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Topic: Magic Community
Message: Posted by: ryanshaw9572 (Aug 21, 2019 08:19AM)
I was thinking that the magic community should do a better job respecting other magicians, keeping secrets secret, etc. Then I realized I have no idea what the “magic community” really is. There’s no way of officially entering any “magic community”. Anyone can come in, with varying levels of commitment, and leave. It would be nice to have more defined boundaries, and more structure to what the magic community actually is, I think.

By the way, this is just an idea, not an argument of mine. I’m curious to see what more experienced people have to say.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 21, 2019 09:53AM)
There are actually several 'official' communities in the forms of clubs and groups worldwide. Those small groups have some ability to police the rank and file but it would be absolutely impossible to exert any serious influence or control over the magic community at large.

Maybe at one time the secrets were actually secret enough to be able to do that, but those days are long since dead and gone.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 21, 2019 10:36AM)
Nothing's impossible. If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anybody.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 21, 2019 10:50AM)
[quote]On Aug 21, 2019, tommy wrote:
Nothing's impossible. If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anybody. [/quote]

Does this stuff sound profound to you when you type it out?

Even if some extremely unlikely event occurred and some group managed to locate and control/destroy ALL available magic information - people would just reinvent it and we'd be right back to where we are now. There's absolutely no way to effectively control what amounts to human creativity - not all over the world.
Message: Posted by: ryanshaw9572 (Aug 21, 2019 11:06AM)
I think it was a joke
Message: Posted by: funsway (Aug 21, 2019 07:33PM)
Over the decades I have written many stories and poems on the theme of community. They are instantly applauded but never lead to changing any person's actions.
While everyone claims a "sense of community" it always someone else's responsibility for making it happen.

Now we have "social media" groups that either prove community is possible or proves it can never happen.

Yet, I know I am part of a "magic community" without any need to define it or place expectations on it.
At least, I always take time to respond to any magician who writes to me, while I do not even answer the phone most days.

Thus, I am suggesting that you can have as much community as ye desire, or none if you seek to claim it.

but, I can provide a clue as to how community can happen by magic - a story as true as you choose to make it or accept in faith.

The Ghost Train Saga

Ely, Nevada is a place ‘too far’ for most people, being about 320 miles away from each of Reno, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Those who sojourn there, however, can take a ride on the ‘Ghost Train’ – even today. The story surrounding its name is used by the local Chamber of Commerce in advertising – referencing ‘connectivity’, ‘power of community action’, etc. as hallmarks. In reality, support of the Train is possibly the only thing in history that the residence have ever agreed on!

Up though the Second World War, rail travel and freight was frequent throughout the this country, and Nevada was no exception. The old wood-burning locomotives were a fixture of many communities, though fuel was difficult to come by in the desert mountains. So, the Eastern company that owned the Ely railroad decided to retire these engines in the early 1950’s – and old #40 was designated to travel back East to be housed in a museum of the ‘real West’. Never happened!

Despite a barrage of messages, orders and threats, the engine never left Ely – while the locals attempted to find a way to keep this part of their heritage and local flavor. Finally, a crew of executives and workers came from the home office to seize the engine and ‘put an end to this nonsense’. The problem was – they couldn’t find the train! Each night the engine would puff merrily along some section of track or another to the delight of the residence; but it could never be found during the day! Hundreds of miles of track were searched, with the sheriff and city officials enrolled to ‘get to the bottom of this’. Citizens were brought in to testify as to what they knew – but many denied even knowing of the train’s existence at all. Posters and buttons appeared with the phrase “WHAT TRAIN?” At one station house it was discovered that there were no records of the engine at all – no schedules, fueling receipts – nothing.

One can only suspect a collusion between rail workers and the local citizens; but it is still not known exactly where the engine was hidden or how it was removed from the tracks. The officials finally gave up, writing a letter gifting the “Ghost Train” to the city if it ever showed up – and exempting it from any rail use fees. It is maintained by a team of volunteers and makes short runs every day of the year – and possibly now holds the record for ‘longest continuous operation’ of any engine.

