Aspergers and Magic?

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AJM
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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby AJM » August 8th, 2019, 12:54 pm

How many MPs does it take to block Brexit.

All of them.

A bit of political satire there.

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Leo Garet
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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Leo Garet » August 8th, 2019, 1:17 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I've missed this thread because of MAGIC Live.
Now that I'm here, I have only this to say for the moment: This thread is not an audition for the 1am show in an empty nightclub at a resort in the Catskills.


It certainly isn't. The material is far too good for that. ;)

It might just about qualify for The Wheeltappers And Shunters Social Club though.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Joe Mckay » August 8th, 2019, 1:30 pm

I would love to hear Richard discuss his thoughts on Aspergers as well.

No problem if he is not interested. I guess it is a bit of a personal subject.

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AJM
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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby AJM » August 8th, 2019, 2:17 pm

Ha ha - The Wheeltappers.

'Thank you please - we've just 'ad a meeting of the committee and we've passed a resolution...'
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I.M. Magician
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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby I.M. Magician » August 8th, 2019, 3:43 pm

Please indulge me for a brief moment.

Everyone has something. No one is by any means perfect. Aspergers is just one of many things that people have.

I have known and spent a great deal of time with quite a few people who were diagnosed with Aspergers and I found that they have difficulty with mathematics but an incredible ability to read and write.

So...perhaps one can conclude that having it can be a gift of sorts. Who doesn’t have problems with SOMETHING? As a result of that SOMETHING, they must make the necessary adjustments in both coping and with whatever else they are finding challenging. That’s life!

Thank you very much for allowing me to have my say.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 8th, 2019, 3:59 pm

I can barely do simple addition. Figuring out the tip at a restaurant is a major challenge. When I was single, my dates thought it was cute.
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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Joe Mckay » August 8th, 2019, 4:51 pm

If there was a cure for Asperger's syndrome - I wouldn't take it. It offers a lot more positives than downsides.

I just found the diagnosis helpful since it made me realise that my preferences are deep-seated ones. And not irrational ones that I can "manage" away by looking at things differently. Or to put it anothr way. I will pay reven less attention to "normal" people when they try and convince me something will be fun when I know I will hate it.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Ian Kendall » August 8th, 2019, 5:26 pm

One common misconception of ASD is that it is a linear spectrum; it's most certainly not. The best way to visualise it is as a circular colour wheel.

Like several other spectrum people I know, I'm particularly good with numbers.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Bob Farmer » August 9th, 2019, 8:59 am

Okay, I've devised a joke for those on the spectrum.

My hotel room is so small, the spatial coefficient in Einstein's Theory of Relativity is not required to prove the theorem.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 9th, 2019, 10:27 am

Jack Shalom wrote:

I don't think that that test necessarily tests for what the experimenters think it does.
Notice the eye-tracking paragraph on the wiki page citing https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 ... ike-humans and https://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6308/110 articles. This has obvious applications in our craft.

Here's a half-educated guess. If the experimenter were to look at the participant and ask: "What does Sally imagine happened while she was out of the room?" there will be a different pattern of eye motion than if the experimenter focuses on the picture and then asks the question. Also check where they are looking when the answer the question about where Sally looks for her marble.

Marbles lost,

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Jack Shalom » August 9th, 2019, 11:44 am

Clever Hans, yes that is certainly one big problem. But I think a larger unexplored problem in these kinds of tests is this:

The experimental context is always a piece of fiction. Even a five year old understands that the nice adult in the white coat is telling a story. The questions that begin, "What does Sally think happened..." are an open invitation to play at creating fiction. While some are budding lawyers, others are budding Pynchons or Bradburys. We don't really have a theory of mind for the subject of the experiments as subjects. We assume they all come in approaching the experiment the way we would like them to. But maybe they enjoy messing with minds, as one simple possibility.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Joe Mckay » August 10th, 2019, 9:51 pm

I think Jack makes a good point.

