Let’s play Poker Without Cards!!

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.

Postby Guest » 12/20/05 07:02 AM

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961

Dear fellow magicians,

You may not have heard of me. Im an Italian magic student, translated Erdnases Expert at the Card Table into my native language, Ive won a couple close-up awards at international magic conferences and occasionally I lecture. What you should know about me is that I take magic seriously and my work in magic is taken seriously.

Im going to share with you something youll bless me for. Its quite simple though, its a book title. And the good news is that the book is 1 click away and absolutely free!! The 323 version is completely free, or you can pay $23 at Amazon.com for a bound copy. Just type: www.pokerwithoutcards.com and download it! Very easy, huh?

Now comes the hard part: you have to read this book!!! You MUST read the book!!!!! And, this is a very difficult book to read.

Magic is a complex Art that demands much thought and dedication, not only digital exercise and jugglery. And, Poker Without Cards deals with Magic at its highest levels! It takes you on a fast-paced journey into the realms of real magic; an amazingly weird and intellectual ride across the many faces of magic and perception. This is definitely a mind altering book; period. Poker Without Cards is mentalism without a proscenium.

Ben Mack is a wizard of perception and a shining crazy diamond. And he is a magician, the Academy of Magical Arts gave him The Award of Merit in 1988! Either Ben knows magic or he knows persuasion and was able to con his way into that award!! As to his other references, just read the endorsements on the book and youll understandleaders from other fields have given him huge endorsements and praise. And, youll find the harshest criticism of his work.

Persuasion expert Blair Warren praises Bens book as a mental fun house. The master of direct response advertising Mark Joyner calls Ben the worlds new George Orwell. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. gave Ben an endorsement. Ben relayed to me that in 2004 he sent copies of his book to Max Maven, Robert Dorian and Arthur Benjamin. I see he posted on this site. I dont see any reviews or comments. Is Bens writing too controversial to discuss publicly? Has America become so conservative you fear putting your opinions out in public? Ive read comments from magicians in Spanish and Portuguese but not a single review from an American or British or Canadian magician who might have the advantage of reading this book in their native language.

Becoming a Magician involves knowledge and the study of books, not only of card tricks!! Poker Without Cards is a tool to become a better magician, a side effect of having also become a more knowledgeable human being! Knowledge and culture are not secondary issues for an entertainer and a magician! Come on!! What do you think? Do you think your customers pay you for the speed of your classic pass?!

What else can I say? Do yourself a favor: today, leave the pack of cards in the box and read Ben Macks Poker Without Cards. After reading the book youll understand why!

The entire magic community should be grateful to Ben for his work and generosity in sharing this incredible book! At least I am!

Thank you Ben!! Im waiting for more!!!

Ferdinando Buscema,
Italy
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/20/05 07:22 AM

You lost me with the word "should" in your post.

Are the ideas you found in that novel and liked codified somewhere?

A quick quip or two, the email address listed by the posted got bounced for an email, and in the book, early on the author cites the author of a book by Robert Louis Stevenson as "RLR" and directs the reader to use Google. Somewhere between amusing and annoying there.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Guest » 01/01/06 09:46 PM

Jonathan,

I understand how you feel about being told "should". I feel the same way when I'm told I should do something. Ferdinando is not a native speaker of English and I hope you will understand he was being to me and not ordering you around.

You asked, "Are the ideas you found in that novel and liked codified somewhere?" Maybe Ferdinando will add what he found useful. Maybe another magician will add their perspective. In the meantime, here's an essay that somebody wrote about Poker Without Cards:
Towards an Understanding of Mental Distress as Propagated Through Modern Media

or here... Amazon reviews for Poker Without Cards

There are plenty of negative reviews on Amazon and other places online. CrapAuthors.com did a whole section on me.

I'd certainly love to read what Jeffrey Cowan, my co-author from How To Eat Fire With Little of No Pain, would have to say about Poker Without Cards. Or, my magic mentor Larry--I mean Lorenzo Clark.

Ferdinando,

Thank you for that kind and powerful review. I'm sincerely grateful you have taken an interest in my words and memes and are sharing them with fellow magicians.

If anybody would like to read Poker Without Cards for free, here's a Free download of Poker Without Cards

Thank you ALL for your consideration. I hope my words are worthy of your attention.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Garth
aka Howard Campbell & Ben Mack
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Postby Guest » 01/02/06 05:54 AM

I personally found the book - engrossing - excellent storytelling. Too
many magicians rely on theatricality or canned patter to 'affect' (both
a- FFect and AFF-ect) their 'effects'...

In Ben's book - Magic is performed without props, without music, without...

In answer to a previous post - I was intrigued by Ben's off-hand references to cutting edge ideas and their associated technologies...
All of which can be 'google'd... (Read the glossary first!) For example,memetics has come a lot farther than the original work outlined in The
Selfish Gene... Complexity Theory is now woven into most Corporate Change practices. "Pirates" as defined in the glossary - have been spoken about since Ayn Rand's work - 'Atlas Shrugged' and 'Maybe Logic'may be the tool we need to overcome 'magical thinking' in the world...

I thoroughly enjoyed the work - and recommend it to anyone whose life involves affecting others deeply. This is magic of the finest order

Nicholas Paranelle - The Alchemist
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Postby Guest » 01/02/06 09:33 AM

When I try to open the page http://pokerwithoutcards.com/pdfs/323.pdf/, I get the page http://pokerwithoutcards.com/ instead.

So I can't access the file.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 01/02/06 11:26 AM

Dave,

Thank you for the heads up!!! I emailed you a copy.

