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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Reaction to Broadcast Message (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

funsway
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Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8830 Posts

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Steve Brooks posted a broadcast message today tilted “The words we choose.” It certainly should be read by all members here on the Café, and I can agree with most of what was said. Especially significant for me are the words, “With the relatively recent arrival of interactive communications many people (especially vulnerable youngsters) have become instantly attracted to the idea that their lives can be made better in the online world as opposed to life at home.”

This crystalizes some thoughts I had upon on reading the recent thread in reactions to the tragedy. To repeat a Medieval warning, “I hear the scratching of claws on ancient stones.” My concerns go much deeper than this single event into thoughts of the future of performance magic, our culture and my role in it. I can only give a hint of these concerns here but would welcome direct communication with any of like mind “off-list” at gusarimagic@comcast.net, Skype, phone or in person.

Issues:
A) linking “interactive communications” with “Internet communications” is both inaccurate and folly. As an expert in “communications” with several advance degrees therein I will offer that the only truly interactive communications is face-to-face in real time with the ability to interpret non-verbal cues as well as connotative use of words relative to setting, emotion and previously shared thoughts. All Internet posts are “out of sync” with any normal thought process, often assuming facts not in evidence, out of context and a rational flow of thought. There is evidence that readers of thread rarely review the entire flow of discussion, do not completely read any post more than a paragraph long and project their own bias and habits onto the poster. If a poster/reader personally tends to lie on the Internet they will project that all other posters also lie. If they have a false Persona/Avatar they will project that all other posters also play that game. If they only post what they “know to be true” they will project that all other posters also post what they know to be true rather than following some hidden agenda. I question whether what occurs in most Internet threads is “communications’ at all.

B) Internet Communications are not “relatively new” to our culture, with a majority of our populous “younger than” or certainly incapable of remembering a time in which it did not exist as a daily exercise. I was AOL subscriber #6 and have watched the growth of the Internet with dismay ever since. The apparent love affair with Cell-Phone dependency and Facebook type interactions with complete strangers only exacerbates this concern. Why? Because the basis of this attraction is the complete lack of responsibility over what is said that translates into a lack of accountability in real life. Their lives are not “better” on the Internet – just a world in which they have no social or moral requirement for truth, ethics or any “real communications.”

C) Performance Magic (including Mentalism) is based in part on the predictability of response on the part of the spectator. In a world in which the average spectator has only vicarious experience, no degree of certitude about anything, deals only with false persona and fictional arguments there is little that can be used in “know your audience.” We are all going to watch magic die a whimpering death. Yes, there will always be some attraction to mystery, surprise and puzzles – but the term/concept of “magic” will not be applied.

D) Data Mining now has the capacity to from a “virtual identity” for any of us, sell that identity to any marketer or agency and make decisions based on how that fiction might react. I do not know to what extent Steve Brooks participates in such activities, but am certain that our posts on the Café are regularly mined by NSA, merchandisers and psychologist. After all, we “have secrets,” do not react as a “normal person” might and seem to be of higher than average intelligence – a “gold mine” for study and interpretation. I am certain that some of the spam offering I receive are a result on my postings on the Café. So what?

The ability of these “professional miners” to create a fictional persona for each of us is based on posts on the Café’, YouTube, Facebook and other batherings means they can also compile a “profile” of those planning suicide and other forms of harm to self or society. We are bothered by not having responded effectively to the posting or plea of a single individual. Why are these “professionals” not forced to follow “mandatory reporting” guidelines under the law? Read articles on this issue on the Internet and you will understand why.

The short of it is that recent events should be “wake up call.” On the Internet you can always hit the “Delete” or “Off” button. One individual on the Café’ chose to hit that button in real life. What does tomorrow hold for you?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Where the hell is the "LIKE" button?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
tommy
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Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16030 Posts

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Reminds of Aldous Huxley an Brave New World Revisited.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Inner circle
I haven't changed anyone's opinion in
3615 Posts

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For those who may be confused, details are available under "Looking Out For Our Own" in this area. Kudos to Mr. Brooks for a cogent and sensitive message posted in Private Messages. If you have not already done so, please follow Funsway's advice and read it- read every word.

JIm
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
tommy
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Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16030 Posts

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I meant the whole internet phenomena reminds of that book.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Woland
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Special user
680 Posts

Profile of Woland
Received this fortune cookie last night, after a nice meal of sesame beef:

Quote:
Never fear shadoes. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby.
tommy
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Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16030 Posts

Profile of tommy
Which reminds me of Plato's Cave, which is like a vicarious experience.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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