• entries
  • comments
  • views

March 18th Round-up of interesting posts



9 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


I liked parts of this video and didn't other parts. In case you weren't aware, the guy's name is Charlie Houpert. I think he hides it because, from what I was able to tell, he comes from the PUA world. (PUA = pick-up artist.)

The good thing about PUA people is they split-test everything (especially on girls :) ). So even though they might now know why some persuasion technique or other works, they know it generally does because they have tried it in all kinds of combinations and get repeatable results.

I have a much longer discussion on this that I am not sure I will get around to writing in this thread, but since you are worried about volition, let me give you a nuance you might not be considering. The standard Randian view is either you control your mind or you don't. It's either-or. Not only that, you choose to.

The reality of the brain is that it's both. There is a hell of a lot that the brain does automatically. Volition can override the automated stuff, but there are degrees depending on how thick a neural pathway has developed. And where there are conflicts between volition and an automated subconscious habit, the overrides are temporary. Think of all the broken New Year's resolutions to see how hard it is to control a bad habit with volition alone. On the other hand, I broke a crack cocaine addiction--forever I hope--so it can be done and that was one thick-ass neural pathway. (That, by the way, was the hardest thing I ever did in life.)

There are many times when the subconscious (automated part) of the mind rules volition, though. At the extreme, people snap and go temporarily insane. Their volition gets totally hijacked, yet they are rational enough to carry out sophisticated actions requiring planning. This is far more complicated than simple volition versus non-choice. (People do good things when snapping, too, like when someone rescues another in eminent danger without knowing what he was doing at the time.)

Here is the best book I have read so far on this (I'm only halfway through): Why We Snap by R. Douglas Fields, PhD. This is the best by far on the neuroscience of subconscious processes for laymen, but it does get right up to the edge of being too technical. I have seen no finer, though.

The main part of the Houpert's video I didn't like is ignoring reality. When Houpert says Trump frames with fear, he leaves out that Trump talks about something actually to be afraid of (ISIS chopping off heads, etc.). Yes, there is a technique. But it is used in addition to reality, to enhance the effect of something real, not to replace reality.

When fear is used as a technique only, like with climate science, the thing to fear is all over the map and even doubtful. So that frame only convinces the already-convinced. It comes off as melodrama to others.

This is similar to seeing people criticize Trump supporters as going on emotion only (which you mentioned). One guy I know (Biddibob) says Trump's rise is proof of the "triumph of cynicism over principle" in America. That's horseshit, but it's understandable why he would think that because reality is missing. Think of it like this. If Trump supporters only used emotion, why don't other emotion manipulators do what Trump does? You will never see one of these "triumph of cynicism over principle" answer that question because they blank out a reality Trump supporters see.

The narrative people (also Biddibob) commit the same error. They think you only need to come up with a better story to tell the masses and you get large-scale compliance. They think the masses will adopt a different narrative through storytelling techniques--so they focus on learning how to present a better narrative. They forget there has to be enough reality in the story to make people believe it.

Trump supporters see Trump's achievements. The principle-only people don't (or they are dismissive). Trump supporters see how eggheads talking about constitutional principles without doing anything about them has resulted in expanding government and endless war. The principle-only people blame these issues on others and don't acknowledge their own lack of action or totally ineffective action.

Principle-wise, Trump supporters see Trump's principles of fairness, winning, excellence, free market trade and value creation in his projects. They also see how he reacts to the principle of sanction of the victim. The principle-only people don't see Trump as having any principles at all because he does not use their jargon and read the same books they do.

I could go on, but the point is the anti-Trump principle-only people may have good things to say about government and life and so on, but I have restrictions on some of their thinking because it is not based on the reality they live or the reality right in front of them. They blank out the parts they don't like.

In like manner, I have restrictions about some of Houpert's explanations of Trump's persuasion because it is only based on PUA-like split testing (which is basically NLP-style modeling. NLP = neuro-linguistic programming). Houpert implies the techniques would work even if there were no reality to peg them to, that they are not based on reality substance at the root. He treats a persuasion technique as a string pulled by a contextless puppetmaster.

And Houpert does not base his explanations on the available science of the brain. I don't think he blanks out anything. He's young and still learning, so I believe there is a lot he hasn't looked at. But he makes broad statements of fact about things that are not fact. 

In both cases (Haupert and typical anti-Trump principle-only people), there are overlaps to the big picture where some things they say are correct, but reality is missing from their why foundation. And that makes their explanations hit-and-miss and given as dogma.

