Magic Castle Junior Society

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.
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 19th, 2008, 1:27 pm

Ryan, that's an old and lousy frame of reference - and IMHO it's still unconvincing as an argument. The old nature/nurture lie as regards social interaction. If it's behavior you want - it's nurture as shown by Skinner back last century when he showed pigeons can play pingpong. If it's skill you want - then that too can be "taught" as we now have computers which beat most grandmasters in chess. Okay that leads us to aesthetic issues in art. I argue that's almost entirely social context.

Now let's get into the realm of performing and consider the relationship between the expectations of an audience and the performer's offered works. Consider Iggy pop performing for a group in the 1950s. He's sincere and "fun" but not right for the 1950s. Can't you just see him doing Buddy Holly's song "Peggy Sue" as an encore after "Lust for Life" or "TV Eye"? He's real and they really want Frank Sinatra.

IMHO it's mostly about audience rapport. Something folks who've gotten in front of an audience know from the butterflies to the feeling of appreciation which can come with applause. And I believe that too can be learned and modeled.
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Kent Gunn » September 19th, 2008, 3:04 pm

Jonathan,

You are the only person on this board who when writing the name Skinner, never stops to think the rest of us need a pause to shift from Michael to B.F.

When reading your posts, I get shocked. Are you modifying my behaviour?
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Pete McCabe » September 19th, 2008, 3:29 pm

It depends. Do you get shocked every time you spell behavior with a "u"?

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Ryan Matney
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Ryan Matney » September 19th, 2008, 5:20 pm

As Jonathan notes, this has evolved into a much larger debate 'nature vs. nurture' Many people have written far more eloquently on the subject than I ever could and I'm weary of attempting an argument either way.

Mr. Goat, however, posts his reply as if he has 'gotten me' and caught me up on lack of evidence. I never said I had hard evidence and the results you posted don't sway me in the least.

The question is, as I took the original post I responded to, do you really think people are born with absolutly no innate ability or talent? It seems to say that everyone can achieve mastery with only hard work no matter what their given skill set is, would be to deny true genius. You know, if everyone is special then nobody is.

By this line of thinking, there should be several Vernon's, a few Max Mavens and possibly multiple Stewart James. We can all work and practice and attain the ability to perform the material that these gentleman created but...you must recognize their peculiar genius which nobody has ever duplicated. To not say these people are others were not born with some sort of talent, creativity and in some cases genius is a discredit to them.

The word 'expert' is also ambigious. Knowledge is not ability. There are many magicians that demonstrate this. I'm sure a lot of people can learn a given subject and become experts regardless of what they were born with. But, to put that into action might require something else entirely.

That is the very definition of talent, gifted, genius, etc.

Magic might not be the best possible example of all of this because there are many varying skill levels one can successfully perform magic. The real talent lies in choices, performance ability, magnetism, charisma, execution. Some things can not be learned.

Mr Goat also offered this choice quote: "Yet this belief in the importance of innate talent, strongest perhaps among the experts themselves and their trainers, is strangely lacking in hard evidence to substantiate it."

I find this very telling. If the 'experts' themselves are the strongest believers in an innate gift, this strongly suggests to me that it's the 'less gifted' people who keep telling themselves if they work extremely hard they will be like their idol. These must be the same people doing the research. ;-)

I think people are basically what they are. I have no evidence, facts to back it up. I can't present an effective argument on nature vs nurture either. That would require someone who is much much better read on the subject than I am. I've said just about all I can possibly say about my little opinion.

Now I'm off to practice. :-D
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Pete McCabe » September 19th, 2008, 6:06 pm

Ryan,

It seems to me that for what you say to be true, innate talent can only exist at one levelyou either have it or you don't, and it's not possible that two people both have it but one has more of it than the other. And this is directly contradicted by the evidence of the survey, which found no difference in innate talent among the many students tested.

One of your examples shows this point:
"Could you take a tone-deaf kid that has an interest in skate-boarding and make him as good a musician as the others?"

