The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » A spin-off topic: Coincidences (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11159 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Here is real cause and effect: I saw "The Butterfly Effect" and suddenly felt I had wasted my money. Coincidence? I think not!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bill Hallahan
View Profile
Inner circle
New Hampshire
3222 Posts

Profile of Bill Hallahan
George Ledo wrote:
Quote:
Okay, never mind Carl Jung's theories about coincidences. How can something this weird be applied to entertaining people with what we call "magic?"

I Kant answer this. I'm too Jung! Smile

Magicians do take advantage of planned coincidences, i.e. multiple outs, particularly where at least one out is very strong. I think that a presentation couldn’t be made general enough to take advantage of a truly random coincidence and still work.

Perhaps enumerating a list of coincidences in advance would help. Then design a presentation around just the limited list of coincidences, a presentation that will also work if none of the coincidences occur.

As I'm sure you know, there are tricks that work just like that.

Of course, if you can find out about the coincidence before the show, and the audience doesn't already know, there might be a great presentation.

These ideas reminds me of some mentalism routines.

I think that in general, without some advance tie-in, that taking credit for a coincidence like you describe could be humorous, but not magical. Nobody would really believe the magician caused it. I'm not sure that any presentation would work for the specific case you describe.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Psy-Kosh
View Profile
Regular user
Michigan
135 Posts

Profile of Psy-Kosh
Just a minor note as far as determinisim, since I saw it brought up:

Although there's uncertainty due to QM, that doesn't exactly mean that the universe, fudumentally, is uncertain.

In fact, the Schrodinger equation itself is entirely deterministic. Only that troublesome "collapse of the wavefunction" is where the indeterminancy shows up. There're various issues with the collapse, including "what really constitutes a measurement?"

One possible resolution is to make the collapse go away. get rid of that idea and see what happens. Seems that if you simply get rid of the assumption that the collapse happens... stuff still works out. schrodinger's equation is linear, so you have the superposition principle obeyed... that is, each of the wavefunctions that are summed "ignore" each other. So you end up with the world looking the same as it actually does... just that you may also have other worlds also, overlapping invisibly. ie, many worlds interpretation. In this case, the universe really is deterministic. When it gets to a fork in the road, it takes it. Smile

Note, although commonly described as the universe "splitting" repeatedly, it's more like there's one universal wavefunction with many aspects, according to this view.

Okay, so that was more than a minor note, but you get the idea. Smile
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
@Psy-Kosh - One of the problems I run into in these discussions, besides people telling me to shut up because I don't know what I'm talking about, is the assumption that all rules concerning universal properties that we do not know, simply do not exist. QM is a fine example. We had Newtonian physics and all was good, then it was found that there was a place where NP didn't apply, and so some people said, well there goes a perfectly good set of rules? Why? They were augmented, certainly, but they still apply in most conditions, why not simply state the conditions that they apply to. Add the new rules and move on. Why does science do that. Newtonian physics still works fine. It doesn't work on the quantum level, but why does it have to in order to be valid? And why is QM used against NP in order to prove that there aren't rules for everything, when clearly we simply haven't found all of them.
Psy-Kosh
View Profile
Regular user
Michigan
135 Posts

Profile of Psy-Kosh
I'm sorry, I was unclear. I didn't mean to say that, what I meant was that QM, on its own, does not absolutely imply that the universe is nondeterministic. That is, that there're legitimate interpretations of QM that suggest that the universe really is so. I was not saying "it is certain that the universe is deterministic", nor was I saying "our current physics knowledge is the final word on everything"

I was stating simply that even in light of QM, under certain assumptions QM and a certain form of determinisim can be simultaneously true.
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
No, I didn't think you were saying that, but do you know the phenom I'm speaking of. Another favorite of mine is the assumption that the time trials using atomic clocks and suborbitals showed time dialation when it could just as easily have shown the effects of either speed, graity, or both on atomic decay, but science just assumed that it showed the effects of time dialation. Why do they do that?
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Coincidence, quantum enganglement, implicate order...

perhaps they serve us like the term "magic" as a patch over a place on our map we have yet to explore.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2903 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Quote:
On 2006-05-17 22:18, Bill Hallahan wrote:
I think that in general, without some advance tie-in, that taking credit for a coincidence like you describe could be humorous, but not magical. Nobody would really believe the magician caused it. I'm not sure that any presentation would work for the specific case you wrote of.

