Canceling Methods, first mention?

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Guest » 11/12/06 10:50 PM

I'm looking to back up my claim that Daryl coined the phrase "Canceling Methods", but I don't remember my original source.

Anybody?

T
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 08:38 AM

Are you talking about the concept that Tamariz wrote about in The Magic Way? I was under the impression that it goes back to Robert-Houdin (perhaps not with a catchy name) but may be wrong. The new volume by MiracleFactory didn't arrive yet :-)

Denis
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 08:55 AM

Originally posted by TylerErickson:
I'm looking to back up my claim that Daryl coined the phrase "Cancelling Methods", but I don't remember my original source.

Anybody?

T
Is this a version of the "straw man" strategy in rhetoric?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 11:09 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by TylerErickson:
[b] I'm looking to back up my claim that Daryl coined the phrase "Cancelling Methods", but I don't remember my original source.

Anybody?

T
Is this a version of the "straw man" strategy in rhetoric? [/b]
More or less, see "The Logical Control" Card College 3, p. 560, where Giobbi says that he was shown this strategy by Daryl.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 11:48 AM

Sorry guys, maybe I wasn't specific enough.

The concept of canceling methods has been around a loooong time, but the actual NAME canceling methods originated with whom?

I remember some reputable source indicating Daryl came up with this lovely term, but I wanted verification. Possibly in " Secrets of a Porte Rican Gambler"; which I don't own.


Best,

T
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 12:02 PM

Ok, in this case I'll quote from Secrets of a "Puerto Rican Gambler", page 11:

Not far into this work you should be ready to observe the workings of the Second Rule of Darylism. He calls it "canceling". The formular runs thus: "Each time you do something in a routine, try to figure out what possible method a spectator might surmise for its explanation. Then structure the next portion of the routine to knock over, or cancel, this possibilty in the audience's mind." (...)
Denis
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 01:21 PM

Bless you sir; that's what I needed!

T
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/13/06 01:37 PM

Don't forget that there are lots of books in languages other than English in which the term might have appeared earlier.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20590
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 01:58 PM

If you think about it Robert Harbin's Zig Zag presentation is the perfect example of canceling possible methods.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 05:58 PM

Quentin, could you elaborate for those of us who don't have the Harbin book nor had the chance to see him work?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 06:07 PM

You can see Harbin presenting Zig Zag here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mMagaI8i5E
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/13/06 07:24 PM

I realize it would be better to check all my facts BEFORE posting but, unfortunately I am away from my magic-files at the moment.

I believe Daryl used the term "canceling" in print even before "Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler" came out.

For example, in his early lecture notes "Something for Everyone" (which came out about the same time as "...Puerto Rican Gambler") I believe he mentions cancelling.

Also, I think he may have alluded to cancelling in the original instructions for "Double Dazzling Triumph", which predates almost everything Daryl began to publish, as far as I know.

As mentioned, the above is all based on foggy-memory. If someone doesn't beat me to it, I will check the dates and report back around Thanksgiving.

If all the above turns out to be hooey well, Happy Holidays anyway, chaps!
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/14/06 07:51 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Is this a version of the "straw man" strategy in rhetoric?
Mr. Townsend,

I'm not tracking you; could you rephrase?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/14/06 08:28 AM

Originally posted by TylerErickson:
Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
[b] Is this a version of the "straw man" strategy in rhetoric?
Mr. Townsend,

I'm not tracking you; could you rephrase? [/b]
Sure, but first a citation on rhetorical methods for the curious.

One method to persuade others to accept a view is to enumerate other contrived views (in this case explanations) which are successfully argued against. This strategy offers the impression that the only sound argument is the one proffered because (by implication) one has exhausted all other plausible positions.