No one can _make_ him a good musician. He can only make himself a good musician, but spending lots and lots and lots of time practicing music. Your example of Bob Dylan not taking lessons is similar -- it makes no difference how many lessons you take. What matters is how much time you spend practicing.

Your example of Kid Rock eludes me. Are you his close personal friend? If not, how would you have any idea how much time he has spent developing his musical ability, in comparison to other musicians?

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby mrgoat » September 19th, 2008, 8:56 pm

Ryan Matney wrote:
Mr. Goat, however, posts his reply as if he has 'gotten me' and caught me up on lack of evidence. I never said I had hard evidence and the results you posted don't sway me in the least.


Yeah, silly old me for quoting actual scientific research to back up my point! Clearly a ridiculous thing to do when I could just talk about Dylan.

Shame you couldn't find one bit of research to back up your theory. Hey ho.

And, although I can see how you interpreted it like that, it wasn't intended as a 'gotcha' thing. Just, if you make wild claims like talent is innate, it would make those claims more credible if you could find just one bit of research to back up what you think. Scientific American couldn't. So if you can, I think you could have a really good bit of research in the making.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 19th, 2008, 9:29 pm

Actually, if you want to discuss this with an eye on learning - there was a study where a gradeschool class was split randomly into two groups (1), (2) and given into the care of two teachers who were told that their class was (1) gifted and (2) special needs. After a few weeks of special attention ... guess what. Nature sure does take lots of cues from nurture in come cases - and the self fulfilling prophesy need not even be known by its target.

Or... maybe they invented a new version of "out of this world" for school use?
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Pete McCabe » September 20th, 2008, 3:04 am

This same study was done with rats. Rats were given to students to time them (the rats) going through a maze. The students were told rats in group A were bred to be smarter and group B were bred to be dumber, and they were supposed to measure the difference.

In reality the rats were randomly chosen. Yet the times recorded showed the rats in group A going through the maze faster than rats in group B.

Not sure what this has to do with the Magic Castle Junior Society, but my parents paid good money for my BA in Psychology from Yale, and I'm damned if I'm not going to use it every chance I can.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby mrgoat » September 20th, 2008, 7:55 am

Pete McCabe wrote:Not sure what this has to do with the Magic Castle Junior Society, but my parents paid good money for my BA in Psychology from Yale, and I'm damned if I'm not going to use it every chance I can.


That made me spit out some of the mouthful of coffee I had laughing.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Ryan Matney » September 21st, 2008, 1:02 am

I bet I laughed more at the reference to Bob Dylan practicing.

Pete,

I do think you either have it or you don't, to a certain extent. There has to be something there to begin with.

Maybe I made some subjective examples but Kid Rock's struggle for years and years before a hit song is well documented. He was something of a joke to other musicians for around 10 years before (through hard work and practice) he barely managed to learn to play a couple instruments and became better crafting songs. It did not come easily to him. Irving Berlin (or even Prince) he aint.

I find it hard to believe that someone who graduated Yale didn't get my point.

I'd like to point out that Dai Vernon basically said the same things that I am saying about genius and talent. How many times have we heard the anecdotes of Vernon telling someone that they did not have the talent for magic and they should go sell shoes? Then there is his famous essay about how if practice isn't very enjoyable and doesn't come easily to you, maybe magic is not for you.

I don't know Vernon's exact thoughts on this subject but from anecdotal evidence and his published writings one can infer quite a bit that he leaned in the direction I'm siding with.

I'm also curious whether Richard Kaufman himself sides with me just a little bit since I have read him write many times that hand size and shape is very important to sleight of hand and not everyone can do EVERY sleight, no matter how hard they practice.

Finally, rather than giving more links to evidence and research, could you please answer one simple yes or no question for me Pete, and Mr Goat as well, because I think we have pretty much come to a stale mate in the discussion. The question is this, from your argument ; point of view:

Do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that through dilligent practice and hard work alone(assuming you put the effort in to practice) the two of you could attain the skill that Steve Forte and Bill Malone has with a deck of cards?

I'm interested in this question only as it applies to yourselves.
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby mai-ling » September 21st, 2008, 10:33 am

I have been saying this for years.
and its always something I say when
talking about young magicians.

