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Whit Haydn
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I am not yet happy with the categories: Fake Science, Fake Math, Fake Magic and Fake Alchemy, etc. are good categories, but I don't like the names.

Fake Science could also be used in the Art of Deception as charlatanry rather than theater.

There should be a better name for the performance arts of Fake Magic, Fake Science and the like that distinguishes them from the same skills being used for charlatanry rather than entertainment and artistic expression.

There should be an overall name for the category within the Theater of Deception that involves the dilemma.

This would separate it from the presentation of Fake Skills such as tying the cherry stem, snake charming, strong man stunts, etc.; as well as from the presentation of the odd, the unusual or the puzzling--such as blockhead, optical illusions, impossible objects, grind show oddities, etc., which often include the syllogism but try to tell a lie that the spectators are intended to believe.

Else they allow the spectators to be confused by the demonstration of some physical odditiy or anomaly that seems to work counter to their understanding of the way things should behave. All of these should be included under the Theater of Deception. They are different however from the Theater of the Dilemma in various ways.

So there is the Art of Deception, which includes the Theater of Deception. The Theater of Deception has many distinguishable categories, and among these is the Theater of the Dilemma. This is where we would find Fake Science, Fake Magic, etc.

Outside the Theater of the Dilemma--yet still within the Art of Deception--you might find other varieties of Fake Science and Magic that use the tools of deception to accomplish something other than art or entertainment.

They do not want to leave the spectators in a quandry, they want to convince him beyond doubt of their false proof.

The Theater of Deception is also included as a category of the Art of the Theater.

It is a branch of the Theater, and outside this small branch, still in the realm of the Theater, are similar presentations--stories about magic, or about con men and magicians--theatrical presentations that do not attempt to convince the audience of anything, but rather allow the audience to suspend disbelief and emotionaly engage with the story.

The categories are all overlapping circles, that mark a continuum of deception from art to fraud--the art of magic which we practice is a small part of this picture.

I think these categories are very useful for describing the differences between the different sorts of presentations either concerning or involving deception.

I am just not happy with the names of the categories. Any suggestions?

For example, I would love to use the Art of Magic to describe what we do instead of Fake Magic. But The Art of Science doesn't work too well. On the other hand, there is so little difference in the practice and theory of Fake Science, Fake Magic and the rest, that perhaps they should all be simply variations or alternative dressings of the Art of Magic...
Whit Haydn
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I think a theory is a good one when it allows you to make many fine distinctions, and gives you discernment with which to analyze and compare things that on the surface may appear similar but which in reality have very different goals, rules, and tools.

The more helpful a theory is in explaining things and solving artistic problems, the more valuable the theory will be.

No artistic theory is "true" or "not true," since we are not talking science, but artistic creation.

What I think this theory can accomplish is to show the fine distinctions that can be made between many similar things, helping us to understand and analyze what it is we are trying to do.

But this theory also, for me, shows why the continuum is so interesting. Thieves and magicians, con men and actors have often been associated in the common mind, both justly and unjustly.

But there are such shared tools, talents, concepts, interests and skills that these fields are all intertwined both in their histories and in the people who have created those histories.

Conmen must be actors, thieves must be conmen, actors must know how to use makeup, just like a criminal might.

It is obvious that these fields overlap, this theory helps to show how and in what ways, and how they are also different.

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tommy
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“The Exclusive Coterie”
“In Effect. The four Queens are selected and laid face down in a row on the table. Three indifferent cards are placed on each Queen. Now the company selects one of the four packets, and it is found to consist of the four Queens only.”

-Erdnase-

So when we describe the “In Effect” that is the "False Premise" of any trick,. if I am not mistaken.

In card magic there does not seem to be many False Premises /In Effects.

However there are endless ways to apparently Prove the False Premises /In Effects are true.

I ask, in the spirit of enquiry, as I do not know, is that correct ?
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-05-16 05:58, tommy wrote:
...
I ask, in the spirit of inquiry, as I do not know, is that correct ?


