[If your firewall blocked the image, see it on Twitter at @ScottAdamsSays.]
When Donald Trump uses his persuasion skills to turn someone into a puppet, can we call that person a Trumpet? I vote yes!
Because I want America to be great again.
Anyway, yesterday I blogged about Trump’s masterful use of persuasion and I thought some of you would enjoy seeing a perfect example of a common technique. It is the sort of thing you can do at home.
Warning: Stop reading now if you do not want to take the risk of being influenced to buy a particular item. Seriously. What follows is an experiment in manipulating your opinion. If that sort of experience does not appeal to you, please stop reading.
And this warning is serious. It is not part of the experiment.
If you’re still with me, check out this screen grab of my book’s ranking on one of Amazon’s bestseller sub-groups. My book is just above Trump’s book, and I’m almost positive he is getting more publicity lately.
[If your firewall is blocking the image, it is just two books side-by-side.]
To be fair, this ranking lasted about five minutes and means absolutely nothing. The temporary ranking of my book in an obscure sub-group listing does not indicate its value.
But here’s the thing. My words have a LITTLE impact on your memory. But the image of my book next to Trump’s book is a visual you are likely to remember even though it has no impact on your life. In effect, my book’s image is leeching off the “value” people see in Trump, either because he is a successful business person or because he might be the next president of the United States. Even if you dislike Trump on an intellectual level, he is still associated in your mind with success, wealth and power. And I just siphoned off some of that goodwill for my book.
The way you influence people is by managing their dominant thoughts. And you can do that by associating things in people’s minds the way a dog associates obedience with treats. The brain is a natural connection-maker. It can’t turn that function off. A skilled persuader can chain together thoughts so one borrows the qualities of the other. Repetition strengthens the association.
Trump wants to “Make America Great.” All three of those words are winning words. That choice of words is no clown accident. Trump is making people associate his brand with America, greatness, and even “making” stuff, which is generally good. Every time you hear his slogan, or read it, the association is strengthened.
Compare Trump’s slogan to some dumb-ass intellectual slogan such as “I will make government smaller!” The words government and smaller are total loser words. The quality of that person’s argument will be lost on most voters. All they will know is that Trump wants to make them great while the other candidate wants to make something smaller.
My main point is that intellectual arguments lose to visual arguments and to powerful associations such as “America” and “great.” You think Trump is spouting calorie-free non-policies because he’s an idiot who hasn’t done his homework. The reality (as far as I can tell) is that he’s playing three-dimensional chess with two-dimensional opponents.
Here I’ll remind you that I don’t support any of the candidates at this point. My main interest in Trump is his persuasion skills.
Note: I am not including a link to my book because it wouldn’t seem sporting in this context.
In Top Tech Blog, how about an AI that can jam with a jazz band? If it works, and passes the jazz-Turing test, it will be one more blow against the superstition that music comes from the soul. Sometimes it comes from the algorithm.