Thanks for getting back on topic. Smile

I wasn't thinking about that one specific case; I was just giving an example of something that happened to me. However, you have a good point in that in a "presentation of magic," the performer would almost have to take credit for causing the result, in whih case it wouldn't be a coincidence. Or would it?

The funny thing is, there's more to my story. I just posted the short version. If I'd posted the long version, someone out there could argue that I caused a series of events that led me to realize the coincidence.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
chrisrkline
View Profile
Special user
Little Rock
965 Posts

Profile of chrisrkline
Jack, I am not sure that anyone says that NM should be thrown out the window because of Einstein's Relativity and QM.

We learned Newtonian mechanics in Physics class. If we had been forced to learn all physics in our first college class only through the lens of Einstein and QM, we would have cried.

It is well established that NM works fine and is useful in our everyday world.
Chris
chrisrkline
View Profile
Special user
Little Rock
965 Posts

Profile of chrisrkline
Quote:
On 2006-05-18 09:17, JackScratch wrote:
No, I didn't think you were saying that, but do you know the phenom I'm speaking of. Another favorite of mine is the assumption that the time trials using atomic clocks and suborbitals showed time dialation when it could just as easily have shown the effects of either speed, graity, or both on atomic decay, but science just assumed that it showed the effects of time dialation. Why do they do that?


Because it was evidence for the already developed theory of Relativity. Time dialation was predicted by Einstein. The atomic clock experiment gave some confirmation.

While it is smart to study the world to help develop theories, you have to be able to set up an independent experiment to confirm the theory.

So if you want to postulate other reasons that the atomic clocks slowed up, then fine, but then you have to give an experiment that you can do to confirm your theory. Having a workable, clear, theory helps.

What in the world do you mean to say that it could have just as easily been caused by gravity. How do you know it is just as likely? You can't just make up a possible "cause" just because it popped up. Are there physisists who hold this as a possible explanation?
Chris
RandyStewart
View Profile
Inner circle
Texas (USA)
1989 Posts

Profile of RandyStewart
For the below true story, was there any coincidence, TOE, as Jonathan stated, quantum enganglement or implicate order? On and on. I won't take a public position on it but here are some of the facts.


According to http://www.SNOPES.COM the story is true:

It happened on the evening of March 1 in the town of Beatrice, Nebraska. In the afternoon the Reverend Walter Klempel had gone to the West Side Baptist Chruch to get things ready for choir practice. He lit the furnace -- most of the singers were in the habit of arriving around 7:15, and it was chilly in the church - and went home to dinner. But at 7:10, when it was time for him to go back to the church with his wife and daughter Marilyn Ruth, it turned out that Marilyn Ruth's dress was soiled. They waited while Mrs. Klempel ironed another and thus were still at home when it happened.

Ladona Vandergrift, a high school sophomore, was having trouble with a geometry problem. She knew practice began promptly and always came early. But she stayed to finish the problem.

Royena Estes was ready, but the car would not start. So she and her sister called Ladona Vandergrift, and asked her to pick them up. But Ladona was the girl with the geometry problem, and the Estes sisters had to wait.

Sadie Estes' story was the same as Royena's. All day they had been having trouble with the car; it just refused to start.

Mrs. Leonard Schuster would ordinarily have arrived at 7:20 with her small daughter Susan. But on this particular evening Mrs. Schuster had to go to her mother's house to help her get ready for a missionary meeting.

Herbert Kipf, lathe operator, would have been ahead of time but had put off an important letter. "I can't think why," he said. He lingered over it and was late.

