PostHeaderIcon Dilbert is Persuasive

It is becoming increasingly obvious why Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, regularly garners several thousand comments to each of his blog posts. Here is another brilliant one, posted only a few hours ago, which has already passed a thousand. Yet, it is Sunday, when his presumptive office worker fans, are not goofing off in their cubicles.

How to Un-Hypnotize a Rabid Anti-Trumper

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a trained hypnotist. I’ve been studying the ways of persuasion – in all its forms – for decades.

My background in persuasion is the reason I recognized last summer that Trump would exceed most people’s expectations. He was pitch-perfect on persuasion technique. If you don’t study persuasion, Trump’s actions appear random and even dangerous. If you do know how persuasion works, you probably realize Trump is in a league of his own.

You think I’m overstating the case for persuasion. Perhaps you think Trump is doing well for a variety of reasons that include his accurate reading of the Republican base.

But Trump’s accurate reading of the Republican base is part of the art of persuasion. None of what you see in Trump’s election success so far is luck or coincidence. It is technique. If you’re not trained to see it, the method is invisible.

For example, I have already used several persuasion techniques in the paragraphs above. If I were to see another writer use these same persuasion methods on me, I would recognize them. But most of you did not recognize the methods – at least not all of them – when I used them right in front of you.

Persuasion hides in plain sight.

Just for fun, I’ve un-hypnotized several rabid anti-Trumpers lately. It takes less than ten minutes, requires nothing but conversation, and you can probably pull it off just by reading how I did it. Here’s how…

You don’t want to miss it. Whatever one’s opinion of Trump, most serious thinkers should agree that his suggestions are provocative, and very persuasive. 😀 â—„Daveâ–º

25 Responses to “Dilbert is Persuasive”

  • Chris says:

    Indeed Trump is a gifted salesman. Yes I said salesman because at the root of selling anything is everything the author describes. I recall being very young and the Kirby guy was making his pitch to my parents. He was doing pretty good Mom loved it. Dad was on board until they started talking price. He balked and said he couldn’t pay that much for a vacuum. The salesmen went for the closer. “But John, don’t you love your wife?” When I say he was grabbed by the scruff of the neck and escorted to the porch I mean it literally. He was left to stand there for a while wondering if his sample machine would be coming any time soon. It did but not too gently. I still smile remembering it.

    Anyway every sale is about the closing. Some buy what your selling some don’t. Some can like the hard sell but still worry about the language in the warranty when the salesman says “don’t worry about it. It will be great”. Mr. Trump has already “hypnotized” all the people he can. It may be enough when couple with those that can’t see Hillary as a choice and are forced into it. Anybody he gains now are in that camp. Mr. Adams tactics have already been plied by a master. The masters followers can do no better.

    • Good story about Big John, Chris. 😀

      Sure, the art of persuasion is a key component of salesmanship, and it would not be wrong to consider them synonymous. What exactly is wrong with that? We all engage in the activity, one way or another, every day. With varying degrees of success, of course. Every time you ever got laid, you closed a sale. Caveat Emptor, mam! 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

      • Chris says:

        Didn’t mean to imply there was anything wrong with it. Just that it has it’s limitations and once those limitations are reached pushing beyond does more harm than good. An example would be the final argument by Trump supporters when they fail to convince. “Well when we have a president Hillary it’s your fault. I hope your happy.” That’s read as We are going to shove him down your throat so stop bitching and help us. That’s always constructive. 🙂 Mind you I’m not firmly in the “NeverTrump camp. I do hope for a better option. If the libertarians had nominated Petersen I would be there. Sadly they are as bone headed as the rest.

        Every time you ever got laid, you closed a sale. Caveat Emptor, mam!

        It was so much easier when you’ve got a product to sell not too close to it’s expiration date with an extended warranty. 😀

  • Chris says:

    If “Supreme Court nominee” is one of the top objections, discontinue your persuasion for ethical reasons. This person has put some thought into the decision and has a legitimate opinion that is at least partly based on reason. I don’t recommend changing that person’s mind.

    And there you have it. In other words these tactics probably won’t work anyway.

