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Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
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Profile of Zombie Magic
MANY people feel that way. They may say it nicer ( some say it harsher ), but they feel that way. I learned from books starting in the 60's, but I loved when vhs came out.

Before video and dvd, I rarely met a magician that did more than a DL. Ask people that have lectured for years ( Ammar will tell you ). Today, magicians are using passes, top changes, palms, etc.

What changed? I think the introduction of video changed things.
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Profile of MuscleMagic
Its like anything else, the people who got used to one way of learning despise anything new (in most cases), humans have a problem embracing change even thou it can enhance their life.

Anyone who tells you that its easier to figure out a move by looking at drawings over watching a live dvd demonstration, is a LIAR!

What books are great for and a MUST have is for everything else, for example on a DVD the presenter has a limited time to talk, after all it's going to be a 1-2 hour DVD. In a book you get all the super fine presentation ideas, extra tips, stories etc.

So when the topic comes up, whats better DVD's or books, the real question is, what are you trying to do, if its just to learn moves or learn how certain tricks work, than get DVD's.
Uli Weigel
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Berlin, Germany
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Fallacy number one: it's easier to learn from video. This is an undue generalization at best.
Fallacy number two: easier is better, easier is more effective.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The act of reading is much more complex that watching a video. This has significant impact on our learning experience in terms of depth of understanding, adaptation, imagination and other parameters. The french philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre summed up the reader-writer-relationship in four words: "Reading is directed creation."
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Profile of TheGreatRaymondo
I much prefer videos than books. You can watch, learn, playback, repeat etc. They are a far more effective medium to learn from than books IMHO.
We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have not yet deceived us...
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Profile of SteveFromSpokane
Myself I rather have the magician come to my house and sit with me and one on one go over moves and routines.

But back in the real world, I like both DVDs and books. The real utopia is having a book and dvd on the same subject.
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Eternal Order
Please ignore my
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Profile of joseph
Exactly..Get what you like..
There is no answer; just personal opinions. ...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
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Piemontese Alps ( Northwestern Italy )
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Profile of galerius
For practical purposes like learning certain moves and sleights, well, sorry for the 'bookists', but videos are far better than books. The pleasures of reading are unquestionable, of course, and I'm a books lover myself : but there are moments you need to learn something fast and with no equivocation. Moreover, some authors lack at times the skill of explaining clearly and beyond any doubts technical concepts. In a video you see what's happening.
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Profile of Indigo
I like books better because they don't use electricity and they don't make any noise.
Steve Suss
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I think both have there strengths and weaknesses. I also believe that each appeals to different kinds of learning. I started out in a world with only books and am great full to now have video to compliment those books. Neither is better but they work together to fill in some of the gaps of a comprehensive explanation.
Uli Weigel
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I do realize, that it is useless to try to convince the dyed-in-the-wool so called "visual learners". Thomas Aquinas said: "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." Smile

However, it's a simple fact, that they are only hurting themselves. The available magic knowledge on DVD's is only a teeny-tiny fraction of the vast knowledge and essential information accumulated in the long and rich history of magic literature. Trick collections like Ammar's "Easy To Master Card Miracles" may have some merit, if all you want is, adding a couple of time tested classic tricks to your repertoire. On the other hand, you'll never experience the pleasure of finding a hidden gem in a book, which nobody else does or even knows about.

It's also a simple fact that the price-performance-ratio of DVD's compared to books is usually extremely bad. The height of needlessness are card magic DVD's with self-working card tricks. Who needs that? If a dozen tricks or so on one DVD for about 30 bucks is your idea of a good deal, well...I prefer to spend 10 bucks on a classic book with dozens if not hundreds of great self-working tricks and principles like "Scarne on Card Tricks" to name just one example.

Of course, I don't deny the benefits of DVD's. Why should I? There are indeed some things, that are very difficult to convey through the written word (or line drawings, or even photographs). Of most value IMO are the performance sections of DVD's. Aspects of routining, timing, flow, misdirection, communication, interaction and other performance related issues are often better understood when you can just watch the action. And I wholeheartedly agree, when it comes to the explanation of rope moves or rubber band magic, video is the superior teaching tool. I also admit, that watching DVD's can be a lot of fun, and I have purchased quite a lot of them over the years. Eventually videos/DVD's have the same status as a supplement or an addition to me. But I could very well do without them, if I had to.

Here's one quality, where magic DVD's are almost irreplaceable: they are the best sleeping pills without harmful side effects...
Steven Keyl
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No one disagrees that DVDs are easier, but as Uli points out above that doesn't necessarily make them better.

