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Whit Haydn
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It's a lovely place...
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 16:45, Whit Haydn wrote:

Yet the "prover" is grinning at him as if he would be some kind of idiot to accept the proof.



Any magician who actualy does this is in the wrong line of work. Certainly performing for the wrong reason. I personaly consider the people who go along with the performance enlightened.
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 15:55, tommy wrote:
To me the stories are the props of magic.

Yes Tommy or the TOOLS used to paint the picture that suggests magic in the mind of an audience.

Remember when you talked about the elephant and lots of magicians had hold of part of the elephant and only could describe that one part. You are very right about that.

I see magic as a tree of knowledge with the roots of Religion, science, art, theater (magic and hypnotism) as the roots of the tree and this tree has lots of different branches of learning form one tree of magical knowledge. Some people in magic have only educated themselves using one or two branches. Others more and they speak from only what they know and have learned from and experienced.

When doing a hypnosis show I try to describe the indescribable to the audience before I start the show. That is I say hypnotism is imagination plus concentration.

If I were to do the same with magic before a show I would describe it as the art of illusion plus imagination. And they both have their roots or a history in the science of suggestion.
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Bill Hallahan
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Whit Haydn wrote:
Quote:
Magic is the special branch of performance art that is distinguished by the the conscious attempt to create in the mind of the spectator, by act or words or expression, a formal logical argument (or syllogism) which is valid but whose premises are untrue, thus seeming to prove something that is not true.

Can you give an example of a trick that does not intentionally contain such a logical fallacy?

No, I can't. I believe anything that doesn't meet your criteria isn't magic.

I think your definition is necessary, but not sufficient.

Some "propoganda" meets all of your criteria, and it's not magic. Arguably, presenting propoganda is a performance art, or at least advertisers would claim that it is. I believe that they even have awards for ads. Advertisers often pose logical arguments with false premises too.

I wouldn't change a word of what you wrote, but something is missing.

Please forgive me if I missed other criteria in earlier posts that you were perhaps only supplementing. I did real all 14 pages, but not today, and my eyes glazed over when I did that earlier.

Bill


P.S. It seems any definition for magic requires considerable explanation. It's not easy to define because we have ambiguous terms for complex cognitive states.

For example, the idea of "belief" is a very slippery concept with regard to magic. Even the well-known phrase, "the willing suspension of disbelief" while correct, is nonetheless an ambiguous phrase. You've done a good job of explaining that concept in your posts. Here's what I wrote after reading your posts. It still needs more work.

Demonstrating reality, i.e. charlatanism, is not our goal, but presenting non-reality is not magical at all and obviously also not our goal. There's a thin line between these two states where people cannot reconcile their experience of an effect with their knowledge of reality - they have to believe, but they can't believe - they know it must have happened, but they know it can't have happened. That's the line magicians want to get the audience on. Ideally, they stay there for a while before they give up trying to reconcile this inner-conflict.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Whit Haydn
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Bill Hallahan:

Quote:
I think your definition is necessary, but not sufficient.

Some "propoganda" meets all of your criteria, and it's not magic. Arguably, presenting propoganda is a performance art, or at least advertisers would claim that it is. I believe that they even have awards for ads. Advertisers often pose logical arguments with false premises too.


Thanks, Bill.

That is really helpful. You are exactly right.

To further distinguish the "Theater of Deception" which includes Fake Magic, or magic as entertainment, from the much broader "Art of Deception" which would also include charlatanry, propaganda, short cons, change-raising or other such deceptions, we need to add the element that I spoke of in earlier posts, but neglected to include in the statement.

How's this:

The "Theater of Deception" (including fake magic, fake science, fake alchemy or any other similar "theatrical swindle") is distinguished by the the conscious attempt to create in the mind of the spectator, by act or words or expression, a formal logical argument (or syllogism) which is valid but whose premises are untrue, thus seeming to prove something true that the spectators firmly believe or know is not true.

I think this is a better formulation.

JackScratch said:
Quote:
Quote:
On 2006-05-09 16:45, Whit Haydn wrote:

Yet the "prover" is grinning at him as if he would be some kind of idiot to accept the proof.
--Whit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Any magician who actualy does this is in the wrong line of work. Certainly performing for the wrong reason. I personaly consider the people who go along with the performance enlightened.

--Drew


I do this at every show, Drew. Come on! We're all grownups...
Jonathan Townsend
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Does it help to know that there is a "prover" and also a "believer" and also a "worrier" and also ... all present in our minds? Also a part that knows how to tie shoes, another part that knows how to drive a car ...

Okay, now going with what Whit suggested, what if we got the part that "follows logical patterns" to get into a fight with the part that "knows what stuff is/does" ?

For those who need to feel they know stuff before they can accept an idea, look at the conflict between the part that "knows colors" and the part that "reads words" in the experiment where names of colors are written in colored type such that the word and the color don't match... then ask someone to read the words out loud...

Okay...

