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Cain
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On 2011-08-05 01:38, clamon86 wrote:
The whole "visual learner" is a weak excuse. The point of words and language is to form pictures in your mind.


And how many words is an actual picture worth? How about 24 pictures a second?

I think this "visual learner" stuff is crap because what he really means is "typical learner." Our ancestors communicated long before developing language. Literacy is relatively new, and mass-literacy newer still. When you're with a real-life person you don't ask him to write down an explanation, or draw a picture. If he can demonstrate it, then he demonstrates it.

It's perfectly understandable younger people would first consume video, and not because they're lazy. If you have no idea how a convincing control is supposed to look, then it might help to see one executed in real time. Given a limp performance versus a sterile written description, I'll take the latter: "Use a convincing control to bring the selected card second from the bottom." That's much better than two minutes of blabbing. I also prefer books when it comes to tricks with elaborate set ups. A properly produced DVD should use annotations, or have shorthand somewhere on the menu, or display steps on a sidebar.

Video also exposes the fakers and bull*******s; you can find out if this person is the real deal or just talks a good game (and I'd bet money right now that if Erdnase were alive today, we'd see a significant gap between his actual chops and what his cultists would have us believe).

!@#$%^&es may know they can't write for ****, but there's nothing stopping them from pointing a camera at their crotch and uploading it to Youtube. The accesibility of video means it probably does have a higher signal-to-noise ratio versus the people who take the time to write. If you do not have the patience and discipline to write (uh) good, then you're probably not much of a thinker (though there are exceptions). Also, the very nature of writing and editing means that the trick is examined in another light, subjected to rational scrutiny. It's no coincidence the first draft of the best DVDs appeared in book form.

You can pick up things from a video that are not mentioned in books: look at how he flips over the cards, spreads, the cards, squares the cards. It's one thing for a writer to mention a "soft touch" and quite another to see it. The mannered style magicians use to pick up objects between their middle-finger and thumb is a meme contracted via the eyes. If a complete novice read an evocative description of the same action, then he may never appreciate the words. However, if you're already familiar with the movements -- which you first learned by watching -- then re-enacting the words from the page may bring you some small pleasure.

Quote:
If you find dvds you're only source, I call that laziness.


I'd call it limiting. And I'd say the same thing for someone who only learns from books. Just because video is a superior medium to convey such information does not mean that the magic DVDs should be one's only source of study. A person can recognize that, all things being equal, videos are superior to books and yet not all things are equal: books have a huge advantage in that they've been around longer. While some excellent items appear on video, nearly every good item appears somewhere in print.

More than anything else, videos allow beginners to get better quickly. Yes, they will still probably suck 3 months, 6 months, 12 months in, but they'll see results and results encourage effort. A relatively high percentage of the folks who live at the gym are the one's who take steroids. If you ate healthy and worked out for six hours a week and achieved small gains, then you might soon conclude that "this isn't worth it." But if you ate healthy and worked out for six hours and achieved incredible results, then you might wonder what would happen if you worked out eight hours a week.

If you picked all the low-hanging fruit ages ago, then you must hunt through books.

Quote:
Look at the most(among the most) successful dvds of all time, Michael Ammar card miracles, every single trick taken from a book(regardless of permission).


And magicians complained because those tricks became even more popular. That's a virtue of books: a person can establish their material without overexposing it.

Just to reiterate a major point: with a video, you get to see a performance. Yes, these environments are often contrived; a poor or affected audience reaction may cause you to overlook an item... but you're less likely to overlook it than if you read the book. Plus, if it sucks, then you can skip the explanation altogether. With a book you often have to read through most of the description before realizing either: 1) it's not for you or; 2) you cannot think of a way to make the trick workable.
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magicfish
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" For every DVD you watch, read two classic books of magic ".
- John Carney, The Book of Secrets ~ Lessons For Progressive Conjuring.
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 10:07, magicfish wrote:
" For every DVD you watch, read two classic books of magic ".
- John Carney, The Book of Secrets ~ Lessons For Progressive Conjuring.