Yes, I would agree that you are correct in that you do not know.

Inquire is useful if you are interested in new things.

Taking the example cited from the "erdnase" text, try filling in the missing information in the statement of effect and see where that gets you. Use the meta-model for this part. Next step: ask why each presumption is in place and what permits each to be taken as valid.

Hint: what is the difference between an indulgence and an acceptance?
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tommy
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Our upgraded model now offers regenerated monitored paradigm shifts.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-05-16 07:14, tommy wrote:
Our upgraded model now offers regenerated monitored paradigm shifts.


Got UBIK?

Or would a reference to an issue of Promethea help?

For most, probably a good idea to know what ideas are in print for open discussion before wrestling with secrets and the unconscious at large.
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tommy
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Smile

“The Exclusive Coterie”
“In Effect. The four Queens are selected and laid face down in a row on the table. Three indifferent cards are placed on each Queen. Now the company selects one of the four packets, and it is found to consist of the four Queens only.”

All that “In Effect” stuff is lies, is it not?

The Method then explains how to prove those lies, doesn’t it?

Is that the sort of thing that Whit means.

If it’s not, could you explain where I am going wrong, without using sophistry please.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Whit Haydn
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Yes, Tommy, you have it pretty correct. But, you need to make a distinction between plot and effect.

The effect is the apparent false conclusion of the argument. The plot is the description of the process by which this effect was achieved.

The syllogism or argument may or may not be fully included in the description of the plot, but generally it is.

The plot is really sort of the story that we create for the spectator. It is his description of what he would have witnessed.
cinemagician
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"In effect"---Hmm

Sure, you can use it if you want, but you may run the risk of confusing the term with the "effect".

I think Juan Tamariz uses the term "proceedure effect"- also confusing.

The problem with discussing theory is a problem of terminology.

In the "Exclusive Coterie" the EFFECT is one of TRANSPORTATION or TRANSPOSITION.

If you were to present it flatly as above, there would be no PHENOMENON or apparent means for how it occurs.

The valid silogism is the fact the the queens are delt into a face down row and that three indifferent cards are delt on each queen.

The missing or untrue premice is that the queens NEVER WERE delt onto the table in a face down row.

In a presentation as flat as that one that's the lie-

Whit?
The missing or untrue
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cinemagician
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Sorry Whit submitted his message while I was typing mine. (above)
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

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Whit Haydn
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Without a false cause, or magic moment (passing the shadow) the effect would be unclear. It would be a presentation of an anomally. I suspect that people would dismiss out of hand that the desire of the cards to stay together with those of their own kind (coterie) is the actual cause.

In general though, I suspect the performer would actually say a magic work, snap his fingers or do some other action that signifies the "real" cause.
cinemagician
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Quote:
On 2006-05-16 13:25, Whit Haydn wrote:
Without a false cause, or magic moment (passing the shadow) the effect would be unclear.


I think the effect would be clear, but pretty illogical without some kind of premise attached to it.

Good magic is not a violation of logic (as far as the story or premise goes say- like the introduction of your Transportation device)but rather a voilation of physics.

Without a good premise on which to hang the EFFECT (in this case the trasposition of 4 queens with the indifferent cards) there is less oppertunity for the audience to suspend disbelief, and more of a tendency to simply view it as a meaningless trick.

When discussing Whit's theory it is important to cite examples which take place in the context of an ACT or PRESENTATION.

Otherwise certain varriables will go missing.

We can best test or discuss the theory by citing clear examples-

Mr. McComb's "Half Dyed Hank" is a better model for discussion than

"Them linking rings"
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

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chrisrkline
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Tommy, there is clearly deception working here. Four queens are clearly laid down in a row. Twelve indifferent cards are then put on the queens. The queens then "move" with no intervention on the part of the magician to one pile. The spectator can exam the cards and is convinced that there are only four queens and that the magician could not have switched them out, or any other sleight of hand.

