The Too Perfect Theory

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Bob Farmer
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Bob Farmer » January 10th, 2020, 6:49 pm

Paco: Save your breath, the man will not be moved. There is no magic in his life and he wants everyone else to be similarly deprived.

Bill Duncan
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Bill Duncan » January 10th, 2020, 10:14 pm

PavelTheGreat wrote:I think that many magicians fail to understand psychology of audience.

Funny you should say that. I was a Psych Major for a couple of years...

What I see as a failure of your approach is that theatrical magic should be emotional, not logical. If you deconstruct any theatrical art after the fact you'll find tons of inconsistency and plot holes. But when you're in it, if it's good, you drink the Kool-aid. What would be the joy in watching R2-D2 or Yoda if you were told while they were on screen "these are just a guy in a trash can and a puppet?"

The best magic acts create a cognitive dissonance in the viewers. They see something that their logical mind knows is not real, but which their "heart" tells them is truth. That is the whole and entire point of David Copperfield's FLYING and Teller's Floating Ball.

In the Floating Ball the magic feeling is created by Penn going on about how it's just a ball on a thread, while it is entirely clear to anyone watching that there is no way in hell a thread explains what you are seeing.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 10th, 2020, 11:11 pm

Paco Nagata wrote:
PavelTheGreat wrote:I think it is fair to conclude that the "Impossiblists" merely wish to deny the practice means by which they achieve their effects.

"Possiblists" merely wish to do... What? Magic?
PavelTheGreat wrote:Art of Magic is then not to do The Impossible, but to deny The Possible. To confuse audience so they don't think of solution. Fine. This is what I do. I think many magicians are afraid to let audience try to figure out trick, so they pretend is nothing they can know. Don't bother, is superbatural, is Magic, is impossible. Is like saying, "Nobody here but we chickens".

The Art of Magic is to do something that is supposed to be impossible; magic.
PavelTheGreat wrote:This kind of secrecy is disgusting to me personally.

So, why do you do magic?...
Do you do magic?

PavelTheGreat wrote:I like to educate, not keep people ignorant.

So?
What does it have to do with the Art of Magic?
AGAIN and AGAIN, magicians don't make fun of spectators. They only do something that are supposed not to be possible to do, just to amaze and entertain. If you want to educate become a professor...
PavelTheGreat wrote:Those that jealously guard secrets are not helpful to human race. I would encourage my audience to think. Entertain yes, but not stultify. If someone figure out how is done, I am happy for him. I would rather inspire people to be smart than to turn their brains to mush.

So... ... Is that the "Art of Magic" according to you?
PavelTheGreat wrote:Light-hearted deception is okay if it teases the brain, stimulates to think. But to make folks think is hopeless to understand is not good in my opinion.

In your opinion.



I hope you are better at Magic than debate. It seems you are beginning to acknowledge your inconsistencies. At one point you say that your opinion (that Magic is "to do The Impossible") is objective concept. At last you admit is in the eye of the beholder (is only Magic if spectator think it so). This is subjective concept.

Reason I ask you this: If audience decide what is Magic, who are you to tell me what is not? You begin by claiming that pseudo-scientific approach is Not Magic because is possible.

Well this is interesting suggestion. Fact is that we cannot prove that something is Impossible. We can only prove that something is possible. Greatest minds in the world cannot determine what is impossible. So "impossible" is assumption. Like I say before, what is impossible today may be possible tomorrow. Ancient magicians might have thought they do impossible, but today is possible. Thus classic Magic Trick is no longer magic according to you.

Logically then, one cannot exclude certain type of presentation, or establish traditional approach. If it is matter of audience perception, format is irrelevant.

Also, to say "do The Impossible" is unclear. Do you mean impossible deed or merely effect that is impossible to figure out? These are different things entirely.

I thoroughly disagree with your contention that spectators are amazed by The Impossible (in literal sense). For instance: I believe Time Travel (Science-Fiction concept) is impossible. Am I therefore amazed when I see film about it? No, I am bored. Only thing that would amaze me is evidence that it could happen. This is quite simply the motive for me. Believe that something is impossible is depressing, unexciting. Nobody is thrilled by it until they see is possible. This is the psychology that some of you are failing to understand.

Impossible is Hopeless. But when Impossible becomes Possible, is Hopeful and Wonderful.

If you want to know why people are not impressed by your performance (be honest), it might be "too impossible". Let it seem possible and I assure you they will appreciate more.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 11th, 2020, 10:19 am

I guess we all have our own definition of what magic means, our own reasons for performing, and our own approach. My own definition is that magic is the art of creating illusion. An illusion, in turn, is the apparent occurrence of something that the average observer would not deem possible through natural means. What makes the magic happen in the perception or minds of the spectators is the difference between their premises and expectations and what then apparently happens. For example, at least the average spectator will be operating under the premise that his or her dollar bill cannot float in the air. Most everyone is familiar with the basic law of gravity. The magician then creates the illusion that the dollar is floating in the air, in contradiction to the spectator's premise that objects cannot float and for objects to do so is impossible under the law of gravity. This is what creates astonishment.