If you look at the guys on the top of the magical food chain, most have spent countless hours buried in books. Why? Because the level of understanding you get from reading a book is generally greater than watching a DVD. Watching a DVD is easier because it requires NO WORK on behalf of the viewer. You can sit back, relax and learn the basic secret. For many, that's all they want--to learn the secret. And that's fine.

Reading a book requires you to expend mental energy understanding the concepts and applying them. This energy is rewarded by giving the reader a deeper understanding of the material.

Of course, there are obvious exceptions. Things like topological effects or rubber band effects requiring a tedious amount of written explanation can be explained in video in less time than the printed version, but this is not the typical case.
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While more people may have learned more complex sleights since the introduction of video and I'm not saying it's true, it's a bit simplistic to say that all people new was a DL. Hardly. As a teenager, before video, I was learning many kinds of sleights from books and from more experienced performers. As I'm sure many others did. When video came about I embraced it. And that was at a time when videos sold for $60 - $80. I still buy books, there just a better value.

The issue I have is with people now say they can only learn from video. This to me is just laziness. It's the fast food society that we live in.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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Wiggle Wiggle
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Profile of Tree
Books and Vids compliment each other very well.
now using the tube to learn, well that's the rube.
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Profile of SIX
It's a time thing as well...a book could take you many hours to work through.

A DVD - 2 hours.

But, the quantity of magic is very high in books which allows you to learn more and in depth, which helps as mentioned earlier.

Books in many ways are like taking a college course. In depth, more time and overall higher quality intake. Gain a more detailed knowledge.

DVDs are like a TED Talk - short, concise and sum the college course. Gain a faster quantity of knowledge.

Quality over quantity?

My question is, have DVDs produced better performers or better imitators? Have the quality of performers now vs them Improved, declined or remained stagnant ?
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Profile of Incognito
On 2013-06-15 10:37, Uli Weigel wrote:
Here's one quality, where magic DVD's are almost irreplaceable: they are the best sleeping pills without harmful side effects...

That's for sure! I use one to fall asleep almost every night.
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Eternal Order
sleeping with the fishes...
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Profile of vinsmagic
Books and dvds together are the best of both worlds
Come check out my magic.
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Profile of fonda57
Just because you rarely met a magician that was doing anything more than a DL doesn't mean that nobody was doing anything else. Top changes, passes, palms, those were around a long time before videos. Don't get me wrong, I like videos, but I prefer books. If, for nothing else, you can take a book with you wherever you go and read whenever you want. Books are more involving.
Many magicians have learned such moves from other magicians, hanging out at magic shops or meetings, there's lots of ways to learn.
I j
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Wiggle Wiggle
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On 2013-06-15 12:06, fonda57 wrote:
Many magicians have learned such moves from other magicians, hanging out at magic shops or meetings, there's lots of ways to learn.

This is how I learned back in the late 60's early 70's as a teen. Most books out and available then weren't imo very good, most of the one I had available to me at the library were elementary magic books written for children. The few at magic shops were priced out of a teens range to afford att.
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Profile of Ihop
According to many studies reading is the least effective learning tool.
Don't get me wrong, I am an avid reader but I learn more from magic videos than from reading. Of course there is an exception, which I mention later.
The order of learning retention from least to most effective is :

Audio such as podcasts, audio tapes, etc.
Visual such as DVD
Practice by doing
Teaching to others

This is pretty much universal thinking from different studies involved in education.
The exception I referred to is:

POORLY done instructional material.

Whether it is a book or a video, many magic instructional media is not prepared with an educators mindset.
I have a small collection of both older and new magic books and even though I am able to follow them, it is quite cumbersome and many times full of errors.
Sometimes at a critical point of the lesson.
Even purchased effects contain unclear instructions.
Older magic books seem to be written for the practicing magician and not for hobbyists.
Let's face it, there are a lot more hobbyists around now than 40-60 years ago.

Many books written for the purpose of teaching a particular topic are edited by educators for the purpose of "teaching effectiveness".
Perhaps that should be done.
If you are an expert in a magic field such as cards, coins, etc., that does not necessarily make you a good teacher.

Also the teaching presentation is a factor. It should keep the students attention.

I was going to continue but I have to go get a haircut.
Cameron Francis
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I love books because I love discovering an effect as I work through it. This is a personal preference, though. Can't judge those who don't feel the same way.

For complex moves, DVD or personal instruction is the best way to go.
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