Sleights of Mind:

What the neuroscience of magic reveals about our everyday perceptions

by Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde (2010)

To fully appreciate how social leaders manage the populace it is necessary to understand magic. Why?  Because social control is largely thought control, and our thoughts are readily manipulated through the set of techniques we call magic.  This book, by two academic researchers, explains in popular language how these work.

The most powerful technique is to surreptitiously shift the "spotlight of attention" (p. 256)  If our visual attention is redirected from an apple to an orange, the apple will largely disappear.  If our mental attention is redirected from GHG concentrations to emissions, the concentrations will fade from our minds.  This is one of the methods used by the IPCC and its supporters to transfer the public gaze from the concentrations problem to its emissions increments.

The book's most startling insight is that scientists, who are generally honest and intelligent people, are even more susceptible to magic-based deceptions than the general public.  For example, the brilliant physicist Richard Feynman was easily fooled by an amateur magician - even though Feynman was fully aware that the magician was trying to fool him.  (See p. 35)