In my personal view, the more impossible-seeming the better, the more magical, and the greater the reaction of the spectator. When I hand them the card box with the deck inside, and their card rises out of the deck and box while they are holding it, the reaction is stupendous. For example, check this out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PucOzRgr96M&t=4s To tell you the truth, if I had a method of just rising into the air 10 feet, floating there, and then slowly descending back to the ground, I would do that in a heartbeat - and the spectators' hearts would not only skip a beat, but they would roar with astonishment and delight. That's what I'm looking for in my magic. The more impossible-seeming the better, as far as I'm concerned.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 11th, 2020, 11:25 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I guess we all have our own definition of what magic means, our own reasons for performing, and our own approach. My own definition is that magic is the art of creating illusion. An illusion, in turn, is the apparent occurrence of something that the average observer would not deem possible through natural means. What makes the magic happen in the perception or minds of the spectators is the difference between their premises and expectations and what then apparently happens. For example, at least the average spectator will be operating under the premise that his or her dollar bill cannot float in the air. Most everyone is familiar with the basic law of gravity. The magician then creates the illusion that the dollar is floating in the air, in contradiction to the spectator's premise that objects cannot float and for objects to do so is impossible under the law of gravity. This is what creates astonishment.

In my personal view, the more impossible-seeming the better, the more magical, and the greater the reaction of the spectator. When I hand them the card box with the deck inside, and their card rises out of the deck and box while they are holding it, the reaction is stupendous. For example, check this out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PucOzRgr96M&t=4s To tell you the truth, if I had a method of just rising into the air 10 feet, floating there, and then slowly descending back to the ground, I would do that in a heartbeat - and the spectators' hearts would not only skip a beat, but they would roar with astonishment and delight. That's what I'm looking for in my magic. The more impossible-seeming the better, as far as I'm concerned.


I agree. My contention is simply that without evidence that what one believe to be Impossible is POSSIBLE, there is no astonishment.

What is evidence? Evidence is demonstration. By performing trick you are giving evidence that it can be done.

If iit were still Impossible, you could not do it, you would fail and nobody would be amazed. Abstract concept of impossible is boring academic subject. Only when evidence is presented is exciting.

Thus there is no difference essentially between my approach and yours. Is just a matter of evidence, more or less.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 11th, 2020, 5:56 pm

PavelTheGreat wrote: "Thus there is no difference essentially between my approach and yours..."

Respectfully, I'm not so sure about that. I'm not saying, or even trying to imply, that mine is any better - just different, I think.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 11th, 2020, 11:46 pm

:evil: e
MagicbyAlfred wrote:PavelTheGreat wrote: "Thus there is no difference essentially between my approach and yours..."

Respectfully, I'm not so sure about that. I'm not saying, or even trying to imply, that mine is any better - just different, I think.



The basic premise of magical performance is to demonstrate wonderful phenomena that put audience in quandry. Whether we say nothing (just show), or pretend is caused by spirits, or suggest pseudo-scientific theory, we are doing same thing. We are concealing simple truth of method in order to imply awesome powers at our command.

My "explanations" are no more revealing than somebody else's Mumbo Jumbo. The point is to cover up better, by supplanting more credible alternative than spells, incantations, and weird gestures. It is beyond doubt that modern audience do not believe the mystical act. Therefore they quickly reject this and seek practical answer. That is why I give them one. Not to lead them to the solution, but to distract them from it.

Bill Duncan
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Bill Duncan » January 12th, 2020, 3:46 am

PavelTheGreat wrote:It is beyond doubt that modern audience do not believe the mystical act.


Not from my personal experience it's not. Just the opposite in fact. I'll share two examples that contradict this assumption:

1. At Seattle Magic there was a customer who was looking at the David Blaine book when I arrived. The owner (Tom Frank) was busy with a customer and I began to chat with the fellow looking at the Blaine book. He asked what I thought and I began to share my opinion of David's work. It quickly became clear that he was NOT a magician and had only come in because he saw the Blaine book in the window. And he directly asked me if I thought what Blaine showed on TV "is real." Further conversation indicated that he thought it was improbable but he was disturbed enough to ask someone who might know DAYS after the show had aired.

2. I performed Max Maven's effect The Mockingbird for a group of acquaintances and after the thought of card was revealed a woman
(who is a evangelical Christian) insisted I tell her how the trick was done. And insisted that it was very important to her that she know that it was only a card trick. The conversation made me more uncomfortable than she was.

So I know for certain that at least some people believe something mystical is happening after the effect is over to the point they doubt their personal reality a bit.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 12th, 2020, 6:32 am

Bill Duncan wrote:
PavelTheGreat wrote:It is beyond doubt that modern audience do not believe the mystical act.


Not from my personal experience it's not. Just the opposite in fact. I'll share two examples that contradict this assumption:

1. At Seattle Magic there was a customer who was looking at the David Blaine book when I arrived. The owner (Tom Frank) was busy with a customer and I began to chat with the fellow looking at the Blaine book. He asked what I thought and I began to share my opinion of David's work. It quickly became clear that he was NOT a magician and had only come in because he saw the Blaine book in the window. And he directly asked me if I thought what Blaine showed on TV "is real." Further conversation indicated that he thought it was improbable but he was disturbed enough to ask someone who might know DAYS after the show had aired.

2. I performed Max Maven's effect The Mockingbird for a group of acquaintances and after the thought of card was revealed a woman
(who is a evangelical Christian) insisted I tell her how the trick was done. And insisted that it was very important to her that she know that it was only a card trick. The conversation made me more uncomfortable than she was.

So I know for certain that at least some people believe something mystical is happening after the effect is over to the point they doubt their personal reality a bit.



Yes, I understand that some folks think is "real". That is because they see it happen, and is credible presentation. They would not believe is real if they think is impossible, only if they think there is unknown phenomenon at work. That is what I speak to. The so-called "woo science" of psychic ability, telekinesis, molecular transmutation, etc.

