Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

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Zig Zagger
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Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Zig Zagger » February 2nd, 2020, 12:31 pm

OK, Geniis: About how many hours of your life have you logged in so far toying or practicing with a deck of cards in your hands?
1,000 hours? 10,000? Maybe even 100,000? (That would be my guess for the likes of Richard Turner and Roberto Giobbi!)

Anyway, you are pretty familiar with a standard poker deck of cards in USPCC design, aren't you? I bet you bet you are!

So, here are a few simple questions then. If you have a deck in your hands right now, please put it away. If you don't carry one now, good. Keep away from the nearest box.

(1) How many different print colors do the regular court cards display, including black?
(Don't guess! Envision the cards and try to remember their precise look!)

OK, that was quite easy for a starter, wasn't it? Go on...

(2) When we look at all twelve court cards, how many of them are looking to our left?

I think I already got you on this one. But there's more to come...

(3) How many court cards are shown in profile (and not full-face)?

(4) Which Queen is holding more than just a flower in her hand?

(5) Which King does not hold a sword?

As you see, this isn't easy. For the full test of ten questions, please had over to my magic blog at http://www.zzzauber.com.

I challenge you to get at least five out of ten right (by knowing, not by guessing. And no cheating, of course. Mark Lewis would catch you!). You can even win a little prize. But I have yet to find a champion reader...

Have fun, and please don't get too angry at yourself! Your likely failure is not your personal fault...
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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 2nd, 2020, 1:30 pm

I took the test/challenge. I got SEVEN out of ten...

...wrong.

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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Zig Zagger » February 2nd, 2020, 2:04 pm

Haha, you shocked me for a second, Alfred!
I‘d say three out of ten here is already pretty good!

Any takers for four or more?
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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Ted M » February 2nd, 2020, 4:24 pm

That was fun. I got 8 out of 10. (Missed the final two, feel kinda dumb about #10.)

When I was a kid, the Dixie Cup (paper cup) company had a magic club in partnership with puppeteer (and Al Baker student) Shari Lewis, with a 6-issue newsletter. My grandmother signed me up. The Shari Lewis Dixie Magic Club newsletter ran an article focusing on the details in the court cards, which brought them to my attention early on.

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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Kent Gunn » February 2nd, 2020, 4:28 pm

I don't think which way a playing card's head faces falls under the label of Inattentional Blindness.

It's trivia. The recently named label has to do with an unperceived stimulus. My life is pretty goddamn dull, but not even I consider any of the items you enquired about to be very stimulating.

Of course, I could just be upset having just done so poorly on the quiz.
:D

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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Zig Zagger » February 2nd, 2020, 4:46 pm

Ted M wrote:That was fun. I got 8 out of 10. (Missed the final two, feel kinda dumb about #10.)

When I was a kid, the Dixie Cup (paper cup) company had a magic club in partnership with puppeteer (and Al Baker student) Shari Lewis, with a 6-issue newsletter. My grandmother signed me up. The Shari Lewis Dixie Magic Club newsletter ran an article focusing on the details in the court cards, which brought them to my attention early on.

Wow, well done, Ted! So you had a bit of a head start, but very impressive nonetheless. Congratulations!
You will be hard to beat, I guess. If you e-mail or PM me, I'll happily send you your well-deserved prize.
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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Zig Zagger » February 2nd, 2020, 4:57 pm

Kent Gunn wrote:I don't think which way a playing card's head faces falls under the label of Inattentional Blindness.

Yes, that may be debatable. In German we have a word for "everyday life blindness." That would probably be more appropriate here. At least for an everyday card shuffler.

Kent Gunn wrote:It's trivia. The recently named label has to do with an unperceived stimulus. My life is pretty goddamn dull, but not even I consider any of the items you enquired about to be very stimulating.

Yes, it's trivia, if you're not a card guy (?). ;)
Otherwise, I guess many will find it as irritating, frustrating and thought-provoking as I did myself, having once handled these §%&?! court cards longer under my nose than healthy. I / We didn't pay attention to detail. (Insert Vernon quote here.)

