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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » You REALLY have to check this out! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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fortasse
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo.

Featured, incidentally, in an absolutely fascinating book you REALLY need to get : "Sleight of Mind : What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions". by Macknick and Martinez-Conde, 2010
dcjames
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Thanks Fortasse - I was checking out this book the other day and wondered if it was worth the read.
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

Tommy Wonder
The Books of Wonder
Volume 2
RevJohn
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Great book! Been working my way through it!

RevJohn
fortasse
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Did you take the test (on the YouTube link above)?
dcjames
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Yes. Missed the count by one... saw it the first time.
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

Tommy Wonder
The Books of Wonder
Volume 2
Bill Palmer
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I have mixed feelings about this book. One of the reasons is that there are a number of assumptions the authors make, which the authors of the other book mentioned with regards to this video also make.

Some of their information about how various pieces of magic are done are flat out wrong. I won't mention which ones they are, because it's not fair game in this part of the forum.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
fortasse
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Point taken. There are indeed a couple of passages that will cause one to wince over the incorrectness of the explanations of the tricks in question but I cut them a bit of slack there because I know they're scientists and not magicians. Still, with all its flaws, I found the book an absolutely fascinating read. At the same time, one really has to read other works by magicians and magical theorists to be able to put "Sleight of Mind" in proper perspective. Chief among these, IMHO, are the works of S.H. Sharpe (Art and Magic; Neo-Magic, etc), Fritzkee's books (Misdirection, Trick Brain, etc) and the most impressive of the modern books (for me, anyway), Strong Magic by Ortiz.

Sean
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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I would also recomment "On Being Certain" that explains neurobiology more in depth on the scientific side (but not heavy) Then a you might find "Sleights of Mind" more in balance. There are important concepts here that can effect how you develop routines and should be read by any serious student of magic and audience engagement.

What was missing in this book was acknowledgement of similar work (exploring magicians and psychology) done in the late 19th century. I have only read excepts but know that they reached some of the same conclusions though functional methods that these authors reach instrumentally. Perhaps Bill or Etienne could provide a complete list of such books ;-)
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Lawrence O
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Before supplying a list, I'd like to recall a rarely quoted book called The Magical Mind - Key to Successful Communication by John Mulholland and George N Gordon (1967). It raises some valid basis to our thinking:

Fact One: Most people only notice a tiny fraction of the innumerable details which surround them in the course of a day.

Fact Two: If we noticed everything within our powers of observation, every sight, every sound, every change in temperature, we would, in a short time, be raving maniacs. There are just too many of them.

Fact Three: The average person can, however, expand his powers of consciousness to include far more of the world around him than he presently perceives and without becoming a maniac. He can broaden and deepen to an unbelievable extent what that world says to him about its secrets.

Fact Four: Psychologists of perception have known this for many years. Piles of research have indicated to scholars in the field that we notice and act upon a tiny fraction of what we actually see, hear and feel. We literally disregard much that is also within our ken.

Fact Five: Practically everyone can apply our knowledge of the psychology of perception to enrich his life.

Fact Six: You can prove fact five to your own satisfaction in a matter of seconds. Innumerable scientific tests have shown that millions of details we might have noticed get lost in the blast of impulses bombarding us at every instant. All we usually observe is a rough outline of these impulses; the trees of our senses are literally absorbed into the forest of our consciousness.


Now during the early 20th century theorists, such as Kurt Koffka, Max Wertheimer, and Wolfgang Köhler (students of Carl Stumpf) saw objects as perceived within an environment according to all of their elements taken together as a global construct and completed what is now known as the Gestalt Theory. This 'gestalt' or 'whole form' approach sought to define principles of perception -seemingly innate mental laws which determined the way in which objects were perceived. It is based on the here and now, and in the way you view things. It can be broken up into two: figure or ground, at first glance do you see the figure in front of you or the background?
These laws took several forms, such as the grouping of similar, or proximate, objects together, within this global process. Although Gestalt has been criticized for being merely descriptive, it has formed the basis of much further research into the perception of patterns and objects ( Carlson et al. 2000), and of research into behavior, thinking, problem solving, psychopathology ... and magic.

The fundamental principle of gestalt perception is the law of prägnanz (German for pithiness) which says that we tend to order our experience in a manner that is regular, orderly, symmetric, and simple. Gestalt psychologists attempt to discover refinements of the law of prägnanz, and this involves writing down laws which hypothetically allow us to predict the interpretation of sensation, what are often called "gestalt laws". These include:
Law of Closure — The mind may experience elements it does not perceive through sensation, in order to complete a regular figure (that is, to increase regularity).
Law of Similarity — The mind groups similar elements into collective entities or totalities. This similarity might depend on relationships of form, color, size, or brightness (the ball and vase supplies a good application of this perception principle)
Law of Proximity — Spatial or temporal proximity of elements may induce the mind to perceive a collective or totality. (Copper/silver routines or Three Fly, color changes with cards etc. offer repeated demonstrations of this law)
Law of Symmetry (Figure ground relationships)— Symmetrical images are perceived collectively, even in spite of distance (most solid through solid effects are based oon this principle: coins through the table, coin through hand)
Law of Continuity — The mind continues visual, auditory, and kinetic patterns (if a coin vanishes from the left hand and another one appears in the right, the mind presumes that the coin travelled from the left to the right)
Law of Common Fate — Elements with the same moving direction are perceived as a collective or unit (check billiard ball routines or coins through the table...)
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
funsway
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Do you have any references for the pre-gestalt work of people like Jastrow,
Dessoir, Binet, and Triplett? -- all of you alledgedly used conjury as a model of psychological appraisal.

