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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Philosophical Question: Why do people like being deceived? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob1Dog
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So.

Let's hear from the OP!
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
Bob1Dog
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Sorry, I just realized OP is a newcomer to the Café and may not understand that OP is original post-er of topic.

So. R- or purplecat, do you have any thoughts about any of this?

By the way, welcome to the Magic Café; it's a great place! Smile
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
volto
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"why do people like being deceived?"
People sometimes enjoy a demonstration of a scam, or an explanation of a con. Explanations of real-world criminal techniques are always interesting and exciting - you can use that to protect yourself. Then there's just the joy of a puzzle. Heist movies often take this form - you see the heist from the victim's point of view, then the film 'rewinds' and you see what they really did (e.g. the Ocean's 11 series). Murder mysteries can work the same way - but there are some (like "Colombo") where the "whodunnit" part is resolved in the first minute, and then the rest of the plot is taken up by following our hero as he works out who did it and how. All of this is enjoyable for lots of reasons - mostly because it's a puzzle, but also because you get a resolution - it's all explained to you at the end. On a different tack, kids like riddles, mostly because the first thing they do when they work it out or get told the answer is to immediately challenge another kid with it. So knowing the secret is satisfying because it gives you status. Adolescent boys compete with one another on facts and figures, for instance - any kind of fact and figures - it could be the statistics of cars, it might be batting averages or fooball stats, it might be the space program or the AD&D monster manual. There are people who like to know lots of jokes, and who insist on telling them. Most people like to know stuff that other people don't. Magicians are especially prone to this. Smile

So - people like being deceived when they learn something from it - a secret, whodunnit, how a con works. Some people view attempts to deceive them as a puzzle, which they enjoy working out. On the other hand, some people have a passionate dislike of puzzles and deception. You could argue that this is an insecurity, but I'm not sure it's that simple. I just think some people feel very uncomfortable with deception of any kind. Some people have religious reasons for it. I don't think it has anything to do with how smart someone is.

Your second question - which I'll paraphrase as "what makes magic different to other forms of entertainment?" - one big difference is the personal nature of it. Quite often, the audience is directly involved in magic, either up on stage or in a close-up performance. Magicians pay a lot of attention to effects that take place in the audience's hands, for instance. This personal connection with the performance tends not to happen in any other performance art. People respond to magic in a range of ways. Some people view it as a puzzle, which might be a good or a bad thing. Some people view it as a remarkable event - a spectacle, something you don't see every day - and enjoy it on that level. Some people view it as an opportunity to have a laugh and be part of a performance, in a similar way to stand-up comedy. Being part of a crowd responding to a performance is a very warm, bonding thing.

I think magic has an enduring popularity because people enjoy comedy, mystery and spectacle, and magic can be all of those.
Bob1Dog
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Wxcellent analysis volto!

Would still like to hear from OP about all this though.

Is it helping?

Though in re reading the posts, it appears we haven't answered the last question posed yet regarding the first trick we learned that had an impact on us. For me it was two things. When I was twelve or so a friend of mine had an older brother who would show us a magic trick every now and again. He wasn't a magician, he was just having fun with us little kids. I was hooked after the stripper deck and the dime and penny shell.
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
AGMagic
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Good catch Bob. The first magic performance that I remember seeing was at an Adopted Children's Association picnic when I was proably 5 or 6 years old. This was back in the mid 1950's and the performer (clown) did a lot of standard tricks but the one that impressed me the most was the sucker die box. I bought my first magic book when I was in 2nd grade and never looked back. I was given a magic set and some small tricks for Christmas and birthdays but my first "professional" trick was a Homer Hudson die box purchased from Joe Berg.

Mark Wilson had a profound affect on me and my magic. I have since had the opportunity to meet with Mark and Nani several times. Unfortunately the first few meetings I was so star struck that I could hardly say more than hello and mumble something about their influence over my early magic.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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borderjs
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As for the first trick I saw that inspired me was Bill Malone's, Sam the Bellhop. And really all of Bill Malone's performances.
55john55
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The first trick I remember producing awe in me was the linking rings in the 1950s on TV. Then there was a gap until I went to a skeptics convention in Eugene Oregon in the 1990s. Jerry Andress was one of the conference leaders. What a talent he had for creating amazing illusions! I left the convention with the discovery that I might be able to do magic as well as enjoy watching it being done.
volto
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My inspiration was definitely Paul Daniels (and all his many guests) and later, Simon Drake (of "The Secret Cabaret"). I had a whole bunch of trick decks and would inflict them on anyone who stood still for long enough.

How things change. These days, they don't even have to be standing still. Smile
magictvlv1
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I got out of magic for many years because it wasn't satisfying me emotionally. I think the magic moment is when the spectator stops asking "how did he do that" and starts asking "how can I do that." It's about the emotional interaction with the work. It's about desire.

Is there something different about magic? I don't really think so. When I left magic I got involved in circus and film for the same reasons I was involved in magic. Directing TV or editing video or doing trapeze work all feel like magic when they are done right. I love the moment when it just happens. there aren't enough of those in life.
Bugatti
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“For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.”

Dunninger knew a whole lot about how different people will differently percept magic...
ibraa
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I like psychology mixed with magic.
AGMagic
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Purplecat - are you out there? Did you get the answers you wanted?
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
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