It was a cold evening. Stenographer Joyce Black, feeling "just plain lazy," stayed in her warm house until the last possible moment. She was almost ready to leave when it happened.

Because his wife was away, Machinist Harvey Ahl was taking care of his two boys. He was going to take them to practice with him but somehow he got wound up talking. When he looked at his watch, he saw he was already late.

Marilyn Paul, the pianist, had planned to arrive half an hour early. However she fell asleep after dinner, and when her mother awakened her at 7:15 she had time only to tidy up and start out.

Mrs. F.E. Paul, choir director and mother of the pianist, was late simply because her daughter was. She had tried unsuccessfully to awaken the girl earlier.

High school girls Lucille Jones and Dorothy Wood are neighbors and customarily go to practice together. Lucille was listening to a 7-to-7:30 radio program and broke her habit of promptness because she wanted to hear the end. Dorothy waited for her.

At 7:25, with a roar heard in almost every corner of Beatrice, the West Side Baptist Church blew up. The walls fell outward, the heavy wooden roof crashed straight down like a weight in a deadfall. But because of such matters as a soiled dress, a catnap, an unfinished letter, a geometry problem and a stalled car, all of the members of the choir were late - something which had never occurred before.
Firemen thought the explosion had been caused by natural gas, which may have leaked into the church from a broken pipe outside and been ignited by the fire in the furnace. The Beatrice choir members had no particular theory about the fire's cause, but each of them began to reflect on the heretofore inconsequential details of his life, wondering at exactly what point it is that one can say, "This is an act of God."


Posted: May 18, 2006 12:15pm
--------------------------------------------------
Although most were usually early, not one of the fifteen people who should have been present had yet arrived when the building exploded.
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Folks, consider the model and language you use as the medium for a story you tell yourself, tell others and hear from others.

The details of the story you hear from others are anecdotal, that is to say they are both subjective (and influenced by the internal deletions, distortions and generalizations of the teller ) and also representative of ONE perspective out of six billion in total. The statistical significance of a report needs to be weighed somehow. At any moment, the odds are that there are a few people having {insert imagery/sentiment} thoughts. There must be thousands out there now spouting quotes from Star Trek even as you read this, many of them also imagining tribbles.

Amonoire is full of holes. -G. Stein
...to all the coins I've dropped here
chrisrkline
View Profile
Special user
Little Rock
965 Posts

Profile of chrisrkline
Assuming it is true, what does it prove or suggest? Clearly, the implication is that it was an act of God. If it was God, why not stop the explosion? What about all the other situations where people do not receive the benefits of an act of God, such as where dozens or hundreds die in a fire, or tens of thousands die in an earthquake. But of course, religious people would say, those were acts of God too.

This is not an argument for or against, just pointing out that trying to find a cause for something like this is ultimately doomed to failure.

I do not doubt that the event had a profound affect on those in the choir. But did the coincidence lead them to embrace life, recognizing that we all are tied to this world by the thinnest of threads, or did it lead them to believe they were special.
Chris
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2903 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Randy's story is... okay... incredible. But, getting back to the original topic, how can we apply something like this (not necessarily this particular story) to a form of entertainment we know as "magic?" Or can we? Or should we? Would this thread be better off in "The Spooky" section?
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Dave V
View Profile
Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

Profile of Dave V
Jimmy Grippo was once performing for a business group (I don't recall the exact details) one of which was a banker. This man was proud of his new vault they had just installed, so earlier that day he gave everyone, Jimmy included, a tour of his bank and vault. As they swung the door closed, Jimmy scaled a card onto the floor of the vault.

Later that evening as he was performing, he did his usual card vanish and asked the banker "Where would you like your card to appear?" The banker thought for a moment and answered "In my Vault." You can figure out the rest of the story...

Coincidence? Well, maybe. Controlled circumstance? More likely. He knew of the banker's pride in his new vault and took the chance to set up an unforgettable event.

