Cogitations finished?

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby thecardman » 08/26/05 01:21 AM

I don't know about anyone else on this forum, but I received 2 e-mails this morning from Steven Youell - the first saying that Cogitations I had closed and the second saying that there would not be a Cogitations II and asking for the e-mail address for a PayPal refund.

I've tried replying, but both e-mail addresses have bounced. Has anyone else had these e-mails and has anyone else had these problems replying to him?

Thanks

Peter
:)
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Postby Alexander Crawford » 08/26/05 04:35 AM

Although I haven't received any emails, I have received a $20 paypal credit from Steven Youell this morning.

The Cogitations link also seems to dead.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 08/26/05 05:09 AM

I got an email today -- C1 is done, no C2 to follow, and he's leaving the magic world for "personal reasons."

I have no idea what, why, etc. I enjoyed meeting Steven in May and reading C1. My email to him this morning bounced right back.

JMT
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Postby Jeff Eline » 08/26/05 05:20 AM

Mine said:

Thank you all for your support. Cogitations I has now closed.

For personal reasons, I will not be doing Cogitations II-- nor will I be involved in the magic world any longer.

Thank You

Steven Youell
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Postby thecardman » 08/26/05 05:45 AM

I got another e-mail from him and was able to successfully reply (well, it hasn't bounce so far!). Keep an eye out for it.

Best wishes

Peter
:)
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Postby Fred Zimmerman » 08/26/05 07:23 AM

I have no connection with Cogitations, not do I know the moderator, but in my experience, these kinds of abrupt departures from any part of someone's life usually stem from one of two reasons.

1) A spouse (or parent) who has levelled an ultimatum.
2) A religious conversion or re-committment that excludes outside interests (especially something like Magic).

Of course, there could be other reasons, and I'm merely surmising, but, as I've said, I've seen this many times before in both Magic and Theatre and the cause is usually something not too far afield.

Ah well, think of it not as him leaving something with ill-will than him finding something else more fulfilling. We can only hope this is true.

FZ
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Postby Guest » 08/26/05 07:27 AM

I was under the impression members would have indefinite access to Cogitations.

I'm disappointed that I didn't print all of the material when I had the chance.
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Postby Steve Mills » 08/26/05 08:12 AM

FWIW:

"After much thought, I have decided that I will refund everyone's money and not produce Cogitations II.

I'm tired of dealing with contributors who promise material and don't deliver.

I'm tired of dealing with the large number of anonymous people on public forums who have opinions, but no facts.

But mostly I'm just not interested in taking this amount of stress for something as stupid as card tricks."
The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog. – Mark Twain
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Postby Doomo » 08/26/05 09:07 AM

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Like on the old Gemini BBS run by Stephens Magic? Steve did pretty much the same thing there.
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

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Postby pixsmith » 08/26/05 09:11 AM

Originally posted by pierredan:
I was under the impression members would have indefinite access to Cogitations.

I'm disappointed that I didn't print all of the material when I had the chance.
Yeah, so am I. This is the downside of the electronic medium.

Read a great ad for a magazine; subscribe. If the magazine goes bust, at least you can read the old issues.

If you didn't have the time to check in to Cogitations often (or the bandwidth at the time you did) you are left now with, well, the memory of the ad, at least. ;)
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Postby Ken Becker » 08/26/05 09:26 AM

Same thing with my emails, i.e., two different email addresses from Steve, and both of my email responses bounced back.
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Postby Temperance » 08/26/05 09:40 AM

Shame...
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Postby Guest » 08/26/05 09:52 AM

This is a shame. I want to thank Steven for the time he put into the site. I just wish there was a bit of warning so current members could have had a chance to make sure they got everything saved from it.

All the best, Steven.

Aaron
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/26/05 10:52 AM

So much for e-zines!

When you subscribe to Genii, you get a beautifully printed magazine that you can read and re-read for ever.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby Guest » 08/26/05 11:30 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
So much for e-zines!

