Take a parcel or cards---say forty---and privately insert among them two long cards
Let the first be, for example, the fifteenth, and the other the twenty-sixth, from the top.
Seem to shuffle the cards, and cut them at the first long card; poise those you have taken off in your hand, and say, "There must be fifteen cards here"; then cut them at the second long card, and say. “There are but eleven here"; and poising the remainder, exclaim, “And here are fourteen cards." On counting them, the spectators will find your calculations correct.
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|Cult Of Numbers|
Even as far back as Pythagoras, there was a tendency to manipulate the perceived value of numbers and measurements against the commoner toward controllable automation. This is the source of the desire in some to objectify others.