Tag Archives: scientific tradition

#64 On the degrees of skyhookery

Dear Jamie,

Your letter reminded me of one of the most mind-boggling experiences I had. I watched Derren Brown’s show Miracle. In Miracle, before the segment started, he told the audience that he will use the tricks of religious healers to heal them and that there was nothing magic going on. He then conjured something that certainly looked to everyone like faith-healing. As the show ended, a family member of mine said “I don’t know… I’m still skeptical”. I was bewildered, “What?” I thought, “Skeptical that he healed them after admitting it was a trick? Or skeptical of his admission of a trick, it was a double trick and actually magic?”

The magic comparison is useful, Deutsch uses it a lot. He says that reality itself should be seen as one big conjuring trick, all the time. We have only seen behind the curtains once we’ve explained how something is done, not when we can predict what will be pulled out of the hat. But that’s enough foreshadowing. 
Thank you for taking the time to specify the skyhooks we’re talking about. We agree. Skyhooks like consciousness and creativity are the ones we butt heads on. I’ll add to this. We even agree on what we call a skyhook and what we don’t. However we disagree how bad it is to be a skyhook. You condemn all skyhooks, while I think they’re necessary and there are degrees of good and bad skyhookery. 

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