On Saturday, March 8, 2014 8:46:21 PM UTC-6, Chris Angelico wrote:

# As above, start here

a = b

# Multiply both sides by a

aa = ba

# Subtract bb (aka b squared, ASCII-friendly) from both sides

aa - bb = ba - bb

# Factor (both sides separately)

(a + b) (a - b) = b (a - b) <========of course all you really proved is that zero == zero

# Cancel out the multiplication by (a - b)

a + b = b

# Subtract b from both sides

a = 0

But then again, it really is a straw man (on steroids) because nobody is really surprised by

the absurdity

postulate: a=b

{magic}

conclusion: a=0

At least no one should be surprised by an absurdity. On the other hand once they see

the proof run by them, um, quickly--- slight of hand, as it were, they might be surprised

if they don't catch it right away.

{still laughing}

love it