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Whit Haydn
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This is from Chicago Surprise:

Quote:
The first time I saw a live magic show I was eight years old. A Methodist minister came to a summer camp and performed. He did many things—the linking rings, cut and restored rope, and a trick where he vanished a silk in a paper cone.

The kids yelled that the scarf was inside the magic wand he used to push it into the cone. He responded by snapping the wooden wand in half.

I was stunned. I would have given my eyeteeth to own a magic wand, and he had destroyed his just to prove that those kids were wrong!

I spent the whole night thinking about this, and about the other things he had done. I couldn’t sleep.

I fantasized about what it could mean if I could really do magic—make things disappear, penetrate each other, restore themselves.

But even at eight I knew that it wasn’t real. I thought up all kinds of improbable but creative solutions to each trick.

The next morning I was exhausted—but happy in a special way. It was probably the first time in my life that I had expended such concentrated creative energy. It was a great feeling.

I knew from that night that I was in love with all things magic.

--Whit Haydn


This is a description of the "reverie of wonder" that I am talking about--the direct result of implanting the dilemma.
saxmangeoff
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Quote:
On 2006-05-25 03:14, Patrick Differ wrote:
Hoping to help move this along... my way of understanding the difference between Deception and Dilemma is to think of circles. Draw two circles on a sheet of paper. Put one circle inside the other. Label the inside circle Dilemma. Label the outermost circle Deception. Notice how Dilemma is inside Deception, but separate. We are doing Dilemma as magicians.


Which, of course, means we now have the answer to the question.

Magic is like an onion.

;)

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
cinemagician
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On 2006-05-25 04:20, Whit Haydn wrote:
He must create the trick with a series of "what ifs"--the technological "wondering" is the attempt to create a way to make it look like the effect that he has just witnessed was possible.


Do you mean that spectators often apply technological or "rube goldberg" types of explanations because it is the best they can do to hault the dilemma?

This could be analogus to the the novice magician's many trips to the magic shop, and/or his purchaces of items like the drawer box, ball and vase, etc.

Then he takes home the "hot rod" only to be dismayed-
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2006-05-25 13:35, cinemagician wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-05-25 04:20, Whit Haydn wrote:
He must create the trick with a series of "what ifs"--the technological "wondering" is the attempt to create a way to make it look like the effect that he has just witnessed was possible.


Do you mean that spectators often apply technological or "rube goldberg" types of explanations because it is the best they can do to hault the dilemma?

This could be analogus to the the novice magician's many trips to the magic shop, and/or his purchaces of items like the drawer box, ball and vase, etc.

Then he takes home the "hot rod" only to be dismayed-


Yes.

"The Linking Rings must have openings controlled by magnets or something..."

"It must have gone up his sleeve..."

They come up with often clever, but usually impractical solutions to the effect. That doesn't mean that it isn't healthy. They are using a tool of the brain, creative thinking, that they may not use all that much in daily life, and the fantasy producing part of the brain is operating as well.

Magic gives the inductive side of the brain a real work out.
snilsson
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In his 1986 essay "On Bull****", philosopher Harry Franklin of Princeton University presents a theory which may be relevant to this discussion. Franklin makes a distinction between a liar, who knows and cares about the truth, and a bul**itter who disregards truth and only speaks to impress.

St. Augustine, in his essay "Lying", distinguishes lies of eight types. Seven of them are made in an attempt to attain a goal. The eight type of lie is told by the true lier, someone who takes delight in lying, "rejoicing in the falsehood itself".

Using the language of Augustine, Whit's magician would be a liar of the eight kind, with the addition that the magician/liar also wants his spectators to notice the lie, but no be able to see through it.

The other definitions of magic proposed in this discussion seem to be closer to Franklin's bul**hitter. Someone who doesn't care about truth.

Franklin also has a theory about why there is so much bull****: "Bull**** is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bull**** is stimulated whenever a person’s obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic are more excessive than his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic." One can't help but think of the Internet and online discussion forums.

Finally, I notice another type of magical thinking in this thread, the belief that certain combinations of letters carry such magical powers that they must be banned. To me it's quite fascinating that a Princeton philosopher can write a long essay about a word that cannot even be mentioned on this bulletin board.
Jonathan Townsend
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Have a GOOD look at what each of those authors wanted the reader to believe. And from that find a simpler proto lie implied.

The lies you hold onto are the ones that sink the rest.

Yes the sociopath (bs'er) removes emotional context from their statements.

It gets more fun when the lie is done to "help" the other person or "for a greater good".

Even if you put it in a dress and call it Shirley it still smells like a lie.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Whit Haydn
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"No, I don't think that dress makes you look fat, sweetie." (Your big butt makes you look fat...)

Sometimes the difference between telling a lie and telling the truth is greater sophistication.