When you subscribe to Genii, you get a beautifully printed magazine that you can read and re-read for ever.
I know , thats why I'm sticking to E-zines!
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Postby Steve Mills » 08/26/05 12:10 PM

Cogitations has had death rattles, as my grandmother would say, for some time.

If you will note from the editor's explanation above he takes NO responsibility for the demise - it's always external forces or anonymous posters or..... He persisted in rewriting history and managed to convince a majority, apparently, of its efficacy.

There never was supposed to be a Cogitations I - Cogitations II etc. Directly from his initial advertisements:

"Each week you'll be treated to a new article
from one of the top Cardmen in the world. Every article, every effect will be archived
so everything you read will always be at your fingertips. And you'll never see any banner
ads or pop-up ads! What you WILL see, however, are articles, effects, commentaries and even rants from names you can trust. A few of the Contributors we already have:...."

He persisted in claiming that "Each and everytime Cogitations was updated or an article was delayed I sent a mass e-mail to all subscribers." Since we were supposed to get an article every week is he really claiming he sent this many emails. He didn't. Period.

By way of disclosure, he refunded my money and sent me a couple of very rude emails. Knowing that I'm somewhat old, he closed his last email with:

"Have a nice life-- or what's left of it."

I'll leave it at that.
The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog. – Mark Twain
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 08/26/05 12:13 PM

I remember getting SEVERAL emails over the past weeks that if we wanted material from Cogitations, we should download and save it now.

JMT
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Postby Kevin Wiese » 08/26/05 12:22 PM

Originally posted by Joe M. Turner:
I remember getting SEVERAL emails over the past weeks that if we wanted material from Cogitations, we should download and save it now.

JMT
I was a subscriber and never got one e-mail regarding Cogitations. It would have been nice if he had given warning on the site that it was closing down. This would have given subscribers time to print a few things they had missed.

No complaints, though. I figured his notes were worth the price of the subscription.
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Postby Guest » 08/26/05 12:30 PM

I am also a subscriber and never received an e-mail from cogitations stating I should get stuff off the site while I can. Oh well, c'est la vie
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Postby Jim Morton » 08/26/05 12:34 PM

It is a shame. Before Steven started the project I sent him a letter asking him to think long and hard about starting such a project. Having published a newsletter (not about magic) back in the early eighties, I know how much work these things are. Much more than most people are capable of conceptualizing, which is why so many magazine around the third or fourth issue start having apologies from the editor about the lateness of that issue. I told Tom Cutts the same thing before he started AM/PM, and I will continue to warn people whenever they decide to start a publication--publishing (be it a newsletter, a magazine, or a web site) is HARD WORK.

Jim
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Postby Tabman » 08/26/05 02:36 PM

Originally posted by Doomo: Does this sound familiar to anyone? Like on the old Gemini BBS run by Stephens Magic? Steve did pretty much the same thing there.
And on MAGIC!, The Global Magician's Network, run by David "X" Lichtman before that.

See the MAGIC! archives at http://questx.com/magic! to see where it all started pre internet and pre-Gemini.

-=tabman
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Postby Keith Raygor » 08/26/05 04:39 PM

I've not received any emails from Steve, earlier or now. I, too, would have appreciated an opportunity to peruse once more.

Has anyone ever gotten a refund from Tom Cutts?
I sent in three years worth of subscription money and received 5 issues.
His last email in 10/04 said the next issue should be at the printers or mailed a week later.
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Postby Guest » 08/26/05 05:49 PM

Originally posted by Keith Raygor:
I've not received any emails from Steve, earlier or now. I, too, would have appreciated an opportunity to peruse once more.

Has anyone ever gotten a refund from Tom Cutts?
I sent in three years worth of subscription money and received 5 issues.
His last email in 10/04 said the next issue should be at the printers or mailed a week later.
No, no, no....you are thinking about what Ken Simmons said about Onyx
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Postby Reinhard Mueller » 08/30/05 01:07 AM

I can tell you the same which was already written:
"Same thing with my emails, i.e., two different email addresses from Steve, and both of my email responses bounced back."
The difference I got 3 e-mails with 3 different addresses.
Reinhard

Have anyone contact with Steven, or know an e.mail address, which is o.K. ???
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Postby Tabman » 08/30/05 09:04 AM

Have you tried erdnase@cardguy.net ?