They buy a magic set and as soon as
they master every effect in the box,
they already think they are master
magicians.

a box makes you nothing, and neither
will a clique of people.

blah blah blah
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista


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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Andy Hurst » September 21st, 2008, 12:45 pm

mai-ling wrote:It took
her 40 years and lots of practise to get to
that point on the stage that evening.


I guess she had no innate talent for it.

Andy

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 21st, 2008, 12:50 pm

There's no question that due to hand size and other issues, that not everyone can do every sleight with equal facility, no matter now much he or she practices. For instance, there is no way I can do the Cottone-Sendax version of the Interlocked Production of cards: my right second finger is not long enough. I might be able to do it by changing the method, but I will never be able to do the original method.
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby mrgoat » September 21st, 2008, 1:31 pm

Ryan Matney wrote: Finally, rather than giving more links to evidence and research,


I haven't seen you give one link to a single shred of evidence or research that backs up your claims yet.

And as to your question, what on earth does it matter what *I* think? Research proves you are wrong.

But, yes, I think anyone could be as good as them if they practised sufficiently. That is all they did. Practise. They didn't pop out of the womb with an uncanny pasteboard skill.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby John Lovick » September 21st, 2008, 1:52 pm

d like to point out that Dai Vernon basically said the same things that I am saying about genius and talent. How many times have we heard the anecdotes of Vernon telling someone that they did not have the talent for magic and they should go sell shoes? Then there is his famous essay about how if practice isn't very enjoyable and doesn't come easily to you, maybe magic is not for you.


Ryan, Vernon often said the exact OPPOSITE of what you're saying. Even in the essay you mention about practice, the point he is making is that magic takes a lot of PRACTICE, and if practice isn't enjoyable for you or if you don't have the discipline for it, you should consider another hobby, because you won't get good without a lot of PRACTICE.

He also often spoke about how when people asked about his background in magic, all they wanted to hear was that he was born with a "gift" or "innate talent". They didn't want to hear the truth he was trying to tell them, which is that he devoted himself to it completely, and practiced and studied constantly his entire life.

In fact Vernon is the perfect example that what you're saying is not true. Since the age of seven, all he did was think about, study, and practice magic. There are the stories of him being very young and practicing with a deck of cards under a handkerchief in church.

If anyone did NOT "lean in the direction you're siding with" it was Vernon.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Ryan Matney » September 21st, 2008, 3:30 pm

This is the problem, you guys keep pushing this into tangental arguments that have nothing to do with what I'm saying.

Mr Goat thinks I said that Steve Forte and Bill malone were born fully formed with sleight of hand skills. Never said that and i don't think it.

John Lovick seems to think that I said Vernon was as good as he was with no practice and, by implication, my argument is that if you born with it, you are great with no practice. I never said that either and I don't believe it.

ALL I AM saying is that magic , or whatever it may be, comes a LOT easier to some people than others. This is what being gifted IS. That is also what Genius is. Would anyone here deny Vernon was a virtuoso, a genius? Just as there are people like Mozart who just LOOKED at a piano and understood it. I have no doubt these people were consumed by their genius and loved practice and working to get better.

Richard agrees with one aspect of my point at least. And I'm thrilled by the way :-) I'm merely saying that people born with great hands are talented and gifted in this way. They were born with it.

I suppose this way of thinking is the outgrowth of the last few years of new parenting. Everyone is special, and everyone gets a trophy on award day. Nobody is better than anyone and YOU can do anything you want. You can be anything you want to be through hard work and dedication.

Nope. Sorry.

I don't mean to be crude but Mr Goat's argument is like saying someone who is a dwarf could palm a card if he only would practice more. He may be a great performer but he won't ever palm that card. Some things you must be born with, something ha sto be there to begin with.

I've been doing a pass since i was 15-16 years old. I can do a decent one and I practice it every single day. But I have never achieved the speed that Derek Dingle got in his prime. And I'm pretty sure I never will. He was talented. Technically and creativly.