Mind you, I do not attempt to prove these things, only offer my rather dubious hypotheses. Is better if they doubt what I say. Then they wonder still how is done.

performer
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 12th, 2020, 6:53 am

Bill Duncan wrote:
PavelTheGreat wrote:It is beyond doubt that modern audience do not believe the mystical act.


Not from my personal experience it's not. Just the opposite in fact. I'll share two examples that contradict this assumption:

1. At Seattle Magic there was a customer who was looking at the David Blaine book when I arrived. The owner (Tom Frank) was busy with a customer and I began to chat with the fellow looking at the Blaine book. He asked what I thought and I began to share my opinion of David's work. It quickly became clear that he was NOT a magician and had only come in because he saw the Blaine book in the window. And he directly asked me if I thought what Blaine showed on TV "is real." Further conversation indicated that he thought it was improbable but he was disturbed enough to ask someone who might know DAYS after the show had aired.

2. I performed Max Maven's effect The Mockingbird for a group of acquaintances and after the thought of card was revealed a woman
(who is a evangelical Christian) insisted I tell her how the trick was done. And insisted that it was very important to her that she know that it was only a card trick. The conversation made me more uncomfortable than she was.

So I know for certain that at least some people believe something mystical is happening after the effect is over to the point they doubt their personal reality a bit.


Yes. But you are talking about Americans. They are a very odd race of people who will believe anything, especially if they come from California or especially Sedona in Arizona. Try that stuff in Yorkshire and see how far it gets you!

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 12th, 2020, 8:53 am

Performer Wrote: "Yes. But you are talking about Americans. They are a very odd race of people who will believe anything, especially if they come from California or especially Sedona in Arizona. Try that stuff in Yorkshire and see how far it gets you!"

Oh my gosh! Remind me never to perform there! Last thing I want to do is to develop an acute case of Yorkshire Pudding Puss!

performer
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 12th, 2020, 6:12 pm

This video should give you some idea of what Yorkshire is like. I have reason to believe the populace would not believe David Blaine was "real"
Ask any magician who has worked the working men's clubs there.....................

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2fEqAlc3yY

Paco Nagata
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 13th, 2020, 2:39 am

Bob Farmer wrote:Paco: Save your breath, the man will not be moved. There is no magic in his life and he wants everyone else to be similarly deprived.

You are totally right.
Actually, I should have followed your advice much before. Thank you.
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PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 13th, 2020, 7:37 am

Paco Nagata wrote:
Bob Farmer wrote:Paco: Save your breath, the man will not be moved. There is no magic in his life and he wants everyone else to be similarly deprived.

You are totally right.
Actually, I should have followed your advice much before. Thank you.



Translation: "This man will not be moved. There is no illogic or unreason in his life and he wants everyone else to be similarly rational".

I enjoy Magic, but I do not believe it must be purely fantastical. Nor that the purpose is to escape from Reality. I am sure that you are aware that many people in audience are sceptics, cynics and analysts. They can ruin a show by ridiculing nonsensical claim. Is best I think to address their concerns in order to discourage the hecklers.

Is not wise to let someone in audience make fool of you because your premise or your plot is unsound. Good luck trying to be authoritative when you cannot answer questions. Pseudo-Science is way to respond to doubts (spoken or unspoken) and keep mind of crowd open.

Your kind of Magic rely on ignoring critics, mine deal with them in language they will respectfully consider.

You seem to think that sensibility is bad for Magic. Nobody has ever complained to me that performance was "too possible".

You entirely miss my point. That demonstrating "impossible" give evidence that is possible. If you believe otherwise, I fear you are merely misunderstanding the phrase. Is not paradox to do The Impossible (and still is impossible), it is poor construction. What you should say (as Alfred rightly states above), is that something audience think is Impossible you now do. But then the wonder is not how you do The Impossible. Is now, How you make it possible.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 13th, 2020, 1:57 pm

I really must read this thread properly. It does sound like a subject worth discussing. I shall have to make an effort to see who is right and who is wrong. Very often both sides are right and they are both arguing about nothing. I shall find out if that is the case a bit later.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 13th, 2020, 2:45 pm

performer wrote:I really must read this thread properly. It does sound like a subject worth discussing. I shall have to make an effort to see who is right and who is wrong. Very often both sides are right and they are both arguing about nothing. I shall find out if that is the case a bit later.


Yes, I think this is problem of semantics. Certain words and phrases are meaningless. Is meaningless to say that "nothing" is over there. Nothing is not a thing, it has no place. But it is word we use frequently. This fellow likes to speak of The Impossible" which is another Nothing. I have more to say but busy at moment.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 13th, 2020, 2:54 pm

PavelTheGreat wrote:
performer wrote:I really must read this thread properly. It does sound like a subject worth discussing. I shall have to make an effort to see who is right and who is wrong. Very often both sides are right and they are both arguing about nothing. I shall find out if that is the case a bit later.


Yes, I think this is problem of semantics. Certain words and phrases are meaningless. Is meaningless to say that "nothing" is over there. Nothing is not a thing, it has no place. But it is word we use frequently. This fellow likes to speak of The Impossible" which is another Nothing. I have more to say but busy at moment.



Indeed. The word "nothing" has great significance. This clip will give us the answer to this interminable thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vm51sR4tRY

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 13th, 2020, 3:56 pm

Okay, last try to explain in simple terms. I disagree with idea that Magic is to "do the impossible". Because Impossible (by definition) cannot be done. To "do The Impossible" can only mean to make possible deed that was presumed to be impossible.

I would be so bold as to counter that THE POSSIBLE is required to make Magic.

For it is the sudden realisation that The Impossible has become Possible that cause anazement. Without this climax showing it to be possible, there is no magical effect.

