Jason’s One-Card Stud Poker Model of Human Mating, And How to Hack It For Benefit

Jason’s one-card stud poker model of human mating goes like this:

Imagine you are seated at a poker table with both sexes in attendance. The dealer shuffles the deck and says, “This game is called one-card stud poker. You each draw a single card and, without looking at it, hold it up on your forehead where everyone can see it but you. Then the betting begins.” What a strange game, you think. I don’t know my own card’s ranking, but I know everyone else’s.

This, in a nutshell, is the situation in humans. For most of our evolution, we had no direct awareness of ourselves or our appearance or desirability as a mate. For men this wasn’t a big problem: attempt to mate with every female and see which ones accept. But for females, whose required investment in the gestation, birth, and early childhood in their offspring was much greater, this posed an evolutionary problem: how did our female ancestors know if the male attempting to mate with her was a good genetic investment relative to her own? If she held out for a male that was too far out of her league, she risked losing fertile time and missing out on mating. If she mated with inferior males, she risked bearing inferior offspring. What was a Paleolithic girl to do?

So females evolved a mechanism to determine whether a particular male was a step up, and worth their time, or a step down, whom they should avoid: whether or not that male was willing to spend effort to mate with her, or whether he could take her or leave her. Remember, this was a time before mirrors and before awareness of self, so women could not directly evaluate their own attractiveness.

So when a male begged and groveled, offered her gifts, and hung around her, waiting for a chance, she knew he perceived her as a step up for him, and that she could probably do better. But the male who could take her or leave her must have better mating options than she presented, and thus he would likely be a step up for her offspring.

And don’t we still see this in effect today? Men who are “assholes” frequently get attractive women because since he can treat her badly, he must have better options and she would do well to mate with him. The disinterest gay men have for women often makes women find them irresistible. And those men who beg and wait around get put in the friend zone where there is little or no mating.

So men, if you want to get more attractive women, learn to cultivate a romantically detached manner. You are aware of her, and there might be some interest, or even rituals like dating, but you aren’t attached to her attractiveness and you certainly aren’t going to wait around for her or, god forbid, beg. At the end of the day, you can take her or leave her because you have better mating options. It’s not a one variable interaction, but you can certainly stack the deck in your favor by hacking this feature of human evolution.

Parsing the Milo Yiannopoulos Interview With Channel 10 Australia for Persuasion – Part 2

Below is a clip of one of the most expertly done examples of persuasion I have yet seen. Australian TV channel 10 interviews Milo Yiannopoulos live in preparation for his Australian tour. There is an interesting panel: a mainstream female anchor, a male anchor, an older woman, and a feminist with the sides of her head shaved who I think is named Jess.

In this post I identify some of the techniques used. Milo makes heavy use of the Cialdini pre-suasion and 7 (some say 8) principles, so you will see a lot of them here. I’m going to use the old-school term “framing” here instead of pre-suasion because it’s too easy to misread the term pre-suasion.

To go through the raw transcription first so you can practice identifying them yourself, see Part 1

Keep in mind that they are in Sydney and he is in New York, so there is a communications delay that causes some crosstalk.

Anchor: Who is Milo Yiannopoulos and what exactly does he stand for? Well we are going to ask the man himself because he joins us now from New York City this morning. Milo Yianopolous! Welcome to Studio 10.

Milo: Thank you! Thank you so much! Thank you for having me.

Anchor: Well you have … your critics call you antisemitic, homosexual hating, white supremacist… yet you have publicly said that you are a proud gay man, you have Jewish heritage, and you just recently married your black boyfriend. [ Anti-semitic man with Jewish heritage? Anti-homosexual white supremacist who married his black boyfriend? These contradictions break a lot of pre-existing frames and generate interest. ] Congratulations, by the way!

Milo: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Anchor: Lots of people want to label you, so tell us: what does Milo stand for? 

Milo: Well I’m a free speech activist so sometimes I say outrageous and controversial things. [ Because ] Sometimes I’m a jokester and a trickster and a Loki-esque figure. [ Framing – jokes and tricks, it’s all in good fun. Plus a high-brow reference to Loki, the Norse trickster god. Appealing to an archetype we all recognize. ] The political left, the, you know, the feminists and the social justice warriors and the leftist journalists don’t like me very much and call me a variety of names because they find me difficult to categorize. [ Because, more framing ] They don’t understand how a gay guy could have these opinions, or whatever. I don’t fit, really fit into any box, so I represent sort of a threat to them because I’m persuasive and charismatic and I have a huge fan base. [ Because, breaking existing frames, social proof, setting up consistency ] They just really don’t know how to deal with that. [ Milo answers the question of “what does he stand for” not with information, but with a FRAME. By setting and controlling the frame, he controls the set of presuppositions that determine what is and is not consistent. ]

Older Female Panelist: Oh, very modest as well, darling!

Milo: Also, very humble. (laughter) [ By repeating the idea, he takes ownership of it ]

Feminist: Ah, because, Milo, I’m a feminist, and I’m proud to be a feminist, and a lot of what you say …

Milo: That’s ok, I’m sure they’ll cure you soon. [ Frames feminism as something that needs to be cured, a disease, an unnatural abberation, before the self-described feminist has an opportunity to make any points. She is dead in the water already at this point. ]

SHF: No… 

Milo: There’s chemotherapy for that now. [ Doubles down. Now it’s not just a disease, it’s cancer, the most feared of all diseases. Repetition. ]

SHF: No no no what, I suppose, of course everyone is entitled to a view, and to free speech, [ Pacing objection ] but the issue that I have with you, and I suppose a number of critics have with you, [ Authority, social proof ] is that you just seem to stir up hate for the sake of it because you want to get a reaction, because you want to provoke, and then you don’t seem to take the consequences for that. [ Because. She’s also mind-reading from afar. ]

Milo: I don’t think it’s fair to say that I stir up hate. I mean, most people would admit, [ social proof ] I think, if they’re being fair and reasonable, it’s very difficult to describe yourself as “not a feminist” if you’re in public life and that’s an enforcement of a particular political orthodoxy that is not shared by the majority of the public. I mean, very few women describe themselves as feminist. Fewer than 1 in 5 in America. Just 7% in England. [ Social proof. Also authority by using percentages, presumably from a study. ] I’m sure the numbers for Australia, being a very sensitive, ah a very sensible country, are about the same. You know, these ideas that are being enforced in popular culture and on TV are not views reflected in the public, and the gap between the media and the people at home is growing all the time. [ More framing – the issue isn’t hate – it’s the gap between the oppression by feminists and popular culture over the general population. ] That’s my insight and what I seek to expose and ridicule and have fun with. [ Have fun with means he can always say “I was only joking – you can take a joke!” ] Um, it’s perfectly fine if you’re a feminist – my problem isn’t that. [ Un-targetable. Feminists are fine. ] My problem is you, not you personally, but my problem is with those feminists who require in public for us all to say we are too, when we might not be. [ Framing feminists as the oppressors. ] We might think that feminism has run its course and had its day, you know. [ Providing a path forward, i.e. presenting a reasonable “how.” ] I’m not particularly interested, um, in anybody else’s specific positions. What I’m interested in is an open marketplace of ideas. [ Higher ground / chunking up ] You know, a fair, open system where everybody can express themselves without fear of censure. Without fear of professional disaster or fear of social peril just because they cracked the wrong joke on Twitter. Or because they used, you know, the wrong language at work.

Anchor: Can I just interrupt for a second Milo because just picking up what Jess says is you do throw these social hand grenades out there and you say things like “feminism is cancer.” But if you drill down past the headlines and read some of your work – I’ve read your book, I’ve listened to a number of your podcasts – you do make some fair points. But do you think this kind of outrageous schtick that you have is hurting you and turning people off listening to you?

Milo: No, I think the opposite’s happening. I mean millions of people on Facebook, a sold-out tour – by the way Sydney is completely sold out. Now we’re adding a new day on the 30th of November – very obviously the opposite is true. There is a huge appetite for someobody who doesn’t mind thumbing their nose and sticking their tongue out and pointing their middle finger up at the scolds and the nannies and the people who want to tell us how to live. [ Loads of social proof, framing feminists as scolds and nannies, his opposition as harmless fun like sticking your tongue out at a nanny, which we all did as kids. It lessens the severity of the behaviors in question. ] For years, Conservatives

SHF: But Milo, you do more than stick your tongue out. [ Attacking the frame ] I mean, because of the sorts of things you’ve written, along the lines of “Islam is a cancer,” “feminism is a cancer,” you rally…

Milo: I never wrote that actually. That was an invention by journalists. The feminism is true. [ Breaking the frame by deflecting blame onto journalists. Causing SHF to question her assumptions and information ]

SHF: You rally your followers for hate campaigns. There was Leslie Jones, who was in Ghostbusters

Milo: Well what do you mean by “hate campaigns?” I mean, this was invented by the media. [ Redirecting blame to the media. Reframing hate campaigns into something else by chunking down. ]

SHF: Well, all the… it was not invented. 

Milo: I wrote a review of Ghostbusters… I don’t want to get into the little details but

SHF: But no that isn’t a “little detail”

Milo: I wrote a review of Ghostbusters that defended her. [ Breaking the frame with a counter example. ]

SHF: It isn’t a little…

Milo: No, no, the “little detail” is that actually, actually I wrote a review of Ghostbusters that defended her. [ Acknowledging the “little detail” idea and incorporating it into his own point as a pace and redirect ] Then, some people said some mean things about her and I was blamed. [ Breaking it into parts / chunking down ] Well we don’t blame Beyonce when her fans say mean things to Taylor Swift. We don’t blame Justin Bieber when his followers [ Milo makes himself on par with those celebrities. People who like those celebrities are highly inclined to agree with Milo because they don’t want to dislike those celebrities, which they would logically have to do if they accepted that someone is responsible for the actions of his/her fans. ]

SHF: But wait a minute. They were your followers. They were your followers who said incredibly racist things [ Seeking to blame Milo for his fans’ actions ]

Milo: Says who? Says who? 

SHF: Her.

Milo: Some mean people… and I went on CNN and I said it was horrible. I said it was terrible. But I’m not responsible for what they say. I’m responsible for what I say. [ Milo is not to blame because he publicly said the actions were horrible. He is responsible for only what he says, not what his fans say. This is logically sound and is close to a higher ground. ]

SHF: So then why don’t you take more of a consequence of what you say. Because I think there is so much hate in the world [ pace ] and you seem to think it’s funny. [ Pace and frame ] You seem to sort of think it’s…

Milo: Mmm-hmm. Oh I do think it… Oh no no no … Well, most of what’s characterized as “hate” and “abuse” and “harassment” – this is all a sort of hysterical drumming, it’s like a moral panic by the media. [ Again, reframing the hate accusation as hysterical, or moral panic – i.e. a perception issue, not an actual problem ] 

SHF: How is it a moral panic?

