Either you're prone to hyperbole or you've given some thought to the Trilogy.
Perhaps both ;)
The comment on "Showmanship for magicians" might be unfair, since it is quite a while since I last read it. I've spent more time on the other two though.
Ask anyone who has read Magic by Misdirection to name something good out of that book, and they all will name the ring and the ball of thread. Try to ask for a second example...
Trick Brain - I spent a long time on this one in my early 20's, but noticed that I became less and less creative, the more of the book I applied, until I felt that it was pointless to try to be creative, because it all resulted in crap.
That is what prop-oriented instead of plot-oriented thinking will result in: Crap.
As soon as you see someone link barbercue grills instead of metal rings, you know that Trick Brain has been involved.
And the whole thing of making lists of "basic effects" is just limiting. Over-simplification without any good reason at all, which is of no help at all to anyone. I mean - "teleportation" can be simplified to "vanish" and "appearance". Why stop there? Fitzkee's whole list can be simplified further into just one "basic effect": "Something impossible happens" - Now, try to create an act out of that.
Let's say you know a few techniques with a coin, and want to create an entertaining and varied act. Alright.. Let's follow the advice and change props. Use a small cookie instead of the coin.
Then the list of basic effects. You "vanish" the cookie - then what? Well, the only thing that makes sense is to make it "appear" again. Then what? Now it's just 14 (or whatever) basic effects left.. so you.. levitate the cookie? 13 effects left.. perhaps you should use "pentetration" next?
...and what you'll get is something that no audience in the world should be subjected to.
That kind of thinking doesn't help anyone or anything. A one-way road into a granite wall. But the ideas are so seductive, because it is almost alone to even discuss the creative process, and it takes a long while before you understand that the book is the reason that your creativity went away.
Prop-oriented thinking say that the vanish of a coin can be just one effect: a "vanish". Compare that to plot-oriented thinking. The coin isn't there any more because:
-Your skin absorbs metals..
-Things gets invisible in your shadow
-It turned into a ball of energy that flew out into outer space.
-You folded it into the 4'th dimention
-It turned into a small (invisible) butterfly that is now hovering over the heads of the audience.
-You are cursed with bad luck, and lose all money you get your hands on - even when holding it tightly in your fist.
-It crumbled into dust because...
-You threw it away with superhuman speed.
-A magic dwarf named "Glod" stole it.
-The coin is still there, but you've compressed it so much that you need a magnifying glass to even see it.
-You shape the world with your mind. The coin isn't there because you simply forgot it.
Suddenly you have an unlimited supply of effects to play with, where Fitzkee just has one. And to build further is just a simple matter of asking "What happens next?", and the plot will give you answers. If coin turned into a butterfly, you'll get a net to catch it again... and so on.
So, "Trick Brain" is too damn dangerous to keep around.