Mr Goat, I've never seen you work but I believe I read one of your posts say that you had been doing magic for over 20 years. I can tell you truly that if you do not already have Steve Forte's skill with cards, you probably never will no matter how much you practice.

As a matter of fact, I have provided you with much evidence. Just look around you, there is always someone better than you that didn't have to work HALF as hard.
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby John Lovick » September 21st, 2008, 4:26 pm

None of these arguments are tangential. We are shooting down the unsubstantiated claims you make. You claimed that Vernon agreed with your point of view, when everything he said and did in his life show he did not. You even cited a Vernon essay where you got the point Vernon was making completely backwards, 100% wrong.

As noted in the two magazine articles cited in this thread, studies in matehmatics, chess, music, and athletics prove that there is no basis in fact or reality of the point of view you are spouting.

And using yourself (and your facility with the pass) as an example doesn't bolster your case any. You practice it every day? 10 minutes a day or 10 hours a day? How many hours a day did Dingle practice? For how many years? There is complete absence of data on both sides of this comparison. Also, there are efficient practice techniques and inefficient practice techniques. You can work hard or you can work smart.

Your statement: "There is always someone better than you that didn't have to work HALF as hard." just doesn't hold water.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby mrgoat » September 21st, 2008, 4:41 pm

Ryan Matney wrote:This is the problem, you guys keep pushing this into tangental arguments that have nothing to do with what I'm saying.


Well I always quote what you say and then refer to it.


Ryan Matney wrote:Mr Goat thinks I said that Steve Forte and Bill malone were born fully formed with sleight of hand skills. Never said that and i don't think it.


Where did I say you said or think that? Please quote examples.

Ryan Matney wrote:ALL I AM saying is that magic , or whatever it may be, comes a LOT easier to some people than others.


Yes you keep saying that, yet seem unable to offer any scientific research to back up your claim.

Ryan Matney wrote:I'm merely saying that people born with great hands are talented and gifted in this way. They were born with it.


Science politely disagrees with you

Ryan Matney wrote: I don't mean to be crude but Mr Goat's argument is like saying someone who is a dwarf could palm a card if he only would practice more. He may be a great performer but he won't ever palm that card. Some things you must be born with, something ha sto be there to begin with.


Excellent straw man.

Clearly some people are born physically adept to perform certain tasks better than others. Height, span of hand, physical build. A fatty isn't going to be able to run as fast as a atheletic guy.

So what?

This really has nothing to do with your as yet completely unsubstatiated claim that one is born with talent.


Ryan Matney wrote:I've been doing a pass since i was 15-16 years old. I can do a decent one and I practice it every single day. But I have never achieved the speed that Derek Dingle got in his prime. And I'm pretty sure I never will. He was talented. Technically and creativly.


That is lovely. What is your point?

That Derek Dingle was better than you at the pass?

Huh? How does this validate your argument?

Ryan Matney wrote:Mr Goat, I've never seen you work but I believe I read one of your posts say that you had been doing magic for over 20 years. I can tell you truly that if you do not already have Steve Forte's skill with cards, you probably never will no matter how much you practice.


Yes, as Susuki proved, the opimal age for learning is young childhood.

Again I have to question what your point is here? You've not seen me work, but think that at 37 if I am not Steve Forte, it's unlikley I will get his skills. Kinda obvious, shall we move on?

Ryan Matney wrote:As a matter of fact, I have provided you with much evidence.


No you haven't Ryan. Just one link will do me? One bit of validated and published research that backs up your claim?

Thanks

Damian

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Alan M » September 21st, 2008, 5:15 pm

In The Books of Wonder, Tommy expresses some thoughts on talent and performance, and I thought his words would be an interesting contribution to this dialogue. The following is from the prologue of The Books of Wonder, Vol. 1

"While this contention is obviously open to debate, I do agree that there is a certain something, an instinctive insight, a raw knowledge, that it is essential to have to become a good performer. Call it talent if you like. The more of this special something one has been given by nature, the better performer one can become."

"I say become, because even if one has all the talent in the world, it still must be developed. Talent is like a raw diamond. An uncut diamond is not particularly interesting, but once it is polished to perfection, it becomes a thing of beauty. The same is true of talent. The more talent, the bigger the raw diamond, the better one can become. But it still requires polishing!"