I'm going to look at more videos by Houpert and I'll probably write some more about him. Even with my reservations, I like him. The best thing he has going is constant analysis of others as case studies. (To that extent, he is looking at reality. But he is confining his observations to social behavior, not automatic brain behavior like fMRI scans. And, like I mentioned, at least in Trump's case, he doesn't look at the reality referent of the persuasion technique. He only sees the technique through the lens of how it worked on girls in bars. :) ) 

So even when I don't agree with what Houpert  says, he comes up with questions to think about I probably would not have asked. And he gives great examples. He's definitely someone to keep an eye on as he grows.

(btw - He does good marketing--all the standard stuff--for selling his fish. :) )



10 hours ago, merjet said:

Part of Peter's #10: "Mr. Trump claims that he must be nominated since he will go to Cleveland with the most delegates. Yet Lincoln entered the 1860 Republican convention trailing William Seward . . . . If you don’t raise your game, you could suffer the fate of William Seward." 

"As the convention developed, however, it was revealed that Seward, Chase, and Bates had each alienated factions of the Republican Party. Delegates were concerned that Seward was too closely identified with the radical wing of the party" 1860 Convention


8 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

There is something that has bothered me ever since I voted.

I received a sticker saying, "I voted!"

Here is a photo I just took of it, but what an odd sticker:


Notice the communist star in the middle of the O.

Also, I was able to make out two Chinese characters in the first five-character string (the first and fourth). The fifth character at the end is Japanese. (I got these from Google translate.) I couldn't find the second and third.

Then the "I voted!" message is in Spanish. Then in Hindi of all things.

As far as I know, there is no big Hindu population in Cook County. At least not big enough for the government to print electoral materials for everyone in Hindi.

Ditto for Chinese and Japanese.

Weird... even for left-wingers...



8 hours ago, Guyau said:

Michael, you wrote: “Principle-wise, Trump supporters see Trump's principles of fairness, winning, excellence, free market trade and value creation in his projects.” No, that’s only a bit part of his political virtue and of their concerns for many of this supporters. With millions of supporters (some of them, friends I’ve talk to about their support in person), they are many different sorts, especially while there is enough vagueness and instability in what are to be his positions. [Underline unintentional]

Here is a couple working hard for Trump that we saw on last Tuesday evening. One wonders about their present full economic realities, such that they are devoting these days to a political campaign; my own friends strongly in favor of Trump are working every catch-as-catch-can to make a living and have no time for such activism. (PBS apparently didn’t realize the significance of the tattoos 88 and the Celtic cross, but these too are devoted Trump supporters.)




7 hours ago, Selene said:

I find it somewhat disquieting that those few of us here on OL who supported the Trump candidacy from early on are still attempting to "convince" folks that Donald Trump is a remarkable individual person standing above an impersonal, tribal culture.

However, here is just another testimonial about what this man is about.

You shall not crucify Donald on a gold dollar sign...



6 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

For this last post, you have to see the unfolding storyline to get it, but it's there. This storyline has been running since the beginning of the race. It's the same storyline where the establishment sucked up to Carly to later spit her out. And what they've now done to Marco Rubio.

Speaking of Rubio, he now says he wants to leave politics altogether.

Looks like the door to the backrooms slammed in his face.

But think of this. If Rubio is folding under the pressure of losing one campaign, a big campaign, granted, but only one campaign for a young person, imagine what he would have done under the pressures of the presidency.

America might have dodged a bullet.



4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


Actually, you misrepresent what I said.

I didn't say "free trade." I said "free market trade." When one side pays with manipulated currency and protective tariffs and government subsidies and the other side can't (except maybe for subsidies), they call that "free trade" and maybe you might want to call that "free trade," but you can't call it "free market trade."

Why? There is no free market. Without a free market, how can there be free market trade?

In the absence of a free market, Trump is in favor of using whatever mechanisms are available to make it fair trade (meaning equal payment and delivery conditions on both sides). If they cheat causing a 35% imbalance, he slaps them with a 35% penalty on this side. It's that kind of thinking.

That way, normal Americans stop being chumps.

And boom! One more euphemism hiding evil goes up in flames.

(In today's language, "free trade" means government manipulated trade between countries to favor crony government+corporation insiders.)

Trump's biggest druther, though, is a free market. I am pretty sure international trade people who play fair will not be bothered much by the American government.




Donald Trump's Debates: 5 Mental Tricks You Didn't Notice

Donald Trump has proven himself to be a master persuader. His unlikely rise to prominence in the Republican primaries has riden on the fact that he knows how to work the media during interviews as well as his performances in the GOP debates against the likes of Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. In this video we'll look at the top 5 relatively unknown psychological truths that Trump exploits to get his point across during interviews and debates. Watch it now.

Posted by

Charisma On Command

on Tuesday, 8 March 2016


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now