The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Mnemonica (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
Steve Burton
View Profile
Loyal user
252 Posts

Profile of Steve Burton
I find it quite interesting that no one mentions the Nikola Stack which where it all started. It's almost as though Nikola's great contribution has been forgotten.
Bobby Forbes
View Profile
Inner circle
virginia beach, VA.
1539 Posts

Profile of Bobby Forbes
Quote:
On Dec 27, 2016, Steve Burton wrote:
I find it quite interesting that no one mentions the Nikola Stack which where it all started. It's almost as though Nikola's great contribution has been forgotten.


I think the main reason is because it is outdated. For the most part quite a few of the built in effects are for card games that aren't really played anymore. There have been tons of other great stacks and memorised stacks that have come along since. Just because that's where stacks may have come from doesn't mean you should waste time learning it. Heck, a lot of people don't even know anything about it because it has become irrelevant over the years. Si stebbins is very old as well but people still use it because of how useful and practical it is. If the Nikola system was worth mentioning there would be tons of active threads regarding it on the shuffled not stirred section of this forum. I don't remember seeing many dedicated threads on it over the years. That must tell you something. Each stack has its merit, but honestly I think nobody talks about it for the reasons I stated above.
Steve Burton
View Profile
Loyal user
252 Posts

Profile of Steve Burton
Hello, Bobby, I appreciate your opinion but the Nikola System is not outdated. There are not "quite a few of the built in effects are for card games that aren't played anymore." In fact there are none.

You are probably mentioning this because he references two popular games from the early 20th century, Nap and Whist. Nap is a Poker variation and the poker stack suffices for both games but most effectively for a killer 4 handed poker deal; which can also be used for Nap. Whist is a bridge variation and the perfect bridge hand inherent to the System provides for both. Poker and Bridge are still widely played and known. There are no specific sequences just for Nap or Whist but readers see, "The Wizard's Whist" title (which is a mind-reading trick) and immediately assume it's an effect for whist.

No, the reason it has fallen out of fashion is because of our tendency to think that which is newer is always better. In my opinion, after using it for more than thirty years, it's just as good and in some ways superior to any other stack out there. Let me point out, I said, "in my opinion." But simply because it hasn't been the subject of a lot of threads doesn't make it less effective. In many cases, it doesn't matter what stack you use as long you have down it cold.

My apologies to the original poster for moving the subject away from Mnemonica, which is a wonderful treatise. I just wanted to answer the idea that the Nikola System is outdated.
Gary Plants
View Profile
Special user
543 Posts

Profile of Gary Plants
Steve, you said it all with "In many cases, it Doesn't matter what stack you use as long as you have it down cold." However, Mnemonica allows you to at any time go into new deck order which is not possible with most other stacks. This is what make learning Mnemonica so valuable, IMHO only of course.
Steve Burton
View Profile
Loyal user
252 Posts

Profile of Steve Burton
I personally have a problem with new deck order. I believe showing the cards in order is giving away the whole idea. New deck order is after all, a stack, and by showing them all in order are you not saying in essence, "And look the deck is neatly stacked"? Does that not give them a clue to an explanation? Why wouldn't they think, "Oh I see! The cards were in order that's how he knew where my card was!" (for example) or are you saying, "And look, I have neatly switched the deck." Or is it, "And look, all my shuffles and cuts were false." What is the effect? Again, let me point out that I said I personally have a problem with new deck order and I'm only expressing my opinion. But new deck order is a stack and showing my pack in sequence is not something I want to do when I'm working with a memorized system.
sgtgrey
View Profile
Special user
Austin, TX
840 Posts

Profile of sgtgrey
Steve - I think you were missing the point Gary was trying to make. He's talking about ending a session of using Mnemonica as a memorized deck by going into new deck order at the end as a finale. Since this is possible through a multitude of tricks (as Mnemonica was designed around this NDO to stack and back feature), it is wholly possible to show the deck as being thoroughly mixed and then end in NDO. If your problem is that you feel this undermines what came before it, I'd have to disagree. The effect isn't "I switched decks" or "all my shuffles were false" or "they were in order" but rather that you took a well-shuffled deck and had such mastery and control over the cards as to be able to get them back into new deck order during the course of your routines or at the very end. The key, obviously, is that the spectators must have had a hand in shuffling the deck at some point and there should be absolutely no suspicion of a deck switch. The first is easy enough as there are a plethora of methods of letting the spectator shuffle a stacked deck and yet retain the order, so the biggest hurdle is ensuring that the idea of a deck switch doesn't even come to mind.
Pasteboard Alchemist
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of Pasteboard Alchemist
Boy, this thread has certainly shifted from the original post/topic. This is a thread for Mnemonica, so perhaps "There are other stacks and why aren't we talking about them?" could find a home in a new thread with a relevant subject (which would likely end up bringing more folks in to open-mindedly discuss that may be avoiding this thread due to it's "mnemonica" subject.)

