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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Exposure in magic books aimed at laypeople (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jprace
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That might be true, but he seems to be more angry that the book is sold to the general public. If the same book was sold to only magicians in magic stores, the same issue with crediting would exist.

Also, my point is not only aimed towards Josh's book. I haven't browsed the magic section at Barnes & Nobles lately, but if someone was selling a book with all their own, great material to the general public my feelings would still be the same.
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Ray Tupper.
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Quote:
On 2010-05-25 20:11, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-05-25 19:25, jprace wrote:...
Everyone has got to start somewhere, and I think these books are a great place to do so.


Perhaps it was useful to you and many here. Such is not in dispute.

However, it's very difficult to say that what you found in open products when you started should stay that way and that it would be wrong for an open product to include your work given that everything in the products you found in the open were at one time somebody's work.

"At one time somebody's work"
That "somebody" released them.
"An open product to include your work"
That open product wasn't "your work",it was "somebody's" work.You're just a replicator of "somebody's" work,that was released,by "somebody"
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Jonathan Townsend
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One of the lines in you argument,
Quote:
That "somebody" released them.

happens to be very questionable. I cite the Hoffmann books as counterexample. For those who don't know, Angelo Lewis did not get DeKolta's permission as regards the billiards nor ... well let's just say he saw what he saw at shows and wrote what he wrote because he wanted to. More recently we have the example of "Expert Card Technique".

Plenty of taken works yours for the easy acquisition via Dover and Lybrary.com - as well as works which were sold in magic shops which somehow wandered off into toystores and less specialized booksellers.

Quote:
On 2010-05-25 20:33, jprace wrote:...if someone was selling a book with all their own, great material to the general public my feelings would still be the same.


If someone publishes their own work, that is only their own work, and sells it in a public I can only respect their decision even though I disagree with it. The opening chapter of the erdnase text has a similar argument about that where the author claims to have learned what he teaches on his own and is selling the book because he needs the money.
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the Sponge
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Quote:
On 2010-05-25 19:25, jprace wrote:

I started magic when I was about seven, and I found a tourist magic store at Navy Pier in Chicago. I got a simple magic set and I was hooked.

great, now the relevant question: what effects were in the set that got you hooked?

Quote:
The books aimed towards the general public are like magic sets at Walmart. Those contain classics such as the Cups and Balls and other distinguished tricks.

Really? have you looked at them recently?

s
jprace
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The first things I learned were a simple Cups and Balls, the Hotrod, and a few other props. And yes, I have Josh's new book and I think it's a great resource for beginning magicians.
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Jonathan Townsend
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So it's cool with some folks if someone takes from Ralph Hull and Don Alan?
How about if they decided to put one of your tricks in there?
No asking no nothing.
Something you sell now or perhaps an item you perform but have decided not to sell. What would be different then?
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stoneunhinged
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Why make everything so difficult? Does everyone really think it is difficult to define exposure? That's easy.

Exposure is explaining how an effect is done.

That was easy.

The difficulty arises with trying to decide what is ethical or unethical with regard to exposing secrets. Some believe that there ought to be no secrets. (Remember the Pentagon Papers?) Some believe that secrets ought not be sold. Cool idea. Some believe that secrets ought only to be sold by certified dealers. Some believe, some believe, some believe....

But it's still very easy. The only thing that makes it difficult is that human beings are a fickle, egoist, greedy bunch who want to gain something by exposing secrets.

How about a truly radical idea: let secrets remain secrets, period. Or as the Brits would say, let secrets remain secrets, full stop.

Now, what does ethics have to do with any of this? What do I know? What do I know about ethics?
funsway
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A proper ethical postion is that you decide "before the fact" whether you will ever expose and effect to someone, and tghen be congruent with your decision. The problem comes in when one has to make a snap decision and starts making exceptions -- which leads to attempts to justify their lack of integrity.

Before a magician meets a spectator he should be clear in his mind as to his position on:

1) answering questions about "how is it done"
2) teaching magic effects
3) revealing methods as part of a performance
4) covering up a revealing mistake
5) discussing other magician's performances
etc.
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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Interesting point, Ken- agree totally!

Jim
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Jonathan Townsend
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Losing the "ever" and being skeptical about the word "clear" - I'm with Ken on this issue of taking a position and seeking to avoid having to make snap decisions.
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funsway
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It was a surrpise to me to learn that the oft referenced book "Our Magic" was witten for the lay public in an effort to educate them in the secrets of magic.

