The Problem With Magic And The Internet

Mar 4, 2018
101
85
I agree that nobody should act as an authority on a subject they have no experience in.

Your post suggests that if a person doesn't have hands-on experience, that makes their advice invalid. Was this your implication?
In a manner of speaking yes. It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite films, Good Will Hunting. In a scene with Robin William's character and Will Hunting he mentions that Will can study all about the history of the Sistine Chapel but to actually go there and look up and experience it for yourself is another thing entirely. So I stand by my implication that hands-on experience trumps the advice of those that have not experienced it personally.
For reference:
 
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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,770
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I would say that the validity of practical advice (as opposed to theoretical advice) is directly proportional to the amount of experience the person giving out said advice has.

Just like an experiment/theory gains more validity the more often it can be repeated with the same results.

If I'm looking for advice on building a shed, I'm going to pay much more attention to the guy who's built a hundred sheds that are still standing, than the guy who's read a book on making sheds but never built one.

If someone hasn't used this information in a practical setting, how can we have any trust that they know it will work? As a more directly related example, I see a lot of people slamming on material by guys like Luke Jermay and Peter Turner. The Magic Cafe is full of posts saying that the stuff those guys sell will never work in the real world - and yet that material is what Jermay and Turner have built their careers on, performing it successfully pretty much every day. I trust Jermay and Turner (who have lots of experience with the material) way more than I trust people who skimmed an eBook and dismissed it as impractical without ever actually trying it.
 
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Mar 2, 2018
5
1
Magic gets better because of youtube. Period. Its all good, so dont sweat it. Im more angry at ppl selling tricks like The Code - something a 5 year old can figure out how its done. I think it was almost 80dollars with intructional video explaining the obvious for over an hour. You can do the effect with a regular bike deck and a matching color sharpie if you are not lazy and always looking for the easiest way of doing things.

An if kids are teaching something, its ok too. Thats the way everyone of us learns the best in real life too. U all were kids, and immediately ran to show it to your friends if you learned how to do something cool. Magic should be free, like any form of art for those who want to learn it. I started card magic when i was 36 years old. Ive had internet connection for like 20 years and didnt know anything about how those cool tricks were done before i actually got interested in learning the art.

I understand that people are worried that they wont make so much money if someone is showing how its done for free. But, life is not about money, its about experiencing, learning, respect, love, creativity, growing, living - doing stuff u love. And money should not be of issue.

So i say STFU, create magic thats original, and keep YOUR tricks to yourself so youll be original.
 
Mar 2, 2018
5
1
Kids teaching simple magic in lets say youtube forces magicians to be more creative, push the art, push themselves further, go out of their comfort zone and start thinking about NOT selling their secrets they had to WORK REALLY HARD ON and use their imagination and creativity to invent something unique and original. Tha daa! - Magic just got better.

And in the end, its all about the presentation. U cant buy or sell someone elses presentation. Method < presentation.
 
Mar 4, 2018
101
85
Magic gets better because of youtube. Period.
I disagree. I haven't seen any real life examples to back up your claim that YouTube has made people better magicians.

I have actually seen the contrary happen. Once people branch out from YouTube and start exploring in real life magic communities and get real world feedback they significantly improve more. As @Gabriel Z. mentioned, YouTube may have helped him get started but taking advice from people who were experienced in magic helped set him on a better path to making him a better magician. That's the gift of learning from those with practical experience: they know what it's like to be a beginner and can sympathize with a person more in order to better help them.

Most YouTube "teachers" I have seen do not actually go out into the real world and perform for paying clients. There are a few exceptions but the majority of them do not have the professional experience to backup their teachings. Which all goes back to my original argument because this is a problem. Let's take for instance the teenager that started it all and had videos teaching "How to pick up girls with magic". This is the kind of problem I was talking about because most professionals would never use their magic performance to get a girl's phone number. In fact, most professional magicians I know (many of which are women mind you) like to keep their personal life and their magic life separated. What the teenager was teaching was bad information and I believe it could hurt the professional development of young magicians just starting out. Just my opinion.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,770
2,879
Kids teaching simple magic in lets say youtube forces magicians to be more creative, push the art, push themselves further, go out of their comfort zone and start thinking about NOT selling their secrets they had to WORK REALLY HARD ON and use their imagination and creativity to invent something unique and original. Tha daa! - Magic just got better.

