Monday, February 27, 2012

WMF The Encyclopedia of Magic

Another week, another failure. One thing I feel the need to address. The weekly schedule doesn't mean that it needs to be current. As you can see with those guys. Vinh, Jeffrey and Lenny run the encyclopedia of magic website for a while now.

If you don't know what that is, it is quite an ambitious project. They say it "is dedicated to helping people all over the world improve themselves and their magic." I would claim otherwise. Straight from the website:
Magic is a unique ability that has the power to change lives. Not only providing amazing entertainment for everyone around you, magic is a valuable asset that can greatly benefit the performer themselves. With magic, you can really stand out and command the attention of countless people. At the same time, this greatly increases confidence and gives you the ability to really make and leave a lasting impression upon anyone. These are all traits that we believe anyone can benefit from, and it is our mission to make this available for anyone wanting to take themselves to the next level.
There we have it again the time honored tradition of the "NEXT LEVEL" and "BRINGING PEACE". I heard that all before. So let's see what this ambition leads to...

Exposure of course. They teach magic. And by teaching it for free they dismiss the value of the secrets and the importance of the secret towards magic. I'll give you a sneak peek of them explaining the thumb palm.

The production quality is really good and the teaching is not bad. The problem: This will get people to watch more. So they will stumble into more videos exposing the basics of magic. All sorts of palms, the french drop, the Herman pass and the usual suspects. Here is what they should do. Slap that stuff on a DVD and sell it. You can make it really cheap if you want to. But somehow the existence of a price on that thing would make the merely curious go away. That would indeed be a great step to treating the magic secrets and thereby the magic with respect.

So far it looks like this: "Hey guys I have something we can teach. It's called the thumb palm. No, I didn't come up with this. Come on, how else are we gonna teach stuff. Make up our own? Haha you're funny. Well we can still credit the original guy. That will make us seem legit. What are you saying? You're saying that giving out the guys name will make us seem even more hypocritical, as knowing the source material and still not respecting magic by giving it out for free? Haha you're funny."

The sad thing: I really think they believe their own words. I think that they really think they help people by teaching them magic. And while this could be true, it mistreats magic. And I love magic more than those guys.

Shame on you Vinh, Jeffrey and Lenny. Teaching magic may be your thing. But giving it out for free and thereby treating magic with contempt should not be your thing.


John roberts said...

No; things like the Ramsey subtlety as well, not just 'basic stuff'.

I think I'm going to cry!

Sarcasm said...

"Shame on you Vinh Giang, Jeffrey Wong and Lenny Tran. Teaching magic may be your thing. But giving it out for free and thereby treating magic with contempt should not be your thing."

Exactly. We all know you should only be allowed to do magic if you have money. Can you imagine a bunch of poor people do magic simply because they love the art and not to make cash? That would be treating the art with contempt. Can you imagine someone trying to perform and learn magic for a reason other than making money or selling products? That'd make me sick.

Roland said...

Good point... actually I would go a step further. Magic will only be available to the talented. No more bad magicians who taint the public image of magic with a bad performance.

Sarcasm said...

Wow. Are you serious? You actually believe that you should have money to do magic? What if that applied to other art forms? "You can only learn piano if you own a big house." Or maybe "Only rich people can be writers." How does "The best painters are the wealthy" sound?

Tensai said...

What the fuck is 'talented'? Everyone starts out a beginner, Penn couldn't juggle for shit until YEARS later.

NPenney said...

"Magic will only be available to the talented." I didn't just pick up a fire torch and light it a blaze one day, then proceed to eat the flame. I didn't just buy and swallow a sword one random day. I couldn't all of a sudden complete an Anaconda Spring. It takes practice to develop a skill or talent.

And fyi, I was a poor guy who grew up with 3 siblings, living in a house with a single parent. We didn't have a lot of money. Libraries, that's where I learned. Information should go freely to the Dedicated and Devoted youths of the world. How do you prove dedication? Not by Slapping a price tag on it! Disgusting!

Wealth For Teens said...

Wow awesome video, you're right about the quality, top notch stuff on there! (Yes I just signed myself up).

Sure beats learning from a book :)

IbelieveinMagic said...

The thing is... you spent so much time writing this blog dedicated towards people that you dislike, I don't understand that. Perhaps you have too much time on your hands and you need to put others down to make yourself feel better. I feel sad for you. I have been following these guys for a few months now and DO believe that they want to help teach people magic for good reasons. Unlike you, they are involved in magic for the right reasons. I think your blog will only create more exposure for them so thank you, it means they will only get bigger!!! Again unlike you (see I want to differentiate myself against people like you as much as i can) i will not waste more time on people you i dislike :)So Last words of advice for you, get a life. dickhead.

orange peel said...

