What is an open mind?

Derren Brown is investigating supernatural phenomena in a miniseries of documentaries called Derren Brown Investigates. He wrote a great blog post to introduce the show, which delves into his approach and the nature and necessity of skepticism, which he defines as “reserving judgement until the evidence is weighed.” Predetermined disbelief he calls cynicism. It’s a fair point: I don’t think “cynicism” is the right word for it, but I don’t think there is a separate word for it. Both “doubt” and “disbelief” are widely called “skepticism.”

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Wholly Crap

Been a while since I posted here, huh? Hmm. : /

Well, an update on what I’ve been doing:

I am starting work on a video game version of Stardust (you may recall that Stardust is the working title of my board game side projector you may not), using XNA Game Studio 2.0, which I hope to eventually make available on the Xbox 360 (through Xbox Live Arcade or the as-yet-unannounced XNA distribution mechanism, if it is suitable). XNA was chosen because I like the ease of programming in C# and it’s kind of cool to be able to make games that work on the 360 (functionality I have not yet tried, since I don’t plan on paying the $100 for a year of the Creators’ Club until I have something worth testing on the 360). This is the first time I’ve done any graphics programming (I haven’t even done a custom Windows forms control before), so the fact that XNA makes it a bit easier is another benefit. I’m doing the graphical stuff first because it is good motivation when I can literally see the progress I am making. So far it basically just draws the board.

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recovery, television, and the written word

I’m feeling much better today. Not fully recovered, but very much better.

Yesterday my wife and I started watching a bit of Criss Angel’s show, Mindfreak. The steamroller thing was a bit crazy… many of the things we’ve seen him do, we have theories for how they could work (without real magic). Except the levitation. We suspect he uses magic tricks to cover up the very real supernatural abilities he employs. (Edit: There are theories here, and other explanations out there. After seeing him on that magician reality show go off on how psychics can’t be real, I no longer believe he has (or is aware of having) any supernatural abilities of his own.)

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