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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Have people always thought of magic tricks as tricks? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

licker98
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The reason I'm asking is because nowadays, as far as I'm aware, a lot of what people consider to be real magic tends to be psychic readings, or perhaps mentalism. But regarding magic tricks, do you think there was a time when people believed that the only people who could perform the cups and balls had a magical talent that no-one else did, or do you think people have always known it was just clever sleight-of-hand?
funsway
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I have just released a FREE eBook that discusses such historic perceptions and applications to performing today.

Its focus is on the affect your presentation might have regardless of their definition of magic, impossible, deceptions, etc.;
and the impact on your life as the "challenger of the impossible."

look for "Why Magic - Why Me?" on lybrary.com - Ken Muller
"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
tommy
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It is a fact well known to archaeologists that many very wonderful arts which were possessed by the ancients have, through the course of ages, been completely lost to modern civilization.

Prominent among these superior accomplishments was the mysterious power of divining the presence of water or metals that lay hidden far under the ground. Now it may be that the assertion I am about to make will be received by you with polite but none the less absolute incredulity; but it has been my very great good fortune to discover, by the merest accident, the underlying principle of this lost art, and I have mapped out a plan of experiment and study that will in time, I trust, enable me to give once more to the world complete and scientific data for positively ascertaining the immediate whereabouts of such metals as gold, silver or copper by a process as simple as the waving of a willow wand over the prospected area.

I do not myself as yet fully understand the exact nature of the power I have stumbled upon, but I know it to be a sort of magnetic or sympathetic attraction, and I shall illustrate to you the principle involved by experimenting with a deck of cards. Will someone please make a selection of one card?


Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
tommy
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Ludicrous propositions to be proved, such as the one above from S.W.E. are often created by exaggerating the effect of some real or plausible phenomena. An illusion is not complete lie but is a distortion of the truth. So, then, perhaps, there has always been a grain of truth in our magic.

The annual crop of suckers that have been born down through the ages, have tended to believe in real magic for about 7 years.
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 Feb 7, 2022, licker98 wrote:
The reason I'm asking is because nowadays, as far as I'm aware, a lot of what people consider to be real magic tends to be psychic readings, or perhaps mentalism. But regarding magic tricks, do you think there was a time when people believed that the only people who could perform the cups and balls had a magical talent that no-one else did, or do you think people have always known it was just clever sleight-of-hand?

People were never (on the whole) stupid. The bluff of "I'm a scary sorcerer and if you don't X I will make Y appear under this cup instead of just the little ball." is simply not practical.

Entertainment serves the community. Stories serve to carry knowledge. Tricks serve to demonstrate technology.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
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The ludicrous proposition to be proved, is a nonsensical fictional story, which serves to amuse.

The experiment is a sensible factual story in effect, which serves to impart knowledge.

Magic is the synthesis of nonsense and sense.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Pop Haydn
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This is from memory, but it is pretty close:

"I love to watch the cups and balls performers in the marketplace, but once I figure out how something is done, I lose all interest." ~ Seneca ca 100 AD

There have always been cheats and charlatans, shamans and priests who use deceit and trickery to obtain power and wealth.

The street and marketplace performer/magician was doing a burlesque of such charlatanry for entertainment.

We are not the children of the charlatans or shamans.
tommy
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Seneca seems to have studied magic and created real looking illusions of horrific acts in his plays about witchcraft and the supernatural. He seems to have been a satirist and mocked ideas such as Emperors having a divine right to rule and declaring themselves gods and so on. A dangerous thing to do in those days me thinks.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2022, tommy wrote:
Seneca seems to have studied magic and created real looking illusions of horrific acts in his plays about witchcraft and the supernatural. He seems to have been a satirist and mocked ideas such as Emperors having a divine right to rule and declaring themselves gods and so on. A dangerous thing to do in those days me thinks.


He was forced into suicide by Nero for alleged treason, not for questioning the gods...although, he wasn't really guilty of treason, and one of the gods he questioned was Nero.
Jonathan Townsend
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@ tommy: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Moral_let......etter_45
Quote:
8. Then, too, the man who is asked whether he has horns on his head[1] is not such a fool as to feel for them on his forehead, nor again so silly or dense that you can persuade him by means of argumentation, no matter how subtle, that he does not know the facts. Such quibbles are just as harmlessly deceptive as the juggler's cup and dice, in which it is the very trickery that pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein. And I hold the same opinion about these tricky word-plays; for by what other name can one call such sophistries? Not to know them does no harm, and mastering them does no good


[1] JT translating an old joke: You said you did not lose your horns, so you must still have them. Check and see Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
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(3) Avoid complexity of Procedure, and never tax either the Patience or the memory
of an audience.

Smile

Sorry Jon but I do not get that joke.



I do not think I get this neither:

"What respect can the public have for men who do not respect their own
work? The only possible sentiment that can be aroused is contempt, pure and simple.
jokes in which magic is allied to humbug, swindling or chicanery of any kind, can
only serve to rank the magician among swindlers and impostors."

CHAPTER XII
PATTER
Our Magic


Do unicorns call Pop, Popcorn?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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