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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Review of "Strong Magic" by Darwin Ortiz (74 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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necro555
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As the analogy of the recipe book doesn't appear to make sense to you, there's no point answering your question.
Doug Peters
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Why is it that people who praise this book seem to be unable (or perhaps unwilling?) to answer the (simple) question:

What did you learn from Strong Magic?

(Kudos to magicfish, who actually gave it a shot!)

Another question comes to mind:
Does this basic failure have more to do with the defenders of the book or... the book itself?
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Rupert Pupkin
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One thing? Okay.

Darwin's thoughts on what he calls Artificial Progression, detailing a systematic approach to carving a dramatic structure into a trick or routine, is fabulous.

If you're asking for a holistic, catch-all "lesson," then you're asking the wrong question. This isn't a book that paints in broad strokes.

If there's a more specific question that you'd like answered, we'd be happy to do so.

Quote:
On Dec 9, 2016, Doug Peters wrote:
Why is it that people who praise this book seem to be unable (or perhaps unwilling?) to answer the (simple) question:

What did you learn from Strong Magic?

(Kudos to magicfish, who actually gave it a shot!)

Another question comes to mind:
Does this basic failure have more to do with the defenders of the book or... the book itself?


Your fundamental error here is conflating an unwillingness to convince you with a failure to convince you. At this point, I couldn't care less if you read the thing, and it's a healthy possibility that no one else around here does either. Although no one is kidding themselves into thinking this line of questioning is anything more than an exercise in obtuseness.
Doug Peters
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Rupert: thank you for a legitimate attempt to answer the question!

But the logic of "this line of questioning" goes like this:
For a book to be valuable, it must entertain or inform (or perhaps both, of course).
Magic books have their entertainment value, but most are advertised as informative.
So answers to the question:
Quote:
What did you learn from this book?

represent personal summaries of the information-value-content of the book.
What could be more appropriate on a thread purportedly reviewing such a book?

The "more specific" follow-up question is simply the one I asked magicfish:

Can you name something that you changed about any trick you perform due to your reading of Strong Magic?

(NB: I don't care if you answer or not, but I am fascinated by the odd psychology of substituting insults for answers Smile )
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Doug Peters
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Given permission to share, I actually received an answer to my question via e-mail from Jony:
Quote:
Few specifics:

-the Must believe test. this principle just allows you to focus your efforts where it matters. its a simple question you ask yourself when developing, creating or tweaking an effect. (I'm not going to say what the question is, but if you have the book you should know)
how did I start applying it? for example: I had a routine where I memorized an entire deck of cards that I was very proud of. Three phases, nice build up, big climax. I asked myself the must believe test and realized the effect I was so happy with had a terrible flaw, so I had to rework the ending and this has had a huge impact on the reactions I get from this effect. I have seen the before and after so to speak. This question also allows me to view other routines from different creators and choose with better criteria for stronger effects, and methods for my repertoire.

-False frame of reference. Im also not going to explain here the contents of this idea, again, its in the book. It should be respected, and you will understand my example if you have read ''strong magic''.
Where have I applied the false frame of reference? For example, everybody uses card to pocket, myself included. The problem with most card to pocket effects is that the spectators are asking the right question in their mind when the effect ends. They ask: ''how did he get the card in the pocket?'' This is a problem for most versions when a palm is used, no matter how invisible, they are asking a question that could potentially lead them to the right solution if they backtrack in their mind. Solution? get them to ask the wrong question. If I palm the card to my pocket, get them to shuffle the deck and then put the whole deck in my pocket. When I pull it out the spectators will ask the wrong question: ''how did he find my card after the shuffle?'' If you get them to ask the wrong question, they will never find the right answer. Therefore the quality of your magic becomes superior.

Those are just two examples. I think you should understand me not revealing contents of the book in a public forum. The author has to be respected. But I have still tried to be specific Maybe another day ill keep on with examples. By the way, was it long ago that you read the book? Because I have found that the more I read it the more I find. Almost like I wasn't ready for the information so I didn't ''see it'' in the first read through. (you are free to publish this at the magic Café if you want as an example. that's why I chose not to reveal any contents) Good luck finding your answer Smile

Thanks, Jony -- this was (of course) exactly what I was asking for!
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
ASW
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Quote:
On Dec 9, 2016, Doug Peters wrote:
Why is it that people who praise this book seem to be unable (or perhaps unwilling?) to answer the (simple) question:

What did you learn from Strong Magic?


Because it's analogous to the stereotypical question on the Café:"Can someone please tel me the 5 best tricks in X book." It's lazy - do your own work. The process of reading and thinking for yourself will make you a better magician.

Quote:
On Dec 9, 2016, Doug Peters wrote:
Another question comes to mind:
Does this basic failure have more to do with the defenders of the book or... the book itself?


That's guaranteed to get a result. Not only do you have your hand out, you're angry at people's tardiness at not doing your bidding.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

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Doug Peters
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Sorry Andrew -- wrong again (three times in very few words -- that must set some kind of record!).

The reviews of X book (if it is a book of tricks) would certainly include references to highlights (can you imagine a review of Darwin Ortiz at the Card Table (one of my favorites) without reference to The Dream Card, for example?)
In contrast, reviews of Strong Magic were remarkably vague (despite the fact that folks such as yourself claimed that it was "crammed full of practical advice"). Why is that? And why is it that requests for less vagueness are so often greeted with sneers, insults, and really-quite-pathetic amateur pychoanalysis? That's odd. It is hardly a good reflection on the book being reviewed.

