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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Inventing a Move (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Sybilmagic
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How often do people invent a move then only realise that some wise guy has already thought of it. Please give details of that move which you thought was yours but was subsequently snatched away.
Peter Marucci
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Here's how it works, basically:
You invent a move and show it to some people.
Magician A hears about it and publishes it as his own.
Magician B reads Magician A's article and claims that he -- Magician B -- actually invented it.
Magician C buys the rights to the move from whoever and forbids everybody else from using it.
Magician D ignores that, writes up the instructions (badly) and sells it to a dealer.
You end up buying the instructions for your own move.
Ain't magic life wonderful!
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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CENDRE
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That's not so simple!
But I like your simplification Smile

Sometimes, that's true that we re-invent the wheel. And I think we do that because we are in quest of an effect that fits a kind of magic we expect to do.

And, even if I think I have a near-good magic culture, I can't know everything people have done before. So we have to talk to people to ask them if they know about this effect. And we may fall in the trap Peter Marucci described.

But we don't have a lot of choices if we don't want to take credit of something old.
Nevertheless, a lot of magicians don't care about taking credits of a work which was invented years ago... but that's another problem.

Recently, I did a move I like to hide an object in my hands under the cover of the movement of another object. But a guy told me he heard about it (even if he didn't see someone performing it before).

It's something like (I hope that's the good term in English) the "Inertia pass". It's probably not exactly the inertia pass. But I can't take credit of this move. Nevertheless I created this move for "my hands" in order to build the illusion I want to do in very specific conditions. I didn't know about this technic before... It happens, that's not so terrible.
Il était une fois...

CENDRE
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Sybilmagic
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Thanks for that clearly well thought out post. I often read articles in Magic Menu the large collection of the five or so years. There is an interesting article in there detailing the harm that "Magicians Do". Sometimes I suspect a lot of tricks on the market today of having remarkably similar properties to other tricks most recently vox pop rings a bell. Should I question my dealers intentions or the seller to them?
CENDRE
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Difficult to say...
In fact I think a lot of dealers don't even know they sold oldies in a new package.

And even if they know, if they are the exclusive dealer, they won't reveal that's an old trick (Have you heard about penomenon?) Smile because a lot of "old tricks" are very effective ones.

But there are a lot of very good forums (this one for example, or you have also the Learned Pig Project) where you will find a beginning of an answer about a trick.

In fact, there are in this forum a lot of people who have a very good magic culture. We can't know everything, but when we cross the information, we can have some clues.
Il était une fois...

CENDRE
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Peter Marucci
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Cendre's right; in a lot of cases, the creator and the dealer may not realize that the move/trick is an old one, that has been invented before.
It's called "parallel lines of thought" and it happens a lot in magic.
Of course, sometimes it happens that a move, trick, or routine is "borrowed" without permission.
That's called "theft" or "plaigarism" and that happens a lot in magic, too! Smile
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Dennis Loomis
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I agree with Peter, rediscovery or reinvention does happen a lot in magic. We're all working with similiar props and themes after all.

Here's one that actually happened to me. For years I've been doing a palm of a card based on the Kelly Bottom Placement. It's fast and clean and gets the card out of the deck immediately after a spectator looks at a card. I did think of it myself, but never wrote it up or shared it with magicians except a couple of close personal friends. Then about two years ago I opened a magic magazine to discover the exact same move described by someone else.

It's called the Kelly Kop and appears in MAGIC. I do not think the other person had any idea of my use or discovery of the move, I believe he just happened to think of the same thing. And, as I never published it, it is properly credited to him.

So, the question you have to ask yourself, when you come up with a new move, is whether you want to keep it to yourself. That's your prerogative, of course, but you do run the risk that someone else will think of the same thing and publish it under their name.

Of course, there is an outside chance that one of the friends that I showed the move to showed someone that showed the person that published it. I have no way of knowing or proving that. The moral is, if you want to be know as the originator in the magic community, you have to be the first to publish or market the move or effect.
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thimblerig
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This "parallel lines of thought" concept is real and has happened to me numerous times.

I re-invented the "K-M" move and also came up with a great click pass, which as it turns out, is only a slight variant of something Harvey Rosenthal published in a set of his lecture notes...In my profession I have conceived of several research projects and initiated them only to have another group publish their results first...

I guess if the invention works for you, in your routine, it doesn't matter so much who came up with it and there is still some personal pleasure to be gained in reflecting on the fact that you HAVE truly created something --and the value of that something is reinforced by the fact that others also found it useful ("Hey, I think like Marlo and Harvey Rosenthal! Cool.)