Milo: The reality is, [ implies opposition arguments are not reality-based ] some people in power don’t like jokes being made about them and I’m perfectly happy to tell jokes about powerful people because they can take it. I don’t tell jokes about ordinary private citizens. I don’t ruin the lives of private citizens like journalists do. [ Cialdini comparison. Another reframe: not hating private citizens, but attacking people in power. ]

SHF: Well, I think there are people who would take issue with that.

Milo: Gawker’s journalists who destroyed that woman Justine Sacco because she told the wrong joke. I tell jokes about people in power. I tell jokes about politicians, celebrities, journalists, university professors. I tell jokes about people in positions of huge institutional power who can take it. [ Reframing what he does from hate to ridiculing people in power who can handle it. Another reframe: it’s the media who are guilty of destroying people. ] I punch up, not down. Um, you know, and I tell jokes that a lot of people find funny [ Social proof ] and are amusing and now the actions of a small

SHF: But do you punch up? Because the point is what you do is that because you continue this hate, it then encourages other people to think, you know what this is alright to have a steps-on mentality…

Milo: You keep calling it hate. I think… I think you are over-egging the pudding. Keeping cause… you know a gay man who tells a few waspish jokes …

SHF: Over-egging the pudding when women have threats of rape made against them on Twitter. You think that’s “over-egging the pudding,” do you? [ Counter reframe by changing the complex equivalence ]

Milo: Well, you’re implying that I’m responsible for rape threats now on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. [ Calls out the presupposition, which suddenly seems ridiculous when consciously examined. ] 

Male Panelist: I don’t think Milo actually said any of those things you’re talking about. People who follow him. [ The male panelist seeks reconciliation or “peace-making” by providing her an “out.” He can support Milo without taking sides against SHF ]

Milo: Why do you think I’m responsible? I think you might be misled by news reports. [ Milo expands on providing her and the audience a way out of hating him by blaming the media. ] I think I’m probably the most lied about person in America if not in the world. I think, and I sincerely believe that you are being straight up with me and are conducting the interview with integrity [ Pace and conciliatory approach ] but I think that you’ve been misled by inaccurate press reports about what I have personally, actually done. And very often you’ll find – because I’m in the midst of these culture wars in America which are very bloody and very dirty, full of name calling and false accusations, right the way up to the Washington Post – [ Higher ground / Chunking up ] I think that you’ve been misled. If you could give me a specific instance of something… [ Now chunking down ]

SHF: Why do you call Donald Trump “Daddy?”

Milo: Let me just finish my point and then I’ll tell you why I call him Daddy. If you can think of a specific instance in which I have ever said anything that has directly given rise to rape threats against some woman please tell me because I don’t know what it is. What I do is crack jokes about celebrities. [ Drawing another distinction between his behavior and that of his followers. Reframing again from hate to joking. Repetition. ]

SHF: Well, Leslie Jones would say that you have. And you were taken off Twitter.

Milo: No no no let me tell you: Leslie Jones – not to get too much into this because I’ve been over it so many times – but Leslie Jones was responsible for targeted harassment on that platform. I wasn’t. [ This is an effective scramble. Yes, the things you are angry about happened, but were not done by me. Who were they done by? Someone on your side. This functions as an anchor collapse between someone’s anger or hate and their support and love for their own side. ] Leslie Jones was retweeting all kinds of stuff about me. I barely mentioned her except to crack a joke about her looks which I’m entitled to do. If I can’t comment about a celebrity being ugly then literally the roof is going to come down and the First Amendment is dead. [ Higher ground. Presupposition that Leslie Jones is indeed ugly, which of accepted strengthens his argument ] Um, you know.

SHF: Yeah, but you got to take some consequence for it and all this stuff you did with Gamergate.

Milo: You know, well, I do, I accept responsibility for my own actions. [ Agree and redefine ] And you can throw out names like Gamergate which your viewers are not going to understand [ Pacing the audience and diminishing the idea ] but the reality is [ framed the opposition argument as non-real through implication ] I took the side of what I considered to be consumers over the establishment. [ Repetition of the frame of Milo as champion of the oppressed against the establishment. ] The consumers, actual video gamers, who were worried about their art form [ video games framed as a serious component of culture and worth defending and caring about ] being poisoned by social justice just like social justice has ruined comic books, ruined Hollywood, ruined the Academy, ruined journalism, and everybody agrees with this.65% of people in America think the press routinely makes stuff up. [ repetition, then social proof, then authority. Also, clever shift. What do 65% of Americans agree on? Not with Milo on gamergate, but on a different topic, media lies. But we conflate the two. ] Why? Politics. The Left. [ Because ] And we didn’t want that same thing to happen to video games so we resisted it and for our trouble we were called all manner of terrible things and accused of things we did not do. [ Reframe to Milo and gamers being victims ]

SHF: ‘Cause you trolled women, that’s why. 

Older Female Panelist: Can I just ask a question?

Milo: All kinds of things get thrown… did I troll women? You seem to be, you are accusing me of things I never did. I’m responsible for what *I* do. [ Ending with high ground principles of responsibility ]

I’m much more interested, by the way, in your question about Daddy Donald Trump. I called him that because I think it sort of annoys everybody, but also because it reflected the role that Donald Trump was playing in culture and society at the time. [ low brow sentiment then high brow sentiment – Milo says more on that below ] He was one of those people who kind of slightly made you cringe sometimes, made you a little embarrassed sometimes, but was basically right, basically had your interests at heart, and if you stuck by him you knew he was going to look after you in the end. [ Trump as relatable father figure ] I found that a lot of female voters, who you might not have imaged would vote for Trump, perhaps because of his locker room talk or whatever [ reframes the Access Hollywood tapes incident as locker room talk ], were voting for him anyway and they loved him. [ social proof ] Why? Because he was this strong, masculine figure who projected strength and maybe a little machismo. Versus the previous president who was you know limp-wristed and useless and never, never inspired her. [ Cialdini comparison ] There were no women fainting in the aisles or, you know, light-headed on the chaise-longue for Obama towards the end. [ Visuals ] But there were for Trump and I found it fascinating. And I so anyway I called him Daddy and it annoyed the left and the right which is exactly where I live. If both sides are upset with me, that’s what I want. I want the conservatives and liberals mad with me, then I know that I’m probably OK. [ Reframe away from partisan towards unbiased jester].

Older Female Panelist:  I just want to… Are you the subject of fake news then?

Milo: Of course! Of course. I mean any conservative in public life is going to be routinely, you know, lied about, demeaned, ridiculed… Look at how hard they’ve come at me. They’ve called called me a pedophile apologist when actually, I’m the victim of it. [ Reframe of Milo as a sympathetic individual. Another scramble. ] They’ve called me a neo-nazi and a white supremacist when actually, white supremacists and neo-nazis hate me. The Daily Stormer which is the biggest white supremacist blog in the world declared a holy crusade against me. [ Counter example ] No one reported that. They threatened to boycott where I worked until where I worked fired me. Nobody reported that. [ Repetition ] The fact is the far left and the far right both hate me equally but it’s only the left that gets reported and that consistently because I’m effective [ Cialdini because, and credibility ] – get smeared as far right. When somebody calls me far right what they actually mean is I’m right-wing and really good at my job. [ More credibility ] I’m right wing and I’m persuasive. And this far-right label is something the media does to attempt to suggest that I’m beyond the pale and not fit for public consumption. Well guess what? I am and millions of people agree. [ Social proof ] My book, despite no mainstream media interviews, despite no reviews in the mainstream press, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 5 weeks. [ Authority ] You don’t get that by being some crazy hateful crank. [ Counter example ] You get that by telling jokes and telling the truth that ordinary people want to hear and by speaking truth to power. All of my readers understand it because they actually read what I say instead of reading what people say about me. [ Social proof ] And all of my viewers and my fans and the people who come to my shows get it because they actually listen to me instead of what left-wing journalists say about me. [ Social proof ]

Male panelist: I certainly understand Milo. And when you speak, you know, you’re often very funny, often very witty,

Milo: Thank you

Male panelist: …and a lot of what you say is often very interesting. I remember listening to a speech you gave at one of the universities where you talked about you know the origins of religion and the role of marriage in protecting women’s rights, making it about consent, and I love history and I thought that was very interesting. And I think you made a lot of good and unfashionable points. And then it sort of veered off into something along the lines of, and you know, aren’t all feminists ugly or something like that. I just kind of wondered if, I mean, have you become now a sort of captive of some of these, a bunch of followers or a sort of mob that wants to cheer and shout when you say things like that but actually doesn’t get you? [ Demonstrates acceptance of Milo’s points. Again tries to reconcile the gap by providing Milo an “out” of saying he’s playing up to his fans’ expectations while being himself an “acceptable” person ]

Milo: No…

Male Panelist: I mean I kind of get the feeling that Donald Trump wouldn’t actually get you. He wouldn’t actually understand half the jokes you’re making. [ Trying to distance Milo from Trump ]

Milo: Well, daddy never gets… the daddies never get their children but um no, I don’t think that’s true. I think that what I do is weave highbrow and lowbrow. In my columns you’ll see, you know, low-rent jokes and you’re like, “ugh, that was low-hanging fruit” or “uuuh, do you have to be so mean?” It was like News Flash: gay guys can be catty. [ Self-deprecating humor can make one a sympathetic figure when done right ] I try to blend low culture with theology, with history, with sociology, with science. So you come to one of my talks, you know I did, I talked about how fabulous Christmas was, which I think is the one you are referring to. I was talking in theological terms about how the church invented marriage as a way of protecting women…

Male Panelist: Yep. Yep.

Milo: …and how that comes from, you know, catholic tradition and all the rest of it. My talk “10 Things I hate About Islam,” which was obviously provocatively titled, [ pacing objection ] then went into the theological differences between Christianity and Islam. The conception of God being different, you know how to practice faith. I try to blend lowbrow and highbrow. It’s very unnerving to people. They don’t know how to deal with it and it’s very threatening. [ Implied because. Frames people who don’t like it as weak and unable to deal. ]

Male Panelist: I don’t want to interrupt right now but you make a lot of good points about the censoriousness of the left and the outrageous things that’s happening on US campuses now where they are just shutting down debate and banning people and calling anyone they disagree with a fascist.

