The Mathematics of Magic
I don’t particularly like math. I’ve never been a fan of magic either. For some reason, however, when I heard about a new book entitled Magical Mathematics written by two first-rate mathematicians, Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham, I felt compelled to buy it and read it.
I have to say that it is really good, and I would highly recommend it to any nerd. It is a really artful melding of card tricks that are remarkable, with explanations of the underlying math concepts that are at one level so simple and clear that almost anyone could get the basic intuition for what they are talking about, but at another level so deep and difficult that it is probably hopeless for someone like me to ever truly understand.
It also got me thinking. I can’t name a single economist who has magic as a hobby or interest. I’m sure there are some, but it is extremely rare. Maybe love of magic among adults is just not very common, but I think it is something deeper. Whatever it is that makes someone like economics, I think it tends to make them not like magic.
Any theories or evidence on this question from blog readers?