"Polishing this raw diamond brings out the sparkle and brilliance, so that audiences can begin to enjoy it. However, if the base material, the talent isn't there, if instead of raw diamond there is only flint, no amount of polishing, no amount of work can bring out the brilliance of a diamond."

"The idea that, without talent, no amount of work can make one a truly good performer may seem pessimistic, even elitist; but I believe it, nevertheless, to be true. However I'm not really the cynical misanthrope this statement might at first suggest, for I tend to think that most, if not all people have some measure of talent - maybe not much, maybe just a speck; but I tiny little diamond polished to perfection is far more enjoyable than an enormous unpolished one. So don't despair if you find that your "raw diamond" is not huge. Your magic can still be admirable."

"I don't believe that one can enlarge one's talent. One can only polish it to bring out its qualities for audiences to enjoy...."

There is more in the book.

-Alan

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby John Lovick » September 21st, 2008, 6:26 pm

Anything Tommy Wonder says is worth listening to, and what he says in the essay is a common opinion, something many people believe instinctually.

The problem is that in essays and conversations like this, "talent" is never defined. So, if you can't define what you're talking about, these arguments and speculations are fairly meaningless.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 21st, 2008, 6:38 pm

Just so folks can have a little better model to work from - one does not take a diamond in the rough and polish it into a gem. One takes the stone and plans a series of cuts to produce a gem or gems according to a time tested plan which offers the best results. Here's a link to more information on that subject.

There is an expression which sometimes feels applicable though - "you can't polish a turd".

Now - about talent - yes some of us have carefully set forth a few qualities we feel are related to being a good performer. The apparent ease in integrating some of those skills might be what we often call talent.

Funny thing about that cutting process - each cut - each loss - each "what not to do", each director's note - each new word or phrase to test... only hurts if one feels attached what they are doing rather than the end goal for the audience.
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Ryan Matney » September 21st, 2008, 11:09 pm

John Lovick wrote:None of these arguments are tangential. We are shooting down the unsubstantiated claims you make. You claimed that Vernon agreed with your point of view, when everything he said and did in his life show he did not. You even cited a Vernon essay where you got the point Vernon was making completely backwards, 100% wrong.

It would not be tangential if you attempted to 'shoot down' my basic argument rather than taking me to task about whether I misquoted Vernon or not.Also, while you may argue that I did not qoute Vernon or his point correctly, I still strongly suspect that he agreed with me based on what I have read. I have no doubt he worked hard to attain his ability and that IS also tangential to the argument.

You are completly missing my point or you are refusing to address it. If Vernon was born with a certain apptitude for card magic, he never would have been all consumed by it to the point of practicing all hours. And further, if he didn't have an innate ability it would not have mattered how much he practiced! You keep confusing skill with apptitude and talent. Skill can be learned, the other you have or not.

As noted in the two magazine articles cited in this thread, studies in matehmatics, chess, music, and athletics prove that there is no basis in fact or reality of the point of view you are spouting.

And again, the same point holds for me. These people studied are representative of their groups. Tey already had a talent or an attraction to the chosen field. Again, not what I am saying...The question is could you make ME a master mathematician? I've never had any talent for numbers and what little SKILL (and I emphasize SKILL) that I have for them has been learned from much work.

And using yourself (and your facility with the pass) as an example doesn't bolster your case any. You practice it every day? 10 minutes a day or 10 hours a day? How many hours a day did Dingle practice? For how many years? There is complete absence of data on both sides of this comparison. Also, there are efficient practice techniques and inefficient practice techniques. You can work hard or you can work smart.

If this is so true, why can't more people perform the pass as
well as Dingle. You're no doubt going to tell me that they don't work hard and smart enough? Well, give them an A for effort and a trophy on award day.


our statement: "There is always someone better than you that didn't have to work HALF as hard." just doesn't hold water.

Yes, it does. I can name people much better than you that don't work as hard and I'm sure you could do the same for me.

