A formative experience in my attitude to magic was when I saw an excellent sleight-of-hand magician performing to my small group of friends (waiting in a line for an event). He was very convincing and great fun; but there was a moment in the middle of his series of tricks when my attention was caught by something else in the distance. When I looked back after five seconds of distraction, he was mid-trick; and I saw him matter-of-factly take a foam ball from his hand, put it into his pocket, and then open his hand to reveal no foam balls—to general astonishment. All his other tricks, before and after, I found completely convincing.
Accordingly, I grok that there’s an entire art of doing incredibly obvious things in such a way that the viewer doesn’t understand that something obvious has happened. That’s one of the main things I want to learn from magic: how to perform trivial bullshit very convincingly (e.g. by knowing how to direct the viewer’s attention).
Thanks for the tip about performing repeatedly to new groups. Now that you mention it, it’s extremely obvious, but I don’t think I’d have come up with that myself.
Thanks very much for this! I’ve written a lot of stuff on there (I’m the Patrick Stevens whose name is splatted all over the screenshot). I asked them a year ago (ish) whether I could have a data dump, and they said it was Too Difficult; and I didn’t bother scraping it myself. I’m glad you actually went and did something about it!
On introductory non-standard analysis, Goldblatt’s “Lectures on the hyperreals” from the Graduate Texts in Mathematics series. Goldblatt introduces the hyperreals using an ultrapower, then explores analysis and some rather complicated applications like Lebesgue measure.
Goldblatt is preferred to Robinson’s “Non-standard analysis”, which is highly in-depth about the specific logical constructions; Goldblatt doesn’t waste too much time on that, but constructs a model, proves some stuff in it, then generalises quite early. Also preferred to Hurd and Loeb’s “An introduction to non-standard real analysis”, which I somehow just couldn’t really get into. Its treatment of measure theory, for instance, is just much more difficult to understand than Goldblatt’s.
True, though the decision of who is most cost-effective does remain for you to decide.
It’s more of a tactic to make sure people don’t think “hey, another crackpot organisation” if they haven’t already heard about them. I’m hoping to raise GWWC to the level of “worth investigating for myself” in this post.
I do something similar. I consistently massively underestimate the inferential gaps when I’m talking about these things, and end up spending half an hour talking about tangential stuff the Sequences explain better and faster.
I’d frame it as “Nick Bostrom needs Jeeves. Are you Jeeves?”
(After P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster.)