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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » The mystery of effects (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tommy
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Whether the audience goes along with what is offered or logically questions it depends on whether it is offered as fiction or fact.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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Quote:
On Dec 27, 2018, tommy wrote:
Whether the audience goes along with what is offered or logically questions it depends on whether it is offered as fiction or fact.


once more I am intrigued by the "flavor" of what I think you are offering, but have a problem with how you frame it.

neurobiologist disagree. The subcortical processes that determine whether or not information is considered in a rational manner (higher cortex)
is a complex of many functions including perceived credibility of the presenter -- but also experience with similar information,
prejudice, dogmatic conviction, emotional state, setting, etc. How the information is "offered" is a minor factor.

but, perhaps you can explain further ..

do you mean a truth offered as fiction or a falsehood presented as fact? Or a believed falsehood stated as a truth?

Also, an audience (many observers) has a different dynamic that a single individual, but has no "logical function."
The demonstrated reaction of one observer may influence others but may be a lie itself.
...

I have often reference the "Azevedo Experiment" in which a number of magic effects were demonstrated to students.
Each had an offered explanation. At the end the students were told the explanations were correct but wrong for the effect presented.
Each was given a list of effect and a list of the explanations to match up.

No one got them all correct! The presented truth or falsehood of the explanation did not support ant logical analysis.

Besides, when I say something like, "Since these two coins have been together in my pocket they have an affinity sort of like magnetism nut less understood,"
am I telling a truth or a fiction? Does an observed consider this to be true or fiction? Do they go through any rational process either way?

I feel they have heightened expectation either way (go along with) with no need for evaluation at all - they wait in excitement for more evidence.
Now, if you mean do they later consider the story line if an attempt at reconstruction - possible. But that is not "go along with."

If they logically accept the three Furst Principles, they will go along with whatever I present.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 24, 2018, WitchDocChris wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 23, 2018, tommy wrote:
Sensible explanations take from, while nonsensical explanations add to, the mystery of effects.


I disagree completely.

In my experience a nonsensical explanation is ignored, because it's clearly nonsense. This drives the audience to look for method which immediately removes all mystery. An explanation that's just this side of plausible makes the performance more believable and thus generates more emotional investment, which creates a greater potential for mystery.


When I was a mere lad, eons ago! Dariel Fitzkee authored a trilogy about magic. They were rather heavy reading for a teenage magician, but, I decided that if I was going to me a magician, there was more to magic than Abbott's Catalog!

Fitzkee described nineteen EFFECTS. Quite simply, an EFFECT is/was WHAT THE SPECTATORS PERCEIVED. That definition, has served me well for almost 3/4 of a century. I already knew what a PROP, TRICK, GIMMICK, FEKE, ETC, WAS. I'm happy to know what an EFFECT, is.
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tommy
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By mystery I mean the secret: something moves mysteriously from one place to another. How? That is the mystery of it! If the magician in his presentation gives a nonsensical explanation as to what caused the thing to mysteriously move from one place to the other, it will add to the mystery. That is to say be more baffling than if he gives a more rational expiation. To rationally explain magic, if it were possible, would be to kill it. The same is true of nonsense. That is no coincidence -do you know why?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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My objections to linking "mystery" with what happens when astonishment results in "must be magic" are already noted.

So, I look to the posited idea that the level of nonsense of an explanation impacts the observer's appreciation of the magic effect.
This is certainly a possibility in some effects, but hardly a universal truth for all magic. Even throwing in the word "baffling" does not help.
I strive for astonishment with all possible explanations eliminated before the fact. I have failed if they are only baffled.

On another forum tommy just posted, "The magic effects alone do not call upon the imagination but rather on the rationale."
Since the "effect" happens in the observer's mind I resist any claim that anyone knows what goes on in there with certainty --
but, what of wonderful effects in which no explanation is provided at all?

An example from my Medieval Camp Strolling days. The audience has a basket of objects from which to select items with which I will perform a magic effect.
They know I am a magician and are expecting a demonstration of seemingly impossible things. A man selects a red ball and tosses it to me.

Without a word, I toss it back and forth, then 'accidentally' drop it on the table where it bounces. I hold it at my left fingertips and wave my wrist.
The ball changes to white! Another shake of my wrist and the 'ball' tumbles down into a white scarf.
I now say, "A white handkerchief -- a good choice!" I then do a magic effect with the handkerchief.

