Ian Rowlands sense of touch ,cold reading

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Postby Mike » 12/31/03 09:03 AM

Is anyone familiar with Ian Rowlands book on cold reading and his work "sense of touch" ?Opinions ?Thanks
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Postby Robert Allen » 12/31/03 10:00 AM

I have both books. Honestly in the case of the cold reading book I haven't even cracked the cover yet, but I have read the Sense of Touch book. I saw Ian perform SoT at his San Jose lecture this year. Once you know the modus there are probably dozens of different ways to present it. It plays very strong if you're a bit of a showman. An exercise I go through when attending lectures is to try to figure out how the effects are done (my decision to buy the notes/books/whatever are based on decisions other than whether I was fooled.) At Ians lecture I could figure out nearly all the effects as he presented them. I could not figure out SoT. It's one of those effects I hate to recommend because I don't want anyone else to have it :) . Thank god it's not cheap.

Note: just because I could 'figure out' Ians other effects doesn't mean they aren't strong. I bought his lecture notes anyhow because I wanted the detailed performance instructions. In truth there are fairly few non-sleight effects an observant and somewhat well-read *magician* can't figure out. That doesn't mean they don't play strong for audiences. I felt the price of admission to the lecture was met when I learned Ians handling of the Himber Wallet switch :) .
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Postby Guest » 12/31/03 11:17 AM

Both are well worth the price. Sense of touch, when yopu consider the ramifications of the system has broad application to be considered with different takes than the manuscript.

Cold Reading IS the seminal document in its field for open-eyed practitioner and skeptic alike. True beliver shut-eye's will not believe it anyway and ascribe the facts contained to a bitter, souless cynical viewpoint. Very profitable.
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Postby Joe Z » 12/31/03 11:21 AM

Ian Rowland's "Full Facts" book on cold reading is structured as a textbook tool for those individuals (i.e., magicians, wannabe mentalists, and skeptics) who wish to learn about what comprises "cold reading" as used by workers in the psychic trade. It includes all of the usual ploys and approaches that have been discussed elsewhere in the literature, and for those who want a compendium of "cold reading" tricks of the alleged trade, it's all in the Full Facts book. However, for those individuals who have gained experience through successful performance of psychic readings and related Q&A-type mentalism, this book contains very little information of real value.

IMO, anyone with even rudimentary experience performing in this field understands that the "real work" comes from the practical study of psychology and sociology, a true concern for and understanding of the human condition, and a functional knowledge of divination systems and accompanying occult lore. Add to this mix a flair for theatrics and drama, an appreciation for real mystery, a charismatic approach, and a well-tempered ego. And most of all, the realization that the client/ participant/audience should be the primary focus of attention, not the performer.

I've found none of this kind of insight in Mr. Rowland's book and, quite frankly, I'm not surprised.

Joe Z.
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Postby John Clarkson » 01/02/04 08:29 AM

Originally posted by Joe Zabel:
...
I've found none of this kind of insight in Mr. Rowland's book and, quite frankly, I'm not surprised. (Emphasis added.)

Joe Z.
Somehow, Mr. Zabel, I am not surprised that you are not surprised by your own conclusion. As Herbert Spencer said so eloquently, "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance that principle is contempt prior to investigation."


Mike, I own both books. Sense of Touch is great. I was initially disappointed at its limitations: it's not an impromptu method and it didn't remove the unwanted hair from my back. After I started working with it, though, I began to appreciate its strengths. The book not only gives a careful description of basic method, but also offers many applications and variations of technique. You'll find some very good stuff in the book. Ian mentions one of the effects in the interview in the January 04 issue of Genii.

Full Facts Book of Cold Reading: You may be able to find many of the methods in other sources, but Ian's book puts it all together in one convenient place. It is an instructive and entertaining read. As Mr. Zabel points out, as with any aspect of magic performance, you will want to supplement cold reading techniques with insights from other disciplines.

