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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #1 
Wired magazine had an interesting story on memorizing. Maybe there's something valuable here for someone.

LINK

Mike
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for the link Mike.

Studying the human mind and how the memory works has intrigued me for many years. Our perception of events affects our memory recall, and the more we as magicians/mentalists learn about the workings of the mind the better we can do our job.

In a recent thread I discussed the importance of recapping an effect, or 'Reprising with Gold Paint' as Ian Rowland chooses to call it.

Most often when discussing memory we think along the lines of Harry Lorayne and developing a super-power memory, but I think the opposing view is equally important to our work as magicians... it would definitely benefit us to understand how to reshape a super-power memory.

Juan Tamariz and Dani Daortiz are two magicians who discuss, and practice such concepts. Last year I was speaking with Gareth and he mentioned 'The Magic Rainbow' by Tamariz has a great section on the memory and how best to use it your advantage during magic effects. I have yet to read the book as it's a little of my price range right now.

However the Wired article linked above does mention a rather interesting sounding book which I will take the time to read, it's called 'The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting and the science of False Memory' by Dr. Julia Shaw.

"Most memories never make it into your long-term memory,” says Shaw. “That’s why it’s so important to repeat the information, to transform a short-term memory into a long-term memory.".

I've linked a guest blog with the author discussing her book below, there is a lot of useful information to ponder here:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/the-memory-illusion/
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #3 
Memory is fascinating on so many levels.  My father suffered from Alzheimer's and I was able to observe its effects first-hand.  I pray I won't suffer through it myself as it is brutal.  I say suffer, and I'm not sure how much my dad actually suffered in the traditional sense, but it robbed him of most all of the pleasure that comes from day-to-day life.

Getting back to memory in general, it has long been known that memories can be manipulated.  My grandfather, a police detective, used to tell me he was trained to not believe anything he heard and only half of what he saw.  The heard part was due to the fact that when interviewing witnesses to an event, you would get vastly different stories in most instances.  In fact, that is one of the "tells" of when folks are lying, their stories are too similar.

First of all, memory is shaped by the individual.  They will remember something differently than another simply because they are a unique individual, having a different psychological make-up.  A technical person will likely remember minute details where an artistic person might remember the shape of something or its color.  I'm generalizing, but you get my point I hope.

So knowing that, and if you have spent a bit of time with your audience to be able to analyze what sorts of individuals are in the group, can you use that information to your advantage?  Would it help you to choose a proper volunteer?

Getting off track here, but thought it was worthy of thought.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #4 
      Amazing!  Yeah, stay away from HOW TO DEVELOP A SUPER-POWER MEMORY, PAGE-A-MINUTE MEMORY BOOK, MEMORY MAKES MONEY, REMBERING PEOPLE (The Key To Success), SUPER MEMORY-SUPER STUDENT,  THE MEMORYI BOOK, AGELESS MEMORY, etc.
            First listed published in 1956 and still out there.  A number of those listed on best-seller lists all over the world. Many millions of copies sold, and published in many languages.  Systems used by our ex-Secy of STate ("Harry, your wonderfulmemory training systems helped make me a general!"); Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Carl Reiner, Mike Bloomberg Alan Alda, many politicians (who don't want me to use their names because then they'd never be able to say "I don't remember" at a senate hearing!), and on and on.

     Ya' gotta' start reading the good stuff, folks!
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #5 

Having actually read both articles, as far as I can make out, the subject is not about memory systems. The author is not selling a memory course. She’s selling a book about why we don’t remember, or don’t remember accurately. How our memory generally works fine, but fails us sometimes, tricks us sometimes and confuses us. Sometimes. Although there are brief nods to memory systems, it’s not particularly concerned with them.

She doesn’t mention magicians, of course, and why should she. But what she seems to be saying is something that all magicians know. Which is why (false) recapping is always a good idea. “The cards were shuffled, you had a free choice of this and that” etcetera. Listen to what I'm saying now and you won't remember that the cards weren't really shuffled. It leads the spectators up and down the garden path.

It’s also why people describe tricks they think they’ve seen, but haven’t really. It may be bad news for stuff we want to commit to memory, or think we’ve committed to memory, but it’s great news when it comes to magic trick discrepancies.

And, to repeat, she’s plugging her book.

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #6 
Points well taken Alan.

Tamariz has a lot of work on the idea you singled out i.e. creating a false sense of what actually happened. I recall seeing him perform long ago. He had a guy agree that he had shuffled the deck when in reality he had shuffled in a previous trick. Meanwhile, Juan had created a stack for the current trick. 

M
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks a lot for the LINK, Mike.

Very helpful for magical purposes.

Certainly, one of the secret of Tamariz's success in magic, is how well he makes spectators "remember" un-happened things.

In my beginnings I was so eager to learn how to do magic that I used to analyse carefully Tamariz's performances on TV, and discovered some of his great psicological tricks up to the point of applying them ;-)

Brother John Hamman had it very clear:

“Magic happens not in the hands of the performer, but in the minds of the spectators.”

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