Can't believe this guy memorised whole book in less than 4 minutes?

Agreed.

If I could accomplish 1/10th of what is claimed (for example if I could credibly memorize a 250+ page book in 40 minutes), you can bet I would be inviting people to test me in the most thoroughly scrutinized fashion possible in order to ensure my claim is beyond all dispute.

Anybody who makes such a claim, but does not ensure the challenge is as tough as possible and the scrutiny extremely intense, is begging to be treated with total suspicion.

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The only reason why people say anything is impossible is because they don’t know how to do it.

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Thank you for posting this! I have bought magic from Ian previously and your recommendation of his Cold Reading books inspired immediate enthusiasm! I rushed over and bought all three of his books. I love his transparency and warmth. Much appreciated!

Came for the dubious book memorization and left with giant nuggets of influence and possible life changing persuasion.

Cheers!
Christian

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There are other reasons too. If someone says “I can conjure a rabbit out of a hat — seriously!”, everyone knows that it’s a common magic trick, and they can avoid spending effort on wondering whether it might be possible according to some unknown laws of physics. Reading a long book in a few minutes is a common enough mentalist trick that I think we can say it’s “impossible”, or at least requires an extremely high standard of proof that has never been demonstrated by anyone who has made the claims.

Nodas wrote a good summary of what is possible with speed-reading at the top levels of speed-reading competition. If someone can read a 250-page book in four minutes, that competition would be a good place to demonstrate it and have skeptics immediately accept that it is real. I’d be happy if it were real, but 10 years in the memory scene has made me skeptical enough to view these things as rabbit-in-hat feats by default. :slight_smile:

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Even if he can memorize 103 words in 30 sec (which I very highly doubt), then by analogy , this works out to 8 x 103 = 824 words in 4 minutes.

The average book page ranges from 200 to 300 words, so in 4 minutes, he could ‘memorize’, maximum 3 or 4 pages , verbatim.

But nowhere near 250 pages.

It’s weird how people are so gullible to believe such charlatans. But again, I don’t consider humans a very intelligent species, so this makes sense.

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No problem Christian, haha, let us know how you like it!

Here’s a link to the documentary I mentioned. If anyone hasn’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it. The video focuses on claims of psychic abilities but is relevant to any kind of mentalist trickery.

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No evidence indicating he isn’t able to do this.
No evidence indicating he is able to do this.

Missing the fact that:
He may have gotten quicker.
He has unofficial records of 5 seconds for around the same total.
The book (if you pause it on the video) doesn’t look like it has more than 100-200 words per page.
Condition of the person during memorisation.
May have already been exposed to this book or have the system effectively integrated for the book.
The system may chunk sentences/groups and not words themselves so the unit memorized is larger for pure nouns.

This is total rubbish !

I’m glad to see @Josh post a James Randi video. The JREF prize would be very suitable for testing this person’s claim.

In fact, inspired by Randi, I sometimes offer emails I receive with people making such claims to pay their airfare if they would allow me to administer a test with a group of indifferent scientists, members of the public and a panel of the claimant’s choosing.

I don’t think you’d need to give the claimant a difficult programming book. Even the simplest Dr. Suess book would make for a suitable test.

It would also be interesting to have a bonus prize for naming the colors in whichever Suess book was used for the test.

But I think the way to do it would be to take it very seriously. For example, you could arrange for a local bookstore to choose the book from that day’s newest deliveries. First, another employee would hide 10 books in 10 paper bags. Then someone would choose the book, then they would deliver it to the testing location. (Which could be the bookstore itself.)

Only after all of the witnesses had arrived, would the book be revealed to the claimant. No one else would receive a copy until after the memorization and recitation in order to prevent any kind of morse code or other devices sending signals to the claimant. The recitation should also be done with some kind of visual blocking to prevent any kind of sign language from spectators, etc.

Then, as I believe I’ve seen them do with pi demonstrations, the test would be conducted by having a computer randomly select 15 or so pages from the book, i.e. pages 17, 231, 342, etc.

This kind of selection would make the test fair, random and also cut down on the amount of time people have to listen to the recitation. Then again, why wouldn’t this person want to also go for gold and just recite the whole thing if they can do it? You never know: they might also get the gig as a narrator for the audiobook. :wink:

Somewhat related, I met a guy before the lockdowns on the street who saw me rereading The Art of Memory.

He told me he has superior autobiographical memory. I asked, “You mean like Jill Price?”

He didn’t know who she was.

A few minutes later, I asked him for the name of the person with superior memory I just mentioned. He did not know.

This is nothing special on my part, but I’m pretty confident when I see him again I’ll get his name, the name of his dog and the name of his brother correct, or at least in the ballpark. I actually see him around a fair amount and call him by name, but have yet to hear him use mine, even though I’ve mentioned it.

Call me crazy, but I’m much more impressed by the humble, everyday uses of mnemonics, such as remembering the names of the people in your neighborhood. I was on a call with a company the other day and “Bonnie” sounded blown away that I remembered her name when I said goodbye. Just something as simple as that touches lives and makes everything so much greater.

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You’re preaching the memory gospel, Mr. Metivier; at the end of the day, all the mental connections we make are really about creating connections with people in our real lives anyway. Nice to be reminded of that

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UPDATE

Bijay Shahi was exposed several months ago.

The way he did it was by engraving the text of a book on white paper. After “memorizing” a book he would just fill the engraved text with a regular pencil or pen, making it look as if he is writing the content of the book on clean white paper. You can’t see the engraved text from a distance but up close it is obvious.

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:joy: lol this world loves PRANK so much.
Fooling fools and himself.

He says he can do the same with any book that’s different from an actual demonstration.

Not necessarily so. A close look at the facts suggest strongly that this is extremely unlikely to be true given the limits of the human brain.

I don’t know how to draw a square circle but I also know it’s impossible.

My feelings exactly. This is a very big claim and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A staged, prepared demo doesn’t come close. Nor do verbal claims about what else he could do.

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Thanks for the update. :slight_smile:

I wonder if there is a website or book that contains information on how to perform similar magic tricks. It would be interesting to compile a list.

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As a magician, there are many way to perform the memory feats. Some method may be more complex than the other but that’s what we do.

A lot of magicians are selling these secrets for living. That would hurt their trade.

Of course as a common ground we are told to use secret responsibly and in the right context but a lot of us also want to play it as real as possible for fame or prestige.

The way to detect fraud in memory feat I would assume if it looks dodgy to you, it’s a trick. The only credible place to test memory is the competition.

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@climbformemory This account hasn’t been online for months, maybe someone could please get in touch with Mr.Nelson Dellis to gather more information?

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Have contacted him and he said he will upload the interview in his YouTube channel…

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