To prove The Impossible (as I have said already) is to strive in vain. To fail. It is not triumphant spectacle. What you are talking about is surprise that impossible is now possible.

Final point: When someone ask, How did you do that? They are believing is possible. You have showed them. If they did not believe it possible, they would not ask. They think now there is way, and they wish to learn.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 14th, 2020, 2:43 am

performer wrote:Indeed. The word "nothing" has great significance. This clip will give us the answer to this interminable thread.

This is interminable because this "fellow" (as he called me) repeat again and again the same things. I have been answered his statements in an orderly manner, sentence by sentence, tidily, but he didn't pay attention to it, messing around everything I said to confuse the debate instead of keeping it organized.
On top of that he has the cheek to critisice my way of debating when actually he is not debating anything but trying to persuade people by repetition to get supporters.
In fact, one of reasons he repeat the same things is that he didn't get any supporter.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 14th, 2020, 5:37 am

performer wrote:I really must read this thread properly. It does sound like a subject worth discussing. I shall have to make an effort to see who is right and who is wrong. Very often both sides are right and they are both arguing about nothing. I shall find out if that is the case a bit later.

Mark, I will show you my position in a nutshell, so that you don't need to read all this repetitive conversation:

Something real has NO magic unless you use the word "magic" as a metaphor of something real, but it is not possible to show magic as something real because it couldn't be magic; so, a paradox. Actually, that paradox is just what makes spectators feel the magic.
Sometimes people call it "real magic," but not because the magician turns magic into a real thing, but because he or she takes magic into the real world, provoking the paradox; so to speak: the illusion.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 14th, 2020, 7:37 am

This is my last time replying the same things regarding this topic:
PavelTheGreat wrote:Impossible (by definition) cannot be done.

That's why people call it magic!
PavelTheGreat wrote:To "do The Impossible" can only mean to make possible deed that was presumed to be impossible.

To do the impossible can only mean to do magic, not to do something possible. (A paradox).
If you make the impossible possible, it would stop being impossible; again: a paradox!

PavelTheGreat wrote:THE POSSIBLE is required to make Magic.

To make what?
PavelTheGreat wrote:The Impossible has become Possible that cause anazement.

I don't think so. People get amazed because the impossible HAS BE DONE, not because has become possible. Keeping the magic as an impossible thing is what amazed people.
PavelTheGreat wrote:To prove The Impossible (as I have said already) is to strive in vain. To fail. It is not triumphant spectacle

Magic doesn't prove the impossible. IT IS something impossible. And it is a triumphant spectacle as something impossible.
PavelTheGreat wrote:Final point: When someone ask, How did you do that? They are believing is possible.

How about spectator reaction?:
-"It can't be!"
- "It's impossible."
- "No way."
- "I don't believe it."
- I see it and I don't believe it!
To finish, a quote from my book (page 202):

"If you get a spectator to think: 'I know that’s impossible, but I’ve just seen it!' Then you have achieved your magician goal, nothing less, but do not try to convince that it is magic".
Last edited by Paco Nagata on January 14th, 2020, 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 14th, 2020, 7:41 am

Paco Nagata: I wish I could agree with you about something you said, but unfortunately, you are wrong on every level.

1) You cannot define Magic so narrowly as the manifestation of The Impossible, because there are many tricks that are clearly Possible. For instance: volunteer choose card and sign. Whole pack is thrown into air and magician catches selected card. This is Magic because it is wonderful deception, but is not Impossible. Magic is often mockery of great skill. And just like Science-Fiction, many tricks may one day become possible through research and development.

2) You are not making case for paradox, you are abusing English language. True paradox must use accurate words to describe phenomenon. You cannot define "impossible" as something that nobody can do. Except magicians! If is impossible, nobody on planet can do it. If one person can perform or demonstrate, is possible. This is not paradoxical argument you make, is false statement, based on misuse of language.

3) You cannot amaze audience by showing The Impossible. To show The Impossible is to demonstrate that it cannot be done. This is failure. To amaze is to show that you can make possible something spectator thinks impossible. If they still believe is impossible after you do it, they are not impressed, You have achieved nothing. They are only astonished if you appear to DO/ REALISE/ ACCOMPLISH/ MAKE POSSIBLE The Impossible. Thus magical experience is belief that magician has found way to make it happen.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 14th, 2020, 8:10 am

PavelTheGreat wrote:Paco Nagata: I wish I could agree with you about something you said, but unfortunately, you are wrong on every level.

What a coinciden I think the same about you!
By the way,
didn't you say you was going to write the last try?
PavelTheGreat wrote:1) You cannot define Magic so narrowly as the manifestation of The Impossible, because there are many tricks that are clearly Possible. For instance: volunteer choose card and sign. Whole pack is thrown into air and magician catches selected card. This is Magic because it is wonderful deception, but is not Impossible. Magic is often mockery of great skill. And just like Science-Fiction, many tricks may one day become possible through research and development.

Magic is supposed to be not real; impossible.
Sciece-Fiction is not magic.
Harry Potter's movies are Science-Fiction? No. They are Fantastic. Two different genres.
PavelTheGreat wrote:2) You are not making case for paradox, you are abusing English language. True paradox must use accurate words to describe phenomenon. You cannot define "impossible" as something that nobody can do. Except magicians! If is impossible, nobody on planet can do it. If one person can perform or demonstrate, is possible. This is not paradoxical argument you make, is false statement, based on misuse of language.