Well, I've got 11 DVDs of his in my collection. Presumably he understands their utility as well.
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magicfish
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Yes he does. And he has written about it. Are his essays included in these Dvds? What I mean is, dvds can be helpful to show how moves should look. I think most of the time they are detrimental ti how an effect should look. The book is better than the movie so to speak. But what about Carneys essays about fear? about taking risks? And many other essays which in my opinion are the true secrets of magic? Does he stand for half hour in front of the camera and speak about theory?.
Or are the non readers among us missing out on

the good stuff.
What about Robert-Houdins memoires? What about the Vernon Touch?
What about Loraynes priceless Out to Lunch column? Or the first chapters of Bill Simons book?
What about getting to know the prevailing dynamic at the chicago roundtable? What about the endless bits of wisdom throughout The Magical Arts Journal or The Magic Menu? I could go on forevr I think.
If its just tricks you want, dvds might help, although I still believe books books to be far superior with regard to learning and developing effects.
But when it comes to the rest? Its all there in black and white.
Rod
bblumen
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 23:30, Andrew Musgrave wrote:

When it comes to the pass -- and specifically how it should look from the audience's point of view -- I've yet to read a single paragraph that's anywhere near as helpful as watching it done live.




Your reading on the move must be quite limited, or you do not comprehend what you read.
"Lulling the minds of your company is more important than dazzling their eyes." Ed Marlo
The Burnaby Kid
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On 2011-08-05 17:33, magicfish wrote:
Does he stand for half hour in front of the camera and speak about theory?.


Actually, in his Carney on Ramsay DVD, he spends pretty close to twenty minutes breaking down a simple coin vanish, including lots about theory.

The point's already been adequately made that text is the better format for topics related to theory, opinion, additional touches and nuances. However, if you're a sleight-of-hand artist, at some point you've got to do your move, and any training that does not include some visual model to study is at best incomplete, and at worst, stunted.

There's a great anecdote about how beginning martial artists believe that a punch is just a punch. Later, when they start to study, they start thinking that a punch is so much more than just a punch, and they put endless study into refinement and perfection. Once they reach true mastery, though, they realize that they're actually back where they started, where a punch is just a punch.

There are a variety of ways to interpret that. Mostly it's about the overanalysis of kata. At some point, when you're in the thick of it and performing, you've got to make do with the best you got, take your best shot at the effect, and learn from that.

First heard that great little tidbit... from John Carney on one of his DVDs.

Quote:
On 2011-08-05 17:36, bblumen wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-04 23:30, Andrew Musgrave wrote:

When it comes to the pass -- and specifically how it should look from the audience's point of view -- I've yet to read a single paragraph that's anywhere near as helpful as watching it done live.




Your reading on the move must be quite limited, or you do not comprehend what you read.


Oh, I've read plenty on it. Even if we set aside timing, misdirection, tension and relaxation -- you know, kinesthetic elements that need to be witnessed to properly appreciate them -- written descriptions on the pass involve some very complicated mechanics. Seeing it done live really drives home the point about how to keep all those mechanics invisible.

Let me put it to you another way, so that you can sense the gulf between the two. Say we got somebody who was totally green on the subject of the pass, and we showed them a deceptive pass executed live. In other words, they didn't sense the move. If you then gave them a written description on everything going on with the move, how do you think they'd react?
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Andrew Zuber
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Who are these "non-readers?" Please point out where in this thread someone indicated that they do not read books, period.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Lance Pierce
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Personally, I am a visual learner. I'll read books for information, but I don't do well with them. I prefer to see the motions of what's happening.


Fair enough. Everyone has preferred learning modes in which they find it easiest to learn; that's both obvious and inarguable. Let's be clear, though, that both reading and watching a DVD are visual activities. Envisioning what the words convey is a visual activity in the same way as closing your eyes and imagining a scene is a visual activity; you're thinking in pictures.