The extreme position on this "method canceling" is the "too perfect" approach which cancels out all but the actual method. In effect painting a picture in the negative BUT leaving one patch blank which then serves as a map directly toward the actual method used, as opposed to down a garden path to a cul-de-sac toward an absurd conclusion which in our case SHOULD be that some supernatural agency was involved in the event. ;)

My issue with method canceling is that each method we might cancel in one place may well serve us in another. Once we offer a plausible strategy for achieving an end we leave ourselves open to right guessing if and to situations where offering a display that we are not using the strategy would be inconvenient.

IE why run if you are not being chaste?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/14/06 04:49 PM

Originally posted by castawaydave:
I believe Daryl used the term "canceling" in print even before "Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler" came out.

For example, in his early lecture notes "Something for Everyone" (which came out about the same time as "...Puerto Rican Gambler") I believe he mentions cancelling.

Also, I think he may have alluded to cancelling in the original instructions for "Double Dazzling Triumph", which predates almost everything Daryl began to publish, as far as I know.
"Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler" is the first place I read about "cancelling". It's also mentioned in his Convention Lecture Notes Session 1, but that was after the Puerto Rican Gambler because the lecture notes also mention that book. I couldn't find any reference to it in Double Dazzling Triumph.

Surely the principle must be a lot older than that, though, even if it was never explicitly named.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/19/06 11:01 PM

Mr. Townsend,

Upon re-reading my initial post, and then both of your replies, my immediate response was: Yipes!

I feel as though Ive touched off some kind of powder keg. Have you had some kind of heated argument over canceling methods on some other thread? My only intention was to track down where the term canceling methods originated, not discuss the specifics of its application(s).

Having said that, I think it might be worth noting you may have an erroneous view of what canceling methods constitutes (at least in accordance with Daryls description). Someones mention of Robert Harbins Zig Zag seems to bear out the idea others might share that viewpoint. In truth, I think youre talking more about Juan Tamarizs Theory of False Solutions.

I believe the primary application for Canceling Methods would require a multi-phase effect where the same event happens multiple times but with differing methodologies. (i.e. Ambitious Card, Coins Across, etc.)

My apologies if I have misunderstood you, but it does seem like you might be off-target.


Best,

T
Guest
 

Postby Rafael Benatar » 11/19/06 11:34 PM

I also saw it first in Daryl's Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler. The concept has certainly been around for centuries, but Daryl might have been the first to actually formulate it as a concept and to give it a name.
Rafael Benatar
 
Posts: 223
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Madrid, Spain

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 06:50 AM

These conjuring concepts seem to dovetail with old ideas in classic crime fiction.
For example, Anthony Berkeley's overlooked masterpiece , "The Poisoned Chocolates Mystery" (1929) , deftly presents a succession of cancelled explanations, false theories, and competing solutions.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 07:02 AM

Originally posted by Richard Stokes:
These conjuring concepts seem to dovetail with old ideas in classic crime fiction...
Most likely Daryl and Juan Tamariz have studied the classics and applied those learnings to their conjuring.

I suggest the underlying argument form dovetails all the way to basic rhetorical technique. One could argue that this form was used to support the "inevitable force of history" position used last century.

In construction, this argument around an elephant (unspoken / unchallenged premise) seems to go back to a fallacy recognized by the ancient Greeks.

If we simply must find a parallel in magic, look to the "Indian Basket Trick" where all those swords and then the performer himself stepping into the basket seem to prove the absence of the assistant.

In the case of a repeat type card trick like the Ambitious Card, the proposition is that the performer is doing the same thing each time and that same thing is magic. The former premise is left unstated and as long as it remains unstated the elephant is supposedly outside the universe of discourse.

Another vanishing elephant or must we hide it still?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 10:18 AM

CANCELLING OUT NOTES:

The higher up the abstraction ladder (in using and defining terms such as liberty, love, and canceling out) one climbs, the greater likelihood that follow-up discourse expands in hundreds of different directions. The nice aspect of this discussion so far as that it still seems possible to pull all the threads together and begin sorting out the skein.