Another great coinciden!
I thought something very similar regarding your English and the way you confuse things. A paradox is a paradox, and it defines very well what the magic concept is, no matter how much you try to confuse it.
PavelTheGreat wrote:3) You cannot amaze audience by showing The Impossible. To show The Impossible is to demonstrate that it cannot be done. This is failure. To amaze is to show that you can make possible something spectator thinks impossible. If they still believe is impossible after you do it, they are not impressed, You have achieved nothing. They are only astonished if you appear to DO/ REALISE/ ACCOMPLISH/ MAKE POSSIBLE The Impossible. Thus magical experience is belief that magician has found way to make it happen. If viewers merely think is trick or illusion they will laugh at quaint routine, not be mystified.

This is another example of how you confuse things after I made it very clear:
Make possible something impossible is a paradox. So, spectators get amazed because the impossible has be done, not because it has become possible, since magic IS NOT a possible thing!
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 14th, 2020, 8:56 am

I got up to the third page and then got bored with the whole thing so I still have no idea who is right and who is wrong. Perhaps the fight hadn't started yet. It must have come later because I was struck by how polite Pavel and Paco were to each other. In fact I didn't really see much disagreement between them. The excitement must have come later.

My own philosophy is to adopt the four line attitude that Monk Watson did when he first mentioned it. It was only four lines! He seemed to believe in it but didn't devote page after page on the subject. Similar to the way I look at it. I sort of believe in it just like Monk did but I am not going to drive myself nuts over it. I am aware of it and that is all I have to be. I don't have to analyse it, beat it to death and drive myself nuts over it. I just have to know that it exists. That is all that I need. After decades of performing experience I will know instinctively when a situation arises when it may apply. If I think it does apply then I will do something about it. If it doesn't apply then I won't. That is all that I, and I am quite sure the rest of you need to know concerning the matter.

Come to think of it, it comes up so rarely that nine times out of ten I don't have to bother. And neither will the rest of you who probably don't perform much at all.

There. Problem solved.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 14th, 2020, 11:39 am

performer wrote:I got up to the third page and then got bored with the whole thing so I still have no idea who is right and who is wrong. Perhaps the fight hadn't started yet. It must have come later because I was struck by how polite Pavel and Paco were to each other. In fact I didn't really see much disagreement between them. The excitement must have come later.

My own philosophy is to adopt the four line attitude that Monk Watson did when he first mentioned it. It was only four lines! He seemed to believe in it but didn't devote page after page on the subject. Similar to the way I look at it. I sort of believe in it just like Monk did but I am not going to drive myself nuts over it. I am aware of it and that is all I have to be. I don't have to analyse it, beat it to death and drive myself nuts over it. I just have to know that it exists. That is all that I need. After decades of performing experience I will know instinctively when a situation arises when it may apply. If I think it does apply then I will do something about it. If it doesn't apply then I won't. That is all that I, and I am quite sure the rest of you need to know concerning the matter.

Come to think of it, it comes up so rarely that nine times out of ten I don't have to bother. And neither will the rest of you who probably don't perform much at all.

There. Problem solved.


Yes, my point was originally to agree with you, Mr. Lewis. That effect can seem "too impossible". In such cases, it is wise to isuggest alternate possibility in order to divert suspicion from true method.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 14th, 2020, 12:54 pm

I thought Paco said that too! I better try and read the rest of this thread so I know who is saying what! For all I know you are both in agreement with each other but feel like fighting anyway!

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 15th, 2020, 2:35 am

You are talking about the The Too Perfect Theory.
A concept I like a lot.

The principal mistake of Pavel was consider the Art of Magic as something (scientifically) rational. The Art of Magic is not scientifically rational, but emotional, not need logical, like other artistic expresions as music, painting...
I think that Bill Duncan already said something similar in this thread.
It seems he doesn't want to understand that.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 15th, 2020, 6:58 am

Paco Nagata wrote:You are talking about the The Too Perfect Theory.
A concept I like a lot.

The principal mistake of Pavel was consider the Art of Magic as something (scientifically) rational. The Art of Magic is not scientifically rational, but emotional, not need logical, like other artistic expresions as music, painting...
I think that Bill Duncan already said something similar in this thread.
It seems he doesn't want to understand that.


The "Too Perfect Theory" (like all theories) require logic. The logic of conclusion that spectator is likely to draw when no other POSSIBLE ANSWER than actual method is conceivable.

You are saying is not Magic if is not "impossible" So you are oppose to letting audience believe it can be done some other way. You would say only, "is Magic! There is no way! That is why is Magic".

This is not solution to problem, this is problem.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 15th, 2020, 7:59 am

PavelTheGreat wrote:
Paco Nagata wrote:You are talking about the The Too Perfect Theory.
A concept I like a lot.

The principal mistake of Pavel was consider the Art of Magic as something (scientifically) rational. The Art of Magic is not scientifically rational, but emotional, not need logical, like other artistic expresions as music, painting...
I think that Bill Duncan already said something similar in this thread.
It seems he doesn't want to understand that.


The "Too Perfect Theory" (like all theories) require logic. The logic of conclusion that spectator is likely to draw when no other POSSIBLE ANSWER than actual method is conceivable.

You are saying is not Magic if is not "impossible" So you are oppose to letting audience believe it can be done some other way. You would say only, "is Magic! There is no way! That is why is Magic".

This is not solution to problem, this is problem.

The Too Perfect Theory is one thing.
The concept of magic (as magic) is another thing.
You confuse things as always to confuse people.
Magic doesn't require logic.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 15th, 2020, 10:28 am

Paco Nagata: I am confusing nothing. Everyone by now knows exactly what I am saying. It is you that confuse issue by speaking of paradox when is really self-contradiction.

