This started with a forum I belong to. Someone introduced a fictitious proof of PI=4, on a forum NOT devoted to math. I responded with this video entitled Rhapsody on the proof of pi = 4:
Let’s call this person Babu Bhatt from “Seinfeld”. And we will call this forum the Nasrudin forum. Both the name and forum name are fictitious. Anyway, this person and others introduced both bogus and real proofs. And I responded with videos from this person, as well as scholarly links and discussion. Babu criticized these videos as wrong, from the deeper aspects of mathematics. Since my last sharing teaches some important points, I’ll share it hear:
“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.” — Chinese Proverb
There are three things I have learned in life and try to practice.
- From philosophy it’s to define your terms first
- From computer science, it’s the KISS philosophy – Keep it simple and stupid
- From direct response copywriting (i.e. writing for business or advertising), is to know your audience.
What’s the key question here? Who is your audience? In direct response copywriting, you learn these things:
- Keep the conversation to a level of eight grade and below
- People respond more to buying on emotion then on reason. Then they try to use reason, to justify their emotional based purchase
- Talk to them like you’re conversing with a friend at the bar
Actually, if you can do these things well, you could become a millionaire on royalties – like Clayton Makepeace, Bob Bly or Ben Hart did. Can you use that info here? Sure! Ever see the Three Stooges short, where they are talking about Pig Latin? Moe says to Curly:
“I’ll explain it so even you can understand it.”
When you do that, you lose or pass over the “deeper” and correct aspects.
It comes back to who is our audience, which is something I brought up in another thread. Without being insulting to anyone, suppose Curly of the three stooges were part of our audience. We have to speak at his level “and above”. Unless you have statistical data and demographics on your target audience, you can’t assume anything.
You are right, Babu . The video does contain errors, just as the picture proof that Pi=4 contains errors. But if you are so concerned about what is “right and proper”, then why introduce something that “is not right and proper”, in the first place?
But who is your audience here, Babu, and who is my audience? Mine is both the amateur and the professional. If they want the “comic book” version, they watch the video. If they want the “scholarly journal” version, they go to the appropriate links I’ve provided.
And she should correctly define her terms before talking in the video. It’s something many folks here often fail to do also, in discussions of scripture, theology and philosophy. We might end up with something like this, from Abbot and Costello:
But who is her audience and who is our audience? She is from Khan Academy , which is a non-profit dedicated to teaching subjects up through high school free – as far as I understand their group. Or as Wiki says:
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”
If someone posts a YouTube video and enables comments, the place to place criticisms is on the video YouTube comments section. And they should revise the video, based on feedback.
And who is our audience? Two professional mathematicians talking to each other? Or a group of forum lay people, who like to discuss theology, philosophy, scripture and other – sometimes fun – subjects?
If you want a good video presentation for the amateur, then watch her. If you want a good discussion among professional respondents, go to Quota (i.e.like I pointed to earlier at Why is 0.999… equal to 1? or some similar place.
Yes, she has some things wrong at a “deeper” level. But her audience is probably those struggling with math, who see these videos as fun and entertaining – just as many here would. What math videos have your contributed free, for the benefit of providing free education to all?
- It’s up to her to enable comments on original YouTube postings.
- It’s up to people like us, to provide professional feedback there.
- And it is up to her to revise, based upon feedback.
In fact, given the scope and mission of Khan Academy, it’s probably the duty of every professional to provide video feedback. This way, they can preform their mission of free education better.
Yes, great direct response copywriters have much to teach us and command high fees. In fact, famous marketer Ed Dale just revealed today he paid legendary direct response copywriter Gary Halbert 20 K a month in High Fees to coach him.
And you know what? If you want to master the art of persuasion, then direct response copywriting will teach you that. Studying historical and contemporary philosophers for constructing Logical philosophical arguments are all well and good. Studying famous writers for engaging literary styles are all well and good. But in my book, direct response copywriters are masters at the art of persuasion and well worth studying how they compose their ads and selling stories.
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