Children are often smarter than they let on. And would rather screw around with an experiment by pretending to be dumber than they really are. Apparently this is quite common. I heard that from the age of 6 onwards - kids are smart enough to pretend they still believe in Santa just to keep their parents happy. So what a kid "really" believes is a hard thing to work out. And there is a good chance that this "quirk" of personality is more common in children with Aspergers syndrome. It certainly reminds me of some of my behaviour as a kid. Perhaps the kid is astute enough to realise he wouldn't be asked such a dumb question in the first place unless there was some other trick involved? A bit like how an adult is wary when invited by the police to answer "a few simple questions".

I also think you see a different "side" to kids on those hidden camera shows where you watch them talk to each other with no adults present. And when they are not acting up to adult expectations - they come across a lot more sophisticated than they do when an adult is present.

Also - here is something cool I came across online:
If a government relied on hiding its secrets using color camouflage, and believed other governments did the same, it would regard color blind people as a potential risk.

If you look at all the major leaks of British and American secrets, and those who made a career of interpreting the leaks by others to the public, there is a very high representation of those with Aspergers.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Joe Mckay » August 17th, 2019, 12:16 am

This is a brilliant article about Aspergers syndrome.

It is too good not to share.

It takes a look at the rise of Aspergers syndrome from a fairly skeptical point of view. The article tries to drill into the idea of how many people have a disability and how many just hide behind the label to justify bad behaviour? It is an interesting philosophical question. Maybe I am in a strange mood but I found the article to be hilarious as well.

http://nymag.com/news/features/autism-spectrum-2012-11/

The diagnosis has helped me since it really reminds me to think carefully when I feel like veering towards the edge of what is socially acceptable when discussing sensitive issues. It is a bit like how you pay more attention to how fast you are driving when you spot a police car in your rearview mirror.

That said - I do think society is too sensitive in any case. What happened to the idea of "Sticks and stones may break my bones..."? Things are just silly these days.

I mean look at the reaction on this forum when I make the point that the reason that the magic that is most popular with consumers today (and with most of the most famous magicians perfoming on TV) is actually better than the stuff you find in magic books from 50 years ago.

Magic is half art and half science. So even if the magicians of today are braindead - the magic itself will tend to get stronger and stronger in any case due to the constant cranking out of improvements and interesting combinations of ideas that have come before. As in any other science or technology - things really do head in the direction of progress.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Joe Mckay » August 17th, 2019, 1:08 am

One hpothesis I have is that people with Aspergers syndrome are drug addicts.

And the drug is intellectual stimulation.

As such the reason they ignore social niceties is because they find them boring and tiring. And would rather engage in social interactions that are riskier but more stimulating. Sometimes this can result in genuine human connections that build into lasting friendships. And other times it can backfire and lead to a meeting with HR.

You attract as many as you alienate. Life becomes a series of gambles rather than a series of compromises.

And yeah - Vernon is overrated. Don't even get me started on Marlo.

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 17th, 2019, 9:33 am

Joe. We can make clear reasons why the tricks you offered as examples of stronger magic aren’t.

But since this is a thread about aspergers, allow me to make an observation.

Perhaps someone who has been diagnosed with a condition that makes it challenging to empathize or read social cues is Not the best person to judge the quality of magic or the impact it is having on others.

(And the reason tv magicians do this stuff is because there is money to be made selling it to magicians who care more about their own pleasure than that of their audiences)

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Re: Aspergers and Magic?

Postby Jack Shalom » August 17th, 2019, 9:42 am

As in any other science or technology - things really do head in the direction of progress.


That's a misunderstanding of (scientific and genetic) evolution. Not necessarily progress, but adaptation to the existing local environmental conditions. With regard to magic, those conditions presently include an economic market for disposable, self-working tricks that make an immediate impact. Lots of other considerations are pushed to the side.

And the drug is intellectual stimulation.

As such the reason they ignore social niceties is because they find them boring and tiring. And would rather engage in social interactions that are riskier but more stimulating.


I like the idea that some people are more rewarded by intellectual stimulation than other kinds of stimulation; but I would be cautious about labeling such preference as riskier. Indeed, it may be an indication of avoidance of certain other kinds of risk, far more dangerous to that person.


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