If we can somehow "steer" these concidences toward our desired outcome that would be some pretty powerful magic in their eyes.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
RandyStewart
View Profile
Inner circle
Texas (USA)
1989 Posts

Profile of RandyStewart
Glad you asked if it should be applied to entertainment George. If you'll look at chrisrkline's post, I believe you would get as many questions regarding 'coincidence' in performance as you got from him following my true to life story. Nothing wrong with that. It's just one of many ways that it will be viewed, processed, and dealt with.

More directly, I do appreciate a controlled presentation that comes off as 'coincidental' as it then goes into the realm of 'impossible' right before the spectator's eyes.

Man I love that vault story Dave. I wish I could of had that opportunity. Would of milked that to no end.
Vandy Grift
View Profile
Inner circle
Milwaukee
3504 Posts

Profile of Vandy Grift
It's a tough question. I really don't know how you could use a coincidence as an effect.

I think it would be very hard to incorporate coincidence into magic. Under normal conditions, we don't leave much to chance when we perform magic. Coincidences are unexpected and unplanned. They are unpredictible, therefore, difficult to try and plan anything around. I think you could use a coincidence to make something stronger, if the opportunity presented itself. But I'm not sure how you could use coincidence in a scripted presentation of magic.

You could talk about bizarre coincidences as a set-up or something. Or use some of the classic lines about coincidence (Do you believe in coincidences? Me Too! What a coincidence!!). But I'm not sure what else you could do, "magically" with one.
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
As to applying the basic notion to our magic... YES, GO FOR IT!

This coin is lucky. One of these envelopes has a large bill and the rest just paper.

For a moment, let's have the quantum uncertainty principle apply to this here slip of paper.. over here, no here, well it was there, ... and the more you can be certain about where it is, the less you can be ceratain about what's written on it.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
@George - You can atribute the magic in a performance to any source you wish. The trick is getting the audience to relate to that. Some things will be easier to do that with. It will largely be based on the life experiences of your audience, but if you make your tale believeable, then they will believe it, or at least sympathise with it. Suspension of disbelief does not just mean that people forget whats real, it means that you create a situation with enough reality in it that when the fantastic happens your audience is so comfortable with the story that it doesn't jolt them. Think of it like a hot bath, if you get into it slowly enough, then you have time to adjust. It's also a lot like floating a needle.

The theory of relativity is based entirely on the concept that time "is" the traveling of light. The assumption that, since seeing is the act of light traveling from an object to your eyes, if you were to travel the same speed as the light in the same direction, you would then see no time pass. The perception may be true, but then if you drop something to 0Kel. It would appear the same. No one is assuming that if you lowered something to below 0Kel that you would travel back in time. Why then do they assume that time is reversable at all? Einstein didn't say it, he said the exact oposite. All of the theories of time dialation are based on an "it looks like a duck" kind of thinking, but I have seen no evidence at all that that light travel and time are actualy related to each other, aside from light traveling through time, just like anything else. And when did people start thinking you have to be a Doctorit to have a theory. Anyone can have a theory about anything. I have given you mine, and all of the same tests done to prove time dialation give equal weight to my theory.
Psy-Kosh
View Profile
Regular user
Michigan
135 Posts

Profile of Psy-Kosh
I'm unclear what your hypothesis is.

Do the tests with atomic clocks (one grounded, other taken on a long plane trip), then later compared (and the difference shown to be, to within margin of error, what relativity predicts) also confirm yours? If so, can you show how that derives from what you're claiming? And saying that relativity is based on light = time seems... questionable. Seems hard to derive much prediction from that. For SR, if you instead say "speed of light is constant for all observers", which comes straight out of maxwell's equations, then specific things can be predicted.

I'm rather confused as to what specifically your hypothesis claims and predicts though. Or, perhaps easier to say it this way: What _doesn't_ it predict? What observation would contradict it?
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » A spin-off topic: Coincidences (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.72 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL