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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    We've spoken of Temple Grandin here several times and I wrote about her in the early 90s, so, nothing new.

    Who are you?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Diane View Post
    OK, I accept that.. I was meaning, opposite of "distracting" or "gesturing."
    I was meaning, focused and responsible. Both require a considerable amount of self-learning in the hard drive of one's own sensing and outputting brain.

    I described it to a patient I saw this morning, who is a visual artist, as similar to contact improv dance, two nervous systems learning from and suggesting to one another.
    I think this is relevant when we talk about touching someone:

    Last night I watched a program about an autistic woman in her 60s who has become something of a hero in the USA with her understanding of the fear of cattle going into the abattoirs. As a result of her endeavours, the practice of shuffling cattle for slaughter any old way has been radically changed, resulting in happier animals easier to manage on the way to slaughter.
    She also noticed that cattle in a press which totally constrained them, for example vaccination, relaxed with the high pressure on their bodies. As she has many fears and anxieties due to her condition, she put herself into a cattle press for 20 minutes and noticed her fears resolving.
    Light touch is a real aversion to her; so she has managed her condition by building her own press, where she totally constrains herself for 20-30 minutes a week.
    What this means I am not sure, but I thought it was interesting. Many people do not like light touch (I am one of them) and I wonder if part of the magic of touch is recognising those folk who respond to heavy pressure, and those who do not.....?

    _____________
    Last edited by John W; 27-02-2011, 04:59 PM. Reason: promotional link removed

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Blaine lifts himself onto the toe of his foot - the one he angles expertly from his audience's sight. The "right in front of you" element actually makes this easier to hide. There's no way he rises a foot and a half.

    Sorry if I wrecked any of this for you, whoever you are.

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  • sayanika
    replied
    Hey, I know that a lot of people would pick criss angel's levitation over David Blaine because criss is semi hot but don't you think criss' levitation is just a little bit too dramatic to be considered real. David Blaine levitates about a foot and a half which is a little too high to think it's all just an illusion but criss angel does it on buildings and stuff which makes me think it's all just fake. But Blaine does it right in front of you and a foot and a half is more believable. What do you think?

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  • Diane
    replied
    This link to Neurophilosophy blog must go onto this thread. The cognitive neuroscience of magic.

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  • BB
    replied
    or C) be dissapointed when the magic was gone?

    Makes me think of the scene in the illusionist when the magician shows his wife, fascinated and now desperately curious, how the "bullet catch" trick is performed. She then says with dissappointment, "well that is really not that amazing, is it?"

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    I was listening to a conversation with Richard Wiseman on the Point of Inquiry podcast last night. He was asked how much of his work as skeptic, a psychologist and a researcher “is fueled by your education in the magical arts” (he was once a performing magician).

    He said, I think about 80%. You need not only to be able to understand the trick but you need to perform it in a way that engages an audience. And it’s a very weird social contract because you know a secret. You’re not going to tell the audience. Under those circumstances they would normally hate you and you need to get them to like you. So there’s a cognitive component, there’s a social component and it’s very like coming up with an experiment that engages people – you have to think from their perspective. As a magician you’re always thinking, “a) What will fool an audience? And b) Will they like me if I present it in this way?”

    He went on to speak of the secrets in magic and how that separates it from the openness of science (especially psychology) though both disciplines depend heavily on their understanding of how other people think.

    There’s a certain tension created as I explain what I know, and this tension is distinctly different depending upon the audience. In my experience, patients weren’t difficult to educate to the degree needed for recovery. They had a stake in this and my manner indicated compassion and commitment. I was obviously not hiding anything and was careful to proceed at a pace they found comfortable.

    Revealing the “secrets” of manual magic to other therapists is decidedly different. They often express suspicion and for many it’s difficult to get over the revelation that they haven’t read anything since leaving school. Looking for something to blame, they seek a cause for this, and more than once I’ve watched them target me. This requires some real contortions of logic but apparently it’s possible.

    Early in every course I employ Simple Contact on someone, revealing ideomotion and the physiologic shift concurrent with correction. Then I say, “The course is over” and I’m only partly kidding. I say, “Before lunch today everybody in here will be able to do what I just did – all you need is a little more understanding, not skill.”

    It is as if a magician were to perform a trick and then say, “Let me show you how I did that.”

    How many would a) stay to watch and/or b) really want to know?

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  • Diane
    replied
    You could decorate all the points you want to deliver with streaming ribbons perhaps...

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Diane,

    Thanks for this.