    • Of course, they work on his predominantly thoughtless marks. I thought this caveat for reasoned objections, was an elegant touch to his article. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

      • Chris says:

        It quite probably was but I got something more from the article. Maybe something you missed? It’s in bold and he used it twice.

        And people don’t suddenly change character at age 70.

        Yet Trump has sold himself to SOME conservatives based on his having changed. There’s a flaw in reasoning that he can’t change when sighting only a good quality when there are just as many negatives. My answer to his not being able to change would be “yea, I know. That’s the problem”.

        • My answer to his not being able to change would be “yea, I know. That’s the problem”.

          You have made this comment more than once Chris. Exactly what character change are you personally aware of?

        • There’s a flaw in reasoning that he can’t change when sighting only a good quality when there are just as many negatives.

          Chris, you may be too invested in your personal disdain for Trump, to evaluate Adams’ article with an open mind. You probably have not read as many of his blog posts as I have; but it is clear to me that he is very interested in the art of persuasion, both as an observer and as a practitioner. Just as I have no intention of voting for Trump; yet marvel at his success and cheer him for his effect on the Incumbrepublocrats, Adams has repeatedly made the point that he does not agree with his politics. I have not seen him critique his positions, only his persuasion techniques, which he reckons are beyond excellent.

          I did not read any defense or support of Trump into this article. He was discussing persuasion, and sharing with his readers some subtle techniques to look for, and/or use themselves. Trump was just the test case for the experiment. It inspired me to dust off some of my old NLP techniques myself, when posting the article. Did you notice them?

          You don’t want to miss it. …thinkers should agree…

          These are called ’embedded commands.’ The first would have been more obvious had I said, “You will want to read it.” It would still not be consciously noticed as a persuasion technique by most readers; but their subconscious minds would likely accept the command. The second could have been stated, “You will agree…”; but I was a little more subtle, to allow the reader to self-identify as a thinker, before their subconscious reaction to the command. Persuasive language is incredibly effective. I was never anywhere close to being in Trump’s league, of course, but 30 years ago I was pretty adept at weaving such techniques into my business conversations, whether on the sales floor, or in meetings with staff, bankers, suppliers, family, or anyone else I wanted to agree with me. 🙂

          In any case, you might have gotten more value out of reading his post, had irrational arguments (racism, bankruptcies, misogyny, etc.) against Trump not been the subject of his persuasion experiments. The bolded statements were useful memes he was installing in the minds he was trying to change. Repeat something persuasive like that often enough, and it becomes accepted conventional wisdom. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

        • Chris says:

          Dave I have no personal disdain for Trump. I have said in the past there is much about him I admire. As an entertainer, a master manipulator, and a philanderer of great success. (in spite of his freakishly small hands :)It’s simply those same attributes that cause me to find him nearly as unfit for the presidency as the Hillary. His salvation is that we can’t attribute any known responsibility for someone elses death. Donald Trump as “The Donald” Is pure entertainment at someone elses expense. Donald Trump as “Mr. President” is a whole different ball game.

          CT I don’t look for character change. Ain’t gonna happen. It’s positions. I’ve watched Trump since the 70’s. He is a Manhattan liberal through and through. His most formidable talent is that of a chameleon. What you see is seldom what you get. What are being called his recent “misstatements” are nothing of the sort. It’s him reading the audience and saying what that particular group wants to hear. When called out he may “clarify” but the right people heard it and that’s what counts. He gains more from the statement than he loses from those who don’t accept the clarification. For Pete sake the guy stood on a stage in front of a crowd of people and said they should look into Raphael Cruz’s involvement in the JFK assassination and the trained seals applauded. Seriously???! Should I now believe him if he tells the country after January 2017 that we should look into Sweden shipping nuclear warheads to Cuba?

      • CT I don’t look for character change. Ain’t gonna happen. It’s positions.

        Then apparently you missed the point which Scott Adams was making.
        Let me repeat it for you again.

        And people don’t suddenly change character at age 70. (That last sentence is the important one.)

