No books on Theory11

Apr 17, 2013
886
4
No, they don't.

Don't fall into the hole of thinking that your opinion (And this is an opinion) is the absolute truth and only way.

People will learn how they will learn and your preferences make no difference to anyone else. If someone wants to learn exclusively from videos, that's just fine.

Yes people learning from just video is fine. It leaves the really good stuff that is in books only to those of use who love out books. Magic was around for thousands of years before there was video and people learned the craft. Videos are just the easy way. Soon those who do love the art and want to branch out from the few card trick that are on video, then they will dive into books.

It seems like videos are the same as the old 50 tricks for a dollar booklets in the back of comic books, just flashier and better effects.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,766
2,868
Well, for a very long time the only way to learn magic was to learn it from another magician. I see videos as a hybrid between that and books. While there is certainly a vast wealth of knowledge in books that will probably never be put to video, that doesn't mean video is inferior. It's just another resource for those who choose to use it.
 
Apr 17, 2013
886
4
Well, for a very long time the only way to learn magic was to learn it from another magician. I see videos as a hybrid between that and books. While there is certainly a vast wealth of knowledge in books that will probably never be put to video, that doesn't mean video is inferior. It's just another resource for those who choose to use it.

There have been books for a few hundred years now. With video you end up with more people learning in the style of the guy teaching not learning and coming into their own as a performer. Like I said earlier, with find a magician on SAM and IBM and skype you can still find a mentor no matter where you live.
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,188
16
39
London
Two magicians who didn't learn from books are Richard Turner and Jerry Andrus. To my mind that's a pretty good argument that learning from books isn't necessarily the only way to go. Don't get me wrong, I love books. I love magic books, philosophy books, science books, novels, comics...basically any manifestation of the printed word and I'm all over it. But, I think that we shouldn't look down on people who, for whatever reason, choose to learn in a different way. As Sherlock Holmes said, "from a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of either". In the same way, a truly creative and insightful magician will produce creative and insightful work whatever their source material.
 
Aug 30, 2012
232
1
No, they don't.

Don't fall into the hole of thinking that your opinion (And this is an opinion) is the absolute truth and only way.

People will learn how they will learn and your preferences make no difference to anyone else. If someone wants to learn exclusively from videos, that's just fine.

You are right man. Wasn't really thinking. Sorry.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
Personally, barring a learning disability like dyslexia, I can't imagine why anyone would want to only learn from one medium. On the other hand, if they really want to hobble their education like that, more gigs for me.
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,188
16
39
London
They didn't learn from videos either...

Correct. That's not really the point, though. I'm saying that it would be very easy to closed-mindedly say that someone couldn't be a good magician if they hadn't studied the classics. Richard Turner and Jerry Andrus prove that to be wrong. In a similar way, it's easy to say that someone can't be a good magician if they insist on only learning from video. Given that the first argument has been proven wrong, it would be foolish to contend that the second couldn't be.
 
Apr 17, 2013
886
4
Correct. That's not really the point, though. I'm saying that it would be very easy to closed-mindedly say that someone couldn't be a good magician if they hadn't studied the classics. Richard Turner and Jerry Andrus prove that to be wrong. In a similar way, it's easy to say that someone can't be a good magician if they insist on only learning from video. Given that the first argument has been proven wrong, it would be foolish to contend that the second couldn't be.

Andrus wrote the book on classic safety pin magic. Turner is blind and never learned braille. These guys know and or wrote classics. What you are throwing out is a straw man. If you want to cut off the treasure trove that is in books fine. The working pros making the videos you are buying are teaching things based on what they learned in the books. So keep buying the $40 DVDs with 10 effects and I'll keep buying the $10 books with those 10 effects 20 more effects plus different slights proper credits and they theory on the effects. Better yet buy things that are $10 on the wire that is taught on the cover of a self working book, but do not say that you can learn everything you need to know from video only.

PS i'm done talking to the wall on this one.
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,188
16
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London
Andrus wrote the book on classic safety pin magic. Turner is blind and never learned braille. These guys know and or wrote classics.

Yes. How does that mean that learning from books is the only valid learning method?

What you are throwing out is a straw man.

You don't understand what "straw man" means.

If you want to cut off the treasure trove that is in books fine.

I don't.

The working pros making the videos you are buying are teaching things based on what they learned in the books. So keep buying the $40 DVDs with 10 effects and I'll keep buying the $10 books with those 10 effects 20 more effects plus different slights proper credits and they theory on the effects. Better yet buy things that are $10 on the wire that is taught on the cover of a self working book,

Just to save you looking up what a straw man argument is, here's a lovely example. You'll notice I haven't ever suggested that I only learn from videos, but because your argument is predicated on this video vs books dichotomy you have to characterise me as someone who only learns from videos in order to disagree with me. My contention, however, is slightly more nuanced than that.

but do not say that you can learn everything you need to know from video only.

I think it shows a lack of imagination to assume that no-one could possibly have the correct type of intelligence and creativity enough to take information from video learning only and use it to become a great magician. Is it a style that suits everyone? Probably not. But a generalised denigration of everyone who prefers learning from video doesn't really have much foundation as an intellectual position.

PS i'm done talking to the wall on this one.

Cool. Rather than talking to the wall, I'd recommend reading some books on expertise studies or the education of gifted children. I used to think that book-learning was best-learning too, but I've now come round to the idea that education (especially self-education) to expert level is not so much a matter of learning what the masters have done before, but, rather, providing for oneself whatever stimulus is necessary to draw out the innate creativity and insight we all possess. Some people might become great magicians without ever studying the work of another magician. Others might need to be immersed in the history and culture before they can fully grasp its potential. Yet others might be able to infer all the possibilities of magic from a single episode of Mindfreak.
 

