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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Now that’s funny! » » Magic is a form of humor. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Hagerman
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If you really want to help, please answer my questions instead of repeating yourself. Those questions need to be answered if you want me to understand. Please tell me why the magic reference I made in my last post is not conflicting. Why is an empty box and an non empty box not conflicting? If both are put in the same field of view, (where one changes into the other), how is that not "TWO become ONE."

Is magic amusing? If yes, then how can you ignore the definition of humor. You already said "The magician seeks to create incongruity." Are you ignoring the accepted definition? Are you saying that Webster's Dictionary is wrong?

In a callback, how does TWO become ONE?
NJJ
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The question has been answered.

I do not have language simple enough for you to understand.
Dannydoyle
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Nicholas I commend your effort.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Hagerman
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Somebody has a superiority complex. Why be so condescending? Whenever someone reduces their argument to this level, instead of elaborating and answering questions, it shows an inability to communicate. Or maybe you are afraid of the answers. A good educator addresses the questions of a student. They don't give up.

Try answering like this:
"The reason why I am ignoring the webster's dictionary's definition of humor is..."
"The concept of an empty box and a full box occupying the same field of thought is not conflicting because..."
"In a callback, there are two ideas that contradict: the present idea and the past idea. By bringing them together into one event, they become one." (The empty box becomes full. Two concepts brought together in one field of view.)
"I am condescending because..."

I say that your argument is flawed because you created a bandwagon argument and an argumentum ad verecundiam. If you would like me to go into detail, please ask questions.
Dannydoyle
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But teachers in special education are often trained differently as to how they need to communicate with students who seem to have trouble comprehending.

Your quesitons have been answered many times. Nicholas has shown great patience and tried to dumb it down as far as possible.

You have your "TRUTH" and that is enough for you. Your aim is obviously not to learn, but to educate. You think you have an answer and will not be dissuaded from it for any reason such as facts, or anything inconvienent like that.

There is none so blind as one who will not see. You choose not to see. I think you are being willfull in this as I do not believe you to be an idiot. You have an idea and want to make it right at all costs and intentionally miss information.

That is your perrogative. You can keep your theory. But keep this in mind. At the end of the day, if they are not laughing, it may not be such a great theory.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Hagerman
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And I forgot a strawman: "That would suggest that a funny joke about a Jewish man would imply all Jews are jokes!"

And a red herring: diverting attention to your own theory, with no sources quoted.
calamari
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Try Magic can be a form of humor... the Sky can be Blue... absolute statements are "mostly" wrong.
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
tnscot
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Quote:
On 2007-07-10 17:19, calamari wrote:
Try Magic can be a form of humor... the Sky can be Blue... absolute statements are "mostly" wrong.




"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Sorry...I couldn't resist)
As Always,
Scot Legdermain
Dannydoyle
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WOW I thought I was the ONLY one who caught that!

I felt so bad. Some people spent 30 years getting to that exact moment and he RUINS it with a horrid thing like that.

I was laughing my fool head off at the line. The more I tried to stop laughing, the more I laughed! Oh it was just funny.

Glad it wasn't only me.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Josh Riel
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Out of curiosity (And the fact that I have seen this word used too frequently on this thread) when has the use of "logic" ever meant the user must be correct?

Logic is a system of reasoning, not a statement of fact.
Sorry to take this off this very beaten path.....

As to humor being interdependent with laughter. My wife rarely ever laughs, but she does find things humorous. On the other hand, I work with a man that laughs as a matter of habit. Of course you would then have to define what "Laughter" is.

However since we as magicians will argue about what the meaning of "Magic" is, we argue over the term for non-magic folk.... What were the chances of this theory getting accepted?

Let us imagine the presented view of magic as humor were accepted. So?
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Hagerman
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Calamari, I'm glad you caught this. I use to think that but then I wondered if the term humorous should be used instead of 'a form of humor'. For the sake of argument, let me apply that logic to different form of humor to see if it makes since.

A joke can be not funny, the matter is relative. Does that mean a joke can be a form of humor? Which is true: 'jokes are a form of humor' or 'jokes can be a form of humor.' I say both are true.

There is a fine line between tragedy and humor. Push any joke too far and all forms of humor tend to loss their humorous attributes; much like magic in my opinion.

I agree, absolute statements are mostly wrong. This is a rare case for me.
Hagerman
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Josh, I like your reasoning. I'm trying to use logic to determine the validity of my statements. If my view were accepted, you are right. "So?"

I see your point. The war over what we believe makes people laugh would be endless. Maybe that is why "or amuse" was put into the definition of humor.

Due to biases here, I believe I choose the wrong forum to discuss this in.
Josh Riel
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I think you are using your statements as the base of your logic. This is similar to using the bible to prove their is a god, or Darwin to prove evolution. Now you can do that, as a matter of fact if you need to defend your belief against a counter argument you must.

However if one wants to determine an arguments value (or validity) they cannot rely entirely the argument, they must asses the counter arguments. Ignoring them simply because they diverge from your argument makes the discussion impossible.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Rupert Bair
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Hmmm.

