Queen of Sex and Science Elizabeth Pisani tagged Unspun with the 123 meme. Prior to this she had been tagged byTom Levenson of the World’s Best Illuminated Blog the The Inverse Square . The rules, as she explained then are:
* look up page 123 in the book that is nearest to you at this very minute
* look for the fifth sentence
* then post the three sentences that follow that fifth sentence on page 123.
The book I’ve been reading, and meaning to get through for some time now, is Derren Brown‘s Tricks of the Mind. Brown is, of course, the famous magician/illusionist/hypnotist/someone who plays tricks with our minds and in this book he shares some of this thoughts. It is funny, witty and — if you delight in seeing charlatans and new Age types being unspun with a liberal does of critical thought, is just the kind of book to delight your impish impulses.
So the three sentences after the fifth sentence of page 123 reads:
“I realized that day that hypnosis works not because of a carefully worded magical script from a self-help book, but because the subject believes the process is effective.”
“Over time I have refined this understanding, but the revelation was an important one.”
[book then goes into a new section titled A Brief History]
“The first real hypnotist, Franz Anton Mesmer (from whom we of course get the modern word Frank), arrived in Paris in 1778.”
There! The deed is done. What will this do? I have no idea but in the words of my tagger (which makes me a tagee?) Elizabeth: “I’d love to hear from other readers, too. It’s an interesting exercise, if only because it illustrates how very imperfectly a small fragment can reflect the whole, and how loathe we should be to make important decisions based solely on such fragments. One more reason not to base policy on qualitative data alone.”