Now you know and you can hang onto that and try not to let the part of you that knows get involved in figuring out how you walk by watching your feet. Smile

* This stuff is not in in Vol 1,2 either and comes a little later in studies.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 20:30, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Does it help to know that there is a "prover" and also a "believer" and also a "worrier" and also ... all present in our minds? Also a part that knows how to tie shoes, another part that knows how to drive a car ...

Okay, now going with what Whit suggested, what if we got the part that "follows logical patterns" to get into a fight with the part that "knows what stuff is/does" ?


I really like that idea. Yes it does help to understand the map of the spectator's mind if you want to build anything in there.

I think magic is all about the fight between the part that "knows" and the part that reasons and deduces. The stalemate between these two parts activates the part that "wonders" and "imagines"--partly by shutting down the part that reasons. It is much like a Zen Koan.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 19:05, Whit Haydn wrote:

Come on! We're all grownups...



Ahhhhh...Whit has accepted the false premise!!
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 20:30, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Does it help to know that there is a "prover" and also a "believer" and also a "worrier" and also ... all present in our minds?

If you are talking about the audience point of view as an entertainment magic can be a challenge or an argument in which something has to be challenged or proved.

If magicians want to do this with an audience that is fine with me.

But as for me magic is just a suggestion - they accept it or they don't. If they don't accept it I don't think that it is worth my time to argue. I feel the same way about hypnotism. There are people that don't believe in hypnotism. Me trying to convince them is silly. Hypnotism is a happening and doesn't care if people believe in it or not.

To become hypnotized in a show all they have to do is follow the steps. If they follow the steps they go under - it doesn't matter if they believe in hypnotism or not - just follow the steps.

Magic doesn't care if people believe in it. I just do the act the audience accepts it or doesn't as magic but the performance goal is not to PROVE magic or hypnotism. The performance goal is ENTERTAINMENT OF THE AUDIENCE!

It is interesting that people in this thread only talk about one branch on the tree of magic. It is hard to see the whole tree because it is covered partly by the "Mists Of Avalon".
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cinemagician
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 18:48, Bill Hallahan wrote:


Demonstrating reality, i.e. charlatanism, is not our goal, but presenting non-reality is not magical at all and obviously also not our goal. There's a thin line between these two states where people cannot reconcile their experience of an effect with their knowledge of reality - they have to believe, but they can't believe - they know it must have happened, but they know it can't have happened. That's the line magicians want to get the audience on. Ideally, they stay there for a while before they give up trying to reconcile this inner-conflict.


Why has no one brought up the following quote as an easier way to understand this "thin line" -the horns, the cognitive dissonace, the foot proping the doors open etc.

For those who believe no explanation is necessary,

For those who do not not shall suffice,

-Dunninger

Monkey in the middle
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Jonathan Townsend
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Monkey or not, Dunninger avoided the horns and left a middle without an anchor on either side. The bull itself walks among us on two feet. Not in my china shop thanks.

It is precisely that excluded middle which makes a sham of credulity and a mockery of somber inquiries into the supernatural. We choose to offer a knowing sham which serves all but our need for truth. To add that component of truth would set us into the realm of the charlatan or worse.

To even consider our craft as cloaked in the same credulity as that offered to religion is to take a short drop down a dark path into places from which reputations might never return.

Or so says the imp on my left shoulder.

;)
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 21:15, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-05-09 19:05, Whit Haydn wrote:

Come on! We're all grownups...



Ahhhhh...Whit has accepted the false premise!!


Nonsense! You just recognized it as a false premise. I just said it, I didn't necessarily believe it. Smile

I probably shouldn't have included myself or other magicians in the set if I wanted to be believed by anyone. Smile

Jonathon said:
Quote:
It is precisely that excluded middle which makes a sham of credulity and a mockery of somber inquiries into the supernatural. We choose to offer a knowing sham which serves all but our need for truth. To add that component of truth would set us into the realm of the charlatan or worse.

To even consider our craft as cloaked in the same credulity as that offered to religion is to take a short drop down a dark path into places from which reputations might never return.


***

Thank you. That IS the way of charlatanry, and is bad art. Dunninger's clever statement was just a way of letting some people off the horns of the dilemma on one side, and others are given a way off on the other.
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Whit,

Quote:
The "Theater of Deception" (including fake magic, fake science, fake alchemy or any other similar "theatrical swindle") is distinguished by the the conscious attempt to create in the mind of the spectator, by act or words or expression, a formal logical argument (or syllogism) which is valid but whose premises are untrue, thus seeming to prove something true that the spectators firmly believe or know is not true.


Man, oh man... I really think you have something here. I figure that your recent inclusion of all the 'fake' stuff in your definition distinguishes the magic performing magicians of today do from all the other forms of magic that man has done and believed in throughout the ages. It quantifies the little subset of theater of magic that we do, the performance stuff, and separates it from everything else. I also couldn't find anything that disproves it.

I also understand more of the dilemma of which is sought. Your reiteration of the cigarette that never returns solidified it for me. Why let them off the hook? Why make it easy for them?

Quote:
Yet the "prover" is grinning at him as if he would be some kind of idiot to accept the proof.


