking the Human Software

9 August 2012

Eventually, I like to share something cool that I’ve come across in my Internet Wanderings, and that’s what I’m doing today.

So, have you heard of Derren Brown? He’s a British illusionist and mentalist, kind of like a less douchey David Blaine. And the stuff he does is entertaining, of course — but also damned fascinating.

Using a mixture of hypnosis, psychology, showmanship, and misdirection, Derren Brown has seemingly been able to hack the human software — to find the gaps and errors in our mental processes and exploit them (though he doesn’t do it for personal gain). Consider how he programmed a man to kill Stephen Fry while investigating if Sirhan Sirhan could have been brainwashed to kill RFK by the CIA’s MK-Ultra program. Or how he took an ordinary, directionless man and showed him that he could be a hero and land a plane in an emergency. He’s taken on ghost hunting and faith healing, showing how both phenomena could be explained and how they can be used to exploit the “true believers.”

Also, he’s funny and entertaining to watch.

That’s it, really. That’s what I wanted to share today — just something cool that could possibly take up a huge chunk of your time (he has a lot of stuff available on the ol’ YouTubes).

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