The Magical Day After Tomorrow Question . . .

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Ray Eden » 07/29/04 04:41 AM

Here's a hypothetical question along the lines of the "What if you were trapped on a deserted island question . . .

If a major calamity hit the earth and all commerce ceased and the bartering system was reinstitued what would your act include in order to survive? or to start a new end of the world religion. :-)

Keep in mind that all magic dealers no longer exist, and you are left only with the props at hand and they are not renewable (for example, mouth coils, magician's rope, etc.) unless you happen to be builder and can get materials.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/29/04 06:24 AM

Soon please!

The playing cards crumble into dust, and the meta-market of trivia vanishes into impertinence.

Yes... that sounds like a good thing.

Those who are builders will make anew. and those who have something to trade may have some access.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/29/04 08:01 AM

We won't need any mega-disasters, natural or otherwise, to eliminate playing cards and bills and coins.

That will happen within our lifetimes as they are replaced by electronic versions.

Credit and debit cards are already used for more and more of the transactions involving money everyday. That will only increase in the future. Eventually there will be NO coins and NO bills.

That will probably happen sooner than the evolution of playing cards into some form of electronic thingy.

Why do you think the smart boys are switching to mentalism?
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Postby Ray Eden » 07/29/04 08:27 AM

Right Richard! And now they're talking about embedding a chip in your body (most likely the hand). RFID technolgy for payment will make the electronic strip a thing of the past as well. I think you hit on it . . . mentalism will be the way to go. With the 'religious awakening' that would likely result from such a cataclysm mentalism would also have its dangerous side.

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Postby Pete Biro » 07/29/04 08:42 AM

Multiplying coconuts
52 tobacco leaves in Tamariz stack order (since nobody will be smoking the stuff)
Egg in pig's bladder
Torn and restored lizard's tails
Stretching snake
Long pour sand trick
Thumb tips made of real thumbs

That should provide a good parlor act
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Postby Guest » 07/29/04 08:51 AM

Interesting to see how advancing technology could make some types of mentalism unimpressive.
Just as the advancement of radio, especially transister radios that every teenager was carrying by the 1960's, reduced Abbott's Talking Tea Kettle to a curiosity....one can only imagine the impact the Tea Kettle had BEFORE radio was commonplace!

But will people no longer be impressed when Kreskin finds the check in the audience, because they assume he has a vibrating cell phone or pager, like everyone else?
Will many thought transference feats be dismissed as the mentalist having a (ultra-small)TV monitor/camera helping them?

I find it interesting when watching mental acts and it isn't uncommon for people to look over their shoulders, suspecting cameras, mics,
etc., People today are familiar with technology that some magic dealers may try to sell as a secret (unknown) gadget.

But good performing mentalists can overcome that...they are here to stay.

Time moves on. What Dodson, Nelson, and Tucker used to charge hundreds of dollars for, most people have better/smaller devices, on their belts.
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Postby Tabman » 07/29/04 08:52 AM

cave man Pete Biro suggests:
Thumb tips made of real thumbs . . .
thats way too funny pete!!! may i add to your list a warm up act wearing animal skins and bird feathers and using shakers made of turtle shells, sticks and pebbles and maybe a few musicians using real axes. when he said they slayed the audience he really meant it!!! -=tabman
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/29/04 09:18 AM

David Kaye does an act as "Og the Magnificent," in which he portrays the first magician--a caveman who's recently been defrosted.
Loincloth, bones, etc.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/29/04 09:38 AM

Originally posted by rayeden:
...If a major calamity hit the earth and all commerce ceased and the bartering system was reinstated what would your act include in order to survive? or to start a new end of the world religion..
Good question.

What would the role of the magician be in such a place? Entertainer? Priest? Educator?

The larger question amounts to asking how one wishes to use the tools of conjuring in such a context?

Have things stabilized back to Feudalism? If so, at what technological level? Do they have mining? If so, then gold and land become the standards again.

hey... what about those fossil fuel devices... you know, the ones you pour 'water' into... and they do stuff?
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 07/29/04 09:44 AM

In my last SLANT column I touched on the work being done that advances us toward a form of electronic-based telepathy. Mentalist will have to soon scramble to stay ahead of technology. Soon everyone will be able to read minds, find hidden checks, and so on.

It's interesting to note that Microsoft has patented the idea of using the human body as a computer. As an article in THE ECONOMIST put it: "This sounds like an April Fool's Day joke, but it isn't. Microsoft, that imperialist of the information-technology world, has actually succeeded in patenting the human body as a computer network. US Patent 6,754,472, issued to the company on June 22nd, is for a 'method and apparatus for transmitting power and data using the human body.' At the moment, ubergeeks who want to create a so-called personal area network (PAN) have to link their personal electronic devices--mobile phones, pagers, personal data assistants (PDAs) and so on--using infra-red or radio signals. What Microsoft is proposing is to use the skin's own conductive properties to transmit the data needed to create such a network. And the firm does not stop at people. A wide variety of living animals could be used to create computer buses, as they are known technically, in this manner.