As an aside, I wrote up Daryls Double-Dazzling Triumph for him and gave it its name. We also had a discussion about canceling out and I gave it a name. Later, Stephen Minch nicely elaborated on it and once Daryl had the vocabulary regarding the term, he promoted it. The term is indeed catchy; however, it still needs elaboration and refinement.

There are obviously degrees of canceling out. I like the subtle, PREEMPTORY form where something is clearly shown without fanfaresay, showing the cards to have fronts and backs as they are displayed and counted. Later, if a perplexed spectator is motivated to do some retrograde analysis of what may have ACTUALLY happened and as he checks off the list of possible solutions, when he comes to the suspicion of double-faced cards he remembers having seen fronts and backs. He cancels it out. The performer cancelled it out early on. Having a spectator riffle shuffle a deck cancels out the idea of a stacked deck.

Cancelling Outs primary goal is not to eliminate entirely but to neutralize.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 07:55 PM

So it seems that the distinction between "cancelling" (as used by Daryl/Racherbaumer) and eliminating false solutions (per Tamariz) is whether the event that cancels a method is itself magical.

To wit; say you are going to vanish three coins. You have the first coin examined, then vanish it by back-pinch. The second coin vanishes into a shell. This second vanish can't be preceeded by examination, but you can show both sides of your hand after. This seems to be an example of "Cancelling" in that no one method will explain the entire effect.

Having the spectator shuffle the deck before dealing off all the Spades would be eliminating the false solution of a stacked deck.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 08:20 PM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
...Having the spectator shuffle the deck before dealing off all the Spades would be eliminating the false solution of a stacked deck.
Elephant test:

In the above example, does the volunteer deal the cards?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/21/06 12:03 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
The former premise is left unstated and as long as it remains unstated the elephant is supposedly outside the universe of discourse.

Another vanishing elephant or must we hide it still?
Pardon me, Im Algernon; have you seen my feather flowers?

I swear nothing makes me feel more magically retarded than reading that post and feeling like everybody gets it but me.

So there, I said it; I dont get it. It sounded cool, but I think I am totally missing the point.

Mr. Townsend, Could you please dumb it down for me, just a tad?


Your (slow) friend,

Tyler
Guest
 

Postby Rafael Benatar » 11/21/06 01:08 AM

Another aspect is that the cancelling may be done

a) by repeating the effect using a different method, or

b) by performing a single effect and proving all possible solutions wrong.

An example of "a" is The Ambitious Card. From a laymen's perspective, if they believe something is impossible in the first place, they are far from imagining that you have 8 different methods. So your weapon is to make it look the same every time, or at lest similar enough to make them think you're using the same method (if such a thing as a "method" existed, that is). In each repetition you cancel somthing out from another. This would only make sense if you can convey the fact that you're doing the same thing every time. I have nothing against making the card rise in different ways (I do it myself) but those are other resources.

In "b" you would normally need a more ellaborate effect where all solutions are proved wrong before the effect is revealed. Nothing is worse than getting a weak reaction and then adding "...and remember that you shuffled."
Rafael Benatar
 
Posts: 223
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Madrid, Spain

Postby Guest » 11/21/06 04:47 AM

Originally posted by TylerErickson:
...Mr. Townsend, Could you please dumb it down ... a tad?
We already know audiences live in a world which has magic.

We already know audiences are just fine entering pretend worlds which have magic.

In the case above with the shuffled deck, what are we asking them to believe which they may or may not accept, believe, recognize or even remember to expect? And how does that significant difference between what we model as their perception of reality affect their ability to offer a rational and plausible explanation of the "magical feat"?

in this case after shuffling the deck ... the spades are dealt out.

I asked the poster to fill in the gap between the volunteer shuffling and the cards on the table being shown as the spades.

Here is a small sample of what a rational audience member might consider as acceptable if the performer did the dealing

1) stripper deck
2) switched deck
3) added cards to top of deck

What prevents US from considering these things?