Someone who is very good with words and can make subtle distinctions in meaning can often tell the truth in such a way that it serves every bit as well as a lie.
Bilwonder
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The dilemma is created by the artist's ability to balance complete conviction of the impossible against the subject's understanding of the conventions of theater, common sense, and contextual, verbal, and visual cues(the lie with a wink) that tell him what his senses tell him isn't real or true at all.


It seems interest in this thread has fallen after Whit began to move on in his presentation. I've withheld comments because I want to hear more. However, if this thread doesn't get "knocked up" more often we may not see the whole thing borne out.

Whit, you use the word "conviction" regarding "of the impossible." I'm guessing you use this word to indicate the construction of your "magical" argument has proven "inescapable" to the spectator.

However, it must be short of "conviction" because you don't want the matter completely closed. You want equal "conviction" in the opposite (cued with "the conventions of Theater").

In a sense then, you are using strong legit (appearing) arguments against his "status quo" while at the same time supporting his "status quo" with arguments of informal fallacies (via "association," or "everybody knows"). This seems a curious proposition.

It seems for the artist to properly "balance" these he must either have understanding of what his audience considers both "impossible" and "conventions of theater" or somehow "norm" his audience to his own expectations in these matters. Are you expanding on these in your presentaion?

And, can you expand on the following:
Quote:
The conclusion of the argument may or may not make up one side of the dilemma, but it creates it.


The conclusion may create the dilemma or just one side of it?
Either way, how can a conclusion and dilemma coexist?

Whether you find my questions relevant or not, where do we go from here?
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
bishthemagish
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It is from my point of view that when a magician performs on the stage the spell may be a lie so to speak but the effect is has in the mind of the spectator watching is real.

The dilemma happens AFTER the magic effect when the critical mind kicks in and says the social agreement of modern man that magic is not real. What they may be saying that the spell was not real but the effect of magic - that was real and it happens in the mind of the audience!
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Dave V
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Quote:
On 2006-05-26 15:04, Bilwonder wrote:
It seems interest in this thread has fallen after Whit began to move on in his presentation. I've withheld comments because I want to hear more. However, if this thread doesn't get "knocked up" more often we may not see the whole thing borne out.


I don't think the interest has faded at all. I just hope that the stubborn refusal to let Whit continue has tapered off so we can continue peacefully. The thing that seems to slow it down now is a surge in other topics that's dividing our attention.

I'm trying to follow all of them, but for now rather than waste my time arguing with those who simply want to argue, I'm willing to sit back and wait for Whit to pick up where he left off.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Whit Haydn
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Thanks, Dave.

Thanks, Bish. I think your comment is exactly right, at least if I understand you correctly.

I like Bilwonder's questions, and they are right on point.

This helps carry the discussion forward.

And it is getting us to a point where we can acknowledge some of the points Bilwonder made earlier, that I did not want to talk about then.

I can not continue right now, but I will be back shortly to respond to what Bilwonder has asked. I think he already knows the answers.
Patrick Differ
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I've been out doing my best putting what I understand of what's been shared to practical use. Since it's a new route for me, I'm walking slowly and learning it properly. I've also reworked how I have been setting the stage. It's getting better. I check this topic twice a day for additions.
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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I really would like to get back to Patrick's thoughts on setting the stage/ the stages. Just waiting for the right oppertunity-

Cine
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-05-26 18:31, Whit Haydn wrote:
Thanks, Bish. I think your comment is exactly right, at least if I understand you correctly.

Thanks Whit I think what you have posted in this thread is right on. It is that conflict that they - the audience has in their mind is one of the interesting things. Being put on the horns of the bull as you put it.

I think that this is the reason that some do not like magic at all. It is because they accept the agreement that magic is not real. Then they SEE something that a magician does that they cant explain except by saying that it was magic.

Then they argue magic is not real - yet they saw something. They don't have the technology or the education to explain what they saw. But they continue to have this sort of argument with themselves about it.

Some of them get so up-set at this dilemma that they tell people they hate magic and refuse to watch any magician do a magic trick. It makes the audience and people as a group interesting as to their take on what they see us do. And how they try to explain it. Or hate magic because they can't explain it.

By the way - thanks for posting to this thread - this has been one of the best talks about magic that I have had in years.
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Whit Haydn
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Thanks, Bish.

I think that is exactly what makes a certain type of people hate magic. Some people have a more difficult time thinking creatively, and they have a need for controlling and understanding their environment.

They feel very much the "dissonance" and discomfort that comes from not being able to classify and organize all of their experience. They hate dilemmas, which make them feel disoriented and as if spinning out of control.

It is the most difficult task to frame magic in such a way that even these people can relax and accept the dilemma without resistance and without feeling threatened.

Few magicians can succeed with this type of personality, but I think that is what a truly great artist would be able to do.