But you can continue your insults if they make you happy. But be aware: they certainly won't convince any thinking person that Strong Magic is worth a look.
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Artie Fufkin
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Doug, your posts come up just short of trolling.

Regardless, Andrew sums up accurately how you come across to any thinking person reading this thread.
Doug Peters
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Artie, are you a sock puppet?

And why are you unable (or unwilling) to identify a single thing that you have learned from Strong Magic?
Maybe it is "time to move along"?
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Magic-Daniel
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Doug. I agree with your posts ☺
Artie Fufkin
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Quote:
On Dec 14, 2016, Doug Peters wrote:

And why are you unable (or unwilling) to identify a single thing that you have learned from Strong Magic?

Simple really - have no interest in feeding a troll, and don't feel compelled to do your work for you.

But equally wish to counter your negative posts about Strong Magic.

No more complicated than that.
Doug Peters
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...since when is asking a question "negative"?
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
ASW
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Quote:
On Dec 14, 2016, Doug Peters wrote:
Sorry Andrew -- wrong again (three times in very few words -- that must set some kind of record!).

The reviews of X book (if it is a book of tricks) would certainly include references to highlights (can you imagine a review of Darwin Ortiz at the Card Table (one of my favorites) without reference to The Dream Card, for example?)
In contrast, reviews of Strong Magic were remarkably vague (despite the fact that folks such as yourself claimed that it was "crammed full of practical advice"). Why is that? And why is it that requests for less vagueness are so often greeted with sneers, insults, and really-quite-pathetic amateur pychoanalysis? That's odd. It is hardly a good reflection on the book being reviewed.

But you can continue your insults if they make you happy. But be aware: they certainly won't convince any thinking person that Strong Magic is worth a look.


Okay, thanks.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
Claudio
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Quote:
On Oct 19, 2016, Doug Peters wrote:
I picked up a copy of Strong Magic when it first came out.
I read it carefully. By the end of it, I asked myself the bottom-line question:
What did I learn from Strong Magic?
(Learning theories suggest that if you can't articulate what you learned, you haven't learned anything)
I couldn't answer that question.

During that time, there were many glowing reviews here and elsewhere.
So I asked those reviewers:
What did you learn from Strong Magic?
I never got a good answer to that question.

I'm still curious about what I could have missed. So I'll ask again:
What did you learn from Strong Magic?
Please be specific and concrete.

thanks


There's surely nothing wrong or negative in asking a question, unless it's loaded. I have no horse in this race, but it does appear like you're being disparaging about Strong Magic.

It's possible that you did not get anything out of it because either it's an empty book that has nothing to offer, or that you were not ready or receptive enough for it to be of any value to you.

I hope I don't come across as sarcastic - as it is not my intention.
neocatalyst
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Doug, what did you think of Designing Miracles, if you read it?
R2D2
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+1 to Doug for pressing this issue.

I can't believe the negativity he's getting for asking such a direct and sensible question. Kudos to the couple posters who addressed his inquiry. They were very good replies.

To all the Doug bashers: I really hope your performance character comes off better than your online persona.
necro555
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2017, R2D2 wrote:
+1 to Doug for pressing this issue.

I can't believe the negativity he's getting for asking such a direct and sensible question.


You mean a loaded question.
R2D2
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Quote:
On Feb 15, 2017, necro555 wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 13, 2017, R2D2 wrote:
+1 to Doug for pressing this issue.

I can't believe the negativity he's getting for asking such a direct and sensible question.


You mean a loaded question.

Nope. There have been plenty of times I've learned something very helpful but still wondered how/why other people found it helpful.
necro555
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Quote:
On Feb 15, 2017, R2D2 wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 15, 2017, necro555 wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 13, 2017, R2D2 wrote:
+1 to Doug for pressing this issue.

I can't believe the negativity he's getting for asking such a direct and sensible question.


You mean a loaded question.

Nope. There have been plenty of times I've learned something very helpful but still wondered how/why other people found it helpful.


R2D2, there is nothing wrong with asking the question. You would have seen a more pleasant discussion if it continued with the tone of "I read the book, but I didn't find anything useful. Sounds like I'm missing something because of the many positive reviews it has received. I'm curious to hear what you all got out of the book, as I feel I probably missed something".

The conversation started off fine, but then took a detour after Doug said:

"I don't need to read a book to tell me to think about what I do or why I am doing it.
Perhaps that's why the book didn't work for me: I'm already invested in "that kind of thinking"... "

So really there was no point in discussing it further. Every chapter in Strong Magic has specific and concrete advice, so it's hard for many to understand what Doug didn't find concrete and specific about it. It's like reading a physics textbook and then saying you learned nothing specific about physics.

Jerry Sadowitz wrote the following about Strong Magic:

"This book, too, is an event - in many ways a "first" and is one of the most enjoyable books on close up that I've ever read.

The book is sub-headed "Creative Showmanship for the Close-Up Magician" and sets out to give the reader all the technical nuts and bolts on how to improve your skills as a close-up magician with regard to performing for the lay public.

There is NO vague rhetoric or !@#$%^& about … what you are given is solid technical advice on everything from selecting the right material to selling yourself.

I would say that, like "The Annotated Erdnase" this book is a real achievement …compelling, essential and extremely readable, more important, you WILL improve your magic by studying the book."

If Doug had a genuine interest in the discussion, he could have quoted parts of the book, or mentioned a specific sections/chapters of the book, as a starting point for discussion saying something like "I disagree with this part" or "I found this section vague and unhelpful".... then he may have actually had discussion.
Doug Peters
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I asked a question, necro.
I noticed that you didn't answer it either.
How about it? You certainly seem to have an opinion on the matter.
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
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