1) You cannot make assertion that something is both possible for you to do ,(as magician), and yet impossible. This is like saying that rock is both rock and feather. Is ludicrous. You need to start with good definition of word ("impossible") and be consistent. Otherwise definition is meaningless, and statement is false.

Ironically, what you are doing is creating an "alternate possibility" to confuse impossible with possible, at same time you are saying we should not create "alternate possibility" to suggest different method.

2) You cannot say you understand and agree with "Too Perfect Theory" if you reject logic. Logic here is presumption that audience realise THERE IS METHOD. They know is possible to do trick. When there is only one way to achieve effect, solution is obvious. You are suggesting that magician be in denial of this logic, insist is Magic despite critical thinking.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 15th, 2020, 1:39 pm

Sometimes I wonder if folks expect this audience reaction.
And sometimes I wonder what folks would do if they got it. :D
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 16th, 2020, 2:01 am

Pavel,

the "Too Perfect Theory" is for magicians, whereas the concept of Magic (as magic) is for spectators.
I can't believe I have to highlight it for you!

You will not get to confuse me any more. And I hope not any one.

Your strategy was to mess things up to run away from your own mistakes, like assuming that magic should be consider as a real thing; science; logic, possible... which is an aberration from the point of view of the Art of MAGIC.

Magic is not real, not possible; a fantasy (as everybody knows!), but magicians "do" it! That's why a say it can be defined as a paradox, being the thing that really amazed spectators.

You say that magic is to make possible the impossible, and I say that this is a paradox (actually IT IS a paradox!) So then I deduced that the concept of magic could be two things:

1- Do something impossible that keeps all the time being impossible (not possible), so that people keep being amazed as they see it.
2- A paradox.

But NEVER to make it possible, because it would stop being MAGIC; the magic would disappear.

YOU admited once that "impossible" can't be done by definition. So, according to YOUR statement, to do impossible possible IS a paradox, since it can't be done.
With this, you said something interesting with I agree (like everybody!):
what was once consider impossible can be possible in the future.
Yes.
But... It will NOT BE MAGIC. So can't be used in a magic show, as magic.
And that's the thing you don't understand.

The only thing you'd have left is to make up a definition of magic that fit your point. But that would be cheating since it would not be the definition of the dictionary. And that would be another of your strategies. But, you will not confuse me any more.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby performer » January 16th, 2020, 7:36 am

I still don't know what both of you are chattering about and I just don't have the time available to go through the thread. I will say one little thing though after trying to half read some of this. I do remember Vernon saying that logic and magic don't always go together. I agree that there should be an emotional aspect to it. In fact I mention this in my patter when I remove aces then lose them again for certain tricks. I actually say, "Now that I have found the aces I am going to lose them again, ----which is not very logical. But there's nothing logical about magic anyway!"

It is amazing what weaknesses in a trick can be averted by the right patter. (And the word is PATTER......not that pretentious word "script")

Here is another example this time by Jay Marshall. He says in his ring routine something like, "Now here is an anti-climax which goes with the trick so you may as well see it". I think this is excellent and I have used more or less the same wording in certain effects that have a bit of an anti-climax. It saves me driving myself nuts trying to re-routine the damn thing.

OK. You can go back to chattering about whatever you were both chattering about. One day I might exert myself to read the whole thing properly.
Last edited by performer on January 16th, 2020, 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

PavelTheGreat

Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby PavelTheGreat » January 16th, 2020, 7:37 am

Paco Nagata wrote:Pavel,

the "Too Perfect Theory" is for magicians, whereas the concept of Magic (as magic) is for spectators.
I can't believe I have to highlight it for you!

You will not get to confuse me any more. And I hope not any one.

Your strategy was to mess things up to run away from your own mistakes, like assuming that magic should be consider as a real thing; science; logic, possible... which is an aberration from the point of view of the Art of MAGIC.

Magic is not real, not possible; a fantasy (as everybody knows!), but magicians "do" it! That's why a say it can be defined as a paradox, being the thing that really amazed spectators.

You say that magic is to make possible the impossible, and I say that this is a paradox (actually IT IS a paradox!) So then I deduced that the concept of magic could be two things:

1- Do something impossible that keeps all the time being impossible (not possible), so that people keep being amazed as they see it.
2- A paradox.

But NEVER to make it possible, because it would stop being MAGIC; the magic would disappear.

YOU admited once that "impossible" can't be done by definition. So, according to YOUR statement, to do impossible possible IS a paradox, since it can't be done.
With this, you said something interesting with I agree (like everybody!):
what was once consider impossible can be possible in the future.
Yes.
But... It will NOT BE MAGIC. So can't be used in a magic show, as magic.
And that's the thing you don't understand.

The only thing you'd have left is to make up a definition of magic that fit your point. But that would be cheating since it would not be the definition of the dictionary. And that would be another of your strategies. But, you will not confuse me any more.


Problem is that you are using your definition of Magic and is bad. Good definition is careful to use words that make sense.

My definition of Magic (art form), n., The apparent accomplishment of astonishing deed by mysterious means.

Tradition of Magic includes many things that are possible but difficult or unlikely. Who are you to say these things are not Magic? You who cannot make good definition to save his life.

Paradox consist of REAL THINGS that suggest opposites. When one is false, is not paradox, is nonsense.