The sad part about this, for me, is not that I didn't come up with a given idea first, but that if I had the temerity to publish "my idea" only to find later that it also lay buried in "Marlo's variation of Vernon's lost underground $100 manuscript on obscure and painful arthritic card moves," of which there exists only one mimeographed copy...I will be taken to task by any number of small minded people for my lack of scholarly research and proper crediting...and likely be accused of piracy.

The "I invented it first" arguments get very very tiresome, particularly when one inventor assumes the other is a liar or a thief...(see virtually any issue of Apocalypse and all the "Marlo did it first" stuff of the Marlo apologists).

That having been said, I also understand intellectual property rights and the need for proper crediting of original thought. The question for me is, what constitutes "due diligence" in researching one's (possibly) new creations? Particularly with the exponential increase in availablity of (non-indexed) information now it is very difficult to do exhaustive research. Magicians have changed from a secret society where secrets are truly closely guarded to one where rapid publication of even the most trivial variation of an established move or routine is sought to establish ownership. However there are so many sources of publication: web sites, electronic and hard copy newsletters, journals, new books, reprints of the classics, self published notes, etc. that trying to determine originality is fraught with pitfalls.

There is just too much information out there for anyone to really know it all. How big does one's personal library have to be? When does it stop being fun? I guess we all have to decide the answers to those questions for ourselves and let our moral compass be our guide.

tr
PS: I just invented a cool move I like to call "The Glide," a great coin catching routine I've termed "The Miser's Dream," and I have a fantastic idea for a routine where a chosen card rises from the deck...Dibs! Dibs!
Smile
Garrett Nelson
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Inventing a new sleight (espicially for cards or coins) is pretty rare. Or pretty common. It depends on how you look at it.

Pretty much everything these days (pretty much everything, not absolutely everything. Making sure that is clear before I get pummeled) is at least very similar to something in the past. “A is different from B because your little finger goes here instead of here, and the cover is just a bit off to the left…..”

So in my humble opinion, there are many sleight variants (yes, it is a pun), but not entirely new sleights.

Cheers
christopher carter
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Very true. But often minute variances can make a big difference in the function of a sleight. In my youth I published a sleight in the Linking Ring, arrogantly attaching my name to it. Later I found that essentially this same sleight could be attributed to a rather famous card man. The thing is, the minute variation between my handling of the sleight and his cleaned up the move dramatically. So whose sleight is it? In the long run, credit of the origination of the idea goes to the earlier publication, even if I did develop mine independently, or even if I may have improved upon it.

More important, though, is that there is no need to be in such a rush to publish new moves or tricks. It really is better to keep them secrets.

--Christopher Carter
Sybilmagic
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Hi all, maybe we should consider variations to a move in a new light.
For example, if someone invented a variation to Elmsley count rather than scrubbing A. Elmsley name we should have A. Emsley (VAR) Variators Name. This would ensure that both names had been considered.

I am sure that there is a knowledgeable person out there who could begin to write a database of all the moves and sleights tricks invented. Any offers guys should take a good 20 years.

Just to mention does anyone have Paul Wilson twist fate? Does anyone think his recognition for the person on the last move he explains is a bit dodgy?
groovy
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sybilmagic,

This might be what you are looking for in terms of a database for moves, routines etc.

http://www.lybrary.com/mlp/

Groovy
AndiGladwin
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Quote:
On 2002-07-05 05:00, Sybilmagic wrote:
Hi all, maybe we should consider variations to a move in a new light.
For example, if someone invented a variation to Elmsley count rather than scrubbing A. Elmsley name we should have A. Emsley (VAR) Variators Name. This would ensure that both names had been considered.


Edit: I've just realised that I read your post incorrectly, but I thought I'd leave mine here anyway as it may spark a little controversy. Smile

Unfortunately, this would do little in pushing magic forwards. I consider myself to be a student of technical card magic and the history and the timeline of how moves arrived at how we learn them today. The problems that were posed, the input of certain individuals and where they were originally published is of great interest to me. Who may have re-invented it is not so important unless scandal is involved. A lot of digging seems to be happening lately and its quite fun looking on from a distance. I digress…

If I re-invent a move (and believe me, I have dozens of times), it is my responsibility to not publish it. Adding a credit to he who walked before me does not release that responsibility – in fact, it makes it even worse as there is no naivety involved. However, when I do re-invent a move (which happens less as I read more), I simply use it as a springboard to jump into a deeper pool and push the invention even further.

Creating a list of re-inventions would be equally as unconstructive. Compiling a list of the directions taken would be a far more useful way to spend our time so budding students can look back and study what our mentions learnt from.

--Andi
Dolini
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Peter,

I just want to say you have a grasp on reality. If you take life and yourself seriously its a tragedy if you don't its a comedy. You make me laugh Peter.

Dolini
John O'Shea Dolan
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