To the subject at hand: I thought I "learned" the stack in about 6 hours. But, if I'm honest with myself, it took me months and months before I was stone-cold with no hesitation at all. Working through my homemade flash cards was one thing; being under the gun doing some Mnemonicosis (in my opinion, the single greatest genre of effect one can do with a stack) and having to instantaneously think up creative "next steps" on the fly is another thing entirely.
avasatu
View Profile
New user
97 Posts

Profile of avasatu
Quote:
On Dec 28, 2016, Pasteboard Alchemist wrote:
Boy, this thread has certainly shifted from the original post/topic. This is a thread for Mnemonica, so perhaps "There are other stacks and why aren't we talking about them?" could find a home in a new thread with a relevant subject (which would likely end up bringing more folks in to open-mindedly discuss that may be avoiding this thread due to it's "mnemonica" subject.)

To the subject at hand: I thought I "learned" the stack in about 6 hours. But, if I'm honest with myself, it took me months and months before I was stone-cold with no hesitation at all. Working through my homemade flash cards was one thing; being under the gun doing some Mnemonicosis (in my opinion, the single greatest genre of effect one can do with a stack) and having to instantaneously think up creative "next steps" on the fly is another thing entirely.


You know you've got the stack down about as cold as you could ever want when you can do Mnemonicosis accurately 100% of the time with only one spelling/counting/cutting type action. I think this is possibly the best metric by which to measure yourself as a mem deck user.
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1513 Posts

Profile of Cain
Quote:
On Dec 28, 2016, Steve Burton wrote:
I personally have a problem with new deck order. I believe showing the cards in order is giving away the whole idea. New deck order is after all, a stack, and by showing them all in order are you not saying in essence, "And look the deck is neatly stacked"? Does that not give them a clue to an explanation? Why wouldn't they think, "Oh I see! The cards were in order that's how he knew where my card was!" (for example) or are you saying, "And look, I have neatly switched the deck." Or is it, "And look, all my shuffles and cuts were false." What is the effect? Again, let me point out that I said I personally have a problem with new deck order and I'm only expressing my opinion. But new deck order is a stack and showing my pack in sequence is not something I want to do when I'm working with a memorized system.


The effect is order from chaos. I've done it hundreds of times.

A deck switch explanation is plausible enough, but spectators should not find it intellectually and emotionally satisfying if the cards were in plain view the whole time, especially if they still have signatures and markings from the performance.

I do not understand the false shuffles and cuts explanation. The cards are shown as mixed before the NDO revelation. They'd have to believe the false-shuffles and cuts in conjunction with the deck switch, so we get back to the problem mentioned above.

I don't think either of those purported explanations are terribly convincing. What about laypeople hypothesizing, "He must've shuffled and manipulated them into order"? It does not obviously follow that because the performer was able to reconfigure the deck into brand new order that the cards must have started in a prearranged stack. That's just not how laypeople think. If anything, they consistently overstate our abilities.

ETA: The biggest problem with the Tamariz stack is that it's not streamlined enough to get into New Deck Order. First you have to convert Mnemonica to Stay-Stack (which requires an unweave and a 26(?) card reversal. For my stack, you only need to cut ten cards from the top to the bottom, then you're in stay-stack and just four faros from Valhalla.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
rmorrell
View Profile
Loyal user
227 Posts

Profile of rmorrell
I agree having used Mnemonica to NDO as a climax it gets fantastic reactions, I think it is over analysis to think that spectators believe they must have been in a stack, if you have structured it so you are constantly shuffling and showing the deck to be mixed then how could they go down that line of thinking?

Just a quick note on Mnemonica as well, it is true you have to get back to stay-stack but it doesn't necessarily requite an unweave and a 26 card reversal, that is one way to do it.

Most often I use the second method that was shown on the Mnemonica DVD set in the course of a trick that does require dealing out some rows of cards but it is motivated in the course of a trick, and then you only require a MUCH shorter single-run shuffle of 9 cards to be in stay stack, and then you are four faros away. I will faro on occasion, but if I have the layout space I love to do the two-handed pickup of the antifaro-4 from the book, you can't get more chaotic looking than that, I also incorporate that procedure into the effect.