It was magic, but there can't be magic.

It may well turn out that the dilemma is the most important and controversial part of Whit's theory. More precisely, it is the need for the dilemma that is the most controversial. In what he seems to be saying, that in the theater of deception there are effects that do not rely on the dilemma. With the tying of the cherry stem, you want them on one horn, which is the side where the spectator believes it is impossible to tie the cherry stem in the mouth, but ends up believing it is possible. We do this a lot in "magic" shows, where we claim all sorts of impossible sleight of hand abilities. When I do the Chicago Surprise, and I was unable to do the face up CF, I have their selection returned and I do some very fast fancy false cuts to supposedly make it look like I "found" their card and brought it to the top. Of course I am deceiving them, but I want them to believe I could really do it (even though I fail in finding their card--it is treated as a failure, not that it is not possible.) This is not magic. It is bizarre skill.

The same thing happens, or could happen in the ACR. It can become a series of impossible sleights. For it to be magic, the spectator cannot believe you used sleights, impossible or not. You have to convince them you did nothing to bring the card to the top.

I do a card to pocket where I use fake engineering to get the card to my pocket (invisible wire, available at any Home Depot but hard to find Smile ) but it is presented in such a way that they don't really believe it. I make the card jump to my pocket in such a way that they know my explanation is false. I do this supposedly as part of a proof that the invisible wire really works well--the spectator holds the deck, pushes the card in himself, and I am five feet away.

But it is not part of the theater of deception that involves the dilemma, if the dilemma is not present.
Chris
Bill Palmer
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I don't believe we need to have all the categories in the basic definition. The basic definition should be as concise as possible. The expansions on the definition can include the categories as well as the other niceties that are apparently being added before a definition has been codified.
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tommy
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Thank you. I just wanted to relate it to a card trick because I am just a card guy and some of the other stuff reffered to I don't know about. Anyway that has helped, thanks.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Whit Haydn
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Cinemagician:

When I said the effect was unclear, I meant that since no cause was indicated, the cards just moved from one position to another. I know the effect as taught, so I know that we are told that there is a natural affinity of the Queens for each other, so that is the "cause." Without that stated cause, all we know is that the queens moved. We have no idea what caused it. It is just an anomaly. "Look, they moved by themselves!"

Chris:

That is very good. There are many different types of presentations that involve magic in the Theater of Deception, and the Art of the Theater. The Art of Magic under the Theater of the Dilemma best describes what magicians actually do that makes them different from charlatans and actors.
cinemagician
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...
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

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cinemagician
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Quote:
On 2006-05-16 14:08, Whit Haydn wrote:
Cinemagician:

When I said the effect was unclear, I meant that since no cause was indicated, the cards just moved from one position to another.


I understand what you meant. Here is a glaring example of the probelm with terminology.

To me "effect" means the specific violation of physics or reality beng demonstrated. Fitzkee's list is a list of EFFECTS.

I was not reffering to the effect in the sence of "the trick" or the routine.
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cinemagician
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Quote:
On 2006-05-16 14:08, Whit Haydn wrote:

Without that stated cause, all we know is that the queens moved. We have no idea what caused it. It is just an anomaly. "Look, they moved by themselves!"



Which is the same as saying what I wrote:

"Without a good premise on which to hang the EFFECT (in this case the trasposition of 4 queens with the indifferent cards) there is less oppertunity for the audience to suspend disbelief, and more of a tendency to simply view it as a meaningless trick."

Right?
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Whit Haydn
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Suspension of disbelief is irrelevant.

Without a false cause, the audience has no challenge to tackle and no reason to care.

"Look, those cards have moved," does not engage anyone.

"I can make those cards move, just with the power of the mind--watch!" would be more likely to attract the interest of the spectators.