You won’t find it in any book though – since officially, it does not exist.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 21, 2019 08:58PM)
[quote]On Aug 21, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
... secret enough to be able to do that, but those days are long since dead and gone. [/quote]Imagine a garden reconstructed in a greenhouse, filled with wonders which won't survive in the wild.
Mass media culture can mix puzzles with mysteries, offer antique novelties as plastic toys, and dispel any left over magic as cosplay. Joseph Campbell meets the lost boys. A long time ago ...
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 22, 2019 12:41AM)
[quote]On Aug 21, 2019, ryanshaw9572 wrote:
I think it was a joke [/quote]


Yes: something not to be taken seriously - except by Witchdoctors.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 22, 2019 01:26AM)
Community Service is a criminal sentence. Magicians could make it a criminal offence to reveal the secrets of magic if only they could come to power and then dish out Community Service sentences to offenders. It is not impossible:

“We have a large public that is very ignorant about public affairs and very susceptible to simplistic slogans by candidates who appear out of nowhere, have no track record, but mouth appealing slogans”

― Zbigniew Brzezinski
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Aug 22, 2019 09:41AM)
How do we compare to the guitar community?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 22, 2019 12:54PM)
Well, the guitar community have had their problems with gurus and the like but I don’t think they are so infested with quacks, charlatans and witch doctors.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Aug 23, 2019 04:35AM)
[quote]On Aug 22, 2019, tommy wrote:
so infested with quacks, charlatans and witch doctors. [/quote]

I guess you have never been to an "open mike" night in the USA ;)
Message: Posted by: JoshDude849 (Aug 24, 2019 01:19AM)
Technology has had a horrible effect on creativity. Instead of being creative, to many people are invested in looking down at their phones instead of looking up and standing apart from the mob.

Too much groupthink.

Josh
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 24, 2019 09:38AM)
People have been saying that about every technological advance in history. I've seen antique prints saying that the ready availability of books would make everyone asocial and uncreative. I've seen people complaining about when pen and paper became common, saying it made people stop learning how to properly use a slate.

Creativity hasn't gone down, it just gets expressed differently as times change.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Aug 24, 2019 12:54PM)
I think it's important to define the reasons why we keep secrets because those reasons may not necessarily be the same from one magician to the next and I feel that is where the problem lays.


For instance Penn and Teller have been thrown out of the Magic Circle and the Magic Castle for revealing secrets. They view the concept of not revealing secrets as not a moral rule but a compositional rule. From their perspective if your reveal the secret to a performance of magic just after you have performed it then the whole illusion crumbles. Also they use lesser secrets as a carrot on the stick to sell a bigger secrets in other performances.

Then we have the question, if magicians are not suppose to reveal their secrets, how do you get new magicians? So once we have defined the reason for having secrets and the rule of not revealing them then how do we dispense them? Personally I feel a large proportion of that has already been taken out of our hands with the advent of youtube, magic shops, books, DVDs and other media and platforms.

So I wounder if it's even possible to put that genie back into it's bottle.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 24, 2019 04:49PM)
If the audience knew the secrets then the dilemma would be no more, magicians would have put down their wands and take up the guitar or something like that.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 25, 2019 04:32PM)
[quote]On Aug 21, 2019, ryanshaw9572 wrote:
I was thinking that the magic community should do a better job respecting other magicians, keeping secrets secret, etc. Then I realized I have no idea what the “magic community” really is. There’s no way of officially entering any “magic community”. Anyone can come in, with varying levels of commitment, and leave. It would be nice to have more defined boundaries, and more structure to what the magic community actually is, I think.

By the way, this is just an idea, not an argument of mine. I’m curious to see what more experienced people have to say. [/quote]

Sure have more defined boundaries, but what are they? I have notice that everyone wants to close the door once they are in the room. THEN it is time to worry about keeping others out. How would you have been introduced into the "magic community" had it not had such an open door policy?

How about if a guy who does magic as nothing but a hobby is not allowed in? How about only those who perform magic professionally for a living get in the room? Would that include you? If not would that boundary make you happy?

Drawing boundary lines is by definition discriminatory and leads to no good. Here is the BIG SECRET. THERE ARE NO SECRETS! Never have been. The information has always been readily available to anyone who has enough money to purchase them. Therefore by definition they are not secret. There is no club, there is no governing board that is anything but symbolic, there are no tests. NOTHING as a barrier to entry except of course if you have enough money for dues and the purchase of secrets.

What is different today? The ONLY thing that is different is that there are some yahoos who think their every idiotic utterance is worthy of being on YouTube or Facebook. Still no different than it has ever been. You want a secret? Come up with something, and don't tell ANYONE! There ya have a secret, a method you can't get busted on and something to keep to yourself.

