The Pointer Anomaly

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Postby Jim Creighton » 01/26/09 09:07 PM

OK, I read this over about a zillion times, but I'm obviously missing something.

Whenever you turn the ace over end for end, the pointer is always facing toward you, regardless of which end you grab to turn it over.

Of course.

Why is that an anomaly?

Well, I suppose that is a facetious question. I guess what I'm really asking is: Will most spectators perceive that as an anomaly?

Probably if Paul Harris and Richard Kaufman think they will, then they will -- and I do not mean that comment to be at all facetious. I look forward to reading the winning entries in the Pointer Anomaly Challenge.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 01/26/09 09:29 PM

When you demonstrate the move the first few times, you make it appear as though the ace will face a certain direction depending on how you turn the ace over. It puts that anomaly in the spectators mind.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/26/09 11:25 PM

I'll repeat again (from the other thread on this subject): don't just think in terms of the tip of a Spade pip. Think, as Paul notes, of blank cards with stuff written on them.
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Postby Jim Creighton » 01/27/09 12:49 AM

Sorry, Richard, I don't understand why using blank cards with stuff written on them makes it any more of an anomaly. But I guess that approach might make it easier to lead the spectator into thinking that there IS an anomaly involved, which is the point, of course -- as Joe Pecore points out.

Maybe the other thread will make it all clear even for me...but in my obtuseness, I can't figure out how to find that either. Please steer me in the right direction. Thanks.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 01/27/09 02:59 AM

I'm with Jim on this one. I don't see the anomaly. Seems like a non-effect to me.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 01/27/09 06:20 AM

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Postby Jim Creighton » 01/27/09 12:28 PM

After looking at the original thread, I see the question I asked has already been raised. Sorry for bringing it up again. (I still don't get it, though -- not the later explanation about how the perceived anomaly works but the description of how Paul Harris discovered this alleged phenomenon when using the ace as a pointer.)
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Postby Geoff Weber » 01/28/09 09:20 PM

From the article, it states that he had orignally planned to use the ace as a key card to remind him which way to spread the deck. Paul Harris was under the mistaken impression that the direction the ace pointed would be dictated by which end he turned it over from. He figured if he could fool himself, other people might share this misception.
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Postby Jim Creighton » 01/28/09 11:02 PM

I get that part, Geoff, but wasn't Paul Harris trying to determine how a spectator had tabled the deck? As we all know only too well by now, it wouldn't matter which end of the ace Mr. Harris turned over, but wouldn't it matter in which direction the spectator tabled the face-down deck? Why would the result be the same 10 times in a row? That would depend on how the spectator placed the deck, not on how Mr. Harris turned over the ace. Maybe a right-handed spectator, say, would always be inclined to table a deck with the top to the left -- the most natural movement. But I don't know, maybe I am misreading the description. Maybe that wasn't what Mr. Harris was trying to determine at all.
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