Milo: All true.

Male Panelist: But I guess it sort of gets undermined when you unleash these kind of primal forces that we’re seeing in politics now on the extremes.

Milo: No no, but it’s only journalists. It’s only journalists who think that my position on this is undermined by my language here. Everybody else loves it. [ Social proof ] It’s only journalists because they’re so “earnest” and “high-minded” and stuffy and pompous. No offense I’m not talking about you but other journalists who say this stuff, you know.

Male Panelist: No no, that’s all right

Milo: We’re just getting to know one another so I don’t know what you think, but other journalists who say this stuff you know they give <pompous fake voice> “Oh, lurra lurra couldn’t possibly use this language hurra lurra lurra.” Give me a break! If I want to say that feminists are fat and ugly, which, by the way, most of them are, then I will. [ Presupposition. 2nd degree of separation quoting – he’s not saying it, he’s saying if he wants to say it. But we have to interpret it as him saying it to understand it. ]

SHF: No they are not! They are not! That’s… <frustrated sigh>

Anchor: <laughing>

Male Panelist: <sharp intake of breath> Heh heh heh! Here we go…

Milo: If I were to say at the same time, you know, if I want to make a complex historical point about the different emergences of strands of feminism, if I want to talk about the virtues, you know, of equity feminism versus whatever, I can be both and I can do both [ Take me seriously because I have intellectual heft ] and you know what it shows, when people are upset about those two things, it shows that there is a double standard at work.You are perfectly happy for Jon Stewart, for Bill Maher, for Stephen Colbert to blend highbrow and lowbrow, to be both comedians and cultural commentators, to be clowns and historians. You’re perfectly happy when a left-winger does it. But for some reason, now I’ve arrived, I’m the first person on the right ever to do it and suddenly people are like “Wait! You’re not supposed to do that. Conservatives aren’t supposed to behave like this. Wait – you can’t be real and funny and dangerous and also a bit offensive and be able to talk about Nietzsche and Sartre and Heidegger and Descartes! What is going on here?” Well, I’m sorry but this is a double standard. We’ve had it for decades on the left. Well, now you have it on the right. Welcome to the new era. If people don’t like it and people can’t cope with my blend of elevated discourse as well as low-rent cattiness, that merely demonstrates their own hypocrisy. [ This section was absolutely brilliant and executed perfectly. 1) Double bind. One either has to accept that Milo blends low brow and high brow, or stop accepting that Stewart, Colbert, and Maher do it, but actually we conflate it to accept Milo or stop accepting Stewart, Colbert, and Maher, which very few people will be able to do. 2) Again framing those who disagree as weak and unable to cope, regardless of actual objection. 3) Cleverly leads us to conflate accepting his juxtaposition of highbrow and lowbrow, with acceptance of himself, his message, and his methods, which are really what is on everyone’s mind here. 4) Sets up the opposition argument such that when they abandon it, they accept that he is “real and funny and dangerous and also a bit offensive,” when they might not have thought that before. 5) Finally, he brilliantly puts himself in the same category as Colbert, Stewart, and Maher by forcing a comparison that cannot be understood without putting them in the same category. ] The fact is most people love what I do. They come to my shows in droves which is why we’re sold out in Sydney. I’m looking forward to selling tens of thousands of copies of my book when it goes on sale November 2nd in Australia. And I can’t wait to explore the country because Australia is I think my number 3 place for fans. Millions of Australians watch my stuff. They come to read my columns and watch my videos. I think Australia need saving from their own media. [ Loads of social proof ]

Male Panelist: laughs

SHF: pbbbbb

Panelist: awwwwwww

Anchor: Alllllll right. Well Penthouse Australia is bringing Milo Yiannopoulos on his Troll Academy Tour to Adelaide Perth Melbourne Sydney and the Gold Coast from November. You can get all the details from Milolive.com.au

Milo: Thank you

Anchor: <to SHF:> You’ll need a little lie-down after that interview. Milo thank you so much.

Milo: Thank you so much. [applause]

Parsing the Milo Yiannopoulos Interview With Channel 10 Australia for Persuasion – Part 1

Below is a clip of one of the most expertly done examples of persuasion I have yet seen. Australian TV channel 10 interviews Milo Yiannopoulos live in preparation for his Australian tour. There is an interesting panel: a mainstream female anchor, a male anchor, an older woman, and a feminist with the sides of her head shaved who I think is named Jess.

I’ll post some of the techniques in the next post so as you watch the clip and read the transcript now, what persuasion techniques can you identify?

1st pass: Identify the use of Cialdini’s principles and pre-suasion

2nd pass: Identify reframes (higher ground, changing chunk size, etc.)

3rd pass: Watch the clip and pay attention to Milo’s tone of voice and hand movements. What patterns can you detect?

 

Anchor: Who is Milo Yiannopoulos and what exactly does he stand for? Well we are going to ask the man himself because he joins us now from New York City this morning. Milo Yianopolous! Welcome to Studio 10.

Milo: Thank you! Thank you so much! Thank you for having me.

Anchor: Well you have … your critics call you antisemitic, homosexual hating, white supremacist… yet you have publicly said that you are a proud gay man, you have Jewish heritage, and you just recently married your black boyfriend. Congratulations, by the way!

Milo: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Anchor: Lots of people want to label you, so tell us: what does Milo stand for?

Milo: Well I’m a free speech activist so sometimes I say outrageous and controversial things. Sometimes I’m a jokester and a trickster and a Loki-esque figure. The political left, the, you know, the feminists and the social justice warriors and the leftist journalists don’t like me very much and call me a variety of names because they find me difficult to categorize. They don’t understand how a gay guy could have these opinions, or whatever. I don’t fit, really fit into any box, so I represent sort of a threat to them because I’m persuasive and charismatic and I have a huge fan base. They just really don’t know how to deal with that.

Older Female Panelist: Oh, very modest as well, darling!

Milo: Also, very humble. (laughter)

Shaved Head Feminist: Ah, because, Milo, I’m a feminist, and I’m proud to be a feminist, and a lot of what you say …

Milo: That’s ok, I’m sure they’ll cure you soon.

SHF: No…

Milo: There’s chemotherapy for that now.

SHF: No no no what, I suppose, of course everyone is entitled to a view, and to free speech, but the issue that I have with you, and I suppose a number of critics have with you, is that you just seem to stir up hate for the sake of it because you want to get a reaction, because you want to provoke, and then you don’t seem to take the consequences for that.

Milo: I don’t think it’s fair to say that I stir up hate. I mean, most people would admit, I think, if they’re being fair and reasonable, it’s very difficult to describe yourself as “not a feminist” if you’re in public life and that’s an enforcement of a particular political orthodoxy that is not shared by the majority of the public. I mean, very few women describe themselves as feminist. Fewer than 1 in 5 in America. Just 7% in England. I’m sure the numbers for Australia, being a very sensitive, ah a very sensible country, are about the same. You know, these ideas that are being enforced in popular culture and on TV are not views reflected in the public, and the gap between the media and the people at home is growing all the time. That’s my insight and what I seek to expose and ridicule and have fun with. Um, it’s perfectly fine if you’re a feminist – my problem isn’t that. My problem is you, not you personally, but my problem is with those feminists who require in public for us all to say we are too, when we might not be. We might think that feminism has run its course and had its day, you know. I’m not particularly interested, um, in anybody else’s specific positions. What I’m interested in is an open marketplace of ideas. You know, a fair, open system where everybody can express themselves without fear of censure. Without fear of professional disaster or fear of social peril just because they cracked the wrong joke on Twitter. Or because they used, you know, the wrong language at work.

Anchor: Can I just interrupt for a second Milo because just picking up what Jess says is you do throw these social hand grenades out there and you say things like “feminism is cancer.” But if you drill down past the headlines and read some of your work – I’ve read your book, I’ve listened to a number of your podcasts – you do make some fair points. But do you think this kind of outrageous schtick that you have is hurting you and turning people off listening to you?

Milo: No, I think the opposite’s happening I mean millions of people on Facebook, a sold-out tour – by the way Sydney is completely sold out. Now we’re adding a new day on the 30th of November – very obviously the opposite is true. There is a huge appetite for someobody who doesn’t mind thumbing their nose and sticking their tongue out and pointing their middle finger up at the scolds and the nannies and the people who want to tell us how to live. For years, Conservatives

SHF: But Milo, you do more than stick your tongue out. I mean, because of the sorts of things you’ve written, along the lines of “Islam is a cancer,” “feminism is a cancer,” you rally…

Milo: I never wrote that actually. That was an invention by journalists. The feminism is true.

SHF: You rally your followers for hate campaigns. There was Leslie Jones, who was in Ghostbusters

Milo: Well what do you mean by “hate campaigns?” I mean, this was invented by the media.

SHF: Well, all the… it was not invented.

Milo: I wrote a review of Ghostbusters… I don’t want to get into the little details but

SHF: But no that isn’t a “little detail”

Milo: I wrote a review of Ghostbusters that defended her.

SHF: It isn’t a little…

Milo: No, no, the “little detail” is that actually, actually I wrote a review of Ghostbusters that defended her. Then, some people said some mean things about her and I was blamed. Well we don’t blame Beyonce when her fans say mean things to Taylor Swift. We don’t blame Justin Bieber when his followers

SHF: But wait a minute. They were your followers. They were your followers who said incredibly racist things

Milo: Says who? Says who?

SHF: Her.

Milo: Some mean people… and I went on CNN and I said it was horrible. I said it was terrible. But I’m not responsible for what they say. I’m responsible for what I say.

SHF: So then why don’t you take more of a consequence of what you say. Because I think there is so much hate in the world and you seem to think it’s funny. You seem to sort of think it’s…

Milo: Mmm-hmm. Oh I do think it… Oh no no no … Well, most of what’s characterized as “hate” and “abuse” and “harassment” – this is all a sort of hysterical drumming, it’s like a moral panic by the media.

SHF: How is it a moral panic?

Milo: The reality is, some people in power don’t like jokes being made about them and I’m perfectly happy to tell jokes about powerful people because they can take it. I don’t tell jokes about ordinary private citizens. I don’t ruin the lives of private citizens like journalists do.

SHF: Well, I think there are people who would take issue with that.