Look at this video of James Randi and tell me if is Magic:

https://youtu.be/sHN2kngOtk4

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 16th, 2020, 12:31 pm

I think one of the most perfect tricks in magic - well, at least close-up magic - is the vanish of a sponge ball from the magician's hand, and its reappearance in the spectator's hand along with the one sponge ball they believed they were holding. When the retention pass is done well, the spectator is convinced it was placed into the magician's hand, and they have no reason to believe anything other than that the magician is giving them one (and only one ball) to hold in their hand. As many members who have performed the sponge balls know, the reaction is usually fantastic - women scream, men smile and shake their heads, sometimes applaud and/or exclaim "No ___'ing way!" or similar. To the spectator, THIS is magical. I have never, in all the decades I've done the sponge balls and rabbits, have had a spectator even theorize how it was done - "Well, let's see, you only pretended to place a ball...and then you must've...etc. etc." So what's my point? Well, that magic can never be too perfect. There is only poor, fair, good, or great magic.

When a trick is constructed using bedrock principles of timing and misdirection like (at least the first phase of) the sponge balls, the impression that something truly magical has happened is strongest. I have found, for example, when I used to do a retention pass or French drop with a coin, and it vanished, they were fooled for a moment, but then they immediately thought, and often said (and correctly so), that the coin was in the other hand. Sound familiar? And plucking it out of the air or reaching behind someone's ear to reproduce did not extinguish their belief in the least. When I finally figured out how I was going to accomplish a convincing complete vanish and was able to subtly but convincingly show the hand that made the pass truly empty BEFORE opening up the hand into which the coin was apparently placed showing the vanish, it made all the difference. The most cynical of spectators would concede that they were baffled or blown away. But then next, they would often say, "But where did the coin go?" Before long, I figured out that they needed to have (or more accurately, tangibly see) an answer to that question, and when "the coin" was revealed in their pocket, the "I am not worthies" began to pour forth. If I can't get a coin into someone's pocket ahead of time, I just don't do the trick. Now there is only one way for a coin someone didn't have in their pocket before, to get into their pocket (in my case, a shiny '64 Kennedy half or old Morgan silver dollar.) But did that tip the method, or prompt them to espouse what must have happened, or diminish the effect in any way? In other words, was the trick flawed because "too perfect?" Not in the least...at least based on my experience...

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 17th, 2020, 2:54 am

PavelTheGreat wrote:Problem is that you are using your definition of Magic and is bad.

You say who am I to tell you what magic is.
Why don't you ask the same question to yourself?
Who are you to tell me that my definition of magic is "bad"?
Actually, YOU addressed me FIRTS! So, it is ME who has the right to say who are YOU to to tell me what magic is. My statement is not addressed anyone in particular, but just my thought. So, you SHOULD say YOUR opinion, but not discredit mine. You have been all the time provoking me.
PavelTheGreat wrote:Good definition is careful to use words that make sense.

Again, and again and again, MAGIC has not sense! It has a meaning, but has not scientifically sense by definition.
PavelTheGreat wrote:My definition of Magic (art form), n., The apparent accomplishment of astonishing deed by mysterious means.

Your definition of magic IS NOT art form, but scientific/logic form. The art form is to do FANTASIES. You DO NOT need MAGIC to do mysterious things. You are shifting your point to fit something more correct; very witty of you (and deceptive), but, as I told you, you are not going to confuse me any more.
PavelTheGreat wrote:Tradition of Magic includes many things that are possible but difficult or unlikely.

Dai Vernon said that Houdini didn't do any magic, and I agree with him. Tradition of Magic (as you say) includes much more what I say (in case it really includes what you say). It doesn't make much difference about our topic.

PavelTheGreat wrote:Who are you to say these things are not Magic? You who cannot make good definition to save his life.

YOU are killing Magic!!
If there's someone who tries to save magic, it is me! Actually, this is the ONLY reason I'm still here; to save magic from you. I can't let you do it, because I love MAGIC.

PavelTheGreat wrote:Paradox consist of REAL THINGS that suggest opposites. When one is false, is not paradox, is nonsense.

Paradox is just the definition of something, irrespective of being real or not.
You are so desperate that you don't even know what are you saying. You are running out of arguments, so your non-construtive criticism is aim just to bother me. You are criticising me just for fun.
PavelTheGreat wrote:Look at this video of James Randi and tell me if is Magic:

You're late.
I've already watched all James Randi YouTube's videos, since I'm a great fan of him!
As usual, you mix up things that don't have relation:
You tried to confuse me with The "Too Perfect Theory," which is related to the procedures that magicians use to create the magical illusion (for the spectators), so to speak, theory of magic; FOR MAGICIANS. Nothing to do with the Concept of Magic for the spectators that we were talking about. That's the reason "performer" noticed that we said the same about it!
Now, you use the figure of James Randi when it has no relation with the definition of Magic:
Randi's work is related with how magicians work to create the illusion of MAGIC in the spectator without pretending they have REAL powers. So to speak, to create the illusion of MAGIC, NOT the illusion of something REAL. You tried to confuse (again).
- The concept of magic as an art is one thing.
- How magicians work to create the illusion of MAGIC in the spectator is another thing.
-Debunking people that claim to have supernatural powers, another thing.

If you want to talk about something, tell me, but don't mix them.
Your tendency to mix up things drove you to mix science and logic with the artistic concept of magic.