It is increasingly important for people to be able to accept conflicting and complex models of the universe in a world that is changing as rapidly as ours, both scientifically, technologically, and culturally.

Magic may be one of those very modern art forms that actually help prepare the race for a new world.

Flexible and creative thinking will be much more important in the future, as the tasks of deduction are increasingly taken over by machine.

Magic is a font of creativity and fantasy, and a constant reminder that there is much that we do not understand, and that that is okay.

Actually, I always say the horns of the dilemma, Bish. But "Horns of the Bull..." has a certain irresistable quality that I really like. Smile
bishthemagish
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On 2006-05-27 16:11, Whit Haydn wrote:
It is increasingly important for people to be able to accept conflicting and complex models of the universe in a world that is changing as rapidly as ours, both scientifically, technologically, and culturally.

Magic may be one of those very modern art forms that actually help prepare the race for a new world.

Thanks for another great post Whit and I agree with this you said above. I think good magicians like you. Many members of the Magic Castle and the Magic Castle itself and other magicians all over the world are doing great things for the world just by doing shows and giving people a break from a life of stress that many in this fast changing world have to deal with day in and day out.

You just put this above better than I could have.
Quote:
On 2006-05-27 16:11, Whit Haydn wrote:
Actually, I always say the horns of the dilemma, Bish. But "Horns of the Bull..." has a certain irresistable quality that I really like. Smile

Sorry I think in images and read horns I thought and had an image of the bucking bulls at the fair and rodeo’s. Watching the people ride the bull at these events is one of my favorite spectator sports.

Thanks again.
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cinemagician
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I like horns of the bull too! I guess because what keeps my presentations anchored (for me) is the phrase "plausible b.s."

Glenn, your last posts were well articulated. Good to see your still here and as enthusiastic about this thread as I am!

Mark
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
tommy
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I think such people who do not like magic are inside the box thinkers:
“Inside The Box”
Thinking inside the box means accepting the status quo. For example, Charles H. Duell, Director of the US Patent Office, said, "Everything that can be invented has been invented." That was in 1899: clearly he was in the box!
In-the-box thinkers find it difficult to recognize the quality of an idea. An idea is an idea. A solution is a solution. In fact, they can be quite pigheaded when it comes to valuing an idea. They rarely invest time to turn a mediocre solution into a great solution.
More importantly, in-the-box thinkers are skillful at killing ideas. They are masters of the creativity killer attitude such as "that'll never work" or "it's too risky." The best in-the-box thinkers are unaware that they drain the enthusiasm and passion of innovative thinkers while they kill their innovative ideas.
They also believe that every problem needs only one solution; therefore, finding more than one possible solution is a waste of time. They often say, "There is no time for creative solutions. We just need THE solution."
Even great creative people can become in-the-box thinkers when they stop trying. Apathy and indifference can turn an innovator into an in-the-box thinker.
In only one case is in-the-box thinking necessary. This comes from a cartoon: a man talks to his cat and points to the kitty litter box. He says, "Never ever think outside the box!"
http://www.canadaone.com/ezine/april02/o......ing.html

I think you need to encourage such people to think outside the box before you start. Lennart Green on his new DVD No 7 does this beautifully at the start of his show.
As Whit said; “Few magicians can succeed with this type of personality, but I think that is what a truly great artist would be able to do.” Green is one the very best and I think it is mainly because of the way he thinks about magic. What makes a great magician is not what they do, although that is important, but it is the way they think about what they do.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-05-27 19:24, cinemagician wrote:
I like horns of the bull too! I guess because what keeps my presentations anchored (for me) is the phrase "plausible b.s."

Glenn, your last posts were well articulated. Good to see your still here and as enthusiastic about this thread as I am!

Mark

Thanks Mark,

Magic is an interesting thing in the way we all have our own way of doing it. We all enjoy it in a different way. It is something that - you can't learn it all. And it is interesting to talk about how others see and think about what we do. And when the effect of magic happens - how they see it and box it up in their own minds.
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Patrick Differ
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Tommy writes:

Quote:
I think you need to encourage such people to think outside the box before you start.


This is 'setting the stage.' This is the act of inviting an audience into the world so that they know that it is for them and is all in fun. Exactly how this invitation is worded is critical. My idea is to word it so that it reaches all the different personality types that span the audience. Ideally it should contain something for everyone. More on audience personality types when the opportunities arise.

Whit writes:

Quote:
It is the most difficult task to frame magic in such a way that even these people can relax and accept the dilemma without resistance and without feeling threatened.

Few magicians can succeed with this type of personality, but I think that is what a truly great artist would be able to do.


Again, more about audience personality types. How many following this are familiar with Dale Carnegie?

cinemagician writes:

Quote:
Plausible BS


Man, I wish I had said that! I think I'll 'borrow' it, that is, if you don't mind.
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.
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