Milo: Gawker’s journalists who destroyed that woman Justine Sacco because she told the wrong joke. I tell jokes about people in power. I tell jokes about politicians, celebrities, journalists, university professors. I tell jokes about people in positions of huge institutional power who can take it. I punch up, not down. Um, you know, and I tell jokes that a lot of people find funny and are amusing and now the actions of a small

SHF: But do you punch up? Because the point is what you do is that because you continue this hate, it then encourages other people to think, you know what this is alright to have a steps-on mentality…

Milo: You keep calling it hate. I think… I think you are over-egging the pudding. Keeping cause… you know a gay man who tells a few waspish jokes …

SHF: Over-egging the pudding when women have threats of rape made against them on Twitter. You think that’s “over-egging the pudding,” do you?

Milo: Well, you’re implying that I’m responsible for rape threats now on the basis of no evidence whatsoever.

Male Panelist: I don’t think Milo actually said any of those things you’re talking about. People who follow him.

Milo: Why do you think I’m responsible? I think you might be misled by new reports. I think I’m probably the most lied about person in America if not in the world. I think, and I sincerely believe that you are being straight up with me and are conducting the interview with integrity but I think that you’ve been misled by inaccurate press reports about what I have personally, actually done. And very often you’ll find – because I’m in the midst of these culture wars in America which are very bloody and very dirty, full of name calling and false accusations, right the way up to the Washington Post – I think that’ you’ve been misled. If you could give me a specific instance of something…

SHF: Why do you call Donald Trump “daddy.”

Milo: Let me just finish my point and then I’ll tell you why I call him Daddy. If you can think of a specific instance in which I have ever said anything that has directly given rise to rape threats against some woman please tell me because I don’t know what it is. What I do is crack jokes about celebrities.

SHF: Well, Leslie Jones would say that you have. And you were taken off Twitter.

Milo: No no no let me tell you: Leslie Jones – not to get too much into this because I’ve been over it so many times – but Leslie Jones was responsible for targeted harassment on that platform. I wasn’t. Leslie Jones was retweeting all kinds of stuff about me. I barely mentioned her except to crack a joke about her looks which I’m entitled to do. If I can’t comment about a celebrity being ugly then literally the roof is going to come down and the First Amendment is dead. Um, you know.

SHF: Yeah, but you got to take some consequence for it and all this stuff you did with Gamergate

Milo: You know, well, I do, I accept responsibility for my own actions. And you can throw out names like Gamergate which your viewers are not going to understand but the reality is I took the side of what I considered to be consumers over the establishment. The consumers, actual video gamers, who were worried about their art form being poisoned by social justice just like social justice has ruined comic books, ruined Hollywood, ruined the Academy, ruined journalism, and everybody agrees with this. 65% of people in America think the press routinely makes stuff up. Why? Politics. The Left. And we didn’t want that same thing to happen to video games so we resisted it and for our trouble we were called all manner of terrible things and accused of things we did not do.

SHF: ‘Cause you trolled women, that’s why.

Older Female Panelist: Can I just ask a question?

Milo: All kinds of things get thrown… did I troll women? You seem to be, you are accusing me of things I never did. I’m responsible for what *I* do. I’m much more interested, by the way, in your question about Daddy Donald Trump. I called him that because I think it sort of annoys everybody, but also because it reflected the role that Donald Trump was playing in Culture and society at the time. He was one of those people who kind of slightly made you cringe sometimes, made you a little embarrassed sometimes, but was basically right, basically had your interests at heart, and if you stuck by him you knew he was going to look after you in the end. I found that a lot of female voters, who you might not have imaged would vote for Trump, perhaps because of his locker room talk or whatever, were voting for him anyway and they loved him. Why? Because he was this strong, masculine figure who projected strength and maybe a little machismo. Versus the previous president who was you know limp-wristed and useless and never, never inspired her. There were no women fainting in the aisles or, you know, light-headed on the chaise-longue for Obama towards the end. But there were for Trump and I found it fascinating. and I so anyway I called him Daddy and it annoyed the left and the right which is exactly where I live. If both sides are upset with me, that’s what I want. I want the conservatives and liberals mad with me, then I know that I’m probably OK.

Older Female Panelist:  I just want to… Are you the subject of fake news then?

Milo: Of course! Of course. I mean any conservative in public life is going to be routinely, you know, lied about, demeaned, ridiculed… Look at how hard they’ve come at me. They’ve called called me a pedophile apologist when actually, I’m the victim of it. They’ve called me a neo-nazi and a white supremacist when actually, white supremacists and neo-nazis hate me the Daily Stormer which is the biggest white supremacist blog in the world declared a holy crusade against me. No one reported that. They threatened to boycott where I worked until where I worked fired me. Nobody reported that. The fact is the far left and the far right both hate me equally but it’s only the left that gets reported and that consistently because I’m effective – get smeared as far right. When somebody calls me far right what they actually mean is I’m right-wing a really good at my job. I’m right wing and I’m persuasive. And this far-right label is something the media does to attempt to suggest that I’m beyond the pale and not fit for public consumption. Well guess what? I am and millions of people agree. My book, despite no mainstream media interviews, despite no reviews in the mainstream press, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 5 weeks. You don’t get that by being some crazy hateful crank. You get that by telling jokes and telling the truth that ordinary people want to hear and by speaking truth to power. All of my readers understand it because they actually read what I say instead of reading what people say about me. And all of my viewers and my fans and the people who come to my shows get it because they actually listen to me instead of what left-wing journalists say about me.

Male panelist: I certainly understand Milo. And when you speak, you know, you’re often very funny, often very witty,

Milo: Thank you

Male panelist: …and a lot of what you say is often very interesting. I remember listening to a speech you gave at one of the universities where you talked about you know the origins of religion and the role of marriage in protecting women’s rights, making it about consent, and I love history and I thought that was very interesting. And I think you made a lot of good and unfashionable points. And then it sort of veered off into something along the lines of, and you know, aren’t all feminists ugly or something like that. I just kind of wondered if, I mean, have you become now a sort of captive of some of these, a bunch of followers or a sort of mob that wants to cheer and shout when you say things like that but actually doesn’t get you?

Milo: No…

Male Panelist: I mean I kind of get the feeling that Donald Trump wouldn’t actually get you. He wouldn’t actually understand half the jokes you’re making.

Milo: Well, daddy never gets… the daddies never get their children but um no, I don’t think that’s true. I think that what I do is weave highbrow and lowbrow. In my columns you’ll see, you know, low-rent jokes and you’re like, “ugh, that was low-hanging fruit” or “uuuh, do you have to be so mean?” It was like News Flash: gay guys can be catty. I try to blend low culture with theology, with history, with sociology, with science. So you come to one of my talks, you know I did, I talked about how fabulous Christmas was, which I think is the one you are referring to. I was talking in theological terms about how the church invented marriage as a way of protecting women…

Male Panelist: Yep. Yep.

Milo: …and how that comes from, you know, catholic tradition and all the rest of it. My talk “10 Things I hate About Islam,” which was obviously provocatively titled, then went into the theological differences between Christianity and Islam. The conception of God being different, you know how to practice faith. I try to blend lowbrow and highbrow. It’s very unnerving to people. They don’t know how to deal with it and it’s very threatening.

Male Panelist: I don’t want to interrupt right now but you make a lot of good points about the censoriousness of the left and the outrageous things that’s happening on US campuses now where they are just shutting down debate and banning people and calling anyone they disagree with a fascist.

Milo: All true.

Male Panelist: But I guess it sort of gets undermined when you unleash these kind of primal forces that we’re seeing in politics now on the extremes.

Milo: No no, but it’s only journalists. It’s only journalists who think that my position on this is undermined by my language here. Everybody else loves it. It’s only journalists because they’re so “earnest” and “high-minded” and stuffy and pompous. No offense I’m not talking about you but other journalists who say this stuff, you know.

Male Panelist: No no, that’s all right

Milo: We’re just getting to know one another so I don’t know what you think, but other journalists who say this stuff you know they give <pompous fake voice> “Oh, lurra lurra couldn’t possibly use this language hurra lurra lurra.” Give me a break! If I want to say that feminists are fat and ugly, which, by the way, most of them are, then I will.

SHF: No they are not! They are not! That’s… <frustrated sigh>

Anchor: <laughing>

Male Panelist: <sharp intake of breath> Heh heh heh! Here we go…

Milo: If I were to say at the same time, you know, if I want to make a complex historical point about the different emergences of strands of feminism, if I want to talk about the virtues, you know, of equity feminism versus whatever, I can be both and I can do both and you know what it shows, when people are upset about those two things, it shows that there is a double standard at work. You are perfectly happy for Jon Stewart, for Bill Maher, for Stephen Colbert to blend highbrow and lowbrow, to be both comedians and cultural commentators, to be clowns and historians. You’re perfectly happy when a left-winger does it. But for some reason, now I’ve arrived, I’m the first person on the right ever to do it and suddenly people are like “Wait! You’re not supposed to do that. Conservatives aren’t supposed to behave like this. Wait – you can’t be real and funny and dangerous and also a bit offensive and be able to talk about Nietzsche and Sartre and Heidegger and Descartes! What is going on here?” Well, I’m sorry but this is a double standard. We’ve had it for decades on the left. Well, now you have it on the right. Welcome to the new era. If people don’t like it and people can’t cope with my blend of elevated discourse as well as low-rent cattiness, that merely demonstrates their own hypocrisy. The fact is most people love what I do. They come to my shows in droves which is why we’re sold out in Sydney. I’m looking forward to selling tens of thousands of copies of my book when it goes on sale November 2nd in Australia. And I can’t wait to explore the country because Australia is I think my number 3 place for fans. Millions of Australians watch my stuff. They come to read my columns and watch my videos. I think Australia need saving from their own media.

Male Panelist: laughs

SHF: pbbbbb

Panelist: awwwwwww

Anchor: Alllllll right. Well Penthouse Australia is bringing Milo Yiannopoulos on his Troll Academy Tour to Adelaide Perth Melbourne Sydney and the Gold Coast from November. You can get all the details from Milolive.com.au

Milo: Thank you

Anchor: <to SHF:> You’ll need a little lie-down after that interview. Milo thank you so much.

Milo: Thank you so much. [applause]

Ways to Supercharge Your Paraliminal Use; Or, How to Address Phone Addiction and Social Media Issues

I’ve gotten some requests for the best ways to use the Paraliminals series of change work sessions.

I’ve used them for years, and while there are many effective change work sets out there, I recommend the Paraliminals because they work very well without causing any conflicts or downstream issues. So you can use them without anything going wrong.

As you read through these, I’m going to use 2 examples: phone addiction issues and social media comparison dysphoria (that is, always feeling left out, inferior, or “fake” due to usage of social media).

