March 17, 2002

[SKEPTIC] - Hoax History -

[SKEPTIC] - Hoax History - Hoaxes are fascinating to me, along with cons and scams. Here is a collection of hoaxes throughout history - A Museum of Hoaxes. These include academic hoaxes, like archaeology'sThe Piltdown Man to modern hoaxes like the "glitterati" hoax at the Toronto Film Festival 2000.

Why are these things so fascinating to me personally? I'm not entirely sure. I suppose that it is at least in part a marvel to me how people largely hoax themselves. Hoaxers rely on the "mark" or "sucker" to be an active participant. Usually scams involve greedy people. It's tough to cheat an honest man, as the saying goes, because many swindles involve a flavor of impropriety. This is also why many swindles don't get reported.

There is also an element of control involved, of will domination. Like stage hypnosis, the subject is a willing participant to the extent to which they are involved. Swindlers take advantage of the social patterns we all fall into, so analyzing scams involves a bit of introspection and separating yourself from these patterns, questioning them.

Posted by James at March 17, 2002 5:31 PM
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