There are other tricks hidden in print that get you back into Stay Stack without dealing rows of cards, and even ones that incorporate the procedure and the faros and the resulting orders into the trick, but I will leave that to you to find!
Rich Morrell
---
The Magician Blog
rmorrell
View Profile
Loyal user
227 Posts

Profile of rmorrell
Also just as a side note I will also alternate between using NDO as a closer or simply getting out to Stay Stack and there are lots of matching-mates routines you can do with stay-stack that end with you showing the full deck paired up in matching mates that to me makes as good a climax as NDO, I can't really decide which I like better!
Rich Morrell
---
The Magician Blog
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1513 Posts

Profile of Cain
Quote:
On Dec 29, 2016, rmorrell wrote:
Just a quick note on Mnemonica as well, it is true you have to get back to stay-stack but it doesn't necessarily requite an unweave and a 26 card reversal, that is one way to do it.

Most often I use the second method that was shown on the Mnemonica DVD set in the course of a trick that does require dealing out some rows of cards but it is motivated in the course of a trick...


But Rich, you still have to unweave and reverse the cards; it's just being done in the context of a trick. It's a clever ruse to be sure, but when I looked at Mnemonica, I asked myself if I wanted to perform that effect, or some other stack-specific procedure, every time I wanted to get into NDO. It's the sort of necessary detour that restricts your freedom when putting together a set of tricks.

The reality is that NDO is best appreciated not as a one-off stunt, but as the culmination of a series of tricks, and each trick needs to earn its spot. If Steve wants to argue that someone shows a deck of cards, says, "see they're mixed," and then shows them as being in NDO, I'd agree spectators would be inclined to deduce that there was a specific starting arrangement (yet you will still get great reactions, as evidenced by the cards-in-order phase of Gertner's "Unshuffled").

Instead of going straight from A-to-B, we throw a few tricks in the mix that foster the conviction that the cars are not in any kind of prearrangement. For me, some of the best thinking on constructing such a routine can be found in "Ackerman's Opener." He begins with a mentalism effect, moves into Triumph, then has spectators shuffle the cards for a memory demonstration, and concludes by producing order from chaos. If he just asked people to name a four-of-a-kind, produced it, then showed to he found every four-of-a-kind, it would not be nearly as compelling. When it comes to any of the tricks/ruses/sleights to defeat the partial-faro in the Tamariz stack, my question is simple: are those routines essential to creating the effect of order-from-chaos, or are they necessary for the method?
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
rmorrell
View Profile
Loyal user
227 Posts

Profile of rmorrell
I think when we get down to this kind of detail it is like you say personal choice and looking at the trade-offs involved.

I just quickly set up your stack from stay-stack and cutting 10 cards from bottom to top and for me it doesn't look mixed enough, I have a lot of four-of-a-kinds grouped closely together, unless I am doing it wrong?

I think this was what Tamariz realised if you read the appendix he talks about getting into stay-stack and then breaking out of it to get rid of the obvious groupings.

I know what you are saying and make sure that the trick I do to get to stay stack is not just a one-off stunt but is meant to show that the deck is shuffled, I use it most often as a version of reading the spectators pulse to find their card, probably one of the strongest, simplest tricks you can do, but it does show a big group of mixed cards on the table as well, and one simple gather up and 9 card shuffle and I am in stay-stack, which I can do at any point.

Even using your stack you are still four faro's away, so you still have some stack-specific procedure to do every time you want to get to NDO.

So yes you can certainly make the routines essential to create that effect of order from chaos, but as I say it is down to personal choice and the trade-offs you are happy to make, I prefer a stack that has a well mixed shuffled look to it, that I can transform to stay-stack or NDO in the course of a strong trick in the middle of a set that is constructed to make sure they see full chaos before the NDO or matched-pairs finale.

I don't think we disagree at all and I hope it doesn't come across like that, as I say just personal preference, I love talking about this detail!
Rich Morrell
---
The Magician Blog
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1513 Posts

Profile of Cain
Hi Rich,

I have admittedly become an embarrassingly passionate advocate for a particular way of thinking on mem-decks, but I hope I don't come off as too doctrinaire. Without sounding patronizing, I think your arguments are perfectly reasonable.

Apparent randomization is an essential characteristic of any stack, but it has rapidly diminishing utility. My own experience when starting out was to choose Aronson's configuration because it looked the most random. After putting in the flight time, I learned that what I thought was super-important actually isn't. I've been intermittently writing an essay on this topic for the past five years, and I think the analogy I used involves a chair. If you have a chair that can seat up to 300 lbs, you probably won't have any problems. All things being equal, a chair that can seat up to a thousand pounds is superior. But like you said, there are trade-offs. What if the second chair costs twice as much? The added feature might not be worth the cost.