Also – consider that you might want to use these links when you buy them because it helps me support the site while helping you make changes in your life.

1. Address the issue at the proper chunk level

Is your issue is “phone addiction,” there are ways to address that globally, but that might not address all the different aspects. You could address it as:

  • Phone addiction
  • Addiction to Instagram
  • Addiction to notifications
  • Addiction to likes
  • Addiction to the sound of Instagram notifications

At each smaller chunk size, you can target more accurately. At each larger chunk size, you can target more completely. Select the right chunk size for the job.

For the social media comparison example:

  • Feeling inferior to others
  • Feeling inferior about others having more friends
  • Feeling inferior to X because he has more friends than I do
  • Feeling inferior to X about the pictures of his party

You could do a similar line for feeling left out, or fake.

One strategy is to use a “bottom up” approach by addressing the first or most intense episode of an issue. Many times that will lessen the intensity of the rest.

2. Consider addressing the internal process or “strategy” that creates the problematic state or situation

If you feel inferior to others after using social media, you are almost certainly comparing yourself to what you think others’ lives are like. One trap is to compare yourself in some area to the best you see on social media. That is like playing soccer solo against a team of 500. That’s not even remotely reasonable.

Two ways to adjust this are to feel better about yourself and to change your internal interpretation of what things on social media mean. For example, instead of comparing yourself to the best you see on social media, you can drop that path entirely and instead compare your performance to how you performed in the past. (Notice there are two shifts here: 1) from comparing your self, to comparing your performance, and 2) from comparing against others, to comparing against your own former performance).

Phone addiction is generally a combination of feeling empty and self-medicating with a hit from your phone.

3. Consider a multipronged approach for complex issues

For phone addiction, any of these may help:

For social media dysphoria:

4. Sleep and repeat

Create a playlist for a particular listening session like this:

  • Track 1
  • Track 2
  • Track 3 (the “sleep learning” track)
  • Track 3
  • Track 3
  • Track 3
  • Track 3
  • Track 3
  • Track 4

Listen to your session as you go to sleep. As long as you set your intention during track 1, your mind will wake you up when you have made enough changes for the current session. At that point skip to track 4 to finish up. This can help with an issue with a lot of layers to it.

5. Read through the booklets

It is well worth the time to read the accompanying booklets because there is a wealth of great information in them that can help you get the most out of the sessions.

6. Bonus: A story about phone addiction

I think we all, at some point in our lives, have thought that our phones were becoming an unhealthy habit. Now, I can remember when I first realized my phone was causing problems with my life. I had spent some time on Facebook and wasn’t feeling great about things. I contacted a friend to meet for coffee and as we sat down, I asked him a question: do we use our phones too much? He thought for a moment, and told me how he was out to dinner the other night and everyone at the table was on their phone at the same time. The person to his right was taking a picture of the food for Instagram, and the person to his left was checking in on Facebook. His girlfriend was on Twitter and he himself was texting a friend. He suddenly stopped cold, put his phone down and looked around — really looked around. At other tables people were talking, laughing, smiling, listening to each other and being listened to. He saw one man lean over and kiss his date. They were connecting. He looked back at his table and realized he and his party were not. He thought, “This needs to change now so I don’t miss out on any more real life that everyone else is enjoying.”

So right then, he set his iPhone to reduce motion, he set his screen to greyscale, and he turned off all his notifications except for his family, his girlfriend, and 3 close friends. He got everyone’s attention at the table and told them what he did, and suggested they do the same, for at least while they were at dinner, because it is good to really connect. And they did.

Finishing his story at the coffee shop, he then answered my question, “Yes, most people do use their phones too much. But we all kept our phones in greyscale and minimized our phone alerts, even after the dinner was over.” And now, looking back on that time I first realized my phone was becoming a problem, I’m glad I did it too, because since then things have been different, and because it IS good to really connect.

Parsing the Scott Adams – Sam Harris Podcast for Persuasion, Part 8

Read my intro here and some background on belief structures here.

The podcast itself is called “Triggered!

Previous sections: Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7. You might notice some techniques I pointed out in those posts that I don’t point out below. That’s deliberate.

My notes in blue.

Note that there may be a difference between my own opinion and my parsing of what the persuasion is communicating.

And thank @RolyPolyIsTaken and @MattMcCombs17 for this transcription!

[1:53:43]

Adams: So, let me ask you this. So you know that he tells us he uses hyperbole to make his point. You know that he, uh, says things during the campaign that are slightly different from the things he would say as president because we, we observe that to be true. [ Cialdini because, pacing, visual ] He’s –

Harris: I’m not so sure about that at this point, frankly, ‘cause he didn’t get saner as president.

Adams: Well, he did

Harris: Or much saner

Adams: Well, look he backed off waterboarding, he backed off deporting ten million people all at once. He backed off going after the families of the terrorists [ Supporting examples ]

Harris: But then he accused Obama as wiretapping him. He’s just as much the loose cannon, he’s just on to different topics. [ Counter example. Note that as of this writing, Trump has been proven correct that his communications were monitored during the campaign. ]

Adams: Well, even the wiretapping thing, the government is listening to all of our conversations all the time right, [ Reframe from notable exception to the norm ]

 Harris: Well no, well first of all no, and second of all, for the sitting president of the united states to accuse the previous president of having wire tapped him, I mean it’s a very specific claim. That is, one, on its face, crazy, but two, and crazy to allege without evidence—

Adams: But before you go on, would you acknowledge that when he says “taping” or “wiretapping”, he’s speaking in a, you know, a general sense about monitoring communication, you would agree that that’s – [ Pre-emptively denying Harris a way out via changing definitions, or what Adams calls “word-thinking” ]

Harris: I don’t even think he knows what he was saying, because he put –it wasn’t “wiretapping” in quotes? – I mean he’s talking about Trump tower being bugged, essentially.

Adams: Right, so, but I’m just, we’re trying to make sure that we’re on the same page here. You would agree that he meant that word to be generally, “monitoring communications.”

Harris: I’m just saying imagine, just imagine Obama coming into office and having immediately accused George Bush of having wiretapped him. I mean it would just – [ Visual, then Harris doesn’t agree to the definition but changes topics ]

Adams: Are you giving me an analogy? Because…

Harris: It’s more than an analogy. It’s still the US presidency. [ Semantically confusing construction here. ] We’re talking about the US presidency at two different time points. It’s such crazy uncivil behavior, it’s the new normal because of the chaos that he has introduced to our political system. You can’t even focus on it because there’s a hundred things like that. [ Harris literally can’t create focused images in his mind about it here. Also absurdity: “a hundred things” ] Scott, I see we’re getting to the two hour mark here and I’m, I’m mindful of your time and I’m also mindful of when I’m going to lose this studio. I want to just pivot just for a second to the Russia thing because I think we kind of blew past it, and I don’t think we’re going to get into it very deeply. Obviously, the news is moving away from us as quickly as a rocketship at the moment. I mean we’re having this conversation I think the day after the recent Donald Trump Jr. epiphanies with his, having given his emails to the public and everyone’s having their reaction to that. Who knows what things will look like when we release this. But I just want to bring you to your views on the Russia thing, because you wrote a blog post titled, “Russia Hacked Our Election, So What?” And you seem to believe – again this is somewhat apace with your relationship to the climate science topic. You seem to believe that there’s either some uncertainty about whether Russia did much of anything or whether it would even be wrong if they did, and you seem to doubt whether Russia is really all that hostile to our interests, and whether Putin is really that bad a guy, and whether there’s really anything here to be concerned about. And so I just want you to represent what in fact you think there.

Adams: Well, I think you have to look at this Russia thing in its individual parts, because they’re not all equal. [ Reframe to smaller chunk size ] To the extent that if Russia hacked into, uh, any American servers with the intent of influencing the election, that would be a topic of revenge. In other words, the appropriate response would be for our spook services to pay back, as soon as we can and in kind, and, you know, with proportional force, and the American public may never know what’s happening there. But we assume, I assume that that sort of stuff goes on. At the same time, it makes sense for the president not to be burning bridges unnecessarily. Because we’re always doing this poking back and forth below the hood, so you know, being nice with somebody who has similar interests to us, at least in terms of ISIS, at least in terms of NK to some extent, makes sense at the moment. So I think that in all likelihood, we don’t know what’s happening under the hood, with the, what our cyber people are doing, [ Pointing out that none of us have visibility into the cyber espionage world. Lessens the certainty. ] but I would be astonished, astonished if the man who’s most famous for revenge and never letting anybody get away with anything, is letting this slide. [laugh] You know, he may wait for his chance, but I don’t think he’s going to let this slide. [ Taking a trait that Harris has assigned to Trump and applying it against Harris’ argument. ]

Harris: So you’re not concerned that he has a double allegiance to either the Russians who have invested heavily in his properties, or that he’s in any way compromised by Russia so that [stumbling] that explains how soft he has been on them and how incredulous he has been about, this being a scandal and all, the fact that he would relate to this as fake news. [ Tell for cognitive dissonance: “so” plus an absurd absolute “double allegiance to Russia.” ] You think there’s just no “there” there.

Adams: Umm, I think it’s not a one variable world. I think that everyone is influenced by all of those big factors. [ Pace, big picture. ] So he’s influenced by wanting to do a good job, he’s influenced by wanting to lose face, not wanting to lose to Putin, he’s influenced by, I’m sure, the fate of the Trump empire. But it’s one of many variables that are swirling around. [ Big picture reframe, or as Adams calls it, a “higher ground” reframe. ]

Harris: But what do you make of all the, like all the contacts with Russia, that were all lied about until they were revealed. So you’ve got, and now the most recent one is, Don Jr. We’ve got him on camera on CNN or wherever it was having to respond to the charge that they’ve had all kinds of contacts with Russia, and representatives of Russia, and he says, “This is an absolute lie, it just shows that you know, my father’s opponents will stoop to anything,” and we know that he did that interview like, hours, after he just met with this Russian lawyer, right? So it’s just like, we have him lying…

Adams: Wait a minute. But we also know that what they talked about was trivial. [ Irrelevance ]

Harris: Oh uh, okay, but everyone in this campaign has been misrepresenting their level of contact with Russia, and it’s only dribbling out… [ Harris chunks up to “everyone” in the campaign. Another absurd absolute ]

Adams: No, you just misrepresented his level of contact. [ Adams calls it out ]

Harris: Yeah, well his, I mean

[both talking at once]

Adams: Wait hold on, I can’t let that go. You suggested that that meeting had something to do with the Russian government, and it turns out it didn’t.

