Sunday, September 23, 2018

MediaTheory: Curiosity, Magic and Theory (W2-P2) [VIDS] Fa18

Let's continue with the idea of putting com theory and theory in a larger context.  How does it relate to us?  We defined theory earlier in such a way that it allows as we all have theories. We all have explanations of how things work.  Got a theory of how relationships work?  This definition helps us see how theory is not something in big, thick book, but something that we all have.

Do you have theories?  Do you strive to understand the world?  There is a precursor to having theories.  You have curiosity.

Curiosity is "the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness" (  See how curiosity is a precursor to theory and theory development.  If one is not curious about the world, then were is the need for theory.

If interested and have Spotify, listen to Larry Wilmore and Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about curiosity (starts about 12:10 or so).

Let's explore curiosity and theory a little more by way of magic. Ever watched a magic trick and became curious? "How'd they do that?"  When you ask yourself this question you are seeking a theory to explain the trick.

Back to the magic show:

To practice your curiosity muscle, check out this Lance Burton magic trick.  Ask yourself, how'd he do that?

Seriously, stop and think about how he did what he did?  What's your theory/explanation? Figure out some detail.  Write down your explanation.  Draw a diagram.

Did you think it through very carefully?  Go back, if not, and theorize.

And, only once you've carefully thought about a possible explanation, then check out the next video. This is a video that I put together to explain the trick. Or maybe it was real magic?  That's a theory, too.

Is this a good theory?  Again, how do you judge a theory?  What does Occam's razor have to do with this?

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