Conjurers (as entertainers) are agents of simulated magical phenomenon. And most theorists would likely agree that such simulations should be direct and powerful. For example, the phenomenon is prophesying a mentally selected card, begins when the agent writes down or verbalizes a prediction beforehand. Next, a spectator names a card and, finally, the named card matches the predicted card. This magical result, as just described, is almost tantamount to telling a person what they are thinking as they are thinking it. This is an ideal outcome.
Our literature is loaded with methods for predicting mentally selected cards. "Brainwave" is probably the most
celebrated trick in this category. Better yet, its climax is not foreshadowed. That is, prior to asking a spectator to think of a card, the magician does not say a word about a prediction. He does not say, "I predict that you will think of such-and-such card." Nor does he say, "I'm writing down a prediction about something that will occur in the future." Instead, he asks a spectator to think of any card and then name it. Then he spreads the deck face down and reveals the face-up selection among 51 face-down cards.
Is there a weakness? Yes. Because the selection is revealed after the spectator names it, a skilled conjurer could
somehow locate the named card and secretly reverse it. Paul Fox, however, nullified this possibility by revealing that the reversed card has a different colored back. This infers that the agent knew which card (out of 52 possibilities) would be chosen.
Yet skeptics may ask, "If it is possible to know which card out of 52 will be chosen, why not entirely dispense with
the deck and place a single card face down on the table to represent a prediction?" Would this be better?
Yes. Much better.
Perhaps this is what R. W. Hull ideally had in mind? This is certainly what I had in mind when writing this