I, too, am more and more convinced that it is the character that creates the dilemma, and ideally continues strengthen it. "Deception Theater" with a well-defined character is what creates the dilemma that initiates the meta-experience of magic. Without the STRONG character to solidify the paradox, they're all just played tricks and puzzles.

The idea of this "character's proposed dilemma" is helping me to no end with a silly little "Unified Misdirection (Attention Management) Theory." I abandoned the character I'd been working with, the Tour Guide, because I figured out the character just wasn't nearly strong enough and lacked the hook.

Avidly.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
cinemagician
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 21:54, Whit Haydn wrote:
That IS the way of charlatanry, and is bad art. Dunninger's clever statement was just a way of letting some people off the horns of the dilemma on one side, and others are given a way off on the other.


[quote]On 2006-05-09 23:00, Patrick Differ wrote:


I also understand more of the dilemma of which is sought. Your reiteration of the cigarette that never returns solidified it for me. Why let them off the hook? Why make it easy for them?

[quote]
--------

I always interpreted Dunningers statement to mean that ultimately we should leave the spectator in the middle for as long as possible, rather than coax them into accepting either side.

How does it "differ" from the ciggarette example above? Smile
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Whit Haydn
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Patrick Differ said:

Quote:
"The idea of this "character proposed dilemma" is helping me to no end with a silly little "Unified Misdirection (Attention Management) Theory." I abandoned the character I'd been working with, the Tour Guide, because I figured out the character just wasn't nearly strong enough and lacked the hook."

Patrick:

There are all different ways to approach the same goal. You can have a character that is so powerful and convincing, that the claims would have to be outrageous in order to keep people from being "convinced out of the dilemma."

A serious performer with a mild disclaimer--all sorts of approaches--as long as the audience is always and for as long as possible kept on the horns of the dilemma--ideally forever.

How good is the magic?

The longer it is remembered, the better the magic.

If they never get down off the horns, they remember forever.

***

cinemagician:

Dunninger's statement was not one of a paradox.

"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary" is meant to cue the believers that he is with them. They "know" the truth. He is telling them it is alright not to question--for them no explanation is necessary; it is real mind reading.

"For those who don't believe, no explanation is possible" tells the doubter's that their doubts are not necessary, since they can not come up with a solution, it must be real.

He is challenging the doubters to find any other explanation than mind reading, and then tells them that there IS such a thing as reading thoughts by telepathy.

So to me, the performing paradigm comes down to charlatanry on the one hand for the believers, and an actual challenge to, and a true insult to, the intelligence of the doubters.

I think his performances were not strictly to the model of this statement, and were better than that. And the statement seemed to work for him and so was commercially viable.

It isn't a good statement of the magical paradox.
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Thanks Whit for the clarification re Dunninger. If your statement happens to be the consensus (Jonathan Townsend seems to agree with you). Then I have been fairly warned not to use the statement as a legitmate example of the "paradox" that has been brought up here many times, using different models.

While I am by no means an expert on Dunninger, I understand that he did a lot of work in the area of exposing spiritualism/ and fraudulent mediums.

Your inclusion of the statement, that "his performances were not strictly to the model of this statement, also takes care of this dilema.
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 19:05, Whit Haydn wrote:
The "Theater of Deception" (including fake magic, fake science, fake alchemy or any other similar "theatrical swindle") is distinguished by the the conscious attempt to create in the mind of the spectator, by act or words or expression, a formal logical argument (or syllogism) which is valid but whose premises are untrue, thus seeming to prove something true that the spectators firmly believe or know is not true.


Whit,
What it you changed "...know is not true" to ...suspect is not true?

Kregg
POOF!
tommy
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The character I play is a magician with real magic powers.

Exactly!

When you turn on a light you do not see the electric power you see the effect, that is you see the light come on. The magic force is like electric, people see it’s effects but not it. Every magic trick has a moment when you see the effect. The card changed colour ! The man floated! The elephant vanished! And so on. At the moment the effect is observed the observer wonders what power caused that to happen. They see you throw the switch (Wave the wand) , they see the light come on (An object appears from nowhere) .
What is the is the magic force caused that magic effect they observers wonder! Well I tell you it is an imaginary force that does not exist in fact but exists in the imagination of observer. That magic force is magic.

Now you guys do not explain what magic is but want to explain how it relates to things as if that explains what it is but you not explain the thing itself.

“This is how it works” yadda yadda yadda! It’s very interesting how it works etc but the question was “What is it?”

So my definition is:

Magic:
Force that does not exist in fact but is imagined by observers who witness magical effects created by magicians.

Next question! Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Patrick Differ
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Cinemagician writes:
Quote:
How does it "differ" from the ciggarette example above?

You owe me $5. I own all copyrights on the name, its derivatives, its uses, and misuses. Tell me your address so I can send you the bill.
:hmm:
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-05-10 09:53, tommy wrote:...
So my definition is:

Magic:
Force that does not exist in fact but is imagined by observers who witness magical effects created by magicians.


And so it is in the STORY as told by the muggles.

We are moving stories from our imaginations into their lives.

We do stuff. They experience a story where magic happens.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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