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Ryan Matney » September 21st, 2008, 11:46 pm

Ryan Matney wrote:Mr Goat thinks I said that Steve Forte and Bill malone were born fully formed with sleight of hand skills. Never said that and i don't think it.


Where did I say you said or think that? Please quote examples.

You did say earlier than neither of them sprang from the womb card sleight of hand skill.

Ryan Matney wrote:ALL I AM saying is that magic , or whatever it may be, comes a LOT easier to some people than others.


Yes you keep saying that, yet seem unable to offer any scientific research to back up your claim.

Clearly I'm not as well read as you on the subject of 'scientific' research. And, I'm not sure that why I need to find research that backs up my opinion but..I did find this

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/w/wright-twins.html

Interesting study on seperated twins that backs up, in part, what I have been saying. Here's a quote from it
"...the field of behavioral genetics has been able to study traits such as criminality, alcoholism, smoking, homosexuality, marriage and divorce, job satisfaction, hobbies, fears; the results suggest that there are significant genetic contributions in all cases."

Somehow I'm pretty sure this won't do it for you though.



Ryan Matney wrote:I'm merely saying that people born with great hands are talented and gifted in this way. They were born with it.


Science politely disagrees with you

No, not all of science disagrees with me.

[

Clearly some people are born physically adept to perform certain tasks better than others. Height, span of hand, physical build. A fatty isn't going to be able to run as fast as a atheletic guy.

So what?

So..you call it 'physically adept to perform certain tasks' and I call it talent and gifted!



Ryan Matney wrote:I've been doing a pass since i was 15-16 years old. I can do a decent one and I practice it every single day. But I have never achieved the speed that Derek Dingle got in his prime. And I'm pretty sure I never will. He was talented. Technically and creativly.


That is lovely. What is your point?

That Derek Dingle was better than you at the pass?

Yes that is my point.

Huh? How does this validate your argument?

Because I know no amount of practice will ever make me that fast


Ryan Matney wrote:Mr Goat, I've never seen you work but I believe I read one of your posts say that you had been doing magic for over 20 years. I can tell you truly that if you do not already have Steve Forte's skill with cards, you probably never will no matter how much you practice.


Yes, as Susuki proved, the opimal age for learning is young childhood.

If you are going to tell that if you had started at age 7-8 with cards that you would have skill to rival all masters, then i really have no idea what to say to you. That's delusional.

Again I have to question what your point is here? You've not seen me work, but think that at 37 if I am not Steve Forte, it's unlikley I will get his skills. Kinda obvious, shall we move on?

I think that IS my point. Further, as you said earlier, if practice is all Steve Forte has over you, why are you not practicing more?? You could potentially be that good according to you.

Ryan Matney wrote:As a matter of fact, I have provided you with much evidence.


No you haven't Ryan. Just one link will do me? One bit of validated and published research that backs up your claim?

I gave you one link to published research that backs up my claim that people have something or they do not. Will that really do you?

Thanks

Damian [/quote]

Thank you too Damian, I'm glad we have kept this somewhat civil.
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Ryan Matney
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby Ryan Matney » September 21st, 2008, 11:55 pm

John Lovick wrote:Anything Tommy Wonder says is worth listening to, and what he says in the essay is a common opinion, something many people believe instinctually.

But if i say it, it must be torn apart and rediculed. Nice.

The problem is that in essays and conversations like this, "talent" is never defined. So, if you can't define what you're talking about, these arguments and speculations are fairly meaningless.


This is a common debate tactic, when faced with something you can't answer; feign ignorance. No he did not define 'talent' but I think we all know EXACTLY what he meant.

I agree 100% with him. We're talking about art as a matter of fact and that's something I'm not sure can be measured, proven, or validated with certainty by anyone. Especially through science. That's why I don't lend much creedence to the research posted besides the fact it did not address what I said.
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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby mrgoat » September 22nd, 2008, 4:28 am

Ryan Matney wrote:
Ryan Matney wrote:Mr Goat thinks I said that Steve Forte and Bill malone were born fully formed with sleight of hand skills. Never said that and i don't think it.


Where did I say you said or think that? Please quote examples.

