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Old 09-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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Default Magic and Reality II

Dawkins says that there are three types of magic:

1)Supernatural

2)Stage

3)Poetic

The first is of the sort described in fairy tales, the second is used by magicians to deceive us, and the third is what the title of Dawkins’ book speaks of.

Quote:
What I hope to show in this book is that reality – the facts of the real world as understood through the methods of science – are magical in this third sense, the poetic sense.
Melzack’s model offers us an opportunity to understand the mystery of pain in a variety of ways, and it is explanatory, testable and predictive. Well, kinda predictive. At its center is the brain; receiving from the left, making decisions and pouring out sensation from the right.

Keeping with the poetically magical idea, does it help to describe the brain as a cauldron?
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:21 PM   #2
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I think that the following is connected to posts #64 and 65 of this thread.


Years ago I watched from the audience as a prominent figure in the world of physical therapy spoke before a large crowd at a state chapter meeting. I was presenting during the day so I sat in. There was free food.

Known as a skillful clinician and practitioner of manipulative care, he was demonstrating the stages of mobilization according to Maitland on a volunteer’s elbow - flexing the joint in various ways he made each stage graphic and easily understood. When he arrived at stage four – “a short, sharp thrust” – he put his mouth near the microphone and, keeping his lips still, clapped his teeth together. The audience heard this, assumed he had just “manipulated” the joint and audibly gasped.

I knew what he had actually done but said nothing. I appreciated how much courage it took to do such a thing. I also knew this man would have an “out” if anyone spoke up. He was always two steps ahead of those around him. But it’s the second form of magic; and done dishonestly as well.

It is not the poetic magic of ideomotion I try to teach others to reveal, witness and interpret. It’s a lie.

And it works really, really well.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:14 AM   #3
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Barrett, thanks for delineating the three types of magic.

Most magicians are not out to deceive us. They call what they do "illusions" or "effects." They are out to entertain us and impress us, but not to deceive us. What you describe with the PT was an attempt at deception and is unconscionable.

I'm glad that Dawkins is using the word "magic" as pertains to the natural world. I'm afraid that I've been afraid to use such words as "magic" and "energy" because of their misuse. I want to be able to reclaim them. The natural world - whether it be stars or the workings of cells or our brains - is awe-inspiring and magical. Isn't this enough? The silliness perpetrated by so many in my profession pales by comparison.

Last edited by Alice Sanvito; 10-10-2011 at 03:17 AM. Reason: Correct misspelling
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:40 AM   #4
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I was very pleased to see Dawkins use the word as well, especially when he defined it so clearly.

I've been writing about the subject in this vein for years and now feel what I've said has been vindicated.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:53 AM   #5
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Seth Will and David Fluecke have taken this in another direction - a relevant one - on my Facebook page.
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