I ordered each book from Ian's web site: http://www.ianrowland.com/. Each arrived within a few days, as I recall.
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Postby sleightly » 01/02/04 11:38 AM

Didn't I see a special offer discount code to Genii readers in Genii? I remember seeing it when I read the article and then when I went to order I couldn't find it again...

Rowland made a pretty good deal to a skeptics organization from Nov to Dec...

ajp
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Postby Guest » 01/03/04 02:54 PM

With regard to Mr Pinard's point about discount codes, in November last year I did arrange a sales discount with a particular website which had been kind enough to mention my work. Incidentally, it wasn't a 'sceptical' website as such, but one which provides Q+A forums on various topics.

I suspect (shock! horror!) that this discount code was passed around to other people who had nothing whatsoever to do with this particular website, but c'est la vie. This is also the reason why I had to ensure the discount code was only valid for a short period of time. I have never arranged any similar sort of discount code with Richard Kaufman or with Genii. At the time the interview was written I did not have the discount code facility set up on my website.

As for Mr Zabel's comments, I wish him a very happy and prosperous New Year. His opinion is, of course, as valid as any other, and for all I know he is better informed, and a better judge, than average - in which case I can learn from his comments and criticisms.

With regard to my own sensitivity to the human condition, theatrical flair, charisma and the other things on which Mr Zabel feels he is fit to comment, I readily admit that I have little or no charisma. Mr Zabel seems unaware that I openly admit this point about myself in my cold reading book (in the third edition, see page 193, third paragraph). Maybe he missed this point in his otherwise careful and insightful reading.

As for whether there is anything of value in anything I've ever written, there's nothing to say except: those who find value find value, and those who don't don't. In either case, whether this says something about the book or the reader is an endless and rather sterile debate.

Happy New Year to one and all.
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Postby Guest » 01/04/04 08:23 AM

Full Facts Book of Cold Reading: You may be able to find many of the methods in other sources, but Ian's book puts it all together in one convenient place. It is an instructive and entertaining read. As Mr. Zabel points out, as with any aspect of magic performance, you will want to supplement cold reading techniques with insights from other disciplines.
quote

Mr Clarkson
When some one reviews something to me, favorable or otherwise. I always ask their background in the subject. In this case, readings. If it wouldn't be an imposition, what's yours? Have you done readings? have you done paid readings. What other material on the subject have you read or are familiar with?
from
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Postby John Clarkson » 01/04/04 11:30 AM

Originally posted by Ford Kross:
Quoting John Clarkson: "Full Facts Book of Cold Reading: You may be able to find many of the methods in other sources, but Ian's book puts it all together in one convenient place. It is an instructive and entertaining read. As Mr. Zabel points out, as with any aspect of magic performance, you will want to supplement cold reading techniques with insights from other disciplines."

Mr Clarkson
When some one reviews something to me, favorable or otherwise. I always ask their background in the subject.
Yes, Mr. Kross. I have noticed your tendency to focus on an author rather than his/her ideas. I'm not interested in contributing to that.

In this case, readings. If it wouldn't be an imposition, what's yours? Have you done readings? have you done paid readings. What other material on the subject have you read or are familiar with?
from
Ford
Mr. Kross, since this thread is about two books, and not about me, yes, your questioning my qualifications is an imposition. The only qualification required to know if Ian's book puts information that might be found in other sources in one convenient place is the ability to read, think, and analyze. Trust me, I can do all three; I can even do them simultaneously!

If you have read Mr. Rowland's books and have something constructive to say about specific content, I'd be happy to read it. I am not any more interested, however, in your personal assessment of me or of Ian Rowland than I suspect you are of my opinion of you.

Now, about the book: I especially liked Section 6, "Non-psychic Contexts." What did you think about that section?

