(Close Window)
Topic: Is it ethical to teach this?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Oct 1, 2017 05:26PM)
There's a trick I want to teach my mentee. It would be great for him. I learned it at a convention. A magician there gave a presentation and taught this trick to roughly 1,000 attendees. We paid for the convention, but not to learn this trick. It was taught in one of the optional sessions. It was taught as kind of a throw-away, to make a point about the psychology of misdirection. I don't know if the magician sells it anywhere. As far as I know, he doesn't do it in his show. The trick is a combination of two sleights from old books, though I have never seen anyone put them together before.

Is it ethical for me to teach it to my mentee?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 2, 2017 11:02AM)
Could always ask the guy who taught it and see if he minds.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Oct 2, 2017 12:14PM)
[quote]On Oct 2, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
Could always ask the guy who taught it and see if he minds. [/quote]

He lives in a different country, and I don't know how to reach him.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 2, 2017 12:29PM)
If he taught it to you isn't it yours? I mean you "purchased " it in a way like a book and that gives you certain rights doesn't it? Mind you I'm asking not telling.

But here is something to consider. Does he even have the right to expect you not to teach it? Is it his creation or did he pass it along in some other way?

As it works out it seems to me on the surface it shouldn't be a big dilemma. SO much of magic is what is passed from one to another in this fashion.

Awareness is the key and that is your starting point. This can never be a bad thing.
Message: Posted by: Gerald Deutsch (Oct 2, 2017 03:12PM)
I think it's fine of your "mentee" wants to perform the effect.

(I believe magic is to be learned by those that want to perform - not by those with idle curiosity.)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 2, 2017 03:52PM)
I do not understand that position. The vast majority of magic is not purchased by performing professionals.
Message: Posted by: Rik Gazelle (Oct 3, 2017 07:06AM)
[quote]magic is to be learned by those that want to perform - not by those with idle curiosity[/quote]
Really? Have you never studied something just for the sheer joy of it?
Message: Posted by: Gerald Deutsch (Oct 3, 2017 08:27AM)
[quote]On Oct 3, 2017, Rik Gazelle wrote:
[quote]magic is to be learned by those that want to perform - not by those with idle curiosity[/quote]
Really? Have you never studied something just for the sheer joy of it? [/quote]

So, if I understand you, there should be NO secrets in magic because to not reveal how an effect is done is to deprive someone of knowing something "just for the joy of it"?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 3, 2017 08:33AM)
I'm not sure if that's slippery slope logic, or reducto ad absurdum. Either way, it's faulty logic.

They are simply pointing out that it's perfectly fine for someone to learn things just because they are curious about it. They never mentioned anything about it being freely available without some kind of payment or investment of time and energy - simply that the motivation behind learning doesn't need to be to perform it.
Message: Posted by: Rik Gazelle (Oct 3, 2017 09:37AM)
You clearly do not understand me Gerald. You infer something that I neither said nor implied.

Should "secrets" just be handed out just for the asking? No.
Should "secrets" be available to those who wish to study the art, but not perform it? Yes.
Message: Posted by: Rik Gazelle (Oct 3, 2017 09:49AM)
Chris, you are quite correct that I don't think the "secrets" should be freely available without some kind of payment or investment of time and energy. I've been interested in magic for over 50 years and spent a small fortune on books (some common, some less so). I have performed a small handful of routines for family and friends over the years but for the most part I just like studying the art.
Message: Posted by: Yuan Moons (Oct 4, 2017 12:14AM)
Magic today! The trials and tribulations Dai Vernon went through to learn the centre deal... Today he could have just downloaded it from Theory 11 for $10
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 4, 2017 10:00AM)
Yes. The world has changed.

I have read that Dai Vernon himself was criticized for publishing his material in not-super-expensive books.

I mean, dang it, what happened to the good ol' days when you had to get an apprenticeship! What is happening! Soon everyone will be a magician! THE SKY IS FALLING!
Message: Posted by: Rik Gazelle (Oct 4, 2017 10:14AM)
If it is any consolation Chris I did purchase the entire set of "Dai Vernon Revelations" videos, in good old VHS format!
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 4, 2017 10:23AM)
Nice. I haven't even owned a VHS player in years.

My point is that we live in a world where information is vastly more freely available than even a couple decades ago. That is not going to stop, and it's not worth it to compare today's information structure to the past. Just be aware that certain information is more readily available, and that plenty of information is still kept extremely secret, make the best act you can, and move on with life.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 4, 2017 11:50AM)
[quote]On Oct 4, 2017, Yuan Moons wrote:
Magic today! The trials and tribulations Dai Vernon went through to learn the centre deal... Today he could have just downloaded it from Theory 11 for $10 [/quote]

So you believe the story?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 4, 2017 11:57AM)
[quote]On Oct 4, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
Nice. I haven't even owned a VHS player in years.

My point is that we live in a world where information is vastly more freely available than even a couple decades ago. That is not going to stop, and it's not worth it to compare today's information structure to the past. Just be aware that certain information is more readily available, and that plenty of information is still kept extremely secret, make the best act you can, and move on with life. [/quote]

I like people who want to close the door once they are in the room.

Fact is our "secrets" are not secret at all. The magic shop does not in any way care about anything except if you have the money to pay for the trick.

I do think her trying to make certain she is on the right side of this is admirable. It is something so few ever even consider.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 4, 2017 12:03PM)
[quote]On Oct 4, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
I do think her trying to make certain she is on the right side of this is admirable. It is something so few ever even consider. [/quote]

Quoted for emphasis but I agree with everything he said.
Message: Posted by: mantel (Oct 4, 2017 04:30PM)
[quote]On Oct 4, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
I have read that Dai Vernon himself was criticized for publishing his material in not-super-expensive books.[/quote]

Where did you read this? Dai Vernon's $20 Dollar Manuscript when it was first published would cost approximately $330 in 2017 dollars.
Message: Posted by: Rik Gazelle (Oct 5, 2017 03:48AM)
[quote]certain information is more readily available, and that plenty of information is still kept extremely secret[/quote]
I find that comforting. IT means there is always something new to be learned and we are all eternal students. Even if we do not perform :-)

And I'm not sure where my VHS player is now, probably in the attic somewhere along with the tapes.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 5, 2017 09:01AM)
[quote]On Oct 4, 2017, mantel wrote:
[quote]On Oct 4, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
I have read that Dai Vernon himself was criticized for publishing his material in not-super-expensive books.[/quote]

Where did you read this? Dai Vernon's $20 Dollar Manuscript when it was first published would cost approximately $330 in 2017 dollars. [/quote]

I stumbled across that when I was first starting magic and have no idea where it was. Could have been an interview, actually, now that I think about it. I used to listen to Magic News Wire interviews all day at work. Highly recommended.

The point being that every time magic is published in a more accessible way, I'm betting the people who pioneer using that method of publication get criticized. Magicians really like guarding that empty vault.
Message: Posted by: jstreiff (Oct 5, 2017 05:08PM)
Dana, I am going to attempt to answer the question rather than engage in variant speculation and opinion.

You could simply present it to your student honestly. Tell them that you saw this at a convention performed by whoever. That it goes back further etc, but you don't know if this particular idea starts with that performer or not.

The goal is to impart the history as well as the secrets and ethics of magic. If we don't pass the art on it dies. As long as we are as honest as possible doing so, I cannot believe that any objective person could fault you. Of course part of the teaching obligation, as you well know, is to promote the same kind of ethical thinking in your students so they realize how important the process is and that it is not just about the tricks. Hope this helps.