one I have is

Binet, A. 1896. Psychology of prestidigitation.
Annual Report of the Board of Regents
of the Smithsonian Institution, 1894, pp.
555-7 1 . Washington, DC: GPO

but no idea how to retrieve it
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Bill Palmer
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Check with the Library of Congress. They may have an electronic copy available.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Deceptor
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Or, save yourself some time and trouble and buy a copy of:

TRUE SECRETS OF CONJURING

$29.95

True Secrets of Conjuring collects for the first time some of the most influential and impossible-to-find early writings on magic theory and psychology. The CD features essays and techniques that set the stage for modern conjuring performances, from the practical rules laid out by Robert-Houdin and Maskelyne to the natural-school teachings of the mysterious Elbiquet to the high-art principles of Louis C. Haley's "Actor-Magician Essays" from The Dramatic Art of Magic. You'll also find an eye-opening collection of early writings on the psychology of magic, including clinical tests of Kellar and Herrmann: The Psychology of Deception (1888) by Joseph Jastrow, The Psychology of Legerdemain (1893) by Max Dessoir, The Psychology of Prestidigitation (1894) by Alfred Binet, Psychological Notes on Sleight-of-Hand Experts (1896) by Joseph Jastrow, Psychology of Some Card Tricks (1899), The Psychology of Conjuring Deceptions (1900) by Norman Triplett, The Psychology of Magic (1919) by Paul R. Rockwood, The Psychology of Deception (1920) by Hereward Carrington, The Psychology of Legerdemain (1927) by S. B. Blodgett, Deceptive Psychology (1929) by Nelson C. Hahne, and The Psychology of Conjuring by Robert Bernhard (1936). The CD also includes several other important essays on magic theory by Robert-Houdin, Professor Hoffmann, John Mulholland, Edwin A. Sachs, Arthur Buckley, and others. CD with over 600 pages of material, housed in a shelf-ready case with beautiful full-color cover. Essential reading for serious scholars and performers.
Always leave yourself an out.
volto
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Binet's excellent paper is available here, in an English translation:
WARNING! Large Download!
http://www.archive.org/download/annualre......smit.pdf

It begins at page 555.

You can view it without downloading the entire Smithsonian report, this way:
http://www.archive.org/stream/annualrepo......mode/2up
Deceptor
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I just emailed funsway Binet (1MB), Hyman (2MB), and Triplett (8MB) refernces.

Anyone else interested just let me know.

Posted: Mar 15, 2011 5:11pm
Sorry, the email with attachments to funsway got rejected.

Let me know if you want me to attempt to resend.
Always leave yourself an out.
brian314
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Very interesting discussion. As a retired detective I interviewed hundreds of witnesses to crimes and auto accidents. It is amazing how people will describe what they saw. So many different accounts from the same incident.

As an example, people will say they witnessed an accident, but when throughly questioned they only saw the vehicles after the collision, and their mind told them what had happened to lead up to that accident. They were so convinced that they saw the entire event and were amazed when they found out they were not correct. It always amazed me.

Brian
Deceptor
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Just a thought.

As a retired dectective you are no doubt familiar with Edmond Locard: "It is impossible for a criminal to act, especially considering the intensity of a crime, without leaving traces of this presence." The idea that no matter where a criminal goes or what a criminal does, he will leave something at the scene of the crime. At the same time, he will also take something back with him.

This is also can be used as one of the basic priciples to detect deception and, to some degree, how to figure out how things, such as magic are done.
Always leave yourself an out.
brian314
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Deceptor,
Your signature states : "always leave an out" and that is very interesting, people have a natural desire to confess, whether it be to a crime or something else. In my 25 years with the department I had to find a way to make that happen.

I learned that you always had to ( give them an out). If you allow them to give you a reason why they did what they did, and they would always come clean. Well, I am getting way off topic, time to get back to magic.

My point was, people will remember the end of a trick, but not all the moves that got you there.

Brian
fortasse
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Brian :

Re: your post about the wide divergence between the accounts of witnesses to crimes and auto accidents, this is often referred to as the "Rashoman Effect" , named after the cinematic masterpiece "Rashoman" by the legendary Japanese filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa. The film is about a rape, the recalled accounts of which vary, sometimes quite dramatically, from one witness or perpetrator to another.
"Truth" is such an elusive and indefinite thing.

Fortasse
brian314
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Fortasse,

How true that is.
fortasse
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I should have said "Rashomon" not Rashoman".
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