Cogito Ergo Sum

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Cogito Ergo Sum

Postby Tomo » Jan 7th, '07, 17:49



Title: Cogito Ergo Sum

Available from: http://www.metaphysical-magician.com/

Price: £40.00

Review:
The performer introduces a deck of cards. A spectator is asked to select one, which is left in safe keeping for the purposes of later verification.

The performer then introduces a book entitled “A Collection of the World’s Greatest Philosophers” and proceeds to show that each page contains an entry for a famous philosopher, such as Hagel, Marx, Aristotle, Confucius, Locke, Hobbes, Heidigger, Wittgenstein, Popper, Rawls, etc.

Each page contains a summary of the work and ideas of a single philosopher, the dates they lived, etc. The performer leafs through the book and shows that all pages are different, explaining as he goes some how some of their ideas have direct relevance to today’s world. He then riffles through the book again and asks the spectator to stop him at random. The open book is then handed to the spectator to study the page at which he stopped.

The performer then begins to reveal small details about the life and ideas of the philosopher in question, becoming ever clearer about how his ideas came about and what they mean today. He ends by finally naming the philosopher. Once the spectator confirms that the performer has correctly identified the right philosopher, the performer asks the spectator if there’s a playing card that appears to be associated with this particular philosopher. The spectator says yes, names the card and finds that it is the same one that has been left in safekeeping from the start.

This is a very nice book test indeed from our own Dr Todd. It feels very good to perform, and yet has a very straightforward method. The random elements introduced by the spectator and having him handle the book while still being able to name the associated philosopher and card makes for a very strong effect.

It includes a specially printed, glossy 20.5x14.5cm book of philosophers, and an instruction booklet that includes the method and a full, three-phase presentation. There are no memorisation tasks for the performer and no difficult sleights either. You can have the card selected in any way you wish, for instance. This means that you’re free to concentrate on the performance side of the effect, which is, after all, the most important part. There are also notes about where to place this effect in your act and ideas for other situations, such as a bizarre magick presentation.

I tried this yesterday and, as I revealed increasing details about the philosopher the spectator was reading about, her expression changed from straight-faced to genuinely surprised to “no way!” when I revealed the card her friend was still holding.

10/10. Definitely one to take table-hopping.

Not only that, but it's also educational!

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Postby Harry Truman » Jan 7th, '07, 18:12

This sounds fantastic Tomo! The ending, with you not only naming the philosopher, but also the related card, seems like it would add that real astonishment factor to the effect. Unfortunately (for my wallet, at least), this looks like another item on my list, although at least Cogito Ergo Sum should help me to learn something!

Thanks for the review, I hadn't visited the products section of Dr Todd's website before.

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Postby bananafish » Jan 8th, '07, 13:29

I have to say that already I think this will be one of the gems of 2007.

Many will dismiss it as just being another book test, but personally I feel it is much more than that, and not just because of the added card prediction. That is just the icing on the cake.

As book tests go, this one is different, because you are not just naming the first word on the page, you are not even just naming any word on the page that the spectator freely selected. You will in fact be able to show that you know all the information on that page from which you deduce the philosopher. Isn’t this how it would be if you really could do the mind reading thing?

Have no doubt (Hyperbolic or otherwise) that this is a very strong piece. I am sure that everyone will find their own style of performing this. I am still having fun experimenting with it at the moment but already I am finding what works for me. (I only received it other Christmas). The best thing is that it is so easy to do, that all the effort can go straight into the performance aspect of it.

It also fits nicely into a jacket pocket and is just about the right size to be a credible study book on the subject of philosophy.

I look forward to seeing some more of Dr. Todd’s ideas.

To sum up…

You think. There for I am (able to read your mind)

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Postby IAIN » Jan 8th, '07, 13:48

..it's a very strong piece this...

i had the pleasure of Dr. Todd (steady on there!) performing this one to me in a little pub in London last year...that sudden little jolt that goes up yer back when the info is revealed...

Dr. T's performance is very good too, as he's obviously extremely knowledgable about the subject matter...

..you could apply the thinking to a small book on the psychology of serial killers for instance, their modus operandi (a possible title in keeping with yer actual latin?) first few victims, how long they were around and so on...

...even a little battered diary would be nice, the books yer oyster really...i thought he was especially kind to offer the different presentations and theories in the instructions too...

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Postby Roth » Jan 10th, '07, 04:06

I recieved this a couple of weeks ago. It looks exactly like what you would find in a Barnes and Noble. The book itself is a "high end" glossy looking soft cover.

The amount of information revealed is significant, the method is simplicity defined.

I really like that it's not another "novel". It is great for a one on one presentation, or to add variety to a "free" selection of books by a spectator.

Well done Dr. Todd!

Rick

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Cogito

Postby DrTodd » Jan 16th, '07, 10:38

Thanks for the kind feedback gentleman! The inquiries are coming in and reviews on other sites are looking strong. TM provided the right environment to develop this effect :D

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Postby Mandrake » Jan 18th, '07, 14:17

On the strength of the comments above I decided to order this and, having received it this morning, I can honestly say it's excellent. Especially take note of what Tomo said:
Tomo wrote:It includes a specially printed, glossy 20.5x14.5cm book of philosophers, and an instruction booklet that includes the method and a full, three-phase presentation. There are no memorisation tasks for the performer and no difficult sleights either. You can have the card selected in any way you wish, for instance. This means that you’re free to concentrate on the performance side of the effect, which is, after all, the most important part. There are also notes about where to place this effect in your act and ideas for other situations, such as a bizarre magick presentation.
The key part there is that it is a very easy routine to assimilate and there's oodles of scope to tailor it to 'your' way which is, for me, the hallmark of a good investment in magic. The presentation can be as varied as you like but it does need to be thought out carefully and performed professionally to give the full gobsmaking effect, I suspect most performers will instinctively know how they'll perform this right from the first few lines of the instructions. It's not a cut price effect so is it good value for money? Oh yes, very much so!

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Postby ElliottB » Jan 28th, '07, 05:31

Sounds REALLY good!!!

Thank you for the review.

Elliott

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Re: Cogito Ergo Sum

Postby Martin Le Guerre » Jan 28th, '07, 15:00

Tomo wrote:The performer leafs through the book and shows that all pages are different, explaining as he goes some how some of their ideas have direct relevance to today’s world. He then riffles through the book again and asks the spectator to stop him at random. The open book is then handed to the spectator to study the page at which he stopped.


I don't know if you can answer this without tipping the method or not but if you can I'd be grateful:

Can the spectator riffle through the book instead to select a page?

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Re: Cogito Ergo Sum

Postby Tomo » Jan 28th, '07, 15:22

Martin Le Guerre wrote:I don't know if you can answer this without tipping the method or not but if you can I'd be grateful:

Can the spectator riffle through the book instead to select a page?

With suitable guidance, yes he can.

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Cogito

Postby DrTodd » Jan 28th, '07, 17:39

Yes, the spectator could do it as Tomo says. The reviews and feedback I am getting here and in the US suggest the following advantages:

(1) easy to do, so you can concentrate on the presentation and framing
(2) the whole content of the page is revealed, not just one word
(3) it looks like a Barnes and Noble/Borders/Waterstones book
(4) can be used for table hopping and parlour/cabaret
(5) the card selection/verification is an extra kicker!

Have shipped to Singapore, US, and Finland and please note that UK postage is included in the price!

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Postby Magic_Drummer » Jan 28th, '07, 21:50

Hey Dr. Todd, I emailed you about a month ago, I'm gonna pick this up this month sometime, likely next paycheck, I will ge tin contact with you at that time. Thanks.

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Cogito

Postby DrTodd » Feb 1st, '07, 22:23

Hey magic drummer:

Look forward to it!

Cheers,

Todd

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Postby ElliottB » Feb 18th, '07, 01:53

I got this recently. It’s a great two punch stage book-test. It’s easy to do and Dr. Landman includes complete patter and presentation tips. Best of all, it will make you seem educated…just make sure to pronounce those names correctly :)

I am hardly an expert on book-tests, but will definitely use this next time I perform for a decent sized group.

Thanks,

Elliott

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Cogito Ergo Sum

Postby DrTodd » Feb 18th, '07, 09:21

ElliottB wrote:I got this recently. It’s a great two punch stage book-test. It’s easy to do and Dr. Landman includes complete patter and presentation tips. Best of all, it will make you seem educated…just make sure to pronounce those names correctly :)

I am hardly an expert on book-tests, but will definitely use this next time I perform for a decent sized group.

Thanks,

Elliott


There is a great scene in Monty Python's Meaning of Life, when a couple have dinner in a bizarre 'torture' restaurant and have a scripted conversation about philosophy...

I am glad you liked it and learned something as well!

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