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Socrates

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People often misremember details of the magic tricks they see, creating a false memory of the event. This happens in our day-to-day lives too. Below I have linked an article from the BBC on the subject:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24286258

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #2 
     What a wonderful performance by Juan. That's Blown Away which, I believe, first appeared in APOCALYPSE. I've been "killing" with Blown Further Away, from JAW DROPPERS! because it's taught there starting with a shuffled-by-the-spectator deck. It's entirely impromptu. Check it out; it really is a "jaw dropper."
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Magic-Aly

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Socrates wrote: "People often misremember details of the magic tricks they see, creating a false memory of the event. This happens in our day-to-day lives too."

I did not reproduce his entire post, only the segment above, but I enjoyed all of it, and thought it was excellent.

This is such an important principle that magicians can implement to their advantage to help strengthen the impact of the magic immensely.  The illusion of magic transpires on at least two levels: 1. Those illusions that deceive the senses; and 2. Those illusions which deceive the rational mind.

An example from my own experience would be what I would call my "before and after" performances of the Poker Player's Picnic," which I originally learned from The Royal Road to Card Magic. The "before" was the way I performed the routine for almost 20 years.  It consisted of surreptitiously setting up the aces on top, doing a sequence of false shuffles and cuts, then handing the deck to the spectator to do the 
cutting-into-four-packet and dealing procedure that ultimately culminated in my turning up the top card of each packet to show an ace on top of each.  A strong routine it was, to be sure, with very good reactions.  Yes, very good, but not, as Harry might put it, "jaw dropping."

Now for the "after" part.  Recently, I added two new touches, and I believe I may have mentioned one of them in an early post on another thread. The first touch is to palm off the 4 aces before the routine begins and hand the deck to the spectator for shuffling.  This enables me to obtain agreement from the spectator right in the beginning, that they have shuffled to their satisfaction. ( I won't discuss right now the subtleties of how I personally achieve both the palming and replacement undetectably unless someone specifically would like to know).  After they then do the cutting and dealing, I ask them to turn over the top card of each packet.  That is the second touch I added to my presentation.

So now, in the final analysis, I am able to recapitulate, as follows: "Cathy, you shuffled the cards," "You yourself cut the deck into four piles," "you dealt the cards," (and now for the BIG LIE), "And I never even touched the cards."  They invariably agree to all the foregoing statements, including the big lie (given that I took the deck back from them momentarily after they initially shuffled in order to replace the 4 aces on top, a fact never remembered). Then I have them turn over the aces themselves, reinforcing, after the fact, the "I never even touched the cards" part. The reactions are absolutely incredible.  Even some of the brightest and most analytical people for whom I have performed it (you know the type who try to reverse-engineer the effect), are utterly baffled, saying they have no clue or even conceivable theory of how it was done.

So now, to return full circle to Socrates' point, which can be capsulized in his observation: "Distorting memory for entertainment purposes is something we can do easily if we contemplate our routines, and write the 'suggestions' into our scripts. It is that simple."  And I would add: It's powerful.

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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #4 
Gary Kurtz touches on this notion in Leading With Your Head, while writing about his nod affirmation technique.
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Stevie Ray Christian

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Reply with quote  #5 
Great topic! Who doesn't want to create memorable performances? As performers we certainly can control our patron's perceptions (and ultimately their recall) to a certain extent.

This discussion reminded me of a very interesting piece about memory from the brilliant program RadioLab hosted by Jad Abmrad and Robert Krulwich. Some of the principles discussed will be familiar to those who've read Harry Lorayne's writings on memory. 

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91569-memory-and-forgetting/

What struck me when I first heard this RadioLab episode, was the postulate (discussed after 16:30) that a recurring memory is not a recollection of an event. Instead, a recurring memory is a reconstruction of the previous memory; in other words, a memory of a memory of a memory... and so on.

Here are a couple of quotes to stir your curiosity:

"... the act of remembering, on a literal level, is an act of creation."
"... the more you remember something, the less accurate [the memory] becomes."

This certainly explains the experience of reuniting with a spectator from a past performance who credits the magician with an "unforgettable" miracle clearly beyond the realm of card sleights.

At 26:30, there is also an intriguing conversation about distorting, altering or planting false memory.

Warning: RadioLab is addicting... and there are 13 seasons of episodes.



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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #6 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic-Aly


An example from my own experience would be what I would call my "before and after" performances of the Poker Player's Picnic," which I originally learned from The Royal Road to Card Magic. The "before" was the way I performed the routine for almost 20 years.  It consisted of surreptitiously setting up the aces on top, doing a sequence of false shuffles and cuts, then handing the deck to the spectator to do the 
cutting-into-four-packet and dealing procedure that ultimately culminated in my turning up the top card of each packet to show an ace on top of each.  A strong routine it was, to be sure, with very good reactions.  Yes, very good, but not, as Harry might put it, "jaw dropping."

