A Field Guide to Charlatans
Enter the world of charlatans, swindlers, cheats, and con artists to explore the truth behind the First Century Roman saying – Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur (‘The world wants to be
Enter the world of charlatans, swindlers, cheats, and con artists to explore the truth behind the First Century Roman saying – Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur (‘The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived’).
Even subterfuge that lacks subtlety has some level of entertainment value. Are we hard-wired to accept and enjoy deception?
A Field Guide to Charlatans takes the audience through the various types of deceivers, from mountebank to magician; from advertiser to politician. A work that’s part history lesson and part cautionary tale, it weaves a story of ill-gotten gain that’s fun for the whole family (provided the family are carnies).
The consummate grifter uses the same techniques used by magicians for centuries – psychology, attention direction, sleight-of-hand – in order to profit rather than merely entertain. The person asking you to pick a card could just as easily be picking your pocket. This is an opportunity for people to understand a bit more about how these things work together. You might not learn to beat the hustle, but at least you might learn why you were hustled.
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