Here is another news flash. I have been performing professionally full time for over 30 years. I am not a part of the "magic community". I went to 1 convention in that time. I am not a member of IBM or any of those things. I don't "session" (As if that is even a verb.) with other magicians. Too busy working. I will also tell you that a much larger percentage of folks than you think fall into this category. But this is because of circumstance and by choice. Magic is not my hobby. Fishing and golf are those. Not my job.

But to be intentionally discriminatory is not going to help our craft at all. Everyone is and darn well should be welcome. Because there is always someone on the other side of that boundary line that is not going to be happy.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Aug 25, 2019 06:55PM)
Who makes the rules? No one. If you want a union, you can start one, but how would you control anyone who didn't join?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 25, 2019 07:20PM)
[quote]On Aug 25, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
Who makes the rules? No one. If you want a union, you can start one, but how would you control anyone who didn't join? [/quote]

Another fine point.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Aug 25, 2019 08:02PM)
I would hypothesize that one key ingredient for any group or "community" to survive and flourish would be shared respect. If I seen an amateur at any level that shows respect for the craft and respect for the more experienced, I well help them in any way. On the other hand, If that respect isn't there, I have no desire to give away knowledge or experience to anyone just because they perceive themselves to be a "peer".
Message: Posted by: Aus (Aug 27, 2019 02:29AM)
[quote]On Aug 25, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:
I would hypothesize that one key ingredient for any group or "community" to survive and flourish would be shared respect. If I seen an amateur at any level that shows respect for the craft and respect for the more experienced, I well help them in any way. On the other hand, If that respect isn't there, I have no desire to give away knowledge or experience to anyone just because they perceive themselves to be a "peer". [/quote]

But lets not forget there are many reasons one gains and loses respect. Respect isn't a right and it is earned and lost under many pretexts. There is a immensely experienced magician that posts here often and I have no respect for simply because he wealds his experience in a self righteous and arrogant fashion to belittle and look down on others and has no tolerance for disagreement or criticism constructive or otherwise. That has nothing to do with his magic ability but rather his interpersonal skills and how he treats others.

I often find that these guys get a free pass in the decent human bring department because of the experience they hold as if experience gives them a free pass. Well in my moral code book it doesn't, and if that means I have to lose opportunity's with people like you Ray so be it, I'd rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I'm not.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 27, 2019 07:53AM)
The best advice a full-timer ever gave part-timers was simply: “Don’t! It’s like a fashion model trying to be rugby forward.”

Full-timers work hard, spending hours on end studying and putting into practice what they know every day and over time they become successful. While part-timers spend hours on end doing something else for a living, etcetera.

Part-timers as a whole though spend millions on their hobby and that is one reason full-timers sell the secrets of magic in one way or another.

So there is not really a community but rather two communities: like Sharps and Flats.
Message: Posted by: ryanshaw9572 (Aug 27, 2019 10:11AM)
[quote]On Aug 27, 2019, tommy wrote:
The best advice a full-timer ever gave part-timers was simply: “Don’t! It’s like a fashion model trying to be rugby forward.”

Full-timers work hard, spending hours on end studying and putting into practice what they know every day and over time they become successful. While part-timers spend hours on end doing something else for a living, etcetera.

Have you seen Drew Backenstoss’ Penguin Live ACT Lecture? If not, I recommend you watch it. He is a part-time mentalist, yet is just as high caliber as someone like Marc Paul. There’s a difference between a part-timer and a hobbyist.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 27, 2019 11:32AM)
[quote]On Aug 27, 2019, Aus wrote:
[quote]On Aug 25, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:
I would hypothesize that one key ingredient for any group or "community" to survive and flourish would be shared respect. If I seen an amateur at any level that shows respect for the craft and respect for the more experienced, I well help them in any way. On the other hand, If that respect isn't there, I have no desire to give away knowledge or experience to anyone just because they perceive themselves to be a "peer". [/quote]

But lets not forget there are many reasons one gains and loses respect. Respect isn't a right and it is earned and lost under many pretexts. There is a immensely experienced magician that posts here often and I have no respect for simply because he wealds his experience in a self righteous and arrogant fashion to belittle and look down on others and has no tolerance for disagreement or criticism constructive or otherwise. That has nothing to do with his magic ability but rather his interpersonal skills and how he treats others.

I often find that these guys get a free pass in the decent human bring department because of the experience they hold as if experience gives them a free pass. Well in my moral code book it doesn't, and if that means I have to lose opportunity's with people like you Ray so be it, I'd rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I'm not.

Magically

Aus [/quote]

So without meeting anyone in person, you have a full interpretation of their character based only on some things written on the internet? It would seem a well rounded "moral code book" might allow that the internet itself is not a very personal medium in which to communicate and that if you met them in person things may be different.

You are making a sweeping judgement about who someone is. Yes you have a glimpse of it, but it is a keyhole you are looking through is all. It seems a bit unfair, but it is your choice needless to say. Please understand my main point is that all tone in writing on the internet is put there by the reader and it IS possible that you are adding tone that might not be correct and then assigning that to the poster. In many cases you may be right, but in at least some you might be wrong.

Also I will add that if one is trying to join a group, he is the one who it is incumbent upon to impress people enough to join. If "respect" for an opinion that is only a year old is required or their feelings are hurt then it seems as if a little more bending on that person might be in order.

To your point YES respect is a two way street. No doubt. Yes yes yes I agree. BUT I think there is more to it than you have added here.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Aug 27, 2019 01:56PM)
[quote]On Aug 27, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]On Aug 27, 2019, Aus wrote:
[quote]On Aug 25, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:
I would hypothesize that one key ingredient for any group or "community" to survive and flourish would be shared respect. If I seen an amateur at any level that shows respect for the craft and respect for the more experienced, I well help them in any way. On the other hand, If that respect isn't there, I have no desire to give away knowledge or experience to anyone just because they perceive themselves to be a "peer". [/quote]

But lets not forget there are many reasons one gains and loses respect. Respect isn't a right and it is earned and lost under many pretexts. There is a immensely experienced magician that posts here often and I have no respect for simply because he wealds his experience in a self righteous and arrogant fashion to belittle and look down on others and has no tolerance for disagreement or criticism constructive or otherwise. That has nothing to do with his magic ability but rather his interpersonal skills and how he treats others.

I often find that these guys get a free pass in the decent human bring department because of the experience they hold as if experience gives them a free pass. Well in my moral code book it doesn't, and if that means I have to lose opportunity's with people like you Ray so be it, I'd rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I'm not.

Magically

Aus [/quote]

So without meeting anyone in person, you have a full interpretation of their character based only on some things written on the internet? It would seem a well rounded "moral code book" might allow that the internet itself is not a very personal medium in which to communicate and that if you met them in person things may be different.

You are making a sweeping judgement about who someone is. Yes you have a glimpse of it, but it is a keyhole you are looking through is all. It seems a bit unfair, but it is your choice needless to say. Please understand my main point is that all tone in writing on the internet is put there by the reader and it IS possible that you are adding tone that might not be correct and then assigning that to the poster. In many cases you may be right, but in at least some you might be wrong.

Also I will add that if one is trying to join a group, he is the one who it is incumbent upon to impress people enough to join. If "respect" for an opinion that is only a year old is required or their feelings are hurt then it seems as if a little more bending on that person might be in order.

To your point, YES respect is a two-way street. No doubt. Yes yes yes I agree. BUT I think there is more to it than you have added here. [/quote]


How many times have you passed judgment on a person or thing with incomplete information? Sometimes incomplete information is all we have to pass judgment on. Is that a reflection of my codebook or a reflection of the circumstance in which we find ourselves in? If we passed judgments only when all the facts were available 100% of the time I'm guessing a vast amount of judgments would never be made. Does that mean my judgments are always morally virtuous and right? No, not at all, and I'm happy to concede on that point and make amends to judgments when situations and information require it. But it's interesting to point out that even criminal courts don't have a 100% expectation of having all the information, that's why the expectation is "beyond any reasonable doubt" rather than "beyond any doubt"

Now in saying that, is this an excuse to make ill-informed decisions? Of course not. Just because all the information isn't available doesn't mean that your efforts to gain all the information should be lacklustre and not beyond your most diligent efforts. As to whether one is the other I guess is a matter of personal opinion.