And in the end, its all about the presentation. U cant buy or sell someone elses presentation. Method < presentation.

Provide an example, please.
 

Lyle Borders

vp of operations // theory11
Staff member
Aug 5, 2008
1,570
798
Seattle, WA
www.theory11.com
Magic gets better because of youtube. Period.

I am not here to put my opinion on the subject of YouTube magic being good or bad (though I am going to have to discuss this). I am here to say this - There is nothing as cut and dry as your statement above would have people believe.

Have a look at your statement from last week in another thread - https://www.theory11.com/forums/threads/lost-with-the-bottom-deal.39703/page-2#post-478520. There, you state "Ive watched some poor youtube tutorials on the subject" when referring to the bottom deal. I don't know the numbers here, but from a quick look MOST of what I see on YouTube is comprised of these poor videos. Lots of people who have little or no experience trying to act like authority figures on magic that they don't fully understand. This helps magic? On the contrary, this creates lots of non-magicians who know magic secrets, and lots of magicians who don't know how to do magic well. Neither of those things is good for magic in any way.

On the flip side, as you say,
Kids teaching simple magic in lets say youtube forces magicians to be more creative, push the art, push themselves further, go out of their comfort zone
This could be seen as a positive thing, forcing existing magicians to grow and adapt.

Two different sides to this. Saying "Magic gets better because of youtube. Period." is not true by any stretch. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle of the two competing arguments.

If someone who does know and understand magic well enough to be teaching it can figure out how to use YouTube to teach only magicians and possibly people interested in starting magic, then YouTube could be a powerful force for benefitting magic without the major downsides. This is a lot of the reason that people release tricks through stores like theory11 in the first place - to share magic in a location where there is a barrier to entry. Of course money is also a factor, but responsible magicians understand the responsibilities they have to protect and safeguard magic secrets.

// L
 

Gabriel Z.

Elite Member
Apr 26, 2013
1,773
2,099
36
NY
www.youtube.com
I am not here to put my opinion on the subject of YouTube magic being good or bad (though I am going to have to discuss this). I am here to say this - There is nothing as cut and dry as your statement above would have people believe.

Have a look at your statement from last week in another thread - https://www.theory11.com/forums/threads/lost-with-the-bottom-deal.39703/page-2#post-478520. There, you state "Ive watched some poor youtube tutorials on the subject" when referring to the bottom deal. I don't know the numbers here, but from a quick look MOST of what I see on YouTube is comprised of these poor videos. Lots of people who have little or no experience trying to act like authority figures on magic that they don't fully understand. This helps magic? On the contrary, this creates lots of non-magicians who know magic secrets, and lots of magicians who don't know how to do magic well. Neither of those things is good for magic in any way.

On the flip side, as you say,

This could be seen as a positive thing, forcing existing magicians to grow and adapt.

Two different sides to this. Saying "Magic gets better because of youtube. Period." is not true by any stretch. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle of the two competing arguments.

If someone who does know and understand magic well enough to be teaching it can figure out how to use YouTube to teach only magicians and possibly people interested in starting magic, then YouTube could be a powerful force for benefitting magic without the major downsides. This is a lot of the reason that people release tricks through stores like theory11 in the first place - to share magic in a location where there is a barrier to entry. Of course money is also a factor, but responsible magicians understand the responsibilities they have to protect and safeguard magic secrets.

// L


The second you typed in a comment you put in your opinion Lyle- Good Bad or Neutral....... From here on in no one breathe.:p
 
Feb 1, 2017
229
235
So I stand by my implication that hands-on experience trumps the advice of those that have not experienced it personally.