Seems a bit like a thing my maths teacher once said.

Cat = animal

Dog = animal

Cat = Dog.

Lots of things work on paper, but don't work in the real world.

My maths teacher wasn't gonna be the next Darwin.

M:C
Rupert Bair
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Quote:
On 2007-07-10 21:29, Matt Colman wrote:
Hmmm.

Seems a bit like a thing my maths teacher once said.

Cat = animal

Dog = animal

Cat = Dog.

Lots of things work on paper, but don't work in the real world.

I don't think my maths teacher wasn't gonna be the next Darwin.

M:C


You probably believed his theory too. You aint gonna be the next darwin either!

M:C
harris
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Elements of comedy include:
Contrast
Imitation
Surprise
Familiarity
repitition
optimism

Dramatic events can cause laughter...The funeral of the clown on Mary Tyler Moore Show is an interesting example.. In fact one thing that can create comedy is time after a tradegy. A release of sorts...Doing a joke to close(in time) to the tragedy can bring "disastrous(sic)" results. Our drama troupe is has an opening of a new play (to us) next week. Smoke on them Mountain has some dramatic and comedic moments. I have never seen the play done, and am wondering about the reactions of audience members to some of the songs I will be sing.(not the vocal quality but the words and emotions.) Thanks for the food for thought. Each quarter I do a guest lecture in drama classes on Comedy.

Harris deutsch
laughologist and nearly normal actor
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
magicgeorge
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Will you leave that poor frog alone.
tnscot
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Trying to figure out why the corny jokes thread was locked while this one still lives.
As Always,
Scot Legdermain
Josh Riel
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This thread is still alive because no one has had the poor judgement to bring up religion or politics into it.





Until now!

And I'm pretty sure Danny realized he was in the wrong.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Bill Hallahan
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Can a magic presentation be funny? Of course.

However, magic is not always humorous. David Copperfield's Cocoon wasn't funny. I can name several other acts where the spectators were amazed and entertained, but there wasn't a single joke during the entire presentation. Everyone would call these "magic" performances, because they involved the presentation of astonishing impossible effects.

Even when a magic act is funny, the magical effects often aren't funny. And, when they are, it's always some non-magical context that makes them funny.

The Merriam Webster dictionary contains several definitions of "magic," and not one of them alludes to humor in any form. Nor does Maskelyne's definition of the word "magic" in the book, Our Magic, which is considered the seminal work on "magic" theory. Nor do most magicians in the topic think magic is humor.

Magic often, but not always, involves surprise, and surprise sometimes generates laugher. Louis Histed wrote in The Magic of Louis Histed, that humor involves "frustrated expectation." Magic can involve that too, but it usually doesn't.

I could accept, "magic is similar to humor, in that they both work because of expectation, i.e. predictions of outcomes in the brain. As mentioned above, humor results from "frustrated expectation" (or pain if you like). The frustrated expectation often culminates something being considered funny in due to a surprise punchline. Magic, however, results from a failure to match any expectations, i.e. predictions, as being possible, and it also subsequently contradicts a person's model of what is possible. That causes a different kind of surprise than humor.

Both can involve the incongruous, in the case of humor, the incongruity is usually silly, whereas in magic, the incongruity challenges the idea of what is possible.

So, I'd be willing to stretch "frustration" to "pain," and then agree magic is similar to humor in some ways, but "magic is humor" makes no sense to me. That's that statement that you make in the sentence in your article where you mention roller coasters are humorous, and then end, "and so is magic." While I disagree that roller coasters are always humorous, even if I accept that premise, the ending to the sentence is not justified by anything else in the article, and is contradicted by the dictionary, the literature on magic, my own definition of magic, and virtually everyone else's definition.

If people went to see a comedian, and a magician showed up and did strong magic without any jokes at all, the audience could be annoyed because they went to see a different kind of show. If the magician was good, people might not be annoyed, however, in that case they'd still realize they didn't get to see a comedian.

From the article by Hagerman.
Quote:
I have always thought that good comedians think just like good magicians.

Even if comedians think like magicians, this does not imply that magic is humor.

Other than statements about surprise and pain, which I discuss above, this was the only other statement I could find that actually connects humor and magic, albeit very indirectly. Assuming the premise is true, even if A has attribute C, and B has attribute C, that does not mean A equals B. I expect you know this, I only mention it to be complete, since I can't actually find where you make any convincing argument that "magic is humor."

Hagerman wrote:
Quote:
The only view of humor I want is the standard English definition; which is the view we should all have when using logic. Words mean so much more if everyone is in agreement with the definitions.

Looking up "humor" in the Merriam Webster dictionary, the official legal dictionary for the United States, I find:
Quote:
3 a: that quality which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous b: the mental faculty of discovering, expressing, or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous c: something that is or is designed to be comical or amusing

Note, there is no mention of laughter. It is not required. Other definitions of the word humor did not relate to being amusing.

Again, even if I accepted your definition for humor, or for what is funny, your other logic doesn't support the view that "magic is humor" anyway.
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"
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