As to the point of tone and interpretation, I agree that context is often lost and can be easily inferred by the reader rather than by the poster. That's why I often observe things for a period of time to help establish that context. If I see others interpret the same words differently I will take pause to reassess my perspective, if on the other hand others interpret them in the same way as I have then I'll maintain that my interpretation as the correct one.

I guess this is where ones metric for what is subjective and whats objective comes into play.

For me, subjectivity is defined when a judgment or a point of view is rooted entirely in ones individual perspective of the world or situation. In doing so we signal that we suspect that the judgement probably doesn't take into account all the facts available, and rise above the personal viewpoint.

Objectivity, however, is a judgment made on all available and relevant data, disregards personal prejudice and finds agreement with other competent and informed people, under these circumstances we say judgment is then objective.

At the end of the day though, in my life experience, disrespectful behaviour is more often overt rather than covert in a majority of cases and the equivalent of a skunk walking through your living room, which is something that's pretty hard not to notice.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 27, 2019 02:49PM)
I will also say that the whole "you offended me" thing has gotten out of control. Being offended in no way makes one right. This has not been true of late. Lately in our society one is offended therefore correct. It has become ridiculous.

Offended is VERY subjective and has everything to do with you. Respect is often very close to the same thing. What one may consider "respectful" in giving the unvarnished truth, another will be offended by. You may not like the style with which the truth is dispensed, but does this make it less truthful? Or less respectful? In reality no. Respect is not something given in words I am sorry to say. Not wasting your time (The ONE thing in the universe you can not possibly get back.) with a lot of flowery language to some IS respectful. Putting one on the right path, even though they may not like it IS respectful to some.

Then add in the tone with which one who is offended adds and you have a witches brew for misunderstanding.

I am not trying to change your world view. You have come to it and are right. I am not arguing to change anything you think about how you think. I am only opening a door to how others may think is all.

Be well.
Message: Posted by: ryanshaw9572 (Aug 27, 2019 03:28PM)
It’s rare to find a person aware of all fallacies, aware that they may have been primed, or conditioned to think a certain way, aware of confirmation biases. Opinions shouldn’t be argued, just shared. Facts can be argued, but only with facts, not opinions, which we like to share. Uninformed debate is popular today as the pace of the world gets faster, so does the pace of dialogue.

I recommend reading Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova for a masterclass on objectivity.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 27, 2019 07:03PM)
I recommend patter for subjectivity and magic for objectivity, in the golden ratio.
Message: Posted by: critter (Oct 29, 2019 06:58PM)
Look at Steinmeyer's books and essays. Performance magic as far back as the Victorian age was rife with cutthroat competition and all of the theft and dirty dealings that went with it. Advance a few decades and the magic shop was the cornerstone of the community with exclusive backrooms. Now that people in general interact far more online so do magicians.
Information also travels fast now, as others mentioned. ebooks exist.

Personally, I've never liked the politics but I value the friendships I've made by interacting with those who share this strange interest.
Message: Posted by: critter (Oct 29, 2019 08:13PM)
Another thought...
There has always been an abundance of information, but there's a lot of BAD information. There's so much that seems free on the internet but how much of it is useful?
Discerning what is usable for yourself is an individual pursuit. See also- Ricky Jay.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 31, 2019 04:50AM)
Bad information is very useful to the good magician: firstly the good magician offers his audience that which they know is bad information and then by an experiment he proves it is good!
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 31, 2019 12:50PM)
Bad information makes good patter for tricks.

Ricky Jay is gone but there are people in magic who've made their own way.
Message: Posted by: critter (Oct 31, 2019 05:28PM)
I think part of Jay's genius was finding things others had overlooked and presenting them really well. He also benefitted from a community of great mentors while also isolating himself from those who he felt did more harm than good.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 31, 2019 05:29PM)
Like Vladimir Lenin, the magician said, "You must have your entertainment on fire and your experiment on ice."


;)
Message: Posted by: critter (Nov 1, 2019 12:52PM)
This one is a great example of the "bad information" as excellent patter concept y'all were talking about.

https://youtu.be/aMT7_GaApOk
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 4, 2019 08:48AM)
As the Rockefeller Club of Rome pointed out, people need an enemy to unite them: In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea of the threat of Global Warming to fit the bill.

The natural enemies of the legitimate magicians are the charlatans. If therefore magicians are going out to form a union then let it be the Death to the Charlatans Union.

You are either with us or you are against us.