The primary difference between the two media is that reading requires active participation. The learner must envision what's being conveyed and has an active part in it. Watching a DVD, though is a passive activity. This is the primary reason that books foster creativity while DVDs foster emulation. This isn't to say that everyone who watches a DVD is merely a copycat or that anyone who reads a book is creative, only that the different activities tend to foster different things. This is also, in an indirect way, why I've said in the past that DVDs are great for imparting knowledge, and books are great for imparting understanding.

As with any learning, though, the best takes place when we don't engage only the mode that we find easiest or most effective, but when we force ourselves to use more than one mode and try to draw from the best of all of them. The magicians who really have the upper hand when it comes to advancing on what they know are the ones who intelligently use both media.

So, good luck. Smile
bblumen
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 18:12, Andrew Musgrave wrote:

[snip]
Oh, I've read plenty on it. Even if we set aside timing, misdirection, tension and relaxation -- you know, kinesthetic elements that need to be witnessed to properly appreciate them -- written descriptions on the pass involve some very complicated mechanics. Seeing it done live really drives home the point about how to keep all those mechanics invisible.

Let me put it to you another way, so that you can sense the gulf between the two. Say we got somebody who was totally green on the subject of the pass, and we showed them a deceptive pass executed live. In other words, they didn't sense the move. If you then gave them a written description on everything going on with the move, how do you think they'd react?



Well, I was "totally green" when I first witnessed the pass 45 years ago. I had no clue of what caused my card to be on the top of the deck, after I had placed it into the center. I was stunned. I did not "sense" anything, other than my thought, How the hell did he do that?!.

When I begged for the secret, the gentleman who had performed this miracle, told me I had to read first, ask later.

He directed me to Ralph Read's description of the move in Tarbell.

I reacted by studying and practicing that what was divulged in those pages for months.

And, I continued to digest every written word I could. I still do.

I will argue that seeing it done cannot compare to a concerted study of the writings.
"Lulling the minds of your company is more important than dazzling their eyes." Ed Marlo
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 17:33, magicfish wrote:
Or are the non readers among us missing out on

the good stuff.
What about Robert-Houdins memoires? What about the Vernon Touch?
What about Loraynes priceless Out to Lunch column? Or the first chapters of Bill Simons book?
What about getting to know the prevailing dynamic at the chicago roundtable? What about the endless bits of wisdom throughout The Magical Arts Journal or The Magic Menu? I could go on forevr I think.
If its just tricks you want, dvds might help, although I still believe books books to be far superior with regard to learning and developing effects.
But when it comes to the rest? Its all there in black and white.
Rod


You keep making the same mistake - assuming that people who prefer dvds are missing out because they are not reading books. They are reading books, articles, etc.... Recognizing that dvd's have certain advantages that books cannot touch in some areas does not mean they are not reading books. Everything you list above is wonderful, but it is not necessary to somehow deny that those who prefer dvds have no interest in reading them, though there will always be some who do not recognize their value.
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R.E. Byrnes
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"You missed a comma. I fixed it for you."


Much appreciated.

As it was, I felt a little silly going back to the "missed a verb" move.

(Thanks for lots of great posts beyond grammar and punctuation, by the way. You always have an interesting perspective.)
magicfish
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 19:24, bblumen wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-05 18:12, Andrew Musgrave wrote:

[snip]
Oh, I've read plenty on it. Even if we set aside timing, misdirection, tension and relaxation -- you know, kinesthetic elements that need to be witnessed to properly appreciate them -- written descriptions on the pass involve some very complicated mechanics. Seeing it done live really drives home the point about how to keep all those mechanics invisible.

Let me put it to you another way, so that you can sense the gulf between the two. Say we got somebody who was totally green on the subject of the pass, and we showed them a deceptive pass executed live. In other words, they didn't sense the move. If you then gave them a written description on everything going on with the move, how do you think they'd react?



Well, I was "totally green" when I first witnessed the pass 45 years ago. I had no clue of what caused my card to be on the top of the deck, after I had placed it into the center. I was stunned. I did not "sense" anything, other than my thought, How the hell did he do that?!.