Kent Gunn wrote:Of course, I could just be upset having just done so poorly on the quiz.
:D

Of course not! :D
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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 3rd, 2020, 9:22 pm

Sometimes i wonder about how the brain works. (mine, unfortunately, did not come with instructions). But my non-peer reviewed theory is that unless we make an affirmative effort to take note of and remember things, they simply will not be uploaded and stored in the files of our computer (brain). This would explain how we can spend so much time with playing cards over the years and not know these facts that were the subject of Zig Zag's fun little quiz. An example of this phenomena is how easy it is to forget the name of someone you just met only moments before. As a close-up entertainer, who's constantly meeting new people in the venues where I work (and who wants to make people feel good, and yes, who likes getting tips), I ultimately came to realize how important it was to remember people's names. I will say it in my mind a few times, use their name in the conversation, and make, sometimes silly, associations, like "Peter Peter Pumpkin eater," "Rick red-tie," or "Sam the Bellhop" (not out loud, LOL). I got good at this, because I got tired of feeling lame and being embarrassed, asking, "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" or saying, "It was nice meeting you, man." I laugh to myself when, oftentimes, I see the sheepishness in people's faces when, later in the evening, I encounter them, and correctly use their name (to their surprise), and it's clear they forgot mine...

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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Paco Nagata » February 4th, 2020, 2:01 am

I did try the test...

Of course I got ALL correct... CHEATING!

I got FOUR correct... GUESSING!

I got NONE correct... BEING HONEST!

At least I can say that I'm not so bad at guessing... and I'm very good at cheating!

A very funny test, Jan!
I should thank you for it, but actually...
I hate you for it!; for letting me know how ignorant I am with something I have been playing all my life!

That reminds me when, after 5 years of relationship, I discovered that my wife has a spot on the sole of one foot! 
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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Zig Zagger » February 4th, 2020, 4:10 pm

Well, after five years of marriage, I discovered that my wife was already married! :o (Just kidding.)

No need to feel stupid or angry, Paco! This is just a friendly (yet slashing) reminder of the many flaws of our perception. This happens when we look, but don‘t see.

Side note: And we expect our spectators to remember a playing card they have barely seen still three or five minutes later...
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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Paco Nagata » February 4th, 2020, 5:01 pm

Zig Zagger wrote:No need to feel stupid or angry, Paco! This is just a friendly (yet slashing) reminder of the many flaws of our perception. This happens when we look, but don‘t see.

Jan, I reckon that this is the perfect example of how magicians can do magic; making spectators look without seeing!
An interesting point!
Your test proves that a deck of cards can fool any card magician by itself! So that, magicians must do something similar with spectators to create magical illusions.
You have not only showed us a fun test, but also an interesting and useful concept regarding how the art of deception works.
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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 4th, 2020, 9:22 pm

Zig Zagger Wrote: "Side note: And we expect our spectators to remember a playing card they have barely seen still three or five minutes later..."

This is one of the (more than one) downsides of pick-a-card tricks. For those few that I do, rather than saying, "please remember that card," I say, "Please memorize that card." Sometimes, I will even add, "Please concentrate on your card, say it to yourself in your mind." As I mentioned in a previous post on this thread, people forget the names of people they meet within moments of being told their name. So, yes, Zig Zagger, how, indeed, can we expect them to remember the name of a small, inanimate piece of cardboard a few minutes later? I remember Frank Garcia saying that he never had a card selected without it being signed. I believe he did it not only to cover the situation of people forgetting, but for evidentiary purposes, in case he got a heckler or spectator trying to trip him up.

Paco Wrote: "I reckon that this is the perfect example of how magicians can do magic; making spectators look without seeing!"

Absolutely!

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Re: Do You Really Know Your Playing Cards? / A Test in Inattentional Blindness

Postby Zig Zagger » February 6th, 2020, 1:37 am

Paco Nagata wrote:
Zig Zagger wrote:No need to feel stupid or angry, Paco! This is just a friendly (yet slashing) reminder of the many flaws of our perception. This happens when we look, but don‘t see.

Jan, I reckon that this is the perfect example of how magicians can do magic; making spectators look without seeing!
An interesting point!
Your test proves that a deck of cards can fool any card magician by itself! So that, magicians must do something similar with spectators to create magical illusions.
You have not only showed us a fun test, but also an interesting and useful concept regarding how the art of deception works.

That‘s a very good point, Paco!

It should be soothing to understand that this sort of blindness does not only make us look stupid; it also serves as a tool in fooling our audience. They look, but don‘t see when we count three cards face-up as four, seemingly with all four suits covered, and they don‘t notice the CHaSeD deck or force bank we spread out face-up before them. And, as someone once claimed, they even wouldn’t notice a golden TT if we act naturally and don‘t put special attention on these actions.
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