Fair enough. I agree. "One good experiment is worth a thousand expert opinions".

Your post suggests that if a person doesn't have hands-on experience, that makes their advice invalid. Was this your implication?

In a manner of speaking yes.

Do you stand by saying that if a person has zero hands-on experience and has only read a ton of books and dvd downloads, that their advice is invalid? Or only that their opinion is invalid relative to the opinion of an experienced magician?

If I'm looking for advice on building a shed, I'm going to pay much more attention to the guy who's built a hundred sheds that are still standing, than the guy who's read a book on making sheds but never built one.

If someone hasn't used this information in a practical setting, how can we have any trust that they know it will work?

But if they're just reciting to you advice that they got from a book from a person who has built a hundred sheds...isn't that more or less the same?

Perhaps I'm arguing just to argue, but if someone is offering their opinion based on the reading they've done from a credible source, is the opinion not valid? In the OPs example, I'd say the gentleman had no foundation to support his advice; however, this conversation seems to imply that even those who are read on a particular subject, their opinions hold no weight at all. Unless you both just mean compared to someone with experience. Then we agree.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,597
3,891
New Jersey
Unless you both just mean compared to someone with experience. Then we agree.

I think it is all relative. Here is a rough scale from best to worst.

1. Someone studied the topic and put their learning into practice for years.
2. Someone who has lots of experience and has been successful
3. Someone who has some experience and a lot of study
4. Someone who has a lot of study
5. Someone who has limited experience and no study
6. Someone who is just repeating what they think they have heard from others but never did
7. Someone who has lots of experience and is awful at what they do
 
Feb 1, 2017
229
235
I think it is all relative. Here is a rough scale from best to worst.

1. Someone studied the topic and put their learning into practice for years.
2. Someone who has lots of experience and has been successful
3. Someone who has some experience and a lot of study
4. Someone who has a lot of study
5. Someone who has limited experience and no study
6. Someone who is just repeating what they think they have heard from others but never did
7. Someone who has lots of experience and is awful at what they do

I'm on board with this. My list may look different, but more or less the same. I agree that there are "levels to this $#!%" as the youngsters say.
 
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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,770
2,879
But if they're just reciting to you advice that they got from a book from a person who has built a hundred sheds...isn't that more or less the same?

Perhaps I'm arguing just to argue, but if someone is offering their opinion based on the reading they've done from a credible source, is the opinion not valid? In the OPs example, I'd say the gentleman had no foundation to support his advice; however, this conversation seems to imply that even those who are read on a particular subject, their opinions hold no weight at all. Unless you both just mean compared to someone with experience. Then we agree.

If someone is reciting information from a book that they have not put into practice, it is theoretical advice, not practical advice.

Practical, in this context, means 'from practice' - ie: real world experience.

A quick and applicable example is hypnosis. There are plenty of people who have read a couple books on hypnosis who will argue that you absolutely need to do suggestibility tests/set pieces, and an induction, to achieve hypnotic phenomena. I know from personal, practical experience, that this is not true - but only people who work with hypnosis regularly would know that.

And to be clear - theoretical advice has its place and its value. But it needs to be understood for what it is - something untested by the one offering the information. Theoretical advice, has theoretical value.
 
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Mar 4, 2018
101
85
Do you stand by saying that if a person has zero hands-on experience and has only read a ton of books and dvd downloads, that their advice is invalid? Or only that their opinion is invalid relative to the opinion of an experienced magician?
Only that their opinion is invalid relative to the opinion of an experienced magician (i.e. one with practical advice in a given area they are well experienced in). I pretty much have RealityOne's point system on how much weight I give to advice given.

I have been doing a lot of thinking on what Christopher said earlier about this being a problem in general and not a problem that the internet caused or even specific to magic. The internet just made armchair magicians more easily accessible and connected. So my title doesn't really fit the argument I made. I have been thinking specifically about a problem that fits only magic that was directly a result of the internet. I did come up with an answer that I can sum up in two words but I won't go into it because I really don't want to open that can of worms.
 
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