Lyle Borders

vp of operations // theory11
Staff member
Aug 5, 2008
1,570
798
Seattle, WA
www.theory11.com
Hey guys!

It is all a matter of opinions here. Which is better? Books? No. DVDs? No. They each have their own merits and shortcomings. Books are full of hidden treasures, and often provide great value, however they are not something that works well for visual learners. That, and the best books often take a significantly large portion of someone's life to put together. Lots of awesome material, but not the perfect format. DVDs do a lot of what books can't (show the actual trick visually), and you can cherry pick effects that you like in many cases, however the detail of a book cannot be replicated in a DVD.

In a more perfect world, you would learn magic directly from the person who teaches it, one on one. Books and DVDs are as close as many people can get to this. Why limit yourself to one or the other? If I see an old $10 bill and a new, crisp $10 bill on the ground, I am not going to pick up just the new $10 bill because "it is better". I am going to pick up both. If I saw a roll of quarters, I would pick that up too. Find good things wherever they exist. You don't need to buy every book and every DVD, that's not what I am saying. Instead, do your research and then buy what you need. If you see an effect on DVD that fits your style and you think you have a use for it, buy it. If you find a book that discusses your kind of magic and you think you have a use for it, buy it.

Better? Best? It is all irrelevant. Learn what knowledge you can learn from whatever source you can learn it from. theory11 is obviously focused on DVDs and downloads, but that does not mean that books are not important. Quite the opposite.

// L

PS: ;)
 
Apr 17, 2013
886
4
Yet others might be able to infer all the possibilities of magic from a single episode of Mindfreak.

This line invalidated your whole argument. Mindfreak is not magic. It is poor entertainment made solely for TV and contributed to the current crop of move monkeys. Also the better yet buy things that are $10 on the wire that is taught on the cover of a self working book, is a real thing. Rick Lax has put out effects that are on the cover of self working books for more than the cost of the book. He has put out effects that are life hacks you can find on the internet. The "I need it now" DVD learners are just throwing money at wanting to know how things are done.

You can't know where you are going unless you know where the art has been. That is why you see things like ACR credited to David Blaine and MacDoand's Aces cradisted to Ricky Jay. They don't know where the effects and moves came from.

In a more perfect world, you would learn magic directly from the person who teaches it, one on one.

With skype and find a magician on the IBM and SAM websites you can get the one on one of a mentor.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
For the sake of trying to add some nuance, it's not the DVDs I dislike, it's one particular phrase I hear from people who only ever buy DVDs and downloads: "I'm a visual learner." A little bit of knowledge in the hands of a fool is problematic.

The thing is, visual learning style is a real thing. The other two types are auditory and kinesthetic. But they don't mean what most people think they mean. It's not about what stimuli you learn from. If that were the case, a book with line drawings of hands would work just as well as a DVD to educate these kids who insist they're too visual to learn from books. Rather, it's how you contextualize the information you take in.

True visual learners like myself create vast, intricate maps and webs of interconnected information in our minds. You see this? That's what goes on in my brain. It has nothing to do with whether or not the thing I'm learning from has moving pictures or not.

Auditory learners have much more structured thinking. They break all their knowledge down into lists, categories, dissertations, flow-charts, timelines. Like music, everything has a clear and logically consistent progression in their minds.

Kinesthetic learners have to do something. After hearing a lecture, they then need to go out and apply it to something or they'll have a much harder time internalizing it. They think in an extremely abstract level of actions, motions, and cause and effect. I'm told that a lot of autistic people are kinesthetic learners, but that might be apocryphal.

The point is, it's not the medium. There are only a handful of exceptions where the medium really does make a difference. This insistence by my generation and younger that they only want to buy DVDs because they've self-diagnosed themselves as visual learners without any comprehension of what that actually means is bull****.
 
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Lyle Borders

vp of operations // theory11
Staff member
Aug 5, 2008
1,570
798
Seattle, WA
www.theory11.com
With skype and find a magician on the IBM and SAM websites you can get the one on one of a mentor.

I must be old school because when it comes to learning it is 95% books 5% everything else.

And books and DVDs exist because, in the real world, not everyone has access to mentors all day, every day. When opportunities to work with a mentor exist, I would think someone was crazy for not taking advantage of it, but these opportunities don't exist often for everyone.

I grew up in Wyoming and South Dakota, two states with populations of less than 1 million people across the entire state. I had ZERO contact with other magicians. There simply were no opportunities for this. I am glad for magic books (and eventually DVDS and downloads) that allowed me to continue to learn. I now live in Seattle where there are other magicians, but even now finding time with other magicians (that works for both parties) is not easy. When it is possible, it is not something you can fit into a couple spare minutes with a busy schedule. There is something that both DVDs and books offer that is better than meeting with a real person.

Again, my point is that there is no single best solution. The best solution is what works for you in your situation. Don't turn down knowledge when it is available to you.

// L
 
Jul 13, 2010
526
34
There are books which come with a DVD.
Everything is explained in the book, and the DVD shows some of the tricks in front of an audience(performance only).
IMO, that`s the way it should be nowadays. Best of both worlds.
The detailed explanations in the book, with additional tips and remarks, and the timing and interaction of all elements on DVD.
 
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