Harris: Well no, it did, it did because he believed that it did. I mean the email trail was him showing his absolute willingness to collaborate with the Russian government to get some dirt on Clinton. I mean that, that’s…

Adams: Well, collaborate and collusion, you know there’s…

Harris: Well I’m not even focused on the technicality of whether or not he’s guilty of a crime.

Scott: Let me ask this.

Harris: I’m just saying this

Scott: Let me ask this.

Harris: Everyone’s talking to Russia over there and they’re lying about it. [ Absurd absolute “everyone,” a tell for cognitive dissonance. ] Again, the starting position from Trump and everyone on down was, “There has been zero contact.” That’s their position. And yet they’ve had all this contact.

Adams: Wait, wait, did they say they had not talked with anyone who is a Russian citizen, or did they have no contact with Russia as a, you know, their intelligence or their government? [ Moving to a smaller chunk size to de-conflate Russian citizens and Russian government. ]

Harris: It has been every possible permutation [ Absurd absolute ] of, “I’ve got nothing to do with Russia. I’ve got no investments in Russia, I’ve got no connection with Russia, I don’t know anything about Russia, no one on my campaign has talked to Russia, or anyone representing Russia.” I mean anything like that.

Adams: And do you think that twenty minute conversation that was about adoption or something… [ Providing missing information – topic and length of meeting. Relevance. ]

Harris: [increasingly distressed for the past minute] Well no it wasn’t about adoption. The set-up in the email was, “We’ve got dirt on Clinton, do you want to meet with us?” and he said, “I love it, I’ll be there in five seconds!”

Adams: I gotta ask you this Sam: how would you have handled the situation? [ Thought train interrupt on Harris. Also Cialdini comparison principle – Harris is comparing Trump Jr.’s behavior to the ideal behavior with the benefit of hindsight; Adams changes it to comparing Trump Jr.’s behavior to Harris’ ideal. Then from the Cialdini reciprocity principle, after giving his version, Harris is obliged to give Adams a chance to offer one, and Adams’ version will be a reframed comparison. ]

Harris: Okay no but that’s a change of topic. [ Correct ] I would have, I would have called the FBI is the short answer.

Adams: Well hold on, hold on. So if you called the FBI and let’s say its June, and the election is coming up. Suppose it was something vital, like it was important. Suppose it (H: Oh please) was something that the voters (H: please) wanted to know. [ Stripping away the benefits of hindsight from the decision making process and showing how Trump Jr. did not have them at the time of decision. ]

Harris: Please. To take the actual, a relevant example, although probably a harder case was, I believe this happened in 2000 with Gore where, some, I don’t know hack, or just stolen material from the Bush campaign was brought to the Gore campaign. And they, without looking at it, called the FBI, right? So like, cause, “No, we’re not going to use this because this is illegal, and this is unethical, and we’re not going to be part of this.” [ Precedent as a comparison reference point ] I’m not imagining that everyone who does opposition research for presidential candidates has to be held to an ethical standard that I would hold myself to in my daily life. I don’t have too many illusions about how dirty all of that gets, [ Pacing objection ] but here you have a known hostile foreign power intruding into our process, and that puts it, that puts it completely out for normal opposition research.

Adams: Let me tell you how I would have handled it in that same situation. I would have first gone to the meeting and found out what they had. I would expect that it would be nothing because it’s the sort of offer that you expect to be exaggerated. So I would go there because my contact said I should, and you know I’m just, it’s a personal connection of some sort. I would go there, I would listen. If it turned out to be important and something that law enforcement needed to know about, I would let them know, [ Reasonable alternative ] but I would also know what the information is first. Cause here’s the thing. If you turned it over to the FBI and it was something big – and I’m not saying it’s likely that that would be the case – but if it was something big, ’cause that’s how it was alleged, you would have put the decision for who became president into the hands of James Comey. Because he would decide – well he would decide whether he’s leaking it or announcing it. That would be his decision. ‘Cause you have given (Sam interrupting) Let me just finish. If you also knew the information, because you obtained it first, and then you said, “Oh my god, there’s something fishy here, FBI get involved.” Then you have also maintained the option of letting the American public know this information if it was important. And I can’t imagine as a voter that I wouldn’t want to know important information – [ This is one of the best reframes of the entire podcast. Adams shows how Harris’ answer is actually worse for Harris’ own point than what actually happened. Namely, calling the FBI right away would potentially be worse for a free democratic election because it would potentially take the election out of the hands of the American people and into the hands of the FBI director, if the “dirt” would have changed the course of the election had it been disseminated. This is particularly effective because one of Harris’ repeated arguments has been that Trump is bad for democracy, is autocratic and authoritarian. Turning Harris’ own argument against him is effective. ]

Harris: The important information here is that there is concerted effort by Russia to influence our election in, in every conceivable way. [ Big picture; chunking up ] Through hacking, through propaganda, through… Those are quite distinct actions I would grant you, but there’s been a full court press to influence it to one end: to install president Trump. I mean clearly none of this has been in favor of Clinton. And what we have is a Trump campaign and now a Trump presidency that has stonewalled this at every opportunity, that has not tried to get all the facts out to put them in the hands of the American people, but to brand this as fake news, to brand this as a hoax, to brand this as scaremongering that will lead to a war with Russia, right? There’s all this talk about, “What do you want, World War Three?” You can’t be pressing on this door… [ More absurd absolutes: full court press, install, none, every. Ends with a kino. ]

 

ADAMS:      How much time should a president spend delegitimizing his own administration? [ Reframes what Harris calls “stonewalling” to a reasonable refusal to avoid weakening his own administration. ]

HARRIS:      It’s not a matter of delegitimizing his own administration. I can tell you what he should have said before being president, as a candidate. Rather than saying “I hope Russia hacks Hillary’s e-mails, because I’d like to read them…”

ADAMS:      You took that as a joke, didn’t you? [ Reframe ]

HARRIS:      Did you take “lock her up” as a joke too? [ Counter example ]

ADAMS:      Of course. [ Adams remains consistent ]

HARRIS:      So when he said “When I become president, I’m going to get together some lawyers to look into your situation”, you didn’t take that as an actual threat?

ADAMS:      I did not.

HARRIS:      You thought that was a joke?

ADAMS:      Not a joke – well yeah, it was a joke because it got a laugh – but it was clearly hyperbole because…

HARRIS:      It didn’t get a laugh. It got cheers from people who would want to see that happen. It got cheers from his partisans.

ADAMS:      It was a crowd-pleaser. [ Larger chunk size. Joke is a subset of crowd-pleaser here. ]

HARRIS:      Yeah, but again, I would score this as a significant harm to our political conversation, and you would score it as just something that pleased his base. [ Chunking up ]

ADAMS:      Your assumption is that she was not guilty of anything that was worthy of… [ Another reframe. Makes people consider the case if she were guilty of something substantial. Also Cialdini comparison. ]

HARRIS:      Well no – leave that aside – yes, I assume she’s not guilty of something worthy of prison time, certainly on that score. But violating the norm in our democracy, threatening that if you win the presidency, you are going to lock up your opponent – that is in disastrously bad taste at a minimum, for what it is to have to function as a stable democracy and a peaceful transition of power. That’s just way beyond the pale. [ Chunk up: Trump as threat to democracy itself. ]

ADAMS:      I believe that, for a different kind of candidate, I would definitely agree with you pretty strongly. [ Pace without an actual concession ] In the context of President Trump, who was well known by all observers to say stuff like this, it does come across differently to me. [ Using Trump’s reputation as hyperbolic in his favor. Social proof. ]

HARRIS:      Okay, so I just want to come back – and again, sorry I’m being motivated by time constraints now – I just want to come back to your point where you didn’t really answer my question about how you perceive all of this entanglement with Russia. He basically claims he’s got nothing to do with Russia, and none of his surrogates have anything to do with Russia. And then it just keeps coming out that his campaign had more contact with Russia in every conceivable way than anyone has ever seen from a campaign [ Absurd absolute: every conceivable way ]. There are clearly instances now where they have been lying about it. They made false declarations on their security forms, or most charitably, incomplete declarations on their security forms. They have to keep amending the story. I’m just wondering how you perceive this. [ Sets this frame: my frame is reality, but how do you subjectively perceive it? ] Is this just some kind of strange accident that doesn’t look good, or there’s just an entanglement with Russia that is potentially meaningful and undisclosed? [ Giving Adams 2 alternatives: agree with Harris, or present a weak argument. ]

ADAMS:      So I’ll give you the view from the right. [ Adams avoids the credibility hit from supporting a weak argument. He also sidesteps Harris’ bind and presents a third alternative. ] The view from the right is that the mainstream media has largely turned a lot of nothing into something. Because if you drill down into any one of these cases, they sound like they’re something, until you get to the bottom and you’re not so sure. [ Again, attacking certainty ] I’ll just give you a few examples. Let’s say we know that the IP addresses for the hackers of the DNC were Russia-based. So you say “oh my God, that’s pretty bad”. And then you hear an expert say “well, that’s how you hide where you’re really coming from, you just act like it’s over in Russia”. I have personally talked to somebody who has used that trick, to use an IP address in Russia, for a different project [ First hand knowledge enhances credibility ]. So technically that can be done. So I say to myself “okay, there might be something there, and we should definitely find out what that is, but on the surface it doesn’t mean anything.” [ Process language; how to interpret news about Russia ]

HARRIS:      Okay, but what should mean something – and again, this is analogous to what you’re tending to do with climate science. We have our full intelligence apparatus declaring – in a bipartisan way – this happened, it was Russia. You’re not privy to top secret information. You don’t know what they know. Why are you tempted to second guess how they have analyzed the IP addresses? [ Cialdini appeal to authority, credibility attack ]

ADAMS:      Well, just because we don’t know, and we know that there are…

HARRIS:      But they’re saying they know. I’ll give you an example of where you would just never do this. Just imagine if NASA announced today that there was an asteroid that was on an Earth-crossing orbit. They’re really worried about it. Their current calculations suggest that it could come within 5,000 miles of Earth, give or take 5,000 miles. JPL and the other labs come forward and say “Jesus Christ, this is the scariest thing we’ve ever seen. This is a serious problem. It’s all hands on deck. We’ve got to figure out what to do about this.” And you don’t even own a telescope. You would not be tempted to say “you know what, I haven’t seen those calculations, and I’m not so sure”. You have to outsource some of your reality testing to the people you’ve hired to do it for you. And in this case, we’ve got all these intelligence agencies looking at Russia.