Now for the "after" part.  Recently, I added two new touches, and I believe I may have mentioned one of them in an early post on another thread. The first touch is to palm off the 4 aces before the routine begins and hand the deck to the spectator for shuffling.  This enables me to obtain agreement from the spectator right in the beginning, that they have shuffled to their satisfaction. ( I won't discuss right now the subtleties of how I personally achieve both the palming and replacement undetectably unless someone specifically would like to know).  After they then do the cutting and dealing, I ask them to turn over the top card of each packet.  That is the second touch I added to my presentation.

So now, in the final analysis, I am able to recapitulate, as follows: "Cathy, you shuffled the cards," "You yourself cut the deck into four piles," "you dealt the cards," (and now for the BIG LIE), "And I never even touched the cards."  They invariably agree to all the foregoing statements, including the big lie (given that I took the deck back from them momentarily after they initially shuffled in order to replace the 4 aces on top, a fact never remembered). Then I have them turn over the aces themselves, reinforcing, after the fact, the "I never even touched the cards" part. The reactions are absolutely incredible.  Even some of the brightest and most analytical people for whom I have performed it (you know the type who try to reverse-engineer the effect), are utterly baffled, saying they have no clue or even conceivable theory of how it was done.



We have almost identical patter at the end of the trick. I hope this comes out right and the pictures are not too small

 

6PW37_XM58.png 

 


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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #7 
Oh, the pictures ARE too small! However, I am sure there is some clever computer way of making them bigger which is beyond my understanding. One thing you can do is press the control button and the plus sign at the same time and that seems to make them bigger. I get great reaction from Poker Player's Picnic. I have experimented with the palming and people shuffling the cards when I first learned it but in the end got fed up with it. I didn't like the pace of the trick slowing as it can be slightly convoluted enough as it is. I found it didn't make much difference. To me at any rate. Everyone is different of course. And naturally I am VERY different!
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Mark, the picture pulls up perfectly fine for me. I think that most of the fellas know how to stretch the image after they click on it.

Rudy

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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #9 
Mark - thanx, it's a fabulous cartoon and the lines are clever.  Yes, as Rudy noted, I was able to stretch the images almost as easily as I am able to stretch the truth...
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #10 
Salguod Nairb strikes again.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicfish
Salguod Nairb strikes again.


What/who is Salguod Nairb?

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #12 
Oh, I see that its Brian Douglas backward and it the name of the cartoonist. 
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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #13 

Yes. He did my pitch trailer videoclips. I actually sell a set of 3DVDs where I teach the pitch business. I never promote them because believe it or not I am reluctant to sell them. I don't want to set up svengali pitchmen all over the place.

Here is one example of Brian's work. I may have posted it before but some of you may not have seen it. Some people found it hilarious but it wasn't intended to be. Still, it does show my attitude to these matters.

https://marklewistradeshowmagiciansecrets.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/the-art-of-the-svengali-pitchman-part-two/

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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #14 
The Poker players Picnic is a great effect in anyone's hands, unless of course you happen to be this guy:

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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #15 
I don't think that was any big deal. He seemed to get out of the problem OK. And for all we know perhaps that was a deliberate mistake.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #16 
Are you joking Mark?
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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #17 

I am not joking. I had another look at it just now and I don't think it was a deliberate mistake after all. Or if it was then it is not one I favour. However, there are a few tricks such as Vernon's one hand aces thing where three aces are produced and then  the wrong card appears but  you find it in the end by counting. For example there is a great trick in Harry's "The Magic Book" which I use frequently (I forget the title of the trick) where you cut to the aces. You  get three but the last one it seems like  you made a mistake but you spell to it. Same kind of idea. Maybe that was what this guy was attempting. In fact I swear a read a variation somewhere where you do this. I will have to check it out.

Having said that he probably did screw up. But so what? He got out of it OK. The effect would have been stronger if the thing had worked out but it isn't the end of the world. Sometimes magicians try too hard to be perfect and nobody is. And some wise character from a previous century (it might have been Robert-Houdin but I am not sure) stated that he judged a magician by how well they get out of various mishaps more than he judged them by how well they did a trick.

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Unfinished Sentenc

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Reply with quote  #18 
Yes, there's a version of Poker Player's Picnic in Card College where the first three aces are produced and then the magician apparently made a mistake since the last card was - let's say - a five. The magician would then say that the five is actually an "indicator card" which tells the position of the final ace by counting five cards.

However, that's not the case in that video. After the "masked magician" produced the first ace, he then turned over a nine which was of course a mistake. He then began fumbling the cards and began to say some nonsense about the spectator doing something special....

While I commend him for getting out of that mess, you can't deny the fact that this was quite embarrassing.
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Brian Douglas

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicfish
Salguod Nairb strikes again.


Yep...


I've been playing around with the Poker's Player's Picnic.  Trying to use 2 decks and treat it as a do as I do; with they shuffle their deck and I shuffle mine - then switch decks and cut...

