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From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space

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Book Find
Guinness Dark Side
After being snowbound for 40 hours we were finally able to get out late Sunday morning. The first event: A family trip to a bookstore. There I found and bought a copy of The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man. I had read it decades ago, back in college or even high school. The author, David W. Maurer was a long time friend and colleague of my parents. When I saw The Sting a few years later I immediately noticed how closely it followed Maurer's book and mentioned that to my father. Dad agreed, but that was done with without Maurer's permission or any acknowledgement of his work. As noted here, a lawsuit followed.

After all these years, The Big Con still finds new fans, such as Cory Doctorow.

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I think it was a textbook for a lot of writers of Sixties TV shows.

Lovable con men have been a staple of TV ever since, waxing and waning, and they have had a resurgence recently.

In particular, an enjoyable UK production called Hustle, aired on AMC in the US, seems to be the result of a very close study of Prof. Maurer's book.

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