You did say earlier than neither of them sprang from the womb card sleight of hand skill.



Yes I did. Now, can you quote me saying *I think you believe Forte and Malone were born with fully formed sleight of hand skills?*

I didn't say that did I?

I am totally up for debating this, but you really shouldn't build up straw man arguments. There is no need and it detracts from the point.


Ryan Matney wrote:And, I'm not sure why I need to find research that backs up my opinion


Because it validates it Ryan. I can post here saying "all tables in Southern California are made of cheese". However, no one will believe me unless I offer some proof.

You make an outlandish claim, you need proof, otherwise it's just hot air.


Ryan Matney wrote:..I did find this

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/w/wright-twins.html

Interesting study on seperated twins that backs up, in part, what I have been saying. Here's a quote from it
"...the field of behavioral genetics has been able to study traits such as criminality, alcoholism, smoking, homosexuality, marriage and divorce, job satisfaction, hobbies, fears; the results suggest that there are significant genetic contributions in all cases."

Somehow I'm pretty sure this won't do it for you though.


Well Ryan, I am glad at least you realised that this article has nothing to do with being born with a certain gift, talent, or innate skill.

To quote from the article you posted:

"Using twins, and also data derived from adoption studies, scientists can now estimate what proportion of the variation in our intelligence, our personality, our behavior, and even seemingly random life events such as bankruptcy or the death of a spouse, might be caused by inherited tendencies."
Nothing really to do with talent/skill.


Ryan Matney wrote:No, not all of science disagrees with me.


So please, show me some 'science' agreeing with you. Seriously, I would love to read it.


Ryan Matney wrote: So..you call it 'physically adept to perform certain tasks' and I call it talent and gifted!


You call being born tall a talent?

Ryan Matney wrote:Derek Dingle was better than you at the pass?

Yes that is my point.

Huh? How does this validate your argument?

Because I know no amount of practice will ever make me that fast


But, you haven't performed 'no amount of practise' have you? So how do you know?

All the studies I have posted prove that if you had practised very hard as a child you would be of that level. I bet now you don't think you could become a concert violinist. Suzuki would argue that if he had you in his school from the age of 2 you would be. I tend to go with him on this one, as he has a demonstrable track record.

Ryan Matney wrote: I think that IS my point. Further, as you said earlier, if practice is all Steve Forte has over you, why are you not practicing more?? You could potentially be that good according to you. [/b]


Because I don't want to be Steve Forte. Because I am 36 and don't have time to devote 10 hours a day to practise. Because I have another career. etc etc etc.


Ryan Matney wrote:I gave you one link to published research that backs up my claim that people have something or they do not. Will that really do you?


No, as it was nothing at all to do with innate talent. :)

Ryan Matney wrote:Thank you too Damian, I'm glad we have kept this somewhat civil.


Perfectly civil, I would have said...

One can completely disagree with someone else, yet still discuss it politely. I think. :)

Although I have no proof to back this up!!! :D

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby mrgoat » September 22nd, 2008, 4:37 am

Ryan Matney wrote:I agree 100% with him. We're talking about art as a matter of fact and that's something I'm not sure can be measured, proven, or validated with certainty by anyone. Especially through science. That's why I don't lend much creedence to the research posted besides the fact it did not address what I said. [/b]


Let's be perfectly clear what we are discussing. Nothing to do with 'art'.

You said

Ryan Matney wrote:Talented people are born with a certain innate ability and no amount of hard work will ever help the hopeless.


I then showed you some research that proved you were wrong. That people are not born with a certain innate ability.

If you have any issues with the methodology of the research you have been shown, please do deconstruct the evidence and explain why it is flawed, why science cannot measure talent, what you think they did wrong in the research to make it invalid in your eyes?

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby David Thomas » September 27th, 2008, 11:00 pm

Just got back a little while ago. I had a great time and the auditions went over very well with everyone there. Thank you all for the input and advice.

That doesn't mean I got in! I have yet to find out.

Thank you!

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Re: Magic Castle Junior Society

Postby El Mystico » November 1st, 2008, 3:26 am

When do you hear?


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