Erdnase used the "natural affinity of the cards" as the motivating cause. This sort of "quality" of the object cause is too passive, generally for my tastes, and creates tricks that may be foolers, but do not seem to challenge and engage the audience the way that other formulations might. Twisting the Aces and Oil and Water are often presented in this manner.

It is very dangerous and confusing to introduce the definitions of Nelms, Fitzkee or anyone else in this discussion. Nothing should be assumed unless it is defined and agreed on beforehand. I use the same terms often differently. I do not mean the same thing they mean, and you should not assume that I do. I am trying to redefine everything in terms of this new way of looking at the subject.

I keep falling into the trap of discussing things in the theory that have not been defined because people refuse to move through things step by step.

When I write the book, I will be able to explain and define things step by step as we go along.

In this discussion, as I try to make the most minimal statements on which to rest the theory, people keep bringing up arguments about things that are not involved in the statement at hand but should come later.

"What about...?" type questions keep me discussing aspects of my theory that I have defined for myself, but have not defined here. Therefore, nothing I say may mean what someone else hears--because they use the term differently.

Everyone seems to want to talk about things in their own perceived order of interest, and using their own terminology with their own, or someone else's definitions, rather than letting me lay things out in the natural progression of the argument I want to make, with the meanings of all the terms defined and agreed on as we go.

That is what is so frustrating, and why things keep getting confusing.

Everyone wants to talk about the little part of things that they feel are interesting or on which they have something they would like to say.

None is actually trying to help clarify what I have said in the primary statement or offered ideas to assist in clarifying the categories by coming up with better names.

None simply asks for explanations or changes to the actual wording of the statement.

Instead they say, "Well what about this? Where does that fit into your theory?"

I should just answer, "Later." But I don't want to sound rude, and I don't want people to lose interest.

This IS helpful for me, as I stated. I wrote most of this theory out years ago in Chicago Surprise. It took less than thirty pages. We are at 19 pages and I have only managed to explain the first statement in the description.

Were I able to lay it out step by step, every word would be defined and agreed on before being used.

The only statement of my theory that I have wanted to make so far, is this:

The "Theater of Deception" (including fake magic, fake science, fake alchemy or any other similar "theatrical swindle") is distinguished by the the conscious attempt to create in the mind of the spectator, by act or words or expression, a formal logical argument (or syllogism) which is valid but whose premises are untrue, thus seeming to prove something true that the spectators firmly believe or know is not true.


Everything else I have said on this board is in reponse to people who keep wanting to discuss other concepts instead.

My repsonses are in keeping with my theory, but the words as I use them have not yet been defined. So little is accomplished.

I asked for some ideas on names for the categories, something that would be helpful when we start on step two of the description of magic--the dilemma. No one has tried to tackle that, which would actually help me and help us move on to the next level.

Without a little discipline, we will never get anywhere.

So far the discussion has been mostly irrelevant to the primary statement.

As I said, you guys can talk about anything you want. This is not my board or my thread. But if you don't want to wait and buy a $40 book to hear what I have to say, then you should try to focus and help me get everything out in order so that you will actually have something to discuss instead of haggling over terms and ideas that are irrelevant and meaningless because the terms are undefined.

This is a new theory. None of the words we use as defined by previous writers will be of use here. No one else's theory should be invoked. It just confuses everything and leads to the Tower of Babel that we have here.

The problem with magic theory now is that we have no common agreed on definitions for even the most basic words like "effect," "plot," etc. Maskelyne and Devant had a totally different usage and understanding of "effect" than Fitzkee. They meant a completely different thing, not different ways of looking at the same thing.

The problem I have is that though my own theory may not be the only way to look at things, or even a good one, we will never know until we can lay it out and define the terms so that everyone can discuss the elements of the theory with the same words, defined the same way.

It may be that no one is really interested in a discussion, and would prefer to just have a survey of what everyone thinks about magic theory.

If that is what you want, then I think I would rather spend time on a thread discussing what tricks are underpriced.
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