-=tabman
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/30/05 09:28 AM

A few days ago I noticed Steve was offering his copy of Greater Magic for sale among other books.

I have not asked him about what happened, and he must have a reason for selling the books. I'd suggest folks could do better for all involved by buying the books if needed and letting the guy have what time he needs.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Alexander Crawford » 08/30/05 09:47 AM

I did download a full copy of the Cogitations I website and would be happy to forward it to a small number of past subscribers PROVIDED copyright permission can be given and some way of proof of Cogitations I subscription can be found. I accept that the copyright issue is no easy hurdle given that the editor is not responding to emails.

Can I also thank Steven for the time he put into the site.
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Postby KirkG » 08/31/05 08:31 AM

Alexandeer,

Great offer. I expect that Steve will hear of it and contact you if he feels the need. I say go ahead and do it. YOu are helping him without cost or energy to him, do what he contracted to do.

I won't benefit as I never subscribed, but I still support your efforts. How to determine elegibility without Steve's assistance, may be tough. I expect there was an email sent to each person giving password or access codes, so have them sent to you.

Kirk
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Postby Reinhard Mueller » 08/31/05 10:24 AM

The news:

This day, Aug. 31, I got the refund for cogitations II from Steven.

Reinhard
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Postby Reinhard Mueller » 08/31/05 10:26 AM

---and thanks to tabman for the address!

Reinhard
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Postby Kevin Fox » 08/31/05 01:41 PM

I got my refund, its a pity I enjoyed the first series. Kevin Fox.
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Postby VBall » 08/31/05 06:10 PM

i've emailed steven several times but he has not replied. I've paid for cogitation II and the 1st on cd. any idea how I can get a hold of him?
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/31/05 07:04 PM

At this time, Mr. Youell is no longer a member of these or any online forums, and as such, is generally unaware of anything said here. I did apprise him of a few posts here as they concerned copyrighted material.

He has asked me to post the following.

Steven Youell Wrote:

1) All refunds for the Archive CDs will finish processing this week.

2) All material on Cogitations is copyrighted. To violate that copyright is theft and will be treated as such.
vball, if you haven't gotten your refund for Cog II yet, please e-mail me with your name/contact information and I'll help you get in touch with him to resolve any issues you may have.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/01/05 07:57 AM

I would imagine that anyone who paid for Cogitations is entitled to have a printout of it.

Mr. Youell's behavior has been unstable for a long time, so you took a chance sending him money and now you've paid the price if you didn't download or print out what you paid for.

I see nothing wrong with members sharing the archived matter with one another as long as they can prove to each other that they paid for it.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/01/05 12:55 PM

That seems a bit harsh. Youell seems to be making a good faith attempt to resolve this equitably. Given other periodicals that have vanished from the magic scene, and the amount of information available to those who subscribed about the availability of refunds well

I dont subscribe to any of them and I dont know Youell personally so I dont have an agenda here, but this is the first time Ive heard of a magic periodical going under and the person who took the money trying to get it back to the subscribers proactively.
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Postby KirkG » 09/01/05 01:01 PM

We are talking about a completely different thing here. A price was paid to access something indefinately. For whatever unknown reason, the coordinator couldn't deliver.

Typically when a real world periodical goes under, there is nothing left. That is not the case here. So those that paid for it have a chance to receive it. As long as no one sells the archive, there is no violation of spirit of copyright law.

Steve should be thankful that someone is offering to help and should embrace the opportunity to make some good will.

Kirk
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/01/05 01:07 PM

The people who paid for Cogitations I were given NO notification that service was about to cease and they needed to print out or archive the material they paid for. They paid for something and don't have it. I don't think it's harsh at all.

