Why fool an idiot when intelligent people will fool themselves?

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I could be your magician Photo (cc) jin.thai

I could be your magi­cian Photo (cc) jin.thai

There’s all sorts of reas­ons why pseudos­ciences flour­ish. One which is over­looked is that it’s not stu­pid people who get taken in. In fact if you’re plan­ning a suc­cess­ful career in decep­tion there are plenty of good reas­ons not to tar­get stu­pid people. A fool and his money are eas­ily par­ted, so they’re not likely to be rich. They’ll explain your story to oth­ers in simple terms, expos­ing you pretty quickly. Finally stu­pid people need things explained to them care­fully. It’s a lot of hard and unne­ces­sary work. I’ve an ama­teur interest in magic, espe­cially men­tal­ism. Cold read­ing isn’t a magic tech­nique, but it’s a use­ful skill to have to add fin­esse to tricks. The one of the ways it works may also explain one of the reas­ons people find pseudos­ciences so compelling.

Put simply Cold Reading is a way of provid­ing some words and leav­ing the mark to make sense of it. In much the same way a hole-in-one is simply hit­ting a golf ball so that it lands in the hole at the first attempt. I’ll try and give some examples but like a lot of tricks they look mundane once writ­ten down.

Here’s my first pre­dic­tion.
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