Rashomon Principle

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Rashomon Principle (or Smith Myth principle) was a term coined by T.A. Waters (some time around 1980) in which everyone in the audience interprets the same phenomena in slightly different ways.

Waters got the idea for the name from a Max Maven routine called "Rashomon " in the October 1979 Linking Ring. Rashomon was a movie released in 1950, based on the original Ryunosuke Akutagawa story (1915). The film depicts a crime through widely differing accounts of four witnesses. The stories are mutually contradictory, leaving the viewer to determine which, if any, is the truth. Waters liked the reference, and a year or so later began using it as a way of referencing the ambiguity principle found in such effects as "Everywhere and Nowhere," "Smith's Myth," and "The Tossed-Out Deck".

This principle became popular when "Smith-Myth" by Fred Smith was included as a bonus item in Hen Fetsch's book The Five O' Fetsch (1956). Everyone assumes that two different cards were selected, especially the two principal spectators, whereas in reality both have selected the same card.

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