Dec 6: reading and response questions

GROUP 1: Chris Allick, Michael E, Liesje, Ania, Sebastian, Candice, Aaron, Poram
You are reading excerpts from The Big Con, by David Maurer, which I’ll hand out in class.

Response questions:
In email: What is the most interesting element of a successful con, for you, and why?
In class: Be prepared to explain to the group the elements of a successful con and outline the basic procedure, the players, and techniques.

GROUP 2: Minette, Jeff, MMC, Luis, Patrick, Chris Alden, Hana, Nicholas.
You are are reading short pieces about hoaxes and impostors. There’s one handout, plus links below. Read at least one hoax and one impostor.

PT Barnum’s account of the Feejee Mermaid hoax
The Mechanical Turk / Automaton Chess Player
Wikipedia actually does this justice. [Note: You can skip the section on “popular culture” and what follows.]

Frederic Bourdain
Ferdinand Waldo Demara (HANDOUT)

Response Questions:
In email: What is one technique in hoaxes or imposture that you find especially devious and interesting, and tell me why.
In class: Be prepared to explain the environment, players, technique, and apprehension of one of the hoaxes to the group for discussion; likewise, be prepared to report on one impostor and their story, technique, special skills and how they got busted to the group for discussion.

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