If Youell really wanted to make good to his subscribers, he would send ALL of them a zipped file of everything that was on the site that they paid for. It would cost him almost nothing to do that.
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Postby Dan Smith » 09/01/05 03:28 PM

Steven made it clear in at least 2-3 e-mail announcements that the contents of Cogitations I would be removed. The e-mails announcing the Cogitations I archive CD made this clear as did the request for subscriptions to Cogitations II. The rationale for purchasing the archive CD was that the Cogitations I content was perishable.

Steven should have provided a more graceful closedown of the web site, but it is incorrect to say that the subscribers didn't know the content was going to be removed from the website.

- Dan
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Postby Doug Koffel » 09/01/05 03:40 PM

Unfortunately Dan, for whatever reason some of us never received a single e-mail. It would have been nice to have been warned.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 09/01/05 06:46 PM

The people who paid for Cogitations I were given NO notification that service was about to cease and they needed to print out or archive the material they paid for.
Ok, here are the facts.

Good faith efforts were made to contact each member via e-mail about the cut off date for the material.

Ask Joe Turner or the other folks here who got those multiple notifications. The e-mails went out and they went out to every address in the database.

While I think Mr. Youell could have handled things a bit more gracefully (as has been mentioned), the mass e-mailings did go out. I created and ran the website and will say that I tested (via several test accounts) that the e-mails from the system were being sent out properly.

For various reasons that I enumerate later in this post, it's possible that some didn't get the e-mails even though a good faith effort was made to contact them.

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
[QB] I would imagine that anyone who paid for Cogitations is entitled to have a printout of it.
Yes, and folks had 7 months in which to obtain the material legally from the site. As quite a bit of the material was video in nature, a simple "print out" really wasn't practical.

....if you didn't download or print out what you paid for.
Well, yes, I'd agree that folks did have the responsibility to print out stuff if they wanted to keep it.

An archive disk was promised and when it was decided that was not going to happen, it was decided to refund those who had prepaid for that.

I personally would have liked to have seen the archive disks go out, but the copyright holder did not wish it and I have to respect his rights in that matter, the same way I would respect the rights of any publishers copyrights. No matter what my personal feelings, I choose to respect the law and the wishes of the copyright holder and hope that others would do the same.

I see nothing wrong with members sharing the archived matter with one another as long as they can prove to each other that they paid for it.
The copyright holder has clearly stated that this sort of distribution is not ok with him.

And I would hope people would respect that.



The material was originally slated to be presented in a six month span, and then be archived and not available on the site after that six months. At which point, the plan was to scrub the site of the first 6 months and present another six months worth of stuff.

As it turned out, folks had seven months (24 hours/day) to download the material or ask questions concerning its availability. And many did. And it seems a few did not. Toward the end, I noticed plenty of folks getting the material before it went away.

So, a good faith effort was made toward the end to warn folks (as people have attested to here), but as with any mass e-mailing, there are many reasons one might not have gotten the mail. I can say with certainty that the "warning e-mails" were certainly sent out (which has been verified by others in this very thread).

Having a bit of experience with the web (and being the guy who created the Cogitations website for Mr. Youell), I'll say flat out that with any large mass mailing (in this case 600 folks thereabouts), you'll always get some that won't go through. And while that's a pain in the ass, it doesn't mean that a good faith effort wasn't made.

Sometimes one will get ISP's that will bounce e-mail from certain domains for various reasons, bad (or perhaps accidentally miskeyed) e-mails, servers that go down when the e-mail are sent, etc. It was certainly not a sinister or otherwise dishonest effort to forestall getting the word out.

Steven should have provided a more graceful closedown of the web site, but it is incorrect to say that the subscribers didn't know the content was going to be removed from the website.

- Dan
Yes, as one close to the project, I'll agree with you 100% here. If one wasn't getting mail from the site, one had 7 months to let the webmasters know to correct one's e-mail address or ask about the materials availability window. As mentioned above, even if one's e-mail address was correct, there are many reasons why one might not have received e-mails that were sent in good faith.
Kirk wrote

A price was paid to access something indefinately.
No, that sort of "indefinite access" was not offered and several e-mails were sent out to clarify that exact point. (i.e. that the material was going away after six months, or when it was done which turned out to be 7 months)
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