Let's go to the AC for a simpler example. In our hands, our deck, cards face down... what do we expect them to believe?

More to the point in our craft, what would we like them to believe?

Knowing that belief comes from conviction as much as (if not more than) reason, how are we making it easy for them to believe what we wish?
Guest
 

Postby Rafael Benatar » 11/21/06 06:12 PM

Hi Jonathan, let me give it a try.
1) to cancel out the stripper is the most difficult one and hardly necessary but you could turn half the deck around before riffle-shuffling, several times
2) to cancel a deck switch, keep attention focused on the deck, reducing handling to a minimum.
3) added cards - let your hand be seen empty every time you reach for the deck.
It all comes down to proceeding with all the clarity you can afford, and doing the things you couldn't do if you were using those methods.

As to what we want them to believe, I'd say nothing. No possible explanation. Even if that is unlikely to convince them that you do it by real magic, I think the feeling of having no clue and the convinction that you couldn't have done it in any thinkable way produces the sensation of magic.
Rafael Benatar
 
Posts: 223
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Madrid, Spain

Postby Guest » 11/21/06 07:24 PM

Originally posted by Rafael Benatar:
Hi Jonathan, let me give it a try...
Hey, great thinking about how clarity of expressed purpose and congruence of actions to purpose can also serve to foil those who try to backtrack a method.

IMHO that's a more healthy approach than trying to avoid justifying a procedure and then adding "convincers".

I'm not sure about omitting some overt cue or presentation context "in story frame" to account for the magical event adds to a general feeling of magic.

Again, IMHO, chaos itself is not magical. It is more the effective imposition of will upon the expected order of things that communicates magic to the audience. IE something in the frame of the story (spoken, contextual or implied) must establish what is to be expected and then something must exert will upon the context to create the magic. Whether the wizard can affect the world with a glance or a gesture or spoken spell or must rely upon shrouded spaces and a ritual is particular to the character, the story and the venue. ;)
Guest
 

Postby kammagic » 10/11/07 11:29 PM

I perform for layman and my audiences know nothing about stripper decks and the fact that I can switch a deck or add cards to the top of a shuffled deck and they don't watch magic with a note pad and draw diagrams and form hypothesize while they watch my performances. We all know that layman can't even describe an effect correctly when asked what just happened. It never fails when I do my spongeball routine I will hear them describing it to their friends "I had nothing in my hand, I closed my hand then I opened it and I had three balls in there!"

Thats not what happened at all. But thats the way they remember it. So to think that spectators are backtracking through your routines to come up with solutions and they can remember details like wether or not you showed your hands empty before or after you picked up the deck is really stretching it.

I know the topic has strayed a bit here and Tyler knows very well how I feel about canceling methods but I was wondering how the rest of you feel. I personally have never consciously worried about wether or not my methods were canceled or not and I have yet to be shown why I need to. Some people are very obsessive about this topic and feel its extemely important that you consciously watch your methods and make sure you cancel them.

What do you guys think?

, Jonathan K.
, Jonathan
kammagic
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 02/05/08 01:00 PM
Location: Northern Illinois

Postby Guest » 10/12/07 02:29 AM

Does anyone else see a discrepancy between the way in which Daryl's "Cancelling" strategy is described (thank you, Denis) and the way it was applied in that book, and Daryl's other published works?

The written description speaks of cancelling all possible solutions that the specators might think of. In this, it echoes Juan Tamariz.

However, in Daryl's work, the Cancelling seems to be specifically limited to cancelling the method that you actually just used. One example given in "Secrets" for instance, is in the Trimuph routine. The first (false) FU/FD shuffle is cancelled by the second genuine shuffle. (which isn't really FU/FD) There's no speculation as to what the audience might think, and certainly no attempt to exhaust those possibilites the way Tamariz describes.

Does this sound like a significant difference to anyone? They feel like very different exercises, with different results, to me.
Guest
 


Return to Reference Room