I have mixed feeling about the ending though with all the cards being Aces.  I think it may play better if the 2 decks are 'random' but match. 

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culldavid

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Reply with quote  #20 
I was shown a version of Poker Players
Picnic which uses the threes instead of the aces.Basically the same trick and that is the way that I do it now.It makes sense as your moving 3 cards All the time.
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Brian Douglas

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Quote:
Originally Posted by culldavid
I was shown a version of Poker Players Picnic which uses the threes instead of the aces.Basically the same trick and that is the way that I do it now.It makes sense as your moving 3 cards All the time.


I move 1 card, 2 cards, 3 cards, and 4 cards respectfully.  I also do an initial turnover of the top cards of each pile to prep for the later pairings.

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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #22 
There is a trick called 'The Four Ace Merry Mix-Up' in Rufus Steele's 'Card Tricks That Are Easy To Learn to Do' (1935) which I recommend you investigate... it also features in Richard Osterlind's 'Dynamic Mysteries' (1999) where he has the following to say about the effect:

Consequently, though it's old, the method is little-known today, and despite the directness of the method, it completely devastates people. After you read it, you may still disbelieve me. So, rather than taking my word for it, here's what Wilfrid Jonson, an expert British cardman, wrote in his book:

"We can remember, many years ago, seeing a well-known professional magician do this trick to a gathering of experts in the Magic Circle Club Room, and completely deceive all of them. And we can remember, also, their looks of blank astonishment when the simple secret was revealed to them." [cool]

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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #23 
Socrates, thank you for calling this gem to our attention. As magicians, by definition, we often do not see things from the perspective of the layman. Thus, it is easy to overlook that which is simple yet powerful. I am really glad I have the book and will be investigating this immediately and look forward to trying it out on our teachers - the laymen.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #24 
Another stratagem is to recap the spectator's actions but embellish the situation. For example telling the spectator that they merely thought of a card as opposed to selecting it. If you are lucky that is the memory and later they tell their friends that they thought of a card and you read their mind.
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #25 
Glad you ressurected this thread Socrates. I was thinking about this since speaking to a spectator a day or so ago from a show 2 weeks ago. I asked him which trick stood out to him the next few days after the show. He said that the one that had devoured his mind was,

“When you showed us what order cards are in when they come from the factory, I didn’t know that. Then you gave the cards to me to shuffle, then I gave them to Shane and he shuffled them, then Shane gave them to Jenny and she shuffled them then Jenny placed the cards back on the table, you waved your hand over the cards and then you showed the cards and they were all back to that factory order! I was talking to Shane about it this morning, darndest thing I’ve ever seen!”

“Yeah it’s a good trick isn’t it Tim.” I replied.

Tim’s recall isn’t even close to what happened but the above is his solid memory.

I had done a shuffle demo and then moved onto a pick a card trick that was preceded by spec shuffles.

I’d love to say this was a function of my impeccable structuring of my act but I assure you it was a fluke. But rest assured I’ve taken note of the lesson.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #26 
I'll shoehorn in another recommendation here to read Dr. Kuhn's book, Experiencing the Impossible. He covers this topic nicely and offers insight into its potential uses.

Av

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #27 
This seems apropos to the discussion at hand.

THIS EVENT IS FOR MEMBERS OF THE CHICAGO MAGIC ROUND TABLE IN GOOD STANDING ONLY. (NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)


*************

What can magicians learn from cognitive scientists?


Recent years have seen widespread interest in and call for a “science of magic” that learns from the psychological insights and methods of magicians, who are, themselves, informal cognitive scientists testing their hypotheses in the real world. In just the last decade, renowned magicians, like Teller, Mac King, James Randi, and Apollo Robbins, have authored papers meant to be read not by magicians, but by scientists who study attention and perception. In his presentation, Dr. Barnhartwill discuss the long history of interaction between psychologists and magicians. Along the way, he will introduce some of the techniques and theories from the world of magic that have inspired research in laboratories around the world (including his own) and will highlight what science can offer to performing magicians.

Anthony Barnhart is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Arizona State University, where he began his graduate career with the intention of being a language researcher. To this end, he has published research examining the processes underlying handwritten word perception, a domain that has been largely ignored by psychologists. However, Tony is also a part-time professional magician with over 20 years of performing experience. His research trajectory changed in 2010 with the publication of the book Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about our Everyday Deceptions, in which he was featured as a consultant and teacher on the science of stage magic. The scientific interest that the book garnered motivated Tony to shift his focus toward the interface of science and magic. His current research on the topic explores inattentional blindness and the techniques magicians use to manipulate attentional deployment in time. He regularly teaches a college course devoted to the cognitive science of magic. More information is available at http://www.AnthonyBarnhart.com.

July 2019: I am pleased to announce that I am conference chair for the 2019 meeting of the Science of Magic Association, to be held at the Chicago Magic Lounge July 14-16, 2019. More details are available at https://scienceofmagicassoc.org/
!
 
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