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Topic: Cogitations
Message: Posted by: rannie (Jul 29, 2005 10:32PM)
Its been quite a while since the last article in Cogitations. I wonder if that was the last. Is it over? Can somebody tell me?


Message: Posted by: Mito (Jul 29, 2005 10:54PM)
I got an email asking to renew---I didn't.

Oh well, I feel I got my money's worth. Just got tired of waiting for the "weekly" articles.
Message: Posted by: rannie (Jul 29, 2005 11:17PM)
Thanks Mito. Same here man. It would be nice to at least be informed that the initial subscription is over. I did not get an email. Anyway it was great while I had it. At least I don't have to check now and then for new articles.

Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 29, 2005 11:34PM)
Ya shoulda seen it coming...

Message: Posted by: Paul H (Jul 30, 2005 02:39AM)
I understand is that the new Cogitations will take shape soon but that Steve is currently being delayed by other matters. don't lose hope!!


Paul H
Message: Posted by: vago (Jul 30, 2005 03:04AM)
I didn't renew also,

In my taste it didn't match the commercial promisses.

Hope to see it grow into something better.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 30, 2005 07:48AM)
I did not get an email but my email provider ziplip has closed down so at the moment I have not got an email.
Anyway, I thought it was well worth the money I would have another 6 months when or if it continues. There was only one thing that I was disappointed about and that was not seeing something from Paul Chosse, unless I missed it. To tell the truth I singed up not expecting but hoping to see a video of him in action.

Message: Posted by: Steranko (Jul 30, 2005 07:52AM)
From what I hear, Youell is moving house at the moment so its difficult for him to update.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Jul 30, 2005 07:57AM)
I too thought the first six months was a bargain. The only thing that irked me a little was the incessant free advertising that Steven got on these pages. It was quite often like watching Sky TV during the day and been interrupted every few minutes by, "Have you been injured and it wasn't your fault?!"
Message: Posted by: jtcavataio (Jul 30, 2005 08:29AM)
I didn't really think Steven was advertising. He really just posted each update to advise that it was there. I took it more as a notification for members so they could go and get a look at the material.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Jul 30, 2005 08:55AM)
I know. That IS, of course, what was happening. But he could easily notify subscribers by a 'broadcast' email to all 'members.' That would achieve the same.

By alerting all on these pages does just that and more. You'd be naive to think that that is not 'advertising.' I know, I subscribed by viewing an 'update' here and I know others did too.

I have no issue with Steven - indeed we are asked by our host to support our 'sponsors' - their links are between all the categories on the 'front' page of the Café. (incidentally, Cogitations has dispapeared from there too!) However, there was for a while, a plethora of 'updates' from Steven. As I alluded to in my analogy above, it became a pain in the butt!

I don't recall seeing any 'updates' from the likes of The Learned Pig or John Racherbaumer et al or any of the bigger sponsors.

Anyway, just my view. But back on thread - yes, what happened?
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Jul 30, 2005 09:17AM)
On 2005-07-30 08:48, tommy wrote:
There was only one thing that I was disappointed about and that was not seeing something from Paul Chosse, unless I missed it. To tell the truth I singed up not expecting but hoping to see a video of him in action.


I'm sorry that you didn't get anything sooner, but I recently sent Steve several things for Cogitations. We did a "Twenty Questions" type interview, and he will be posting the first half of that shortly. In addition, one of the questions asked what items I would be contributing in the second "session" of Cogitations. I listed three items I am particularly proud of, and that have never appeared in print. Those will be coming up in the near future. I also described several items that I will do on top of my committed items, if time allows. Please be patient, I think that 20.00 is incredibly cheap for the content on that site. If all you got was what has alreay appeared you recieved far more that you get in any 20.00 set of notes, or book, that I have seen recently. I certainly got way more value than the mere 20 bucks, just from Paul Cummins' contribution. The articles by Ron Bauer were also well worth the subscription price, all by themselves, the three-part card trick was brilliant! I have a Will and Finck card cutter that I put to work immediately! I'm not going to list all the material on the site, but if you subscribed and are unhappy I think you might want to re-evaluate.