The link is suddenly down. I hope to have the download up again. If you want an copy, I'll email you one. Just send a note to Howard.Campbell (at} gmail (dot) com (just make that look like an email by putting symbols in stead of the ()...)

Ben
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Postby Guest » 01/02/06 11:51 AM

Many thanks, Howard.

And I realise that my post sounded as if I was complaining. But I'd been assuming that it was something to do with the configuration of my PC.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 01/29/06 11:21 AM

did somebody censor Mr Zimmerman's comment and my reply to his comment?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/29/06 11:52 AM

Looking for a thematic predecessor, I suppose one could see this work a a reconstruction of "The King in Yellow", which was one of Lovecraft's inspirations.

Anyone else get through the work so we can discuss?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Guest » 01/29/06 12:02 PM

Jonathan,

That is very kind of you to reintroduce this topic. Thank you.

http://pokerwithoutcards.com/PDFS/323.pdf will yield a free download.

I'm sorry if the content on this page offends anybody. I can see how my content on the Buzz page might offend some readers. I was furious that posts were taken down from this page.

Warmly,

Benjamin Garth Mack
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/29/06 12:05 PM

Originally posted by HowardCampbell:
did somebody censor Mr Zimmerman's comment and my reply to his comment?
Yes; they were both deleted. Both posts had no bearing on the discussion.
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Postby Guest » 01/29/06 01:56 PM

Dustin,

Thank you for clarifying this.

Mr. Zimmerman's post had been up for over three-weeks and I just ranted on another thread...a rant I might not have posted had his not been here to begin with.

Also, it seems like if his post was allowed so much exposure that my reply should warrant similar time.

When you start pulling stuff down and censoring discussions you begin to resemble a totalitarian state.

1,2,3...how do I do the secret S.A.M. hand signal online to call for back-up?

Ben
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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/29/06 07:52 PM

Originally posted by HowardCampbell:
When you start pulling stuff down and censoring discussions you begin to resemble a totalitarian state.
No, it looks like the same Genii Forum it's always been. A lightly-moderated place to discuss magic. Take your fights somewhere else.
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/29/06 07:58 PM

Originally posted by HowardCampbell:
When you start pulling stuff down and censoring discussions you begin to resemble a totalitarian state.
First, this is not a government guaranteeing any level of any freedom at all; this is a privately owned discussion board. I believe the technical term for your statement is "red herring argument."

Feel free to start your own forum and let the natives run as wild as they like. I'll stick to the way the management here handles things.

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 01/29/06 08:00 PM

Originally posted by HowardCampbell:
When you start pulling stuff down and censoring discussions you begin to resemble a totalitarian state.
Well, it's their forum to run as they wish.

But you have an excellent solution at your fingertips if you don't like the way someone runs their forum.

Create your own forum (from one of the many free ones out there) or avail yourself of one of the many free blogging services available to you.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/29/06 08:05 PM

Enough.

Ben and I have discussed it and I think everything is fine.

Dustin
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Postby Guest » 01/30/06 06:12 AM

Bill,

Good points about taking fights elsewhere...That's why Dustin pulled down Fred Zimmerman's post and my reply. I'm a peace-loving man.

John,

First, this is not a government guaranteeing any level of any freedom at all; this is a privately owned discussion board.
John, you referencing government guarantees is truly offensive--my being part Indian, or American Indian as you "Amwericans" like to say.

Second, the Internet is a vast space, that happens to be more public than most realize.

Chris,

Yes, that is one of many options I could consider...The road I took was more direct in posting my observation and emailing the person I assumed was in charge. And, he and I discussed what happened and were cool with each other.

Thank you all for your considerations.

BenJamIn
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/30/06 06:32 AM

Originally posted by HowardCampbell:
John, you referencing government guarantees is truly offensive--my being part Indian, or American Indian as you "Amwericans" like to say.
Oh. So you embrace the "two wrongs make a right" point of view? Or is your being prickish just genetic?

Originally posted by HowardCampbell:
Second, the Internet is a vast space, that happens to be more public than most realize.
So lets add non-sequitors to the mix.

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/30/06 09:16 AM

I can't recall anyone so willfully trying to misunderstand a simple thought like John LeBlanc wrote ("First, this is not a government guaranteeing any level of any freedom at all; this is a privately owned discussion board.") and somehow taking offense because he's got Indian blood. Give me a break!
Howard Campbell, or Ben Mack, or Benjamin Garth, or whoever you are--lighten up and stop both antagonizing others and taking offense at what others are writing.
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Postby Guest » 01/30/06 12:34 PM

good point...

lighten up and stop both antagonizing others
Laugh out loud...you did write that as a joke, didn't you?

Thank you

[I had written "right" instead of "write" funny considering the topic...I asked Dustin to pull down this thread, if nobody objects]
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/30/06 01:24 PM

Originally posted by HowardCampbell:
I asked Dustin to pull down this thread, if nobody objects]
I object.

These threads are often locked when Richard and/or Dustin get tired of watching us run around the same tree for the umpteenth time, but the threads remain as a testament to who said what and when. That has a lot of value, aside from just the time and effort people put into posting in the first place.

Or did you become suddenly aware that "the Internet is a vast space, that happens to be more public than most realize"?

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/30/06 03:00 PM

I've just removed an unpleasant post by Mr. Campbell/Mack/or whoever. Everyone wave goodbye.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/30/06 09:55 PM

ENOUGH ALREADY! I am locking this thread since this crap has gotten completely out of hand. I will then decide what stays up and what is deleted (if anything), though I am compelled to delete the whole damn thing. Sometimes it boggles my mind how a single sentence can lead to this level of BS.
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