ADAMS:      But would you also agree that we have notable examples where the intelligence agencies… [ Counter example ]

HARRIS:      Of course. Of course. But then the remedy for that is more and better intelligence. It’s not the next tweet from somebody who will say “I just talked to Putin and looked into his eyes, and he said he didn’t do it.” [ Comparison: intelligence community vs tweets ]

ADAMS:      Let me finish my point, because I think when you see the context, it will make more sense [ Future pace ]. So if the intelligence agencies know stuff we don’t know, and they’re right, and Russia and its government were behind hacking the servers, that’s important and I would expect that our administration would pay them back in kind, and we may never know what that is. But the trouble is that you start lumping the things that are real, or could be real, with the things that just sort of sound like they almost are kind of real. [ De-conflating ]  And then you start building this – “well, when there’s so much smoke, there must be fire.” So the things that are less real, like the Don Jr. meeting, that really I would have taken, frankly. I would have taken that meeting just to get the information in case it mattered, and then I would have turned it over if that was the right thing to do – turn it over to the FBI or whoever. So I would have handled it the same way, and I would think any seasoned businessperson would also handle it the same way.

HARRIS:      You’re wandering off the actual thing I’m asking about, which is not so much evaluating the quality of the intelligence about Russia. It’s the fact that we have an administration, we have Trump and everyone below him [ absolute ], consistently representing the fact that they’ve had no contact with Russia, or no contact that they remember with Russia. It continually [absolute] gets found out that they’ve had meetings that they have, at the very least, not been forthcoming about, and which there’s no credible reason to think that they would have forgotten about. What do you make of the fact that there’s that level of dishonesty about a connection to Russia?

ADAMS:      So let’s take some of those examples where we know for a fact that there were contacts – you’re thinking about General Flynn? [ Chunking down ]

HARRIS:      I’m thinking about all of it. Sessions, Flynn, Don Jr., the investments that we know happened that Trump is lying about. Look at the son saying that they’ve got massive investment from Russia. And then we’ve got Trump saying that he never has Russian investors, got no loans from Russia, no business in Russia, all the rest.

ADAMS:      So the business stuff, I haven’t seen good reporting on that yet, but I’ll take your word for that. [ Pace ] But if we’re talking about the Sessions, and Flynn, and Don Jr. encounters with Russians, apparently once we drill down, they were fairly trivial. In other words, nobody is suggesting that those things that they left off their forms actually were material.

HARRIS:      I have to remind our listeners that we’re having this conversation 24-48 hours after the story broke. When you’re listening to this, there’s probably another week of reporting, so who knows what is true now. Don Jr.’s e-mail exchange makes it very clear what the purpose of the meeting is, and it was not the first thing that he represented when this was starting to leak out over the weekend. And you’ve got Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort also in that meeting, and also sent the e-mail. So it’s the three of them. These are the top level people in the administration now, going to a meeting that’s billed as with an emissary of the Russian government to get dirt on Clinton. This is one of the meetings that they never disclosed and claimed they never had. We’ve got Don Jr. being interviewed about this topic that night, and he’s saying that there’s no contact with Russia, and what a scurrilous lie this is to suggest that there could be any contact with Russia.

ADAMS:      I would have been tempted to leave that off of my form too…

HARRIS:      Well it’s illegal!

ADAMS:      Hold on, hold on, because it was trivial and it turned out to be nothing, and I was duped into going. So I’m not sure I would have put that on my form, or even remembered it frankly.

HARRIS:      [laughs] Okay. To watch this interview with Don Jr., which we know came immediately after this e-mail exchange and meeting, is to be in the presence of someone who is *absolutely* lying about something they *must* remember. There’s just no way. This is unforgettable. It’s like me just getting on television saying I’ve never spoken to Scott Adams in my life. There’s just no way to do it. [ Absolutes. Also mind-reading. ]

ADAMS:      Sam, he didn’t say – I didn’t watch whatever you saw – but I’m pretty sure he didn’t say “I haven’t talked to anybody from Russia.” [ Untangling the nuances to eliminate any straw man aspects. ]

HARRIS:      Well no, but it’s just the allegation was that the campaign has been in dialogue with the Russian government and there’s Russian influence here…

ADAMS:      And that example was him not being in dialogue with anybody. He was just fooled about the nature of a meeting.

HARRIS:      Please. Please. Alright. Unfortunately we are out of time. I will let our listeners adjudicate what sort of progress we made or didn’t make. The thing I most appreciate about this conversation is the tone and mutual goodwill, and the fact that you went down this rabbit hole with me. The goal here obviously is better understanding of ourselves and the world, and how we can get to a good place. I just think more of what are in fact very fraught and very hard conversations need to be had, in this spirit of being willing to meet with goodwill and just hashing it out. [ Higher ground ]

ADAMS:      I would say the same. I think you’re a force for good, and I’ve been a big fan for a very long time. I love what you do, and I love that you would have this conversation. [ Higher ground ]

HARRIS:      And I should say there are many things – I said this at the top – though we sound like we disagree about everything here, the moment we would make a lateral move onto other topics, we agree about so many things. Just having read enough of your book, I know we agree about things like free will, and the point you raised about goals versus systems. All of that is very interesting, and could be the topic of a very fruitful conversation. [ Higher ground ]

ADAMS:      And I would go so far as to say that when you read my new book Win Bigly about persuasion and about the election, that the gap between us will close substantially. [ Higher ground ]

HARRIS:      I look forward to that Scott, and I wish you all the best with what you’re doing. Just give people your Twitter feed or whatever else you want them to know about where to find you online. 

ADAMS:      That’s @ScottAdamsSays on Twitter.

HARRIS:      Thank you Scott. To be continued.

ADAMS:      Alright, thank you Sam. (2:17:12)

Parsing the Scott Adams – Sam Harris Podcast for Persuasion, Part 7

Read my intro here and some background on belief structures here.

The podcast itself is called “Triggered!

Previous sections: Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6. You might notice some techniques I pointed out in those posts that I don’t point out below. That’s deliberate.

My notes in blue.

Note that there may be a difference between my own opinion and my parsing of what the persuasion is communicating.

And thank @MattMcCombs17, @Subutai1175, and @theTinkerBelles for this transcription!

[1:39:45]

Adams: My understanding is he’s an all-energy guy. [ Big picture reframe ] Push open every door, and some of them will be better than others. So first of all, I agree with you. [ Pace ] There should be more emphasis on the future for all of the domains. They should be talking more about technology for healthcare, for housing…

Harris: Everything!

Adams: I’m 100% on board that there’s too much attention on the past, and not enough on the future. [ Pace ] But I would say that his approach of giving attention to both, to the extent that he can, isn’t crazy.

Harris: But he can’t. Again, it’s a zero-sum contest between the past and the future here. Elon had to leave because it was such a scandalous association at that point. I perceive Elon as taking a significant personal and business risk by leaving, because a lot of his business is based on government contracts. Trump could screw him. Trump is this famously vindictive guy. If Trump decided to see his departure as a personal affront, he could say “I’m going to do whatever I can behind the scenes to make sure the Air Force doesn’t launch any satellites with SpaceX any more. We’re going to find some other way to do it, because Elon screwed me publicly”. That was a principled stand he took, because everything that was coming out of the administration was so beyond the pale. [ Somewhat plausible, but some mind reading here about both Trump and Musk ]

Adams: Maybe. I would say that is was more of a branding decision, coupled with the fact that he’s already running two or three companies, and the last fucking thing he wanted was to attend meetings in Washington where absolutely nothing happened. [ Reframe as branding and time constraints issue ]

Harris: No. No. There would be nothing better for him to have been riding shotgun [ kino ] on a presidency that was actually getting the points and connecting the factual dots with respect to climate change and the opportunity for clean tech. That would have been fantastic for him.

Adams: Let me ask you this. How would you feel, hypothetically, if this red team blue team comes up with a conclusion that matches your own? [ Future pace, also pacing Harris’ kino modality with “feel” ] Which is, “hey, it turns out that the consensus of scientists was right”, and now we’ve finally communicated it in a way that even the government can get on board and say “yeah, this is some kind of problem we have”. Suppose it came out that way, and then President Trump said, “Alright, we’re going to change a few things now that we’ve confirmed this, but we still don’t have an economic model. So as long as we’re hedging, I’m going to do everything I can to keep the economy working, because that gives us the most options in the future”. Would that be crazy? [ Another reasonable alternative explanation, countering the “Trump is crazy” narrative and providing a way for Harris’ values to be met under the current circumstances. ]

Harris: At this point, I’m going to have some climate scientist on the podcast to really spell out this case, closing every conceivable loophole, at some point. The concern among many climate scientists is, just when is it too late to grab the knob and twist it in the right direction? [ Strong kino, could also work as a visual ] We are playing this out over now the course of a full generation, when we had many of the facts in hand decades ago, and we don’t have a whole lot of time to spare necessarily, and we’re acting as though this is still a topic of uncertainty.

Adams: I think there are a couple problems here. One is that – and you can please fact check me on this – but my understanding is that climate scientists from, let’s say the ‘70s, have been wildly inaccurate about what was going to happen in the future. Before I make my next point, does that pass the fact-checking or no? [ Securing agreement. ]

Harris: I’m sure there are predictions that have not come true, as are the case in any science, but I don’t know if the preponderance of what was being said in the ‘70s is now considered to be inaccurate. [ Dismissing inaccurate predictions as routine. Very hedged answer, a tepid endorsement of the prediction record. ]

Adams: Yeah, my understanding is that the people who are studying this stuff thought we were entering a global cooling period. [ Credibility: Exposing the poor record of scientist predictions on the climate. They weren’t just wrong, they were so wrong that they predicted the exact opposite of what they predict now. Cialdini consistency principle. ] And then there was a period where – I think it was Al Gore may have predicted that some time about now, Manhattan would be flooded. [ More credibility attack: Manhattan is not underwater now, so they were wrong on that too. Also great visual. ] So I believe that there is a history [ Track record – a foundation for confirmation bias. ] that people on the right are looking at and saying “if you got it wrong all these times, we have to at least be a little skeptical this time”. It’s sort of “fool me three times, by the fourth time, I’m going to start asking some questions.” [ Explaining the alternative perspective in a very reasonable way ]