I can't speak for the other contributors, but I can tell you about my own commitments. I don't do magic for a living, and I don't receive any compensation for what I post. On the other hand, I love this craft, and I do the best I can to give back to the community that has been so good to me over the years. It is important to me that whatever I contribute be as clearly written as possible, and that the reader can learn the material from that writing. I have to live with whatever I finally allow to appear under my name. I'm also not a professional writer, so it takes me a while to get things the way I want them. Maybe I'm a perfectionist and should learn to let go of things when they are acceptable to most people. But, that seems to be difficult for me. Also, since this isn't my primary source of income, or my full time occupation, I have to squeeze the writing in between all the other things in my so-called life.

I hope you'll accept my apologies for being so slow, but rest assured that there is material coming shortly. And, if you haven't commited to a second season of Cogitations, you might want to think about doing so. I, by the way, DO NOT recieve anything for this, I have no interest in the site other than to support what I think is an excellent value and a really good idea. It is difficult for a fledgling publication to get all the bugs worked out and to meet everyone's expectations. I, for one, am willing to give Steve my full support as long as I'm convinced that he is trying his best to deliver. So far I am...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 30, 2005 11:35AM)

I am sure I speak for thousands when I say we are obliged for all your help. You must realize however your many fans are a demanding lot and would love to see your work. You are so underground I think we have more chance of seeing a film of Erdnase than one of you. We live in hope however. :)
I look forward to seeing your contribution on Cogitations, obviously, and many thanks for doing it. Thanks also for taking the time to explain your position. I could not agree more about all you say about Cogitations. I am amazed actually how low-cost magic teaching is in general. If it were not guys like you I am sure the student would be having to pay a far greater price.


Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Jul 30, 2005 01:00PM)

Thank you for the compliment. I don't know that I am THAT underground, but it is true that I don't have a particularly high profile. I just don't get to many conventions, and I no longer earn an income from magic, so my presence is much more subdued than it was years ago. I AM still very involved with magic personally, though. It is my primary hobby, and a great source of enjoyment. I practice daily, write for myself, share a few things with friends, post to the Café, and perform impromptu frequently. The whole thing is cathartic, a welcome relief from the stresses of daily life. I can't think of anything I've tried that is quite as rewarding. Between the mental stimulation, the pleasure of reading and research, and the fun of doing tricks for people, Magic is as beneficial a hobby as anything I can think of.

As to the possibility of a performance video, well, who knows? I'm not opposed to it, I just don't have the equipment to facilitate such a thing. I know it is relatively easy, but I haven't made the effort to find out what I need to do. There is some video, of me doing things, floating around out there, mostly friends who shot the video as a teaching aid for themselves. Maybe I can get copies and ask Steve to do whatever to put it up. No promises though...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean (Jul 30, 2005 02:04PM)
I just received an email from Steven Youell saying that Cogitations II will feature Ron Bauer's Riffle Action Palm. That and what Paul Chosse has coming up makes the renewal cost the best bargain around.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 30, 2005 02:27PM)

That what would be very cool Paul. So long as it does not impede your golf course tricks at the 18th hole. I would not like to be responsible for encouraging you to a “Display of Ability” that you might come to regret later.
Apart that we will hold you to that promise. Just Kidding.

I have fallen to the temptation myself today and put up a video at that magicvideodepot place but the good thing about video is you can just show the hands at work. From my point of view, it is good because I get some help from card guys on how to improve without being shot. I don’t do much these days with cards anyway, apart from magic but I run a game. The art does not inspire confidence in players that the game is on the square even if it is. So I keep it sort of secret and just show it to guys who know the score.

Message: Posted by: Samuel (Jul 30, 2005 05:40PM)
Excuse my question, but what actually is 'Cogitations'? It really sounds interesting...
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 30, 2005 06:02PM)
I am sure your kidding Sam but if not it's this:

If you mean the word 'Cogitations" I am not sure what it means.

Message: Posted by: Samuel (Jul 30, 2005 06:10PM)
I wish I was kidding, I really haven't heard about the magazine before.

I went on the site to subscribe, but I couldn't. I tried both of the links, and they both took me to the log-in page. On the log-in page, I was redirected to the first site when I wished to know "how to subscribe".

Any ways around this? I'll sign up presto if I can, 20$ for 6 months - and activity every week - that's well worth it already ;)
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Aug 1, 2005 04:36PM)
Calm Down, Fellas!

Here's the deal-- Cogitation Subscriptions go by content, not by time.
Although I TRY and publish every week or so, real life often gets in the
way, especially for many of my contributors. Cogitations I will be wrapped
up this week and Cogitations II will start soon after.

If you haven't been getting e-mail updates on all this stuff, the cause
is most often that you have subscribed using a PayPal account that has a
different e-mail address. That's the e-mail address I use to send update

Now that my computer and equipment is unpacked from my recent move, things
will be getting back on track relatively quickly.


Steven Youell
Message: Posted by: Samuel (Aug 2, 2005 03:15AM)
[b]Steven Youell[/b]: I am a serious card worker and magician, and I would love to get to join in on the Cogitation. Could you please tell me how to do this?

When I try to do so on the site, I only get a message telling me that "Sorry, you do not have access to view this site" or something like that.

I have also sent you a pm with this message, to be sure that you read it :)

With all respect,
Message: Posted by: Steranko (Aug 2, 2005 08:46AM)
On 2005-07-30 15:04, Dan McLean wrote:
I just received an email from Steven Youell saying that Cogitations II will feature Ron Bauer's Riffle Action Palm. That and what Paul Chosse has coming up makes the renewal cost the best bargain around.

Nice, the RAP is a beautiful piece of engineering. Cant wait!
Message: Posted by: Mito (Aug 3, 2005 08:47AM)
On 2005-08-01 17:36, syouell wrote:
Calm Down, Fellas!

Here's the deal-- Cogitation Subscriptions go by content, not by time.

"24 Articles were promised for the initial six months of Cogitations and
currently 19 have been published. (I do NOT count my lecture notes
as one of the articles, that's just a bonus). I will easily be able to have
all 24 Articles posted by June 15th and all the archive CD's out by the
end of June. Once the 24 Articles have been posted, Cogitations will
remain static until June 25th at which time all material will be archived."

Call me impatient. :cool:
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Aug 3, 2005 07:12PM)
Nope, you're not impatient. I miscalled that one. Right after that e-mail
was sent, moving my entire household became a reality. And escrow paperwork
became a nightmare.

Apologies to all who feel they were slighted.

Steven Youell
Message: Posted by: jskalon (Aug 3, 2005 07:47PM)
Do you mean "Slighted" or "Sleighted" ?
Message: Posted by: Andrei (Aug 4, 2005 12:13AM)
Mr Youell - and regarding Samuel's question?

Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Aug 4, 2005 04:49AM)
Already answered via e-mail. Any other inquires should be directed to me via e-mail as well.

Steven Youell


Thank you all for your patience!

Part One of "20 Questions for Paul Chosse has been posted.
Thus far, Paul has anwered about half the questions and it's
taken nearly 14 pages!

Now you can really learn something about the Semi-Underground
Legend! AND he'll tell you what he's planning for Cogitations II !

Steven Youell
Message: Posted by: stevenamills (Aug 9, 2005 09:47AM)
On 2005-07-29 23:54, Mito wrote:
I got an email asking to renew---I didn't.

Oh well, I feel I got my money's worth. Just got tired of waiting for the "weekly" articles.


Not picking on you, but your statement was handy and gives me a leaping off point I guess.

I speak for no one else, but Cogitations DID NOT deliver what was promised. I don't see how anyone could deny that. The revisionist's history tends to soften the blow, but doesn't change the facts.

I will never pretend to tell someone whether they got their moneys worth or not - not my business. If you buy a car at a great price and on delivery it didn't have a spare tire, a backseat and the jack, you may have gotten your moneys worth, but not what was purchased.

I also resist, the "real life happens" sort of arguments in all cases such as this. How long does it take to make a post on the Café or a broadcast message to all subscribers - 5 minutes? This type of excuse is always the weakest to me. If there was a desire to inform purchasers of delays and/or changes it is easily done.

"Real life" also encompasses delivering product as stated in any commercial venture. When sites are free - that's another matter.

I thought about making this post for several days and whether I should do it privately. Obviously, I decided to make a public post. This was a public venture, heavily advertised and promoted right here and this is the proper forum for critiques to my way of thinking.

Message: Posted by: xformer7 (Aug 9, 2005 10:26PM)
Nahhh. Cogitations will go on. There were and are certainly more than enough people that feel they received their money's worth and more. I count myself among them.

At the same time, nobody can gripe with those who will bail because value aside, they didn't receive what they bargained for or lost patience with the manner in which it was delivered. I agree that the "life happens" stuff has its limits for a commercial venture. However, one can hope there is a learning curve with a new venture.

Stacking the value of what was delivered plus the items promised for round 2 (by Paul Chosse....Ron Bauer's RAP....), I am willing to hang on for another subscription....only this time, I won't be logging in so frequently. Count me in.
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean (Aug 9, 2005 10:53PM)
I've already paid for the next installment of Cogitations just based on Paul Chosse's upcoming plans and the Ron Bauer RAP. Those alone make it the best money I've spent on magic this year.
And I'm more than happy with what I spent on the current Cogitations. In these days where guys are throwing together a few routines, mostly "derivative", and putting them on a DVD, I have no complaints with Steven Youell. Cogitations is a steal. I don't know what was promised. I do know I got more than I paid for.
Youell's 65-page Weapons of Mass Destruction notes alone contains two routines he and Paul Chosse floored me with at the A-1 convention Chosse wrote about in his column.
There was also Ron Bauers TTT, a much sought after technique, and also a stone fooler new trick by him. Then there are videos of Luvisi's second and bottom deals, Wimhurst's DPS fan steal and LePaul's Auto Jog finesse, routines by Mike Powers and JC Wagner, the list goes on.
Cogitations, for me, was a bargain. And no, Steven isn't paying me a dime.
Message: Posted by: jtcavataio (Aug 10, 2005 05:49AM)
Remember, good things come to those who wait! There are definitely some good things coming down the line. I am more than willing to stay on board for all the gems that are on their way.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Aug 10, 2005 08:30PM)
On 2005-08-09 10:47, stevenamills wrote:

I speak for no one else, but Cogitations DID NOT deliver what was promised.


Mr. Mills is correct. Cogitations did not have "weekly updates" as promised.
My feelings will not be hurt by people who do not wish to subscribe to
Cogitations II because of this fact. I do not attempt to "revise" history
and will never do so.

On 2005-08-09 10:47, stevenamills wrote:

How long does it take to make a post on the Café or a broadcast message to all subscribers - 5 minutes?


Here though, Mr. Mills is factually incorrect. Each and everytime Cogitations was
updated or an article was delayed I sent a mass e-mail to all subscribers. Some
subscribers apparently were not getting these e-mails for various reasons,
including security settings, and people using different e-mail addresses than
those associated with their paypal account. The fact that most people got these
messages demonstrates that Mr. Mills is in error.

On 2005-08-09 10:47, stevenamills wrote:

This was a public venture, heavily advertised and promoted right here and this is the proper forum for critiques to my way of thinking.


We simply disagree here. I believe that if I have a problem in a business
transaction then I should contact him first before picketing his store in
public. To me, that's common courtesy.

Steven Youell
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Aug 11, 2005 09:17AM)
You know up till about Six Months ago, the real life excuse might not have flown with me. But then real life decided to rear its head. This is not a "poor me" post... but over the last year:

Good Friend in Portland died after being in intensive care for a month (after a car accident, (33 years old)
Grandmother died (first immediate family member for me)
Emergency C-section of my daughter (healthy.. woo hoo)
Emergency Gallbladder surgery for my wife (healthy now.. woo hoo)
Emergency Transport from Juneau to Seattle to get a stone "removed"...

The last three of those happened in the last 3 months.

I am sorry but there are times that Real Life excuse is more than just an excuse. And honestly, times when posts, even five minutes to the Café are out of the question.

In all my dealings with Steven, when he feels something has not been right, in the end it becomes right. It is with that knowledge that I continue.

These are my thoughts and experiences, no one elses. Not saying you have to buy the excuse, but I do.

Message: Posted by: xformer7 (Aug 11, 2005 01:51PM)
I would like to chime in to express that John's is not an isolated experience. With Steven, in the end, he makes things right. Comes from dealing with a person of integrity. My patience has always been rewarded.

Message: Posted by: pierredan (Aug 11, 2005 02:50PM)
I'm a member of Cogitations.

I never received any email updates. I now realize it's due to the misspelled email address I gave Steven.

At no point have I felt disappointed with Cogitations.

Regardless of the petty arguments putting down Cogitations, I'm a satisfied customer.
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Aug 13, 2005 12:04PM)
There are more things in life better worth complaining about.
This isn't one of them.
Its magic. I take it as I get it.
Steve delivers good stuff, you may add "eventually".
Rest assured, when he delivers, its the finest. I've found it to be quality [i]and[/i] quantity.
Personally, I can't even count the times I've spent twenty bucks on things that have delivered far less or nothing at all.
Sure, I would like Cogitations to be more scheduled, but cheese, Louise...put it into perspective.
Message: Posted by: jtcavataio (Aug 13, 2005 12:07PM)
Amen Ron!!!
Message: Posted by: cgscpa (Aug 14, 2005 03:48PM)
John Lennon said it best: "Life is what happens when you try to make other plans."

Personally speaking, I thought Stephen did keep members informed during [i] Cogitations [/i] first run. I will gladly subcribe again.
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Aug 14, 2005 09:15PM)
I've known Steven Youell for many years. I have worked with Steve on many projects. Steve has represented me at various corporate functions, and has worked as the "talent" on many levels in the business environment. I have never been disappointed in his performance. I am NOT talking about his Magic Performances, though they have always been excellent. I am talking about his performance as a member of the marketing teams we assemble for various projects in the" real world". He has also served as the contact person and coordinator of several marketing efforts I have been retained to develop. At NO TIME has his integrity ever been called into question. And at no time has he EVER failed to deliver whatever the contract calls for, to the clients full satisfaction. Of course, we insist, in all our efforts, on full cooperation from the client, and on good comunication. It is the ONLY way that we can guarantee a successful program. I am concerned that you are having issues with the material you contracted for, and am surprised that you can't resolve this with Steven directly, that you feel it necessary to air your personal issues publicly. I would suggest a more moderate approach. Perhaps talking to Steven directly would be a start?

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 14, 2005 09:39PM)
Quality - tested - performance - magic - TAKES TIME!

It takes time to come up with performance ideas in magic.

It takes time to audience test magic routines.

It takes time to write the routines down edit and rewrite copy.

It has been my experience for many years that in magic good magic performance material is worth waiting for. And for the true student of magic - it is worth it's weight in GOLD.

In a world where many have the - we want it now and were entitled to it or we complain - it still doesn't change the facts that the faster the magic comes in production that speed often leads to poor quality.

I am not a member or a subscriber to this project but I know a few people that I respect and are great with a deck that are subscribers. And I have heard nothing but great talk about the quality of the routines. Quality in magic routines is worth waiting for.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Aug 15, 2005 02:27AM)
Here's an idea: refund everyone's money and start with a clean slate!
It sounds like you want to refund the one guy who'll ID himself, so why not everyone?
We all know some will never complain, so search your heart.

Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Aug 15, 2005 03:03AM)
Some facts.

$20 was a snip for what was on offer.

Some well-intentioned 'promises' failed to deliver ($20 don't forget)

Thousands killed in terrorist activity.

Millions starving. (someone mentioned perspective)

Doubts over 'credibility' grow after witnessing 'head-honcho's' tantrum on public forum.

$20 saved for next 'best seling' book.
Message: Posted by: Steranko (Aug 15, 2005 03:12AM)
Again I want to re-iterrate that I and all of the Compendium Members that post on the Compendium Forums are 100% happy with this situation. We know what was promised, we know that it will come. Fact is, the information on the first four CD's are more than enough to work with for a good 2 years.
Message: Posted by: Eric Grossman (Aug 15, 2005 08:58AM)
I will ask you not to speak for all Compendium members. I paid my $169 and I am a member. I have not asked Steve for a refund, because I'm happy with what material I have received.

While I don't begrudge Steve (too greatly) over it, I am greatly disappointed with the way the project turned out on the whole. We were promised 12 cds in 12 months, for our money. That has manifested itself in 4 cds in about 2 years. At this pace, Steve will be 7 years late on his promise. If he would have advertised 12 cds in 8 years, I probably would have saved my money.

Whether or not I have mastered the work Steve has sent does not matter. It doesn't even matter whether I look at the cds, use them as drink coasters, or play frisbee golf with them. The point is, what was PROMISED, ADVERTISED, PROMOTED, and PAID FOR, WAS NOT DELIVERED.

Add to that, the complaints about "Cogitations" on this thread, and there is an apparently disappointing trend to the way Steve does business. Keep in mind, that I know nothing about Cogitations. I'm only reacting to this thread.

I make my entire living, as a performer. Even as flaky as the entertainment business is, If I were to adopt this type of business model, I would be finished.

You wrote,:
"But in truth, only the Compendium Members know what was promised, what
was delivered and how the nature of the project has changed. And to the best of my knowledge, you're not one of them. Once the project is finished, the people who are currently passing judgement without having all the facts will feel mighty silly."

I am a paid Compendium member, and I do know what was promised and delivered. I know the facts as I need to know them, and as they concern me, the consumer. I do not feel silly in voicing my disappointment.

Please do not accuse me of be incompassionate here, but the customer is always right. Whatever problems, issues, or life concerns you are going through, please know that I honestly hope the best for you from one man to another. As G-D is my witness, and as a Christian man, please believe that to be true. But as a customer in a business transaction, those are your problems, not mine.
Again, what little of your product I have received is stellar. It is not ,however, what you promised.

Eric Grossman
St. Louis, MO
Message: Posted by: loopyloopy (Aug 15, 2005 09:38AM)
"If you mean the word 'Cogitations" I am not sure what it means."

This has nothing to do with cards but a cogitation is a carefully considered thought.
Message: Posted by: Alniner (Aug 15, 2005 09:47AM)
I can't believe people are arguing over $20.00. Really!!! We've all gone to lectures and spent far more than that on lecture notes. Here, Steven gave us one complete set of lecture notes and a whole bunch of other material. We've all gotten our money's worth. If you don't believe you have, then I challenge you to show me everything from Cogitations season 1! Heck, I can't even do half of what was given to us!
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Aug 15, 2005 12:01PM)
YOU don't have to argue about YOUR $20. Okay.
Here's an analogy.
You go to a resturant and order steak and lobster with a side order of fries and salad.

Salad comes. You eat your salad - it's wonderful!

Here comes your food!

Wait a minute! It's just a big order of fries!

You're told not to worry and you start in on your fries. They're great!
You wait for your steak and lobster, and wait, and wait...

You ask to see the manager - he comes over and tells you that the "nature" of the resturant had changed, they no longer do surf and turf.

You start to raise your voice - people at the other tables point and say "look! He hasn't even FINISHED his fries!"

Some one even gets up and tells you "There's enough fries there for two more meals! Why don't you finish them before you start complaining?"

Another guy points out that $20 is a bargin for steak and lobster, and that last week he paid $20 for pizza and got only half as many FRIES as are on your plate.

You have to admit that the salad and fries were first rate, but did you get what you were promised?

The manager comiserates with you and admits that even he would be wary of eating at an establishment like his.

You're not happy, but seeing as you're a magician, you leave a big tip!