Derren Brown: The System

Derren Brown: The System

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Ratings: 6.73/10 from 15 users.

Derren Brown: The SystemThe System, a Channel 4 special in which Brown shared his 100 percent guaranteed method for winning on the horses.

The show was based around the idea that a system could be developed to guarantee a winner of horse races. Cameras followed a member of the public, Khadisha, as Brown anonymously sent her correct predictions of five races in a row, before encouraging her to place as much money as she could on the sixth race.

To demonstrate the system to the viewer, Brown tossed a coin showing ten heads in a row to prove it was not impossible, just highly improbable.

After Brown had placed a bet of £4,000 of Khadisha's money on a horse in the final race, he explained that The System did not really exist.

Brown expressed the opinion that the principle behind The System (essentially confirmation bias or survivorship bias) is what is behind belief in spiritualism or homeopathic and alternative medicine.

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Scott Simpson
Scott Simpson
10 years ago

ITS OBVIOUS HOW THIS WAS DONE! horse racing scammers use this post code lottery every day, he did say how...then he simply chose a race where it was a 2 runner match to finish and paid her the 15k small odds return and didnt back the last..

Bob Sanders
Bob Sanders
10 years ago

I was disappointed with this show. Normally I think his shows are great but not this time. It would have been better if he hadn't shown us how it was done. WHAT A LET DOWN.

Epicurus
Epicurus
12 years ago

excellent doc. everyone should watch this.

migmigmig
migmigmig
12 years ago

I'd have liked to see him explain the photos scene like he explained the coin-toss scene. The coin toss scene was easy to figure out.

Of course, this is a TV show with a substantial budget: it's entirely possible that they simply paid off the racing folk. It seems obvious that they merely put 4000 on each horse in the final -- that's pocket change to a TV producer.

W_Ali
W_Ali
13 years ago

The point that I got from this doc quite simple. Presistence is the key. A numbers game. Like the coin toss. When u hear 10 heads in a row, it seems unbelievable. Then he tells you it took him 9 hours to accomplish, not so attractive now is it. But the point is, he made it happen. No matter how long it took. Whether or not the things he did in the video are real or just made up, the point is simple. So forget the tricks. Apply the idea. :)

Yeung Xiao
Yeung Xiao
13 years ago

The neatest trick is the last one. Simple and powerful. Hats off to my fellow magician.

Tipsy
Tipsy
13 years ago

I'm terribly angry over this doc... I can't believe that he would put the finances of so many people on the line for this - and even if they ended up getting their money back, it's not fair to toy with people's emotions. I felt so bad for her at the end, and I honestly don't think that just "making it all okay" made me feel any less angry over it.

robert elliot
robert elliot
13 years ago

He couldn't have done too many trials with the photographs. All those people were fairly prominent in the racing business. The number of trials needed, based just on luck, would be astronomical. I'm guessing that people tend to unconsciously choose names matching their initials. Either that or it was fixed.

robert elliot
robert elliot
13 years ago

What about the people choosing the pictures? He never explained it! I'm guessing that people tend to unconsciously choose names that match their initials? Seems a bit fishy though. And guessing the order they would stand in? Maybe that's based on calculations about who is most dominant or who walks fastest?

Evan Ravitz
Evan Ravitz
13 years ago

I assume the photograph puzzle has the same answer as the coin toss and the races: they did it over and over until they got the results. (I figured out the coin toss, which is the easiest. You need lots of time -and money- to do the others.) But too bad they use this to diss "alternative medicine." There are lots of alternatives; some work, some don't. As the great poet Rumi said, "Fools gold exists because there is real gold."

wald0
wald0
13 years ago

My take on that last winner- they simply bet on the favorite and then held the other tickets in thier pocket so they could pop out with them if he lost. Anyway, I am not sure this is equal to the effects of alternative medicines or spiritualism. These phenomenon do not rely on odds as much as they rely on the conspiracy theory mentality that is so prevalent today. If I want to sell you a cure for cancer now days my best bet is to spend the vast majority of my time cultivating your disgust for traditional medicines and the medical field in general. I would point out all the underhanded and crooked ways they rip people off and how they fail to cure so many people, how corrupted the field of medicine has become by big phrama and so forth, etc. All of which is true but, I haven't really told you a thing about my cure have I. At this point all I have to do is throw in the testimonial of a few people that were cured, not necessarily by my medicine but simple because odds are that a few people will get better for reasons unknown, and viola- I got you.

Of course it is a little more complicated than that, for instance they always relate their product to something that is natural because we instinctively have more trust for naturally occurring compounds. In the end it isn't just playing the odds alone that they use, they couple that with things like our distrust of the establishment, our instinctive trust of nature, our desperosity to hear someone say it will all be o.k., etc. The truth is that the current system isn't perfect but, it has much better results than the old snake oil salesman ever dreamed of. If you want to get the best odds of survival you should go to a real doctor and use real medicines. Will it cure you for sure, no. But, it has much more success than all these crazy cures that tell you if you eat the right things your cancer will just go away.

Jack Seahorse
Jack Seahorse
13 years ago

he probably sent the same message to ,( no. of horse per race) raised to the power of (the no. of races), that number of people will definitely give you all the possible out come. well i havent finished it yet this is very interesting though.

Kat Inthehat Hutz
Kat Inthehat Hutz
13 years ago

so you're saying he placed 4000 on ALL the horses?
Doesn't make sense...

Kat Inthehat Hutz
Kat Inthehat Hutz
13 years ago

i am confused!

yusof yusof
yusof yusof
13 years ago

so, how did he guess the last one?

Guest
Guest
13 years ago

great doc to watch just before bed...now i am off to dreaming...i bet i'll have a good night!
az