So of course there is no absolutely best stack any more than there is a best chair, but I'd question why most regular people are paying premiums for a feature that does not offer much utility.

It's true that there patterns in a four-faro stay-stack. These patterns are all the more obvious if you're looking for them. I've used it for years for laypeople and magicians, and no one has commented on these things (which does not mean a pattern wasn't detected). I just don't think you're viewing things through the eyes of a regular person. I recall a study where they gave one group of people questions with the answers, while a control group was just given the questions (no answers). Both were asked to rate the difficulty of the questions. The ones who were given the answers thought the quiz was significantly easier than the group who was just given the questions. Have you seen videos of Darwin Ortiz working with a memorized stack? What about Jason Ladanye? Did you notice obvious patterns? Both use a four-faro stay-stack (without a cut). The reality is that we don't hand the deck to spectators and say, "Notice anything?" I've handed the deck over to people and asked them to find my card (a version of the old Al Koran trick, "You find my card, and I'll find yours"). Nobody has ever noticed a pattern because they're not looking for it.

Quote:
Even using your stack you are still four faro's away, so you still have some stack-specific procedure to do every time you want to get to NDO.


This is a definite challenge. After switching from Aronson to a five-faro stack (the one Skinner discusses in Classic Sampler), my experience once again up-ended my expectation. I thought I could just give the deck three faros and be a hero, but finding a presentation wasn't so easy. I don't think this argument helps the case for the Mnemonica stack though. You have to overcome the reverse cards and partial faro in addition to the four faros.

At least we can both agree we're satisfied with the trade-offs we've chosen.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
FilmMagician
View Profile
Regular user
106 Posts

Profile of FilmMagician
Does anyone know if the book is different from Mnemonica Miracles - DVD? Same tricks just presented by him? Or is it more?
Pasteboard Alchemist
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of Pasteboard Alchemist
Quote:
On Aug 7, 2017, FilmMagician wrote:
Does anyone know if the book is different from Mnemonica Miracles - DVD? Same tricks just presented by him? Or is it more?


The DVDs show only a bit of the breadth of material in Mnemonica. Mnemonica is an invaluable resource--the stack workers bible, I'm sure many of us would say--and an absolute "must buy". Even after years of studying it, there'll still be plenty squeeze out of the book.
rmorrell
View Profile
Loyal user
227 Posts

Profile of rmorrell
I agree buy the book if you have to choose.

Mr Alchemist, I still refer to your 3 year old review of the DVDs in my periodic watching of them, and FilmMagician might get the same out of them that I did in reviewing the differences and additions to what is in the book so a big thank you for taking the time to write it!:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......start=20
Rich Morrell
---
The Magician Blog
James F
View Profile
Inner circle
Atlanta
1096 Posts

Profile of James F
I just recently mastered mnemonica a couple of months ago. I used rote memorization. I also used an android app (not available on iPhone sadly) called mnemonicosis. It took me about 2 weeks of constant work (an hour or less a day) to have it down 100% cold. I had it pretty much memorized after 1 week though. But it took 2 weeks to get to the point that there was absolutely 0 thought behind the cards, just pure association. I simply worked on 1 card at a time until I had 13 memorized. Then worked on those 13 plus used the app (which breaks the deck into quarters). The app really made the difference. It allowed me to study any time, anywhere. It can surely be done faster, but I treated it like a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady, never moving on until the previous 13 were really solidified. Then after about a week, I had it down pretty good but would still mix up certain cards (for example, 37 is 7 of spades and 47 is 7 of clubs. Or 24 is 10 clubs and 34 is 10 spades. I would mix them up). Then after focusing on those problem cards and re soldifying the deck for another week, I had it down 100%. I think 2 weeks is reasonable if you have a job and a life lol. Good luck!
Pasteboard Alchemist
View Profile
Elite user
487 Posts

Profile of Pasteboard Alchemist
Quote:
On Aug 9, 2017, rmorrell wrote:
Mr Alchemist, I still refer to your 3 year old review of the DVDs in my periodic watching of them


Thamks! Very glad to read that folks are still getting some use out of that!
magicbrady
View Profile
Regular user
131 Posts

Profile of magicbrady
I've seen a lot of people posting about how they memorized the stacks, but not many chains on effects that utilize the stacks once learned. Does anybody have any go to favorites that they would like to discuss? I have the stack down now and am starting to venture into using it. Soooooo strong. Really worth the effort.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Mnemonica (8 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.22 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL