Magician Alex Stone presents at Idea Fest 2013

Alex Stone with Magic and Neuroscience

Imagine a room filled with 720 people, completely silent.
This was how Idea Festival 2013 on Wednesday, Sept. 25 began, as part of a meditation exercise in a presentation by Maria Konnikova.
Soon after at 10:30 am after a 30 minute intermission, magician and journalist Alex Stone gave his presentation about perception and the occurrences of magic and manipulation in our community and lives.
“[Magic] shows us that our mind lags behind reality by a certain definite amount – and it may not even be continuous; it may even be that our mind is a series of discrete events that only appear continuous after the fact, much like a film,” Stone said.
After his introduction he invited an attendee onto the stage to use her in a card trick. After the trick, a ‘was this your card?’ type illusion, he let her off the stage – but not before handing back her watch, which he had taken five minutes before as she stepped on the stage. He then explained to the audience how he did it, a practice he said was not generally condoned by other magicians.
“I believe that the secrets of magic are almost as interesting – if not more so – than the tricks themselves because of what they tell us about the human brain. It takes us up a path, leading us with our knowledge and assumptions – then turns them against us.”
Stone began his magic career at age 5 with a kit he got from his father. He went to high school, and then moved to New York City – beginning his professional ventures in the field. He both studied psychology and practiced magic, leading him to his future as a journalist and member of The Society of American Magicians.
“I was getting paid to be a grad student, studying psychology and physics. And I tutored. I love physics because nature in itself is so magical. Particles pop out of existence and pop into existence, tunnel through objects – the mysteriousness of that really interests me. Magic is an entry point to understanding how the world works.”

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Peter Champelli is a co-Editor in Chief of Manual RedEye. Throughout high school he has taken on independent projects such as creating short films and producing the award-winning podcast Synapse, and more recently he has applied his videography skills to making music videos for local bands and artists. During his free time he likes to juggle and practice coding.