Fitzkee Redux

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
Daniel Z
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Joined: June 17th, 2008, 8:32 pm

Fitzkee Redux

Postby Daniel Z » July 21st, 2016, 7:20 am

Frontiers of Psychology published an article by Williams and McOwen titled "Manufacturing Magic and Computational Creativity" http://tinyurl.com/joy6af8 They say: "This paper describes techniques in computational creativity, blending mathematical modeling and psychological insight, to generate new magic tricks." Based at The School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London, they published a related article a couple of years ago.

Daniel Z
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Joined: June 17th, 2008, 8:32 pm

Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Daniel Z » July 21st, 2016, 8:37 am

Another article at the same source http://tinyurl.com/zgqqxgd by Smith, Dignum and Sonenberg also deals with magic but this time looking at an: "analysis of conjuring tricks that seeks to understand the experience of impossibility that they produce".

Edward Pungot
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Joined: May 18th, 2011, 1:55 am

Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Edward Pungot » July 27th, 2016, 2:29 pm

Two things came to mind after the initial reading of the two articles:

The first is in regards to an analogy made in one of the articles to that of a magic trick being like that of the interface of a computer operating system. On the one hand you have this elegant, simple to understand functionality on the surface (what the spectator sees and experiences) and on a parallel track you have this algorithmic computational monstrosity (the method).

The authors then attempt to decipher and decode a small piece of this tangled web of art and artifice by focusing on the underlying principles that make for a creative "impossibility" in the field of magic. They then go on to illustrate the main points of the article with a trick by Martin Gardner and the possibility of someday creating an algorithm for creating new impossibilities.

Two links to add to the discussion:

First is a quote from Martin Gardner which I think nicely ties-in science with magic which I've cued from a documentary series titled "The Nature of Things."

https://youtu.be/M9pU19wNKVc?t=2m33s

Second is a TED talk given by Robert Lang who seems to have solved origami and has the algorithms on his website to prove it.
He seems to have been a past Magic-Con presenter as well and so have provided that link below which links to the TED talk and his website.

http://magic-con.org/past-speakers/robert-j-lang/

Bill Mullins
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Bill Mullins » July 27th, 2016, 3:11 pm

Edward Pungot wrote:Two links to add to the discussion:

First is a quote from Martin Gardner which I think nicely ties-in science with magic which I've cued from a documentary series titled "The Nature of Things."

https://youtu.be/M9pU19wNKVc?t=2m33s


Edward -- you are aware, aren't you, that the Gardner documentary was produced, written and directed by Daniel Z?

Edward Pungot
Posts: 428
Joined: May 18th, 2011, 1:55 am

Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Edward Pungot » July 27th, 2016, 8:46 pm

The Z Theory didn't cross my mind until now.
He does seem like a likely candidate.

Bob Farmer
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Bob Farmer » July 28th, 2016, 3:27 pm

I'll bet the authors have never invented a really good magic trick.

Daniel Z
Posts: 93
Joined: June 17th, 2008, 8:32 pm

Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Daniel Z » July 28th, 2016, 4:07 pm

It does seem to me that all available evidence supports both Mr. Mullins and Mr. Farmer's contentions.

Bob Farmer
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
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Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Bob Farmer » July 29th, 2016, 8:24 am

There are some analogous studies about how to write a hit song. Again, the authors of these studies haven't written any. As with the magic analysis, a "formula" is identified and the argument is that if you follow the formula you'll end up with a great magic trick or a hit song.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/music ... a-hit-song

Speaking only for myself: all the tricks I've invented just popped into my head. I didn't use any formula. I did work on the idea once it appeared. Two of my favorite inventions, "Headhunter" and the "Bammo Card Walloper" substantially came together in under 15 minutes, total.

Frankly, I don't want to know how this works: the ability might disappear if I did.

Jonathan Townsend
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Location: Westchester, NY
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Re: Fitzkee Redux

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 29th, 2016, 10:02 am

Leonard Bernstein did a documentary about the possibility of a formal language for classical music. There was some discussion of theory comparing a formal solution to a musical problem with an actual solution by a composer. As expected...

Knowledge versus experience?

It's not always useful to short-circuit the audience feedback process when designing something in the performing arts.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time


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