Andreas Diekmann on Uri Geller in:

Empirische Sozialforschung. Grundlagen, Methoden, Anwendungen. Hamburg 2009, delivers a clear&distinct explanation on ‘how come thousands of recipients of Geller’s famous TV experiments called back the station and reported they had found bent forks in their kitchen’–or spoons [pp 51].

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Patrice – No Excuse

“This is about music, so don’t confuse it.”

Samy DeLuxe – weck mich auf

so what is magic

In Second Life I have had two conversations on what constitutes magic that especially have stuck to my mind.

One of those I had with my neighbour and friend Free, who commented on a set of visual effects I made. That was a tool to animate particles on music, a simple particle organ I called The Wheel [.mov by Eif ty, man. *smiles. I totally do love it by now and I am happy it is there! Recorded at Gallery Diabolus, Benvolio, Second Life 2008. Special credits also to SomaFM free i-net radio!].

After I publicly performed and improvised visuals to music that was streamed in at Free’s place in SL, the ‘wow-effect’ was central to her argumentation when I asked her what made her call my effects ‘magical’. I concluded that was about not knowing how to create such oneself.

Later that year I had the opportunity to attend the NPIRL Garden of Delights artist talk given by Tuna Oddfellow. He and his beautiful assistant Shava Suntzu replied to my question on what constitutes magic that having succeeded to make someone ‘wow’ indicated that you were performing it.

As I had just thrown together components that are openly accessible to everyone and modded free LSL scripts the basic principle seems to be ‘many can, few do’.

not to be confused with manna

“Mana is the concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects. The concept is common to many Oceanic languages, including Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian.

In anthropological discourse, mana as a generalized concept has attained a significant amount of interest, often understood as a precursor to formal religion. It has commonly been interpreted as ‘the stuff of which magic is formed’, as well as the substance of which souls are made.

Modern fantasy fiction and computer and role-playing games have adopted mana as a term for magic points—an expendable resource out of which magic users form their magical spells.

Mana should not be confused with the Biblical manna (also spelled mana or mannah) which, according to the Bible (Exodus, chapter 16), provided sustenance for the Israelites. (…)”

via.

coincidences or things alike

I jump on the tram after my late Monday afternoon teaching. It’s the university-airport line towards city center. I take a seat. Behind me folks are speaking english and my attention is captured by a notifiably pleasant male voice talking about Second Life.

I listen. He obviously has spent more time inworld than the ordinary Spiegel investigator. The girls around him leave the tram at central station a few stops after. He thanks them for having come by. I turn around. He looks like Tom Boellstorff–a bit elder than his portrait on the cover of Coming of Age in Second Life–but he looks like Tom Boellstorff.

I have visited Tom’s place in SL and of course immediately was caught by his simple NPIRL hommages to Escher realized in prims. That was in summer 2007 after Lorenz posted the SURL to Ethnografia.

His book found its way to me in a quite unordinary manner in late fall 08. I got to know someone in SL from almost nearby within Europe. Some day, I think, I talked about my studies and about what brought me to SL. He mentioned he had read an anthropologist’s book about SL . Of course I asked which it was and by whom. It was Coming of Age. Of course I immediately interviewed him about his perception of it as he was a native having read academic stuff about himself. It ended the way he some weeks later gave me his exemplar of the book.

Now–it doesnt exactly matter whether this man in the tram wth his native speaker’s eloquent and professional voice and articulation has been Boellstorff or not. What matters is what it triggers.

I hunger to go back to university.

exploitation of volunteer workpower

I hate that.

I have volunteered a lot. Interest, thrill, learning and process has always been more important to me than being paid.

When it gets to being presented towards a financier as someone else than what you actually ever presented yourself to be, you may sign lucky to be called an artist.

I have seen worse.