The Mechanical Turk

In 1770, Wolfgang von Kempelen created the Mechanical Turk. The Turk was a chess-playing machine.

The joke, of course, was that it was fake.

Inside the Turk, there was chess master that would operate the machine. For 84 years, the Turk toured around the world beating most of its opponents. And for 84 years, audiences stood in awe inspired by magic.

The lizard brain inside all of us cannot reconcile with the fact when magic has taken place. Because magic isn’t real. Many of us cannot deal with this tension. So we have to find a way to release it.

But the illusion loses all of its magic after the trick has been revealed.

There is something to be said about the 5-year-old who stands amazed and in wonder of the impossible: We can learn to live with this tension instead of spending all of our time trying to make it go away.

Not much left to discover from the 8 year that says he knows how you did the trick.