    I don't know about you, but I found it hilarious. I especially liked the commentator's contribution; a mix of fact and fiction that only lends the video more of a "magical" air. And I've got to incorporate some of that guy's dance-like moves into my routine (though unbuttoning my shirt should probably be left out).

    His entrance was especially intriguing, and I'm wondering what sort of rigging I might begin to travel with in order to accomplish something similar. I'm thinking of descending toward the class ala Peter Pan as opposed to ascending "from the earth." I'll get back to you on that.

    Then there's the "gorgeous assistant" issue. Nah, just not me.

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  • Diane
    replied
    How to shoot an arrow through a lady

    I found this video on youtube one day, and decided to bring it to this thread. In it the magician shoots an arrow through a woman in a very convincing way. He then shows, step by step, how it's done.

    I think this is what Barrett is getting at in this thread.

    The trick itself (the manual treatment) is performed in a very straightforward looking manner, but the underpinnings (neuroscientific knowledge bases) are a complex mixture of understanding and timing. In the case of the arrow trick these involve the coordination of several people all contributing with split second timing. In the case of manual therapy, the neuroscientific knowledge bases are contributed to by hundreds of laboring researchers 24/7, continuously adding perceptions and thoughts tested through studies, then added to interaction occurring within a therapeutic context.

    I felt very well informed after this video revelation, a sense of relief to have it demystified, a bit boggled by the ingenuity it took to create it. It would improve our profession if it would let itself be demystified, permit revelations to permeate through its joint-based ideas, take a chance that although the underpinnings are complex they can go a long way toward explaining to us how and why we do what we do and get results, or don't do what we don't and still get results, whereupon nine-tenths of the current construct content could thereafter be gently or un-gently set aside as archaic - but maybe that would be too dissonant.

    [YT]_8mTae8oGfo[/YT]

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    The "magic" of ballet

    I listened to the October 19 podcast of Studio 360 over the weekend and was especially drawn to the segment titled Tendues and Torque featuring a physicist who at the age of forty began taking ballet classes. Great stuff.

    He points out that the ballerina’s real challenge is to appear as if they are “moving magically” i.e. without preparation or effort; floating. It’s not possible to actually do this floating, of course, but the devotion to the illusion is so entrenched that the instructors demand it and the dancer is forced to “cheat” with hidden movements that place undue stress upon the body.

    Pain and injury are the dancer’s common companions in this form, and the reasons are obvious to me – proper form. I think you might hear the opposite from those who zealously guard the illusion; the magic; the secret.

    Manual Magic must not fall into this trap.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Houdini's Courage

    The History Channel had an hour long special about Houdini’s career yesterday and I got to watch it because one of the advantages of no longer being an active clinician is more time seated in front of the TV. I love that part.

    Anyway, a historian recounted a story I’d heard before and might even be included in this thread somewhere. Specifically, the story involves a conversation Houdini had with the young physician attending to his care the day he died. Houdini spoke with admiration of the young man’s vocation and when the doctor objected that he was nothing compared to “The Great Houdini” the magician explained: “What you do is real; everything I do is an illusion.”

    On the show the man recounting this grew excited, explaining that Houdini’s admission was a “courageous act.”

    I hadn’t considered that before, but, when you think about it, that’s what this thread is about. It’s about recognizing how our work might appear to others, understanding it well enough to explain it without violating physical law (or, to put it another way, “succumbing to magical thinking”) and then having the courage to object when others insist otherwise.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    I came across a passage in a post I wrote almost three years ago here. It comes from a book by Margaret Atwood titled Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing.

    I’m being referred to as “a guru” on the Evidence in Motion site these days and whatever else this accusation might represent, everyone who teaches regularly for a living is suspected of such a thing and attacked occasionally in this way. No one who knows me calls me this, just those who don’t like my ideas, or me.

    Anyone teaching manual technique of one sort or another will tell you how easy it is to appear remarkably skillful and effective in front of a class. You appear almost, well, magical. Atwood describes the Wizard of Oz in this way: “(He) exists at the intersection of art with power, and therefore with moral and social responsibility…If you’re an artist being a good man is pretty much beside the point when it comes to your accomplishments…if you’re good at creating illusions that can convince people of their truth, then power of various sorts may well come your way.”

    Manual Magic has been very carefully described here, but it will remain a concept difficult for many to understand, especially if it scares them for some reason.

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  • Diane
    replied
    I thought this latest Mindblog post belonged here.

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  • EricM
    replied
    Barrett,
    While reading something, somewhere on SomaSimple, I came across a quote you provided that I don't recall seeing used in this thread:
    Eden Philpotts once said: The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
    Seems to sum up what you've been writing about here, I like it.

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