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Topic: When is or isn't "exposure" equal to EXPOSURE?
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Dec 29, 2005 07:47AM)
Ok, first, please read the whole thing before you decide what my position on the matter is.

Second, I am not (yet) a magician as I can only do a few self working and gimmicked tricks. I am however working on my sleights, so someday....

Third, I am actually an adult with some common sense and real-world education, so although I am new to the forum, and magic in general, I don’t think I’m out of bounds on this one.

Ok, so here it is. I work in the Government sector (former military, now a contractor) and deal with classified & sensitive information on a daily basis. One of the first things we learn is the danger (that's right danger) of over classification or classification of information that is not classified at all. Why is it dangerous, well, it limits unnecessarily the dissemination of information that could be crucial to our defense for one thing. Plus classification of information that is not really classified leads to a lax attitude (in some) about classification procedures all together. This can lead to improper handling and compromise (EXPOSURE) of real classified info.

What does this have to do with magic? Well, let’s see. Yesterday there was a discussion about the order/pairing of a particular deck of cards. The original poster needed some help reassembling his deck. Most people that responded basically told the guy, hey; go buy a new deck so you can replace your lost directions. One person attempted to help the person in the open forum, but got the answer partly wrong. Then there were the “we were TRYING to avoid exposure” replies. I finally got sick of the whole thing and replied that someone should just PM the person with the correct order. I believe the person really owns the deck and wasn’t trying to surreptitiously obtain the “secret.” Interestingly, the whole discussion had been moved to the secret sessions. Funny, but unless my reply was deleted, I now have a post in the secret session that I cannot read, how ironic :D

What does it all boil down to? What harm would it have done to answer the guy in the open to say that all the pairs add up to X#, and order doesn’t really matter. I don’t think this would have given away the “real secret” of the deck. Maybe I’m wrong.

What about lax attitudes regarding the proper handling of truly sensitive “secrets?” Well, even I, the total NewB, who at the time had never been to magic shop, could decipher things like “G****ck, T***b T**, M****t based on context and such. Many secrets far more “sensitive” were given up in those posts.

What’s the solution? I have no idea. We could “trust” each other not to give out the truly sensitive secrets which would constitute “EXPOSURE,” but then there is the problem of defining exactly where that threshold is met. The Magic Café staff could limit viewing of most of the forums to members only, thus limiting the damage of someone saying too much. All posts could be moderated (a nightmare for the staff). We could simply say nothing at all related to any secret (to include all the letters replaced by “*.”

I asked you to read the whole thing before you decide where I stand on the issue. The fact is, that I don’t yet know myself where I stand. So, I’ll keep my mouth shut on secrets in the open forum, and someday I’ll get to the secret sessions where I can ask a couple of questions I really need help with. For example how do you get the G****ck E*****c B*** to go back under the R*** you wear when doing the _______ effect. :D

I'll put my fireproof suit on now if I need to :D
Jim
Message: Posted by: abc (Dec 29, 2005 11:26AM)
Exposure is when you tell the general public that in the sawing in half illusion you actually use twins and that one inevitably dies in the illusion and that you can not tell the people because you will go to jail for murder.
Other than that I kinda agree with you.
My girlfriend is starting to learn some magic but mostly because I need a proper assistant if I want to take my next step and I taught her linking rings a while ago. She watched some videos, and now she can do a little routine. Then I took the rings from her last night and basically duplicated her routine but with some minor handling changes and she was in awe.
The reason I mention this is purely because exposure is ony harmful when it actually harms magic and if magicians spend more time getting their performances onto a level where they are very entertaining with the same level of energy as they protect secrets you can pick up in a childrens book on magic magic will once agian be a great art.
So as for protecting secrets by performing properly and not exposing key secrets in your performances because of a lack of practise I am 100% for protecting secrets. Most of our secrets though can eother be figured out or people have a fairly good idea but they are still entertained. There is no adult in the world today that believes yu can really saw a woman in half. They all kinda know but few really know.
So as for a PM to re-explain the secret set up I agree that was a little over the top. and unnecesary.
Hope you get into the secret sessions soon.
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Dec 29, 2005 11:32AM)
You mean you CAN'T really saw a woman in half? Man, I've been practising with sponge balls until my wife trusts me enough to use her instead ;)
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Dec 29, 2005 11:51AM)
Magicians often get unnecessarily overwrought regarding exposure. I would ask all to read the enlightening article by Tim Ellis on exposure in the latest issue of MAGIC magazine.

As for helping the guy out. I feel if you are going to help, then help. If you are not - don't post! But this is a free country and I myself have been guilty of telling someone something they were asking was out of bounds. But hey, that's because people don't read the rules when they sign up here.

The Proper thing is that anyone willing to help the guy out would have taken care of it through a PM or snail mail. I have in the past asked for instructions to a trick I have, that is no longer produced, and had it mailed to me by some kind Magic Café member. (Although it is rare for me NOT to have filed away the instructions). I have done the same for others - again usually through the mail as I think it keeps things more personal and above board.

Frank Tougas

P.S. jpoor, doesn't your wife get upset when you squish her up alongside the other girl?
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Dec 29, 2005 12:31PM)
LOL :D Like I said, I'm STILL practising with spongeballs.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Dec 29, 2005 03:28PM)
Hi Frank, I'm glad you found my article useful. I haven't received MAGIC yet, so I didn't even know it was in.
Message: Posted by: Hammiesink (Dec 29, 2005 05:16PM)
Ug. This whole issue reminds me of two things:

1) When Jerry Falwell said that Tinky Winky the Teletubby was gay; suddenly, Tinky Winky dolls were FLYING off the shelves at toy stores. All he succeeded in doing was drawing attention to "gay" Tinky Winky. You can even find a discussion on Wikipedia where someone is saying that magicians complain about this so much that that's the only reason they wanted to continue posting secrets. Also, someone recently expressed concern on the Café about how a certain children's toy was exposing the secret to the dancing cane. I'd never even heard of that toy until I saw that posting. Now there's a permanent link between the two on the internet.

2) When you walk into a small mom 'n pop bar or restaurant and they have all these "DON'T" signs plastered around: "NO bills over $20 accepted" "Do NOT use cell phones" "DON'T do this!" "DON'T do that!" etc.; I feel it's unfriendly and that the owners are cranky and I really have no interest going there again. Sometimes I feel the same way in the magic community. You're walking on eggshells! Tip toe! Can't say this! Can't say that! Don't do this! Don't do that!

So what I end up doing is just ignore the whole thing and quietly practice and continue to entertain, successfully, using exposed tricks like TT and rings. It's my own personal proof, admittedly unscientific, that exposure hasn't tangibly hurt anything.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Dec 29, 2005 07:05PM)
Here's my thinking on this issue. In a perfect world I would hope that we'd be able to come here. Ask for help. Be trusted that when we say:

"I knew how it was done and I did buy it. But I lost the instructions and it's been a long time since I've done it. So can someone who has it send me the order the cards need to be in?"

To be honest if I was in that situation that's basically how I would ask that questions. I'd first tell them that I did buy it, I can't find the instructions and there's a part of it I don't remember and that has me stumped.

If it was me who asked this I might get a complete answer from some of the members here who actually know me or trust me for what ever reason. Those who don't know or trust me probably won't give me an answer.

The truth is we aren't in a perfect world and there are people out there. Even here on the Café who are seeking secrets to avoid paying or giving credit to the originator in some way. If I could give you access to my PM box here on the Café you would find many legitimate questions and conversations, but you'd also find people asking if they'll trade me for something they bought from someone else for something I have or am selling. Asking me things like, "Can you tell me how to bite a coin" or a more popular one, "Can you teach me how to levitate?"

It's not the people who are trustworthy who are causing this problem. It's those who aren't. While I am the type of person who likes to trust people unless I have a reason not to. Sometimes there's just no way of knowing.

BTW - jpoor. You might even have some insights that we magicians don't have on this issue from what you talked about in your post. Magic has been arguing and trying to work out the protection of secrets and ethics for a long time. After all, without the secrets magic wouldn't be what it is. Some of us could still be entertainers but we wouldn't be "Magicians" as it's known to be now.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Dec 29, 2005 08:08PM)
Ron,
Glad to see you chime in on this one. I wish I were close enough to see you perform. Maybe someday.

I agree that there are people out there who take advantage of others all the time. I got the idea from the post I was talking about that the person knew how the specific deck worked, just needed a reminder on the order. But, I'm not psychic and certainly not above being fooled.

It is entirely possible that he/she gleaned all that information from other posts. In fact I did a search on that deck today, and I believe that I could have constructed one myself with all the information I found. At this point, I have no access to the secret forums, so it's all in open discussion. I'm betting the same is true for a great many other tricks/effects/gimmicks out there. That is a shame.

I certainly won't be exposing any secrets (at least not knowingly), and I'm not in much of a position to help anyone as I don't really know enough to help yet. Figuring out whom to help and how much will be something that I will have to deal with later.


Quote:
BTW - jpoor. You might even have some insights that we magicians don't have on this issue from what you talked about in your post. Magic has been arguing and trying to work out the protection of secrets and ethics for a long time. After all, without the secrets magic wouldn't be what it is. Some of us could still be entertainers but we wouldn't be "Magicians" as it's known to be now.
End Quote

First, I hope that someday I can be counted in the "WE" of "we magicians," I'm working on it.
Second, The issues are quite the same in many ways. For example, how does one
get intelligence to those who need it without blowing the source of the information. This applies to businesses and governments. Sometimes it is easier than other times. The pros and cons have to come into consideration in each case.

Wow, I hope I didn't ramble too much on that one. It's after 9 and my bedtime is 8:30 ;)

Tks, and wish me luck on my overhand shuffle practice :D
Jim
Message: Posted by: abc (Dec 29, 2005 10:39PM)
Well all have been said that can be said I think. Anyone that really wants to know haw something works can get the info from the internet basically free of charge. I read somewhere about the Criss Angel levitation and the way it was explained on the site for FREE basically told you exactly how the effect is done, what the angles are etc etc. The only thing you didn't get was the actual design of the effect or prop or whatever you wanna call it. Now the question is would that be exposure. I don't think so. But it does tell the public or whoever reads it where and what to look for when you see that kind of levitation performed which kinda ruins it. Pretty much the same for the Icarus effect.
Nobody thinks Criss can really fly but what is even more upsetting is that everyone is telling me he used camera tricks which I know is not really true so you are in a situation where you almost want to tell them how he does it just to give the guy credit but that would be exposure. This is Crazy.

Jim- Welcome to the secret sessions by the time you read this you should have 50 posts.

Frank- I have read many of your posts where you have refused to give away something or told someone they are not abiding by the rules, and I do not think you have been over the top ever. A little harsh maybe but for good reason.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Dec 30, 2005 02:24AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-29 23:39, abc wrote:
Well all have been said that can be said I think. Anyone that really wants to know haw something works can get the info from the internet basically free of charge. I read somewhere about the Criss Angel levitation and the way it was explained on the site for FREE basically told you exactly how the effect is done, what the angles are etc etc. The only thing you didn't get was the actual design of the effect or prop or whatever you wanna call it. Now the question is would that be exposure. I don't think so.
[/quote]

Well if it's not exposure... what is it? It can't be "teaching" because it doesn't give you the design of the prop so the aim of their explanation is not to enable others to perform the effect.
Message: Posted by: abc (Dec 30, 2005 08:39AM)
I don't think I made myself very clear so apologies. It was a discussion in a forum similar to this one that I stumbled upon when searching for The DVD on Google. The writer who I am fairly sure has an online store that sells the dvd but I may be wrong had a long post about the levitation. The reason I do not consider that exposure is because the kind of person that spends his entire life trying to figure out how effects are done with out really having an interest in magic is going to find out in some way or another. We can not prevent that and we shouldn't even try to because I think it is a waste of time. Allowing these vultures to stumble upon secrets are in my opinion not exposure since the good the discussion does far outweights the damage of accidental exposure to one of these individuals. I think magicians should guard secrets from the general public to ensure that their shows are and remain magically entertaining because the people who we aim to entertain are not the people who search for free secrets on the internet (and they very often don't pay for their internet access) but the kind of people who actually have enough money to pay us to perform.
Personally regarding the above mentioned effect I would prefer Angel's illusion from a cost point of view which was in essence the point of the discussion and therefor I do not consider it unnecesary exposure.
The balducci that floated around on the internet had every idiot in the world try to show me how they could levitate like David Blaine and this does not go that far which is why I don't consider it exposure.
How this clears up the point because I am very against unnecesary exposure and I hope I have not put my foot in my mouth.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Dec 30, 2005 06:51PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-29 16:28, Tim Ellis wrote:
Hi Frank, I'm glad you found my article useful. I haven't received MAGIC yet, so I didn't even know it was in.[/quote] I thought the article was well thought out and certainly gives the average magician a lot to contemplate. Again I would urge all to read it.

As for Wikipedia, I am convinced that the majority of folks who get on that thing and type magic tricks into its search engine are magicians looking to see what all the uproar is about. Then we complain about all the hits it gets on forums like this prompting other magicians to check it out...etc.

No I don't like exposure but I think it hurts far less than the collective whine magicians make about it. As a therapist I have seen thousands of people, adults, kids and adolescents, maybe three have ever been into magic and a couple got into it after having some exposure to it by me.

There is a big autographed poster of David Copperfield, An autographed Mark Wilson Poster, A Paul Osborne Plan and A Tony Curtis/Janet Leigh Poster for the movie Houdini all framed and on my office walls. I want to make sure my hobby of magic does not offend anyone so I tell them if they have looked around the room they may have guessed my unusual hobby. I want to ask if they have any religous or philosophical problem with it, because though rare, it can happen. Nine times out of ten they either they can not figure out my hobby or ask if it is framing pictures!

Go figure. :) Even with the internet, I'd say our secrets are safe. And I hope all of you have a safe New Year.

Frank Tougas
Message: Posted by: Philosophry (Jan 3, 2006 11:29AM)
I don't think that exposure, EXPOSURE, Exposure or "exposure" will ever damage the image of Magic in the eyes of the general public. If there were a danger of this, the damage would already be done by the numerous online Magic stores. The general public don't need to buy magic (and get the method/solution) to be disillusioned (pun intended) they just need to know it's on sale. What was once inexplicable is now a trick that can be bought for $50. Fortunately, the general public don't go searching internet looking for the solutions to magic tricks. Some people do but not the majority.

The real threat to magic from exposure is that those Magicians who create the original magic will lose revenue. And that if they lose revenue, they will cease to offer up new magic. And magic itself will be all the poorer as a result. So it is in everyone's interest that certain original magic is not exposed by those who have bought the solution.

However, there is a world of difference between revealing the details of Osterlind's Breakthrough Card System (for example) and talking about various well-known gimmicks such as thumbs, swamis, special decks.