Regards,

John Clarkson
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Postby Guest » 01/04/04 12:00 PM

from
Ford [/qb][/QUOTE]Mr. Kross, since this thread is about two books, and not about me, yes, your questioning my qualifications is an imposition. The only qualification required to know if Ian's book puts information that might be found in other places in one convenient place is the ability to read, think, and analyze. Trust me, I can do all three; I can even do them simultaneously!

If you have read Mr. Rowland's books and have something constructive to say about specific content, I'd be happy to read it. I am not any more interested, however, in your personal assessment of me or of Ian Rowland than I suspect you are of my opinion of you.

Now, about the book: I especially liked Section 6, "Non-psychic Contexts." What did you think about that section?

Regards,

John Clarkson [/QB][/QUOTE]

Since you clearly say, you're not interested in my opinion, I won't trouble you with it
from
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Postby John Clarkson » 01/04/04 12:40 PM

Originally posted by Ford Kross:
Since you clearly say, you're not interested in my opinion, I won't trouble you with it
from
Ford
Mr. Kross, you really have to read all the way to the end of my sentences to get the full meaning! While it is true that I am not interested in your opinion of me or of Mr. Rowland, I'd welcome your insightful analysis of the ideas that Ian has in his book. (Emphasis added to encourage reading until you reach a period.)

Would you like to start with Section 6, as I invited you to do? It provides uses for cold reading in fields other than mentalism. Or, perhaps, you'd like to offer an analysis of Ian's organization of the topic into "Set Up" "Principle Themes" and "Elements" of cold reading. Where do you find his paradigm useful? Where do you find it lacking? What did you think of the way he organized the material about dealing with a spectator's negative responses?

Regards,

John Clarkson
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Postby John Smetana » 01/04/04 12:45 PM

I think Mr. Clarkson would make a wonderful dance instructor. He could write volumes about how to do it.
While reading his magnificent lengthy posts,I'm reminded of the definition of a consultant: A gelding that runs with the stallions in a purely advisory capacity.

Best thoughts,
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Postby John Clarkson » 01/04/04 12:48 PM

Mr. Smetana, your apparent fixation with my testicles is irrelevant (and it certainly won't get you a date)! I'd be interested in what you have to say about the ideas in Ian's books rather than your unpleasant comments about personalities.


Mike, back to your question. As you can see, the response to Ian's books is mixed. There are those of us who have read them and think they are worthwhile. There are those who don't say if they've read them, don't say what they like or dislike about them, but, by gawd, have plenty to say about anyone who fails to demonize the author. Choose your source and make your decision. Good luck!

Regards,

John Clarkson
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 01/04/04 12:57 PM


Since you clearly say, you're not interested in my opinion, I won't trouble you with it
from
Ford
Mr. Pot?

May I introduce you to Mr. Kettle? ;)
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Postby Guest » 01/04/04 01:25 PM

Ford [/qb][/QUOTE]Mr. Kross, you really have to read all the way to the end of my sentences to get the full meaning! While it is true that I am not interested in your opinion of me or of Mr. Rowland, I'd welcome your insightful analysis of the ideas that Ian has in his book. (Emphasis added to encourage reading until you reach a period.)

quote

Mr Clarkson
I originally asked if you had any experience as a reader. In a discussion of a book about cold reading, it wouldn't take a genius to realise I was talking about "cold readings" Instead you replied, that you were able to read, think and analyse at the same time. I'm sure you thought that was a clever way of avoiding a truthful answer. Which, I'd guess is you've never done a reading.
In eitherr case, I think, Rowland's book is what those who have no experience doing readings , think readers do. He and his readers are IMO, incorrect. Which is probably why in spite of his "exposures" Edward,Brown, Altisi et al are booked years in advance. And Rowland lectures for magic clubs. I'd prefer you and he continue to be misinformed
BTW, most critics of creative works, have some background in the field. We're all entitled to opinions, but not all opinions are valid
from
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/04 01:34 PM

Duh ... here we go again. Thread locked.
The person who starts a new thread on this subject is going to get removed from the forum.
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