Brad Henderson wrote:good to know that you only care about yourself and how magic can serve you.
but if big picture isn't your thing, then best not to comment from a perspective that suggests you have any idea about issues that impact the world beyond your room.
(and the pdf's of carc is an un equivalent comparison to a database of performance archives)
You aren't the only person who has suggested to me that it might be best not to comment. Someone recently told me that there was nothing to be gained by posting on this forum. Given that, probably I'm foolish to respond to you, but I will anyway. It does seem bizarre to me that I seem to be a lightning rod, that when I post here, threads get hijacked, with people responding to me instead of dealing with the points in the OP. Even more bizarre because, from my perspective, I am just saying things that "everybody knows."
So, to summarize my thoughts in hopefully a clearer way:
1. Determine what your goal is when studying the magic of others. Based on that goal, determine which books, video, personal instruction is best for you to achieve your goal. If someone tells you, "Books are always better," that person lacks a nuanced approach to magic research.
2. We're only about a generation away from a scientific approach to effect creation. Something like magicology, along the lines of musicology. Databases of written and visual publications are a key ingredient, and they're well on the way.
3. It's easy to criticize the work of others. Lots of people copy, and even the most original inventors and performers have weeks (or years) when they aren't very good. It's much more difficult to lead by example, to create things that inspire others. But it's worth doing, and it's worth trying to do.