If someone came here to talk about "The Higgs Boson" or the Tamariz "False Solution Theory" I'm pretty sure that you would relate those things against me, just like that ...
That happens when someone lacks arguments.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 17th, 2020, 4:10 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I think one of the most perfect tricks in magic - well, at least close-up magic - is the vanish of a sponge ball from the magician's hand, and its reappearance in the spectator's hand along with the one sponge ball they believed they were holding. When the retention pass is done well, the spectator is convinced it was placed into the magician's hand, and they have no reason to believe anything other than that the magician is giving them one (and only one ball) to hold in their hand. As many members who have performed the sponge balls know, the reaction is usually fantastic - women scream, men smile and shake their heads, sometimes applaud and/or exclaim "No ___'ing way!" or similar. To the spectator, THIS is magical. I have never, in all the decades I've done the sponge balls and rabbits, have had a spectator even theorize how it was done - "Well, let's see, you only pretended to place a ball...and then you must've...etc. etc." So what's my point? Well, that magic can never be too perfect. There is only poor, fair, good, or great magic.

When a trick is constructed using bedrock principles of timing and misdirection like (at least the first phase of) the sponge balls, the impression that something truly magical has happened is strongest. I have found, for example, when I used to do a retention pass or French drop with a coin, and it vanished, they were fooled for a moment, but then they immediately thought, and often said (and correctly so), that the coin was in the other hand. Sound familiar? And plucking it out of the air or reaching behind someone's ear to reproduce did not extinguish their belief in the least. When I finally figured out how I was going to accomplish a convincing complete vanish and was able to subtly but convincingly show the hand that made the pass truly empty BEFORE opening up the hand into which the coin was apparently placed showing the vanish, it made all the difference. The most cynical of spectators would concede that they were baffled or blown away. But then next, they would often say, "But where did the coin go?" Before long, I figured out that they needed to have (or more accurately, tangibly see) an answer to that question, and when "the coin" was revealed in their pocket, the "I am not worthies" began to pour forth. If I can't get a coin into someone's pocket ahead of time, I just don't do the trick. Now there is only one way for a coin someone didn't have in their pocket before, to get into their pocket (in my case, a shiny '64 Kennedy half or old Morgan silver dollar.) But did that tip the method, or prompt them to espouse what must have happened, or diminish the effect in any way? In other words, was the trick flawed because "too perfect?" Not in the least...at least based on my experience...

That's a good point, Alfred. One of the most "perfect" tricks is the sponge ball that goes to the spectator's hands, since the spectator can't even think about a stooge, which is the very last thing that lay people resort to when it comes to think of a solution. However, as you say, it's impossible to create a "perfect trick," since there's always a solution that spectators can think about, as magic doesn't exist. However, the illusion of MAGIC hits them, and the more you get to hit that illusion, the more MAGICAL looks like for them (and for you!). So, along the story of MAGIC as a show, the purpose have been always to find the best way to get the illusion of MAGIC to hit spectators, and, paradoxically, one of the thing to achieve that is to avoid to do a "too perfect" trick, precisely because of that MAGIC is not real.
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Paco Nagata » January 17th, 2020, 4:33 am

performer wrote:I still don't know what both of you are chattering about and I just don't have the time available to go through the thread.

That's because you are a well experienced magician, Mark. It's perfectly normal you can't find anything productive in this conversation, because there aren't! And that's because of the non-construtive criticism toward me by Pavel.
I have recently noticed that he may be criticising me just for fun; to bother me, maybe because I have got a good definition for the concept of magic and wrote it in a free e-book... And that simple thing seems to annoy him.
performer wrote:I will say one little thing though after trying to half read some of this. I do remember Vernon saying that logic and magic don't always go together. I agree that there should be an emotional aspect to it. In fact I mention this in my patter when I remove aces then lose them again for certain tricks. I actually say, "Now that I have found the aces I am going to lose them again, ----which is not very logical. But there's nothing logical about magic anyway!"

I couldn't agree more.
performer wrote:OK. You can go back to chattering about whatever you were both chattering about. One day I might exert myself to read the whole thing properly.

Don't waste your valuable time, Mark! Unless you are REALLY boring and don't really have any other thing to do. ^_^
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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby Dave Le Fevre » January 17th, 2020, 5:07 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I think one of the most perfect tricks in magic - well, at least close-up magic - is the vanish of a sponge ball from the magician's hand, and its reappearance in the spectator's hand along with the one sponge ball they believed they were holding
I'm in two minds about this. I clearly remember the very first time that I saw this effect performed, on TV many decades ago. It was performed beautifully, both technically and presentation-wise. The spectator's jaw fell through the floor. I wanted to get that reaction. I rolled up a couple of tissues and devised a false transfer that suited me, then bought some sponge balls.

I've performed it countless times. It even passes that toughest of tests, in that my wife thinks that it's great.

However - and here's the problem - when it saw it performed that very first time, my reaction was that he'd pretended to put a ball into his hand and had then put both balls into her hand. That reaction wasn't because I was a conjuror, it was because I'm a logical person.

So if that was my reaction, I cannot believe that nobody else reacts that way. I have a vague memory that of the myriad times that I've performed it, one or two spectators have commented that that's what I must've done. However, that may be a false memory.

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Re: The Too Perfect Theory

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 17th, 2020, 7:57 am

You know, sometimes magicians can be guilty of what I would call "magician-think." Theorizing, philosophizing, ruminating, pontificating...I know that I have been as guilty of it as anyone - maybe more, at times. However, there is always one bright, radiant light in the magical sky that guides me back to the path - at least the one I want to be on - to, above all, delight and astonish the people without whom what I do has no meaning. And that light, above every magic book on earth, is the reaction of the people for whom I perform to what I do and what I say. That is why I have said, again and again, that layman are our teachers. They will let us know, in no uncertain terms, when the magic is great...and when it's not. But what might work well for me, will not necessarily work for others, and vice versa. Sometimes what we think will be great, might very well fall flat. But like the customer, the audience is never wrong...

And neither are wives. So, Dave, listen to your wife - she knows!


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