Harris: They don’t know what’s being claimed. I mean first of all cli- global warming is probably the wrong phrase, I mean we’re talking about climate change more than necessarily always warming. [ Chunk up reframe ] And we can even bite the bullet here that in some parts of the world, global warming would be a good thing. There are places that they’ll suddenly be able to grow crops they can’t grow. If you lived in Siberia I think you could want nothing more than global warming, [ Pacing objection ] but the question is we have a preponderance of the scientific community – I mean the vast preponderance – we here are now talking about something like debating big tobacco about whether cigarettes cause lung cancer [ Association with scary things ] who say, “We have to get a handle on this.” We are influencing this system in ways that we’re increasingly understanding is going to produce highly non-normal climate response that will do things like flood coastal cities and raise the temperature and create extreme weather events and all of this is going to cost a fantastic amount of money. [ List of emotionally undesirable things ] And what’s more, we have alternatives that have all of these other good things that come along with them. First of all we’ll no longer be paying these regimes in the middle east to wage a global war of jihadist terrorism against us. [ More association with scary things ] Right? We’ll get off the oil which couldn’t happen fast enough and you’re talking about removing the main source of air pollution for the entire planet right? It’s just it’s all good. Again I’ll grant you your point that there’s better and worse ways to do this and we don’t want to start burning up trillions of dollars in the process. We want to find out how to transition, in the most profitable way, but again, it’s fairly clear to everyone who’s thinking about this which direction you need to move to be embracing a sane, sustainable future and it is not in just guarding the oil reserves under the Saudi Royal family and extracting every last ounce from those lands. [ Absurd absolute ]

Adams: This gets us to the economic forecast, right. If you are telling me that the scientists all align on the fact that CO2 is going to raise the temperature, I would say, “That’s possible.” And in fact if you said gun to head, you gotta bet on this, I’ll say, “Yeah that’s probably true.” [ Changing the absolute certainty into varying degrees of likelihood. ] You know, closed system, it’s probably true. [ Framing “global warming is an imminent catastrophe” narrative as a special case of a closed system. ] But if you say to me, “Therefore we know the economics of when to invest, how to invest, when to wait for new technology…” [ Repeating the split between science and economic modeling ] I’m not sure if you see this [ pace ] but people always tweet to me all the new technologies for turning CO2 into products and fuel and everything else. So if you said, “What happens if we wait 10 years and the sea level has gone up an inch and it’s a degree warmer?” I would say, “Well, a bunch of places are going to be growing crops that they couldn’t have, a bunch of places will be growing fewer crops than they were.” That would cause some disruption, no doubt about it. But by then we might have technology that we can, just suck the sea out.

Harris: If we build it, if we build it. I mean China might have the technology. The question is do we want to have a worldview informed by the best science in so far as we can understand it in any moment, or one that repudiates the best science for patently political reasons? [ Reframe of the entire debate as science vs politics ] And that’s that’s

Adams: Well correct me if this is wrong but as President, President Trump’s administration has offered to expose the best thinking scientists to the world in a way that has never been done before, through this red team blue team process which they promise to televise and we get to follow along. And this is not a debate by the way. The red team blue team thing is not a debate where people say things and then you’re out of time. It’s a process where people get to go away check their claims, come back later. So it’s far, far more rigorous. [ Suggesting that the red team – blue team is the superior method because it allows the public to follow along. Also pointing out that it is different from a debate because most liberals think the “debate” is over, but the red team blue team exercise is a new thing whose conclusion is still open. This has the effect of opening up people’s minds again. ]

Harris: Again, if all of that does something to change the administration’s behavior, that would be a good thing. I can’t argue that. [ Agrees ] But the fact that we have someone like Pruitt gutting the EPA, betrays the actual bias of the administration which is that environmental concerns are basically anti-business and that we should just ignore the environment and extract every last lump of coal and ounce of oil we can out of the earth because [ New topic. Also, another absurd absolute: “ignore” the environment, “every last…” ]

Adams: So…

Harris: the dollar you can have in hand now is better than the dollar you can imagine getting but based on sunlight on some future date.

Adams: Right. One of the other tells for Cognitive Dissonance that I always talk about is turning a reasonable thing into an absolute. [ Scott calls it out ] So it seems to me that the people in the EPA are saying that it’s better to have a strong economy, even if some of these rules might introduce some risk to some people within the economy. Meaning that there might be different people who die because these rules are not in place, but there might be a greater number of them who have access to healthcare, you know, and things that keep people alive. So to say that changing these things does nothing but cost, is, I think missing the fact that in economics, there’s always a cost and there can be a benefit that’s greater than the cost. [ Bigger picture: all choices have both costs and benefits ]

Harris: Well, yeah, yeah, it’s just that there’s no argument that this is a principled search for those benefits. Again you could do the same thing with smoking. Why not red team, blue team whether cigarettes cause lung cancer. We can get in the way-back machine and go back to that moment…

Adams: Well, let’s not…

Harris: And the science is settled…

Adams: Well, let me tell you why. There’s a very good reason. That would have been an excellent thing to do in, I don’t know,

Harris: 1950

Adams: Yeah, in the 1950s. [ Reframe in time ] Because the problem was that the country was divided. And right now with climate scientists, although the scientists are not divided, it’s the perfect situation to educate the public. The administration is helpless until the public gets on board. [ Redirect the source of the response. It’s reasonable for an elected administration to be beholden to its constituents. ]

Harris: Well, that’s not true. The administration can do whatever it wants, as you, as we’ve seen. Trump can, at considerable reputational cost, can just change his mind, when he gets new information, and his fans, his supporters, will go along with him for the most part, and as you said, if he decides not to build the wall because it’s not practical, well then most people will come along. That was just his first negotiation. [ Technically correct, but not very plausible that an elected official goes against his base ]

Adams: But he doesn’t need to take a hit to his reputation, because he can do it in a way that improves his reputation while informing the public at the same time. [ Showing how Harris’ desired outcomes can be met with the red team blue team. ] And I think this red team, blue team process once televised, will do exactly that. We’re all going to be a lot smarter about this stuff. [ Future pace ]

Let me make one point about climate science that I think is too important to gloss over. My view is that you can divide it into three categories, the topic, and you can assign different levels of credibility to each. [ Chunk down reframe ] One would be the basic science, you know the chemistry and the physics. I would imagine that is very high credibility, that we probably have a good handle on that side. [ Pace ]

Secondly there’s the building of models, which is something that scientists do and they try to use all of their best thinking and people look at them, [ Pace ] but by their nature, the complexity, and the fact that some of the decisions depend on human judgment. That’s why there are different models and lots of them, [ Cialdini because ] and they come to slightly different, in some cases wildly different results, but they throw away the wildly different ones. In that situation, if you didn’t know even what the topic was – let’s say you didn’t know you were talking about climate science, you just said “A bunch of people who are super smart are building these complex models. There’s a bunch of them. Historically a lot of them didn’t work. Some of them actually match what we’ve observed.” I would say to you, Well, if you make enough models, and you have some flexibility to change them, that looks just like my experience when I was doing financial modeling for a bank, in which my boss would say “Hey, make this turn out this way,” and I would just tweak the assumptions until it did. That was my job. [ Equating climate models with business/financial models, which people trust far less. ]

Now, I would say that the models have a lower credibility, by their nature – I’m not saying how much lower – but I think you would agree a lower credibility than the basic science. [ Pace ]

And then there’s the third thing, which I keep mentioning because it’s so important, which is the economic models. That even if the, even if the scientific models where temperature are going are reasonably, or at least directionally right, there’s still a gigantic question about the smartest way to play it. And it is not my assumption that the smartest way to play it is, obviously and certainly, to go aggressively to do the… well take the example of the Paris Climate Accords. Even the people who were in favor of it, after they saw the details, at this point, kind of agree, “Well ok, it didn’t do that much.” [ If even the advocates acknowledging a flaw, that is very strong evidence. ]  So that the “what you do about it” is the part that matters, but you can’t get to that until the public is sort of lined up, uh, behind it. And I think that red team, blue team thing is the way to get there.

Harris: Again, everything you just said sounded reasonable, [ agrees ] but it doesn’t sound reasonable coming from someone who just said that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese, right. Like that’s the thing that’s so highly and obviously non-optimal from the President. [ New topic from Harris again ]

How can I use persuasion to improve my (sex/love) life?

This subject is really important for lifelong happiness and it can go so horribly wrong if done badly, so it’s important to listen to the voice of experience on this.

I wouldn’t recommend any books/sets/gurus on it that I have seen, particularly in the “manosphere” because:

  • They assume the reader is a desperate loser (often not the case),
  • many use borderline or overtly sociopathic methods,
  • most assume you won’t ever want a long term committed relationship someday, and
  • most of the techniques won’t work well until you have developed yourself somewhat from the inside out first.

My approach, therefore, would be:

  1. Figure out your ethical guidelines you will follow. Good ideas are if she smiles about it a month later you’re probably OK, and remember that many a horrible man-hater has some mistreatment by some man in her past. Don’t make more.
  2. Figure out what you want: notches on your bedpost, a fling, the right one for you longer term, the right wife/mother of your children, etc. If you don’t know what you want, then what you want is to find out what you want.
  3. Clear out your own blocks and issues with women. If you aren’t already successful with women, there will be LOADS.
  4. Establish basic health, fitness, cleanliness, and appearance habits.
  5. Develop general presence, communication skills, and charisma.
  6. THEN develop specific skills and strategies for eliciting specific states in women and tying them to you.

At that point it’s really just a numbers game / matter of time before your situation looks the way you want it.

The most failsafe and hardest to mess up path I know on how to do that – and the only one I would recommend without knowing someone’s individual situation – is using Paul Scheele’s set of paraliminal hypnosis sessions (and be sure to use the links below because you can help me support the blog).

After 6-12 months of disciplined listening, most people ought to be in a situation they are happy about. At that point, or when you’re already happy with the rest of your life, learn about eliciting states. Elicit interest then connection then lust, and tie to yourself and to being with you. Future pace a good tomorrow. If you come from a place of good intentions you will do great.

Again, there are many other methods, many of which work well, but this is a pretty failsafe approach and hard to mess up. I know people have used other programs and then found someone they wanted to be with for the long term but had programmed themselves so hard to play the field that they couldn’t switch gears and lost their preferred partner. Others were successful but didn’t like who they had become in the process. This avoids both of those situations.

The perceptive will notice that this approach can be used for improving your entire life from the inside out.

The other benefit of this approach is that while you were focusing on your primary goal, your life will have transformed into an amazing adventure as so many of your problems melt away. Imagine how that might look. How might that feel? It will likely be even better than that, in ways you haven’t even thought about yet. And that’s perfectly OK.

And note that this approach works for anyone, and for any desired partner (keep it safe and legal).