I would suggest that the "imagination' of each spectator was alive and well and that there was no mystery as to what had occurred.
Yes, some may have wondered how the ball turned white, but that was quickly lost in the greater astonishment of the morph into a handkerchief.

No verbal story was told, true or fiction - yet a story was unfolding and every eye was on what would happen next to the handkerchief.
The effect alone created a heightened expectation of magic yet to come. No explanation given or asked or even considered.

....
Now, I will allow that other effects I presented with a fictional explanation might have help create the conditions under which "must be magic" occurred here.
Yet, none of the comments I received later related to "baffle," "mystery," "silly story, "how you did it," " or anything except "will you come to our camp and do some magic?"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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On another thread Pop said the following about Ken:

“The way you use words is very slippery and deceptive, in my opinion. You have a Procrustean approach to language, forcing it to fit your argument whether it does or not.

Conflating meanings in order to show "similarity" makes everything meaningless and useless. You use words in a way in which no one else has agreed to use them.”
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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Quote:
On Dec 29, 2018, tommy wrote:
On another thread Pop said the following about Ken:

“The way you use words is very slippery and deceptive, in my opinion. You have a Procrustean approach to language, forcing it to fit your argument whether it does or not.

Conflating meanings in order to show "similarity" makes everything meaningless and useless. You use words in a way in which no one else has agreed to use them.”



Perhaps you could be specific about what word(s) cause you a problem. I could fill a book with quotes about me out of context. So, what?

Did you understand my example? What part of my reasoning did you not understand?

The issue here is your use of the term "mystery" as it applies to performance magic. Your view seems to be at odds with what other magicians have said here.
Now you shift to saying that "mystery" equals the secret behind the trick. I disagree with your view and provide evidence.
You now attempt some personal attack. Entertaining any way.

Can you please offer an actual magic effect that you performed in which the use of a wild fiction explanation created a greater magic response than when you used a
more truthful story line.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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You are the one with the problem. You have a problem with my use of the word mystery, despite the fact that I have explained what I mean by mystery is secret. There is nothing novel about that meaning: Old French mistere "secret, mystery, hidden meaning" You have a problem with my use of the phrase more baffling and suggest that nobody uses that phrase in relation to our magic. Yet on searching, I find thousands of magicians using it here including you Ken. If I wanted to attack you I might say that shows what a dishonest little weasel you are. That would be impolite however so I will not say that. I will merely quote Pop very nicely explaining what your problem is.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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No answers to my questions, I see.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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Your eyesight must have improved no end. Can you also now see nobody?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2018, tommy wrote:
Sensible explanations take from, while nonsensical explanations add to, the mystery of effects.
Verbal cues for play.
Words to accompany and reinforce the demonstration in a more musical sense.

We could digress to language by way of Alice, Humpty Dumpty and runcible spoons...but this topic is more about audience experience than matters didactic.

Yes that was a reference to Aristotle on rhetoric.Smile
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Jonathan Townsend
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@Tommy: consonance vs dissonance ? Smile
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tommy
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Smile

Speak of nonsense and it will appear.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2018, tommy wrote:
Sensible explanations take from, while nonsensical explanations add to, the mystery of effects.

Nonsense lets them decide how much of what they see is important beyond simply acknowledging the performance of a trick. You showed something - something happened - that's nice. The comedian talked - then the audience laughed - okay. Levels of engagement?
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tommy
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Nonsensical actions are accepted by the audience when in keeping with the nonsense which conjurers proverbially indulge in to "explain" their "mysteries” and because nobody questions fictional nonsense such actions can be used as shade for moves. For example, one tells one's audience that one must twitch one's elbow in order to make an invisible card held in the palm of one's hand become visible: not only does that bit of nonsense work but works over and over again. With fiction, the firewall is down, which is why the propagandists and the wizards of Madison Avenue use fiction. Nonsense fiction is not just a pretty face.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
tommy
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There are different levels on either side of the dilemma. The gist of it is, a magic effect can be presented essentially in two different ways, depending on what type of magician one is. There is the wizard who presents his magic in a more or less serious way and there is the conjurer who presents his magic in a more or less humorous way. The way the effect is presented changes the balance, the levels on either side of the dilemma.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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