In the book "Hiding the Elephant," Jim Steinmeyer details the interactions, politics and economics of the magicians of the period and the temperament of the audiences. He explains how the book came into being, why the name was selected and the "astonishing premise" on which it was conceived -- "to change the perception of the art, inviting the readers to know everything about magic."

"Our Magic" meant the combined thinking of David Devant and Nevil Maskelyne to play off of their well know trademark.

From the introduction, "So far from feeling any reluctance toward letting the general public into the secrets of our procedure, we are most anxious to educate the public on such matters, in order that a proper understanding of our art may be disseminated among its votaries and patrons."

This venture was not a financial success, for it appeared that the public did not wish to know -- prefering to be entertained and mystified.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Funsway, Seneca could have told them that
Quote:
But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein
, had they bothered to read, over a thousand years before they set to work. Smile Then again even a few minutes watching a cat play with a mouse or a piece of string can inform the attentive on the matter of mysteries versus secrets.

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ku7uk3
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It all comes own to what I said in the other post, as long as money is 'physically' handed over at some point of the process, you are free to expose whatever you want.

Magic societies no-longer kicks out members who have written a book, sell magic to the public or have released a DVD. But they still kick out members who have made a video and put it on YouTube.

For me, they are the same thing. And while I have no problem with either, find it disappointing that a high-class society can have double standards when it comes to these two different forums for which exposure is given.
Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:
On 2010-05-29 04:28, ku7uk3 wrote:

Magic societies no-longer kicks out members who have written a book, sell magic to the public or have released a DVD. But they still kick out members who have made a video and put it on YouTube.


Really?

When?

Where?

Who?
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ku7uk3
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In the UK, The Order of the Magi (Manchester) have kicked out magicians, including myself because I had a video on my website that taught a few basic tricks to my clients. They deemed it as exposure and kicked me out.

But the society still has numerous members in it which have released books and DVDs, all of which can be got read for free by ordering it at your local library.

The Magic Circle (London) is another society that has lowered their tolerance level on exposure in public books. Pat Page had a history with them over his book, along with other magicians. Eventually the Magic Circle backed down and now allow exposure in books, even when its complicated magic like the cups and balls. But they still won't tolerate a website video that teaches tricks like the afghan rings via a website video.

The definition of exposure seems to have changed, it is now acceptable to exposure whatever magic you wish as long as you make money from it and its not done online.
Jonathan Townsend
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Steve, you're dealing with folks who think you can pay money for a someone else's secret in an open market. And they will tell you so. Not even a hint of confusion as they say it. They believe it. If you were to ask them whether that's secret with a (TM) or (R) they will look at you funny. If you ask them about the need to sign anything for transfer of trade secrets they will laugh at you. If you ask them about performance rights they will likely shrug or just look at you as if you made a sad joke.

So what specifically do you want from these people? Can you settle for a nice social club where folks who enjoy magic tricks meet?
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ku7uk3
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Your right of course, I would have a better chance trying to convert them to Scientology rather than the differences between teaching and exposure, DVDs and websites.
Its just annoying when your the victim of someones Else's double-standards and self-imposed superiority.
alpha alex
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Quote:
On 2010-05-30 05:01, ku7uk3 wrote:
Your right of course, I would have a better chance trying to convert them to Scientology rather than the differences between teaching and exposure, DVDs and websites.
Its just annoying when your the victim of someones Else's double-standards and self-imposed superiority.


exactly
Jonathan Townsend
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I disagree. IMHO the notion of being "at cause" is abhorrent to many in our community by and large - and so keeps them from standing in front of the effects they offer in perfoomance and also keeps them from taking a position on issues like the root question: "is this my item to openly discuss and explain in public?"
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Jay Jennings
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I think exposure (of the unethical type) lies mainly in the intent. If the intent is to just reveal the secret, I think that's exposure. if the intent is to teach someone how to perform the effect, it's education, not exposure. I think Joshua Jay's book is the latter, most definitely.

I became interested in magic in the 4th or 5th grade -- we lived in a state that didn't even have a magic shop (still doesn't). It was the books available at the book stores that got me going, for several years. Not everyone has access to magic shops and mentors.

Jay Jennings
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