This article has stuck with me: http://blog.dilbert.com/post/147595892021/how-persuaders-see-the-world I’ve always loved the world of persuasion. I’ve loved political ads, and I love hypnosis, and making people do, and think things without them realizing it. Most people are influenced by persuaders. They are influenced by words, and they try to categorize everything into boxes and label those boxes with black and white labels. “Creative Person”. “Racist Man”. “Unhealthy Food”. Persuaders use a different technique: they find a word that hasn’t been touched, such as “Godzilla”, “Gung-Ho”, or “Big” to influence people. Preferably these words are visual, easy to say, and can evoke feelings. Sometimes I feel sorry for word thinkers. They think they’re so smart, but they’re influenced so easily. It’s a fun game to play: “How many word thinkers can you wizardize”, and occasionally I enjoy it. But sometimes these word thinkers get too caught up in their labels. When they see a persuader starting to get to their nerves, they get angry. And the more they try to resist, and apply the label, the angrier they get. This is what’s happening in the election right now. Trump is using persuasion tactics that he knows will affect word thinkers. The clinton supporting word-thinkers are getting angry. Every time they see a poll that supports trump, they get angry. Every time trump mentions the poll, they get angry. Every time trump mentions that the poll shows he’s got support from minorities, they get angry. Every time trump mentions anything about minorities, they get angry. The anger cannot be avoided. Sometimes word-thinkers try to use “science” or “facts” to convince themselves otherwise. They tell you that the “facts show” that crime is going down. They use facts as a shield against persuaders, and they put up a wall with their hallucinations. Some guy (Gingrich) comes along and says that facts don’t matter, people’s feelings do. This guy tells you that people don’t feel safe, and so crime going down is irrelevant. The argument is convincing. The argument is persuasive. They get angry. Their response is to put themselves behind another wall. So how do we deal with word thinkers who are unwilling to budge? I’d say let them be. I’d say that if they want to believe their fantasies, they can go ahead and do so. This gives us persuaders a distinct advantage that we really understand how people operate. And there will always be some seagulls who will escape the flock, and decide to learn to fly freely. These people will come out, and we’ll be glad to share with them the knowledge that has always existed.