When I begged for the secret, the gentleman who had performed this miracle, told me I had to read first, ask later.

He directed me to Ralph Read's description of the move in Tarbell.

I reacted by studying and practicing that what was divulged in those pages for months.

And, I continued to digest every written word I could. I still do.

I will argue that seeing it done cannot compare to a concerted study of the writings.

Bblumen, I could not agree with you more.
magicfish
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For the most part, ive never found a video lesson of a sleight that can come close to a written description by a good technical writer accompanied by good illustrations.
Andrew Zuber
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On 2011-08-05 19:07, Lance Pierce wrote:
As with any learning, though, the best takes place when we don't engage only the mode that we find easiest or most effective, but when we force ourselves to use more than one mode and try to draw from the best of all of them. The magicians who really have the upper hand when it comes to advancing on what they know are the ones who intelligently use both media.

Makes perfect sense - and that's exactly what I do. Even though I find it more difficult and don't enjoy the process as much, I do force myself to read as much as possible when it comes to magic. For instance, I'm currently working my way through Royal Road to Card Magic, and am enjoying it. I have to say, I'm familiar with a lot of the material in the book from DVDs I've watched over the years. I've come to find that having seen those actions and explanations first, it now makes a LOT more sense to me when I read it. I've found the opposite to often be true when I read a book first - I'm unsure if I'm truly doing the move correctly and I struggle more with it. I may be executing the whole thing just fine but I don't know for sure if I haven't seen it.

Thanks for the insightful post Lance Smile
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The Burnaby Kid
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On 2011-08-05 22:13, magicfish wrote:
For the most part, ive never found a video lesson of a sleight that can come close to a written description by a good technical writer accompanied by good illustrations.


Wait wait wait wait... hold the phone... You needed illustrations?
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JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Adam1975
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Surely theres no "answer" to this post.Some like books,some DVD`s.Personally,I like both,50/50 in fact.But in my opinion,sometimes,when it comes to learning a complex sleight,video is easier because you can pick on on timing and other nuances that the written word cant convey (easily,anyway).Surely we don't have to choose either.Both are good for me.
Ive upped my standards.Now,up yours!
andre combrinck
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I think both DVDs and books have their place in magic. To argue which is better, is useless! Not everyone is an American. By that I mean, not all people use English as their first language. So comprehending the written word, isn't always easy for all. This is where DVDs come in handy.
I love both formats. For example, the Books of Wonder are great. But if you use the DVDs to supplement it, you can learn a lot from it. Plus, there were a few extra effects in the DVDs, which did not appear in the books.
To argue the point, would be like a musician only learning from tablature and not by music that he hears.

Harry said "Everyone to his own." And that's the way I feel.
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Andre: Make that "To each his own." Best - HL.
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 19:24, bblumen wrote:
Well, I was "totally green" when I first witnessed the pass 45 years ago. I had no clue of what caused my card to be on the top of the deck, after I had placed it into the center. I was stunned. I did not "sense" anything, other than my thought, How the hell did he do that?!.


So... SEEING it done helped you understand and appreciate the effect that was possible by the technique?

Quote:
I will argue that seeing it done cannot compare to a concerted study of the writings.


I'd say that "concerted study" period is what's important. A really good student is going to seek out every possible resource that they can, regardless of format. The point is that downplaying the benefits of visual formats (drawings, photographs, video, live coaching, mirror training) makes no sense.
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JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
magicfish
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Quote:
On 2011-08-06 05:16, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-05 22:13, magicfish wrote:
For the most part, ive never found a video lesson of a sleight that can come close to a written description by a good technical writer accompanied by good illustrations.


Wait wait wait wait... hold the phone... You needed illustrations?

absolutely! A good illustrator can make all the difference in the world, Andrew.
And an illustrator who knows the move well can select just the right moments of a sleight to freeze on the page. Richard Kaufman is very good at this.
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