What Is Magic, And What Isn’t?
Magic, for some people, will always be a good way of explaining the seemingly unexplainable. At least, there will always be an impulse to put these things down to supernatural forces. There may be countless more believable explanations if one looks deep enough and if one has the full facts at hand, but for the sake of brevity, magic or illusion are always mentioned at such times.
For instance, is “mind-reading” or any other “psychic” trick magic? Being able to tell what someone is thinking may be an act of incredible dexterity, but it may also be a matter of just noticing cues. Some excellent illusionists have managed to lift the veil regarding “mind reading” by showing how they have seemingly read a person’s unspoken thoughts merely by reading their eyes and other non-verbal “tells”.
Looking at it in a more prosaic way, think about how the best poker players seem to win more often than not in a game which is, to all intents and purposes, one of luck. Assuming that you are playing with a clean deck and the same conditions all exist for every player, how does the same guy win so often? By knowing (or having a very strong reason to think) that another player will do something they have not said they will do.
You can call it magic, or illusion, or cold reading, but for the sake of judging how impressive something is, all that matters is that the person doing it can do something that other people could not.