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OUR COLUMNIST AVILA DOES NOT AGREE WITH MY ARGUMENT ON THE NEED TO REUNITE ART AND PRESENCE. HE TALKS ABOUT ‘MAGIC’, THOUGH. IN HIS OWN WORDS:

‘No,no,no,nooooo… Wrong approach… We need to steer away from superstition and I’ll tell you way:

The term “magic” or “Magi” originated in ancient Persia to denote the followers of Zoroaster, whose purpose was to delimitate truth from falsehood in life. Reading the stars was one of the Magi’s main tasks, because of the realization of their immortality. While the rest of the world transforms and changes, the stars reassure the concept of knowledge over time, by appearing in the dark sky regardless of what’s going on in the human world. In their minds, the repetition of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies, were interpreted as a fountain of information on human affairs. The Magi were interested in finding answers to their questions, which means that they had to observe the most reliable source available, and since the stars seemed to be above good or bad; right or wrong; true or false; the implication was that they could translate their movements as a source of truth.

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The common understanding of the term “magician” in our day, is of an individual that performs magic, which is basically an illusion since we live in a scientific world where almost everything has an explanation and miracles are set aside for people with supernatural powers. That definition is incorrect. Magicians do not create illusions or deceptions of the truth. Magicians are people dedicated on finding the truth, resulting in contradictory situations which produce in audiences a estate of wonder, exciting their minds by focusing in the appearance of an event that seems inexplicable.

The truth is their knowledge. A good magician relies on describing a situation where the audience travels from the present to the future missing the breach of knowledge that explains what has occurred. The best secret ever kept between magicians is…. practice. The acquisition of expertise due to practicing and repeating a magic “trick” many times prior to the event, enables the magician to convince the audience that they are in the right path of knowledge, when in reality, they are very skillfully guided to a different bridge.

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The best performances are those that require simplicity and lack of elaboration, because they reassure the audience of a certain security. With simplicity, the margin for awareness becomes larger given that the learning process is shorter, which makes truth more accessible. In these cases, the magician has to be more clever demonstrating his creativity and his knowledge, reaching for unknowns that the public disregards or ignores. In other words, for some, pulling an elephant out of a top-hat would be more interesting that transforming a beautiful lady into a tiger behind a silky cloth.

Magicians entrust their interpretation of truth to their abilities, hoping that it will remain in their side as long as the subjective knowledge of the audience wont interfere with the experience. Bursting asset bubbles work in the same way. When a community of people guided by contradictory policies, find that the fantasy bridge that took them to a paradise where asset prices deviated from their intrinsic values is no longer real, because their knowledge and experience is incapable of accepting the presented truth, the magic disappears.

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An asset bubble in not based on an illusion; it is founded in the interpretation of the truth by some individuals that consider the circumstances under a controlled environment, when in reality, their lack of knowledge or their private interest manage to form an indefensible situation. Usually those bubbles are created not by improving regulations, but by the inability of removing barriers on time. They act more like dams than bubbles.

The housing situation is a good example. Many would like to think that the unrealistic condition of the past years was created by an excessive influx of new construction, when in reality the main cause was the social inability to produce an maintain jobs, which acted as an obstacle to the shortsighted ideology in place. The torrent of unqualified individuals that wanted to buy a house was much greater that the adeptness for the community to keep those people in a productive estate. That resulted in the convulsion of the entire economy, who at the time was dreaming with unlimited possibilities.

Societies often want to be mesmerized more than enlightened by finding the truth. That predisposition is what misdirects them from their paths into hazardous conditions, because while they are watching the environment and wondering in awe “how” it is possible, someone else is benefiting with their denial by knowing “why” it is possible.

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