Markets in everything: the market for magic tricks

by on December 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm in Science | Permalink

Allen’s new new crop are the Internet magicians. “They’ve got a different approach and different goals. I’m not sure they even want to develop an act that they can perform live; they’re interested in making videos that go viral. From my viewpoint, it’s not a problem so much as it’s an interesting evolution.”

The full story is here, and for the pointer I thank Mark Thorson.

1 Yancey Ward December 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Sheesh, I thought this was another Euro post.

2 Sunset Shazz December 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Penn Gillette recently spoke at Authors@Google and had some interesting things to say about magic and technology (approx. 50:00 minute mark on video).

3 Reader December 16, 2011 at 4:37 am

It’s Jillette.

4 anon December 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Even knowing how a trick is done, if a true master magician is performing that trick it is still a joy to watch.

Good art is like that, including art where a little science is involved.

There are few secrets to making balloon animals, but watching someone who is good and fast doing it is a lot of fun, especially if you are with children.

5 ning cai December 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

I agree Cowen &Tabarrok’s opinion . The magic of magic come from secret, people like magic, the reason is it ask us will think after the magic done. ifi the magician have performed the magic, he let the audiences know the secret, the market of magic maybe more attractive. Market make production diversity, market change as long as people need.

6 Ryan Cousineau December 11, 2011 at 2:13 am

I thought the buried lede, and colossal monstrosity revealed in the article, was that the magicians were deliberately filling the Internet with disinformation to make the trick unfindable. I realize it’s just YouTube and all, but we’d immediately recognize this as malicious vandalism if they were doing the same using Wikipedia, and certainly their intent (destroy the propagation of legal to propagate info) is terrible.

7 anon December 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

Do you believe everything you read or “see”?
See, e.g.,
The Problem with Eyewitness Testimony by Barbara Tversky and George Fisher
Suddenly, a big impact on criminal justice, from the APA
SCOTUS: Prohibit Admission of Eyewitness Testimony, Scott Greenfield

It seems clever to me, and no more harmful than much of the mis-information masquerading as “facts” filling up the Internet.

And if someone really wants to learn how the trick is done, they will.

8 Jasmin December 11, 2011 at 2:47 am

I’d like to see where this “market for magic tricks” will lead to. More people, especially those who don’t have access to magic-learning books and magic instructors like in many foreign countries, will then be able to watch magic tricks online, and they are able to learn from those videos and make those magic tricks “their own”. Although there’s the argument that “revealing the secrets will just kill the magic because everyone will now know all of the tricks”, either magic still will never get old or something better will come out of it. Just like pretty much everything else has, magic will sort of evolve on its own like how we went from candles to light-bulbs for lighting. And the market for light-bulbs is rather a successful one.

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