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Old 22nd July 2013, 01:25 AM   #81
marplots
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
If there are no more gullible people the con-artist thus has no potential victims.

The sun cannot be said to be promoting anything consciously or unconsciously.
so is not an accurate analogy.
Maybe not. Are you saying the con-artist creates the gullibility though?

I think of myself as an ethical magician in the way we've talked about it here. I don't do mentalism stuff though, so I might get a pass - unless you think cutting a rope and restoring it is fostering woo?

I have to admit, I never really thought anyone believes I have supernatural powers when the coin disappears or the card changes colors. But I don't ask people either.
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Old 22nd July 2013, 02:42 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Maybe not. Are you saying the con-artist creates the gullibility though?
No

Exploits it for personal gain?

Yes.
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Old 22nd July 2013, 03:02 AM   #83
marplots
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
No

Exploits it for personal gain?

Yes.
Then we might have the distinguishing feature where conjuring for entertainment differs from woo-mongery. I do not depend on having a gullible audience or belief in what I do as other than skillful illusions. The conman requires such belief. I require no action, other than observation, from spectators. The conman does.
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Old 22nd July 2013, 08:34 AM   #84
Maurice Ledifficile
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This is one of the oldest debates in the magic community. Should there be a disclaimer, should the spectator make up their own mind, etc.

Magic does not intrinsically promote woo, but the opportunity is there, due to the nature of the art.

A lot of magicians in the olden days had a deliberate mystic or exotic image, like an "oriental" costume or a turban or what have you. They were generally so over the top as to preclude any serious belief in a paranormal source for the sleight of hand.

Yes, several magicians have denied sleight of hand and promoted woo. But the most vocal defenders of rational thought have very often been magicians, from Reginald Scot to Randi.

I believe a bit of healthy exposure of minor conjuring techniques, along with children's magic kits, give lay people enough knowledge to understand it's all performance art, while keeping the more important tactics and moves secret.

A magic show is a perfect opportunity to have a talk with your children or friends about the total lack of evidence for the paranormal. I personally believe there is absolutely nothing unethical about the art itself.

Do vampire stories promote woo? Or only certain authors? I think it's perfectly fine to play with the concepts. The issue lies with the author or performer, not the art.

I would even say that it's perfectly fine to play the woo angle during a show. As long as the performer either has a disclaimer, or is clear about the nature of reality and conjuring when interviewed out of character. I have much less respect for those who keep the line blurry at all times.

I look at a guy like Max Maven, with the demonologist look and the mystic image. He certainly does not promote woo, though he seems to walk a finer line at times. I think this is acceptable. The Geller "I'm not a magician" approach is another story altogether. Just my opinion.

The debate usually revolves around specific performers and specific points. The art of conjuring itself is not on trial and it shouldn't be.
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Last edited by Maurice Ledifficile; 22nd July 2013 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 27th July 2013, 04:39 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Maurice Ledifficile View Post
This is one of the oldest debates in the magic community. Should there be a disclaimer, should the spectator make up their own mind, etc.

Magic does not intrinsically promote woo, but the opportunity is there, due to the nature of the art.

A lot of magicians in the olden days had a deliberate mystic or exotic image, like an "oriental" costume or a turban or what have you. They were generally so over the top as to preclude any serious belief in a paranormal source for the sleight of hand.

Yes, several magicians have denied sleight of hand and promoted woo. But the most vocal defenders of rational thought have very often been magicians, from Reginald Scot to Randi.

I believe a bit of healthy exposure of minor conjuring techniques, along with children's magic kits, give lay people enough knowledge to understand it's all performance art, while keeping the more important tactics and moves secret.

A magic show is a perfect opportunity to have a talk with your children or friends about the total lack of evidence for the paranormal. I personally believe there is absolutely nothing unethical about the art itself.

Do vampire stories promote woo? Or only certain authors? I think it's perfectly fine to play with the concepts. The issue lies with the author or performer, not the art.

I would even say that it's perfectly fine to play the woo angle during a show. As long as the performer either has a disclaimer, or is clear about the nature of reality and conjuring when interviewed out of character. I have much less respect for those who keep the line blurry at all times.

I look at a guy like Max Maven, with the demonologist look and the mystic image. He certainly does not promote woo, though he seems to walk a finer line at times. I think this is acceptable. The Geller "I'm not a magician" approach is another story altogether. Just my opinion.

The debate usually revolves around specific performers and specific points. The art of conjuring itself is not on trial and it shouldn't be.
Excellent post. Coherent thoughts. I've been thinking about magic and kids a bit as I'm raising another one (kid, not magician) now. I think a certain amount of woo is okay for magic up until, arbitrarily, their eighth or ninth birthday or when they begin to question what they're seeing (whichever comes first)... sort of like dealing with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Magic should be for kids. But as critical thinkers, we need to be ready to bring them out of it by teaching them to question what they're seeing or hearing (or reading or being taught). I don't buy into all the stories of kids who grew up to hate their parents because of being tricked into believing that Santa or the Tooth Fairy were real*. I think we all grew out of it in various ways, but mostly just getting too smart to believe in dumb crap like that. I think my son will do the same.

And if I get a chance to take him to a magic show with some phony mystic, I'll play along, but I will re-run Curious George II for him - a magician is the main character and they show how he does his magically appearing elephant trick.

But Geller and Kreskin and others who cross the line and sell their craft as "powers"? They can go to Hell.

*ETA: Oh, crap. Should that have been in spoiler tags?
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Old 27th December 2013, 10:26 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
My neighbour thinks he is the best thing ever. He seems to think he doesn't use any of the usual magicians methods or any kind of editing in his shows, it's all recorded 'live' in the street with 'real' people so he can't be usng 'trickery'
David Blaine has done several where he claimed to be doing things live in the open. However, that was a lie. In each case; the setting was carefully controlled. Anytime you see Blaine levitating by a method other than Balducci then the set is controlled. Magicians can and do hire an entire group of people for fake audience participation and reaction for particular tricks such as the disappearing business jet.
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Old 28th December 2013, 06:31 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
Dynamo - as he presents, is no doubt the most amazing Magician I have ever seen on the TV.
Some of his tricks are mind boggling
Dynamo? I don't recall seeing any of his tricks that were mind boggling. Which of his tricks were you impressed by?
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Old 5th January 2014, 09:08 AM   #88
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Dynamo is treading the Criss Angel route of magic,using actors/stooges and camera edits.
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Old 5th January 2014, 12:18 PM   #89
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He's also had a charisma bypass which really doesn't help at all. I'm not a magician but love magic and he leaves me totally cold.
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Old 5th January 2014, 02:47 PM   #90
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I only just caught a bit of his show over the weekend. Kind of fun at first but then I started being very suspicious that he wasn't performing "street" magic, but "TV" magic, I.E. magic for the TV audience rather than for a random Joe he found on the street. Which does not take a lot of skill.
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Old 5th January 2014, 04:08 PM   #91
marplots
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I only just caught a bit of his show over the weekend. Kind of fun at first but then I started being very suspicious that he wasn't performing "street" magic, but "TV" magic, I.E. magic for the TV audience rather than for a random Joe he found on the street. Which does not take a lot of skill.
Pert of the problem is being on TV. Many magicians hone their acts over years of repeat performances. They are very careful and thoughtful about making any changes. TV magicians are under pressure to come up with the next "latest and greatest" and can't show the same material more than once. Hard to get really good at live performances that way.
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