Holy crap! That was an awesome video, thanks for linking me to that Roland. I'm gonna get all my friends to sign up too.
P.s. you've got something on your chin

Roland said...

Kinda cute how you keep switching account and nicknames. I will not argue about the ad hominum attack. But I will argue about the free teaching aspect. The instant gratification age surely sucks the magic out of the magic. And that makes me sad. You guys take away the pleasure of discovering magic by spoon feeding it. If you guys wanna teach, by all means, teach. But do it the old way. Actually look for your students! The same way a student looks for his master. And them teach them the importance of secrecy. Teach them the value of the secret is not the information that you want to keep secret, but that the value of a secrets is the fact that it is a secret. If you don't get this, you cannot call yourselves teachers. You teach to a unknown mass of people. You only know a fraction of them. This is a insult to both master and student.

Tomsk192 said...

Added to that, there are some great magic texts (yes boys, that means books, reading, that old fashioned stuff) which are in the public domain, and therefore FREE to download.

Which brings me to another point: just how "poor" are these kids? What with having access to computers and the internet. Okay, so maybe it's through a school, or charity; so, why not use that access to READ?

You guys, or rather the one guy who keeps changing his username, don't get the point at all. Rather like stubborn teenagers...

Oh.... yeah....

Bizzaro. said...

"The thing is... you spent so much time writing this blog dedicated towards people that you dislike, I don't understand that."

It's because some of us care enough to point out the fallacy of others and their shenanigans. Do you get mad at The Daily Show for pointing out the silliness in the news? Just because some people don't have TV behind them doesn't make them wrong... or right for that fact.

Tim said...

Although I support all of your posts, I don't think this one is really fair. Hereby why I think that:

1) Off of the internet, Encyclopedia of Magic is a company that teaches kids confidence by teaching them a couple of self-working tricks. Magic is the only art to go as for that, and they do make sure these kids don't spread the exposure. There was a high demand for something like that in Australia because most kids over there only communicate with each other on the internet and they don't have the confidence to go out and connect in real life;

2) They deleted a whole lot of their exposure videos over the past months and I think they still are doing that. And they sell all of the tutorials which is what you said they should do (not on a DVD though but on their site, there is not one free trick on there);

3) They do actually call everything by the magic terms. Unlike people like Jay, Andy Field (who is no longer in the hall of shame?! How did that happen?!), Fernando and such, Encyclopedia of Magic does not call something "amazing magic trick" to get a lot of laymen viewers that way. Their viewers already have a genuine interest in the art, although many of them come from Jay and the others but I don't think that is their fault;

4) They uploaded a video yesterday on MAGIC-day explaining how they made a mistake and are against exposure, sending out the right message to all of their viewers.

I think they are quite harmless compared to others like the ones I just named, and they do realize that exposing magic is not appropriate.

Roland said...

Interesting, didn't know about the new video.... let me check and reevaluate.

Tim said...

You should. I highly suggest you check out MAGIC-day as a whole too, especially the official video which got over 60.000 views within two days, for the reason it's a true winner and a piece of art:

Trickster said...

"There was a high demand for something like that in Australia because most kids over there only communicate with each other on the internet and they don't have the confidence to go out and connect in real life;"

What complete and utter crap.

Either you know some kids that were like that and assume that most Aussie kids are the same or you are trying to use that bullshit as some sort of justification.

You and your friends may be incapable of speaking to people in person and need magic as some sort of crutch to get you a social life, but don't try and tar most Aussie kid with your sad pathetic brush.

Trickster said...

If the intro vid is anything to go by these guys are teaching a few effects that were created and sold by others.

Tim said...


Okay, maybe 'most' wasn't exactly correct, but this is a problem which the Australian government addressed themselves, the fact that a lot of Australian kids stay at home behind their computers and don't go out and connect in real life. For that, these guys and their project actually get subsidised, so to call it utter crap is kind of immature.

Also, you'd have to admit that there is no other art that could be used to connect as easily with others in real life as magic. Teach a kid a self-working trick and there you go. Unlike for instance teaching them a good joke or anything else, because then they still need to have the confidence in advance.

And they are just teaching basics and classics. There are tons of magicians that teach and sell these so why shouldn't they be allowed to do that either? Like Roland addressed: "Slap that stuff on a DVD and sell it." Nothing wrong with them doing that.