"Microsoft suggests using the body to generate power for the network, too. A kinetic power converter in the wearer's shoe or wristwatch would produce electricity in the same way that an old-fashioned self-winding watch extracted energy from its owner's normal movements. Microsoft is keeping its cards close to its chest(Racherbaumer: See how this trope has infilitated the mainstream?), and has declined to comment on how, exactly, it intends to develop its patent into something that people will actually want to buy."

It seems to be more difficult, if not impossible, for magicians to stay ahead of the power-curve or to be in the vanguard.

Onward...
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/29/04 09:54 AM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
In my last SLANT column I touched on the work being done that advances us toward a form of electronic-based telepathy.... ...Microsoft suggests using the body to generate power for the network, too...
How can they patent what is discussed in earlier Sci-Fi works including the recent film 'The Matrix'?

Nice trick Bill. Does this mean there is no difference between an allergy and a systemic weakness to a software problem?
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Postby Jeff Haas » 07/29/04 10:22 AM

It seems to me that, as technology advances, mentalism is going to be the first thing to go. The whole thing is based on the transfer of information, and that's advancing incredibly fast right now.

Two years ago, cell phones were black & white; now you can carry one that takes short color video clips or snapshots. You can have a headset that uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to the phone in your pocket (thus the sight of normal people walking down the street "talking to themselves.")

Privacy of personal information is a major issue these days. Tiny radio tags embedded in everything you buy could allow you to be scanned as you walk down the street, and a demographic profile created of your purchases, without your knowing.

How in this environment are you supposed to "read minds" when what you're really doing is knowing what someone picked or wrote down?

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Postby Ray Eden » 07/29/04 10:54 AM

The original intent of my question left out the possibility of technology and left the magician with nothing but his own closet of magic and ingenuity. Of course, it isn't impossible that technology would survive, however I would imagine that it would rest solely in the hands of scientists and surviving authorities and not in the hands of the common survivor.

I think that a successful act would be one with a spiritual context since humanity would be in a state of crisis. People facing extreme difficulties retreat to religion, and mentalism with a mix of the spiritual would certainly help to fill the void. I think that the magician would - perhaps unintentually - take on the role of priest and less entertainer.

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Postby Tabman » 07/29/04 11:40 AM

rayeden clarifies his question: The original intent of my question left out the possibility of technology . . . I think that the magician would take on the role of priest and less entertainer.
exactly... animal skins, shakers and human sacrifice (where do you think pete-man biro got those human thumbs??). its happened all through history even the a group of pilgrims coming to america hung a woman because the wind stopped blowing and someone had seen her muttering something just before the wind stopped! fact is, theres a couple of guys here on genii who mutter before the genii forum slows down each time. ill point them out to the high priest kauf-man! :whack: -=tab-man
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Postby BlueEyed Videot » 07/29/04 12:11 PM

Gee, I can't wait for the feast of Vestal Virgins...
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Postby Andy Hurst » 08/04/04 02:52 PM

Looks to me like most of those posting on this thread are snorting the same magic powder as Steve Fearson.

Stay paranoid!

Andy ;-)
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Postby Guest » 08/04/04 03:10 PM

Can I still make balloon animals? Good to see you Andy.
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Postby Ray Eden » 08/04/04 09:32 PM

I'm a bit out of the loop regarding Fearson. I got an email from him sometime ago saying he was getting out of magic because it was 'evil', but I really didn't understand what he was talking about. Can you give some details Steve?

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Postby Andy Hurst » 08/05/04 02:26 AM

Originally posted by rayeden:
I'm a bit out of the loop regarding Fearson. I got an email from him sometime ago saying he was getting out of magic because it was 'evil', but I really didn't understand what he was talking about. Can you give some details Steve?

R. Eden
He claimed back in June that he was quitting magic and selling off downloadmagic.com, the forsale page he gave a link to said he was going to sell the whole thing on ebay the next month. I don't think that happened.

He also gave links to his 'new site' http://www.newworldchurch.org/

He's probably taken cover in a shelter awaiting the end when playing cards are gone and we've all had RFID chips inserted.

More likely, he's realized there's more money in religion than there is in magic and that's why he's working on the newworldchurch project.

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Postby Ray Eden » 08/05/04 03:49 AM

Oh Great . . . now I have to find out what this cult is about. :-)

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Postby Jeff Haas » 08/05/04 10:19 AM

Gee, why does his new site have a section where you can buy the "Station Manager" trick?
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Postby Ray Eden » 08/06/04 09:04 AM

. . . and why don't any of the links work except for the Station Manager link? I fear that this group may be more dangerous than magic and Doom's Day hasn't even happened yet!!

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