VIDEO: Apollo Robbins at The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness convention

I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with Apollo Robbins. 

Robbins is a pickpocket and Las Vegas magician turned security consultant; he’s featured on the US version of the TV show The Real Hustle on TruTV (formerly CourtTV). His magic is distraction and manipulating human behaviour.

Here are two articles from the New York Times: one a recent link describing the Science of the Five Senses convention; the other article a year old, written by the science writer Robbins steals blind in the video up top.

Also included: link to “Attention and Awareness in Stage Magic” in Nature Neuroscience. Authors include Stephen L. Macknik, Mac King, James Randi, Apollo Robbins, Teller, John Thompson & Susana Martinez-Conde. Watch the others — Teller talks!

Let’s go back to pickpocketing and the science of cognition. Robbins explains that pickpockets have an advantage over stage magicians in that thieves prey on the unsuspecting; magicians do tricks with everyone watching. 

Magic is about playing with basic human nature: attention/inattention, de/sensitivity, attraction/distraction.