Trickster said...

I disagree Tim, but perhaps my knowledge of Australian kids is better than yours. Our government has not addressed anything more than a common worldwide trend and Australian kids are still more active than most. Perhaps you should get out from behind your computer screen and look at the real world instead of believing every piece of tripe you are fed by media and government.
It could also be argued that these guys are doing as much to encourage kids to stay behind a computer as they are getting them out into the "real" world.
I strongly contest that what kids need is some some sort of fake crutch in the form of a magic trick. Perhaps if they had better parents teaching them better social skills or less people telling them that they need shit like this to communicate with others they would be better off. There is a very small minority of kids who may need magic to socialize, but that would be well covered by clubs and mentors.
Most kids I've encountered that use magic to try and connect with others are labelled "try hards" and the magic tricks they suspect or have been told, will help them fit in, do exactly the opposite.
Trying to make out that these 3 tools are doing some admirable social service is just crap and I have to wonder if you are one of them or one of their friends trying to defend what they do with bullshit.
As to teaching basics and classics, the majority of what we do is based on basics and classics so that doesn't make what they do harmless. Once again I direct attention to the intro video on their site. How many marketed effects can you spot?

Tim said...

I'm neither one of them nor am I a friend of them. I just heard what they have been up to and everyone including magicians I have talked to thought it is great (not the YouTube exposure, of course, but the thing you don't agree with).

I posted to this topic merely for the reason the post seems to be outdated because they have been and still are deleting their tutorial/exposure videos and started to sell these instead. They reckon to have made a mistake and they said to be still working on correcting it. I think they had like a hundred more exposure videos up compared to now.

I didn't thoroughly watch their introduction video before, but now I have. I suppose by 'marketed' you mean 'quite recently marketed'? Because all of the classics and basics have been marketed at some time as well but I doubt you are against the tons of magicians that sell tutorials for these nowadays.

I found two of those (if Bob Hummer's 'Whirling Card' is considered to be a classic as Hummer hasn't been with us for a while and every magic seller sells this or variations of it). Apart from the many basics, there seem to be some sort of variation of 'In A Flash' and the old, discontinued version of 'Healed and Sealed'.

However, I do not know the details. I know Sankey did make deals with a lot of bigger YouTubers (also big magic revealers) that if they would promote him, they could get something in return. And as for 'Healed and Sealed, since this version is no longer available and is widely revealed for free, they may even have Modén's permission for teaching that. I don't know but knowing what they have revealed, what they sell on their site is definitely 99% classics and basics only.

Tensai said...

Lol, this 'Trickster' kid.

Trickster said...

I refrained from making any large comment on the exposure stuff, my main comments pertained to this rubbish about helping social inept kids, especially the crap about most Aussie kids. I sincerely believe magic is a very poor way to tackle socializing issues and does nothing more than offer a sub-standard crutch as opposed to doing any real good. It's like having a crack in a wall and thinking that painting over it means that it is fixed.

Tensai, not a kid, an old fellow with experience working with kids and with tackling social issues among kids (also an Aussie). You obviously have nothing intelligent to add how ever.

Tim said...

I was merely answering your question because I thought you didn't just ask it and made earlier statements for the heck of it. My bad.

However, there are more socially inept kids (and even older people) than ever, not just in Australia but worldwide, which also comes along with the obesity issues the 'rich world' is dealing with.

These guys are having success with what they do in Australia and surrounded countries, and they don't harm the art by doing so. Every single kid they help getting off of their lazy bums, getting out of their house and connecting in the real world I see as something positive.

Tensai said...

lol, this Trickster kid keeps going :D

Do you do any other tricks?

Trickster said...

LOL This Tensai kid still has nothing to add. Come call me when you grow up little man.

micxmic said...

I think there really is a easy solution to this: the asian guys wanna solve the problem of poor communication? teach them a FEW, GOOD SIMPLE, PUBLIC DOMAIN TRICKS, not an encyclopedia! An encyclopedia sucks in terms of teaching for a beginner, the same way you teach chemistry with wikipedia. An encyclopedia is both INEFFECTIVE, and LAZY. don't teach them the physical technique, teach them how to perform and interact.

all that, of course, was based on the assumption that the encyclopedia project was aimed only to boost kid's interaction skills, which I tell you smells like a "oops I gotta find a moral highground to defend my value proposition model" shit.

Camilo Fernando Carrillo Aguayo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.