        It appears you are mixing up “individual character” and what makes someone think and say at any given moment … which is simply part of the process in life. You know the stuff that experience and education causes one to change a position in life?

        I am going to guess you have not paid enough attention to Trump now or in the past to know much about HIS CHARACTER other than what others spout about him today.

        So back to my query in the beginning … what exactly DO YOU KNOW detrimental about Trump’s CHARACTER that we might be missing?

  • Dave I have no personal disdain for Trump.

    OK, Chris; but please notice that this reply only confirms my assertion that your opinion of Trump, whether disdainful or not, precludes your being able to fairly critique Adams’ article on persuasion techniques. You might also take note of your own attempts at persuasive language. While Adams and I have marveled at his mastery of the art of persuasion, you choose to characterize the same talent as manipulative. Even his storied successes as a bachelor, lover, or even playboy, you choose to label as under-equipped philandering.

    I am still amazed at how his response to a question about Rafael Cruz’ campaign tactics, has been twisted into the repeated assertion that he accused him of being involved with JFK’s assassination. Here is the clip from “Fox & Friends,” where he mentioned the picture of Rafael and Oswald handing out pro-Cuban flyers together, and wondered why nobody in the press was even mentioning it:

    He certainly said no such thing. He didn’t even mention JFK. I don’t think it fair to suggest he even implied a link to the assassination, although I can see where some might jump to that conclusion. My own reaction to that picture had been, to wonder what Rafael was doing involved with pro-Castro activism in the ’60s, when the story had been that he was a refugee from Castro’s tyranny. Considering his rather bizarre religious/political activities on the campaign trail for Cruz, I don’t find Trump’s calling attention to this curious detail about his past at all outrageous. Your mileage may differ; but it certainly was not as egregious as it was cracked up to be, especially by Cruz himself. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

    • My own reaction to that picture had been, to wonder what Rafael was doing involved with pro-Castro activism in the ’60s, when the story had been that he was a refugee from Castro’s tyranny.

      My thoughts also (what a shock huh?) … mine almost immediately turned more sinister LOL

      I always thought Oswald was a patsy. Being managed or mismanaged by the FBI. My sinister thoughts went to Oswald being sent to spy on the Castro support groups here in the states. Cruz just got caught in the shuffle because he WAS A CASTRO SUPPORTER. Talk about chickens coming home to roost 😉

      Lucky the people put a stop to Ted’s run so we no longer have to care.

      • Agreed, CT. Oswald even claimed that he was a patsy. It also occurs to me that many younger Americans wouldn’t be able to recall, if they ever knew, that Oswald himself was shot dead, while in police custody, a couple of days after Kennedy. I happened to be watching it on live TV at the time. Trump was referencing Oswald being shot, not Kennedy. â—„Daveâ–º

        • I was watching when Oswald got shot too. That is when I figured it was a set up. When Ruby died of Cancer that is when I KNEW IT WAS A SET UP.

          No matter how much reporting or jacking around with “what happened” they do I believe the government was behind it. Lyndon Johnson to be exact. LOL

    • You young folk and your cryptic text-talk… I had to look this up, and still don’t know for sure what you meant to convey:

        So Much Hate;
        Scratching My Head;
        Shaking My Head;
        Shaking My Heart; or
        Shoot My Horse?

      …inquiring minds wish to know. Of course, if it is the latter, you will need to explain what the hell that means as well. 😀 â—„Daveâ–º

      • ROFL … when left to ones own perception … I take it to mean … there is no viable response … you win!

        So I usually never bother to research or clarify.
        Never dispute an open win right? 😉

        • So I usually never bother to research or clarify.

          I once accepted the great advice to never read past a term one doesn’t understand, without looking it up. Not only does doing so insure I understand what the author is trying to say; but it immeasurably enhances my own vocabulary over time. Now, that definitions are only a mouse click or two away, I find it almost impossible not to do so.

          Besides genuine curiosity, I needed to be sure I wasn’t being called a ‘Stupid Misguided Has-been’ by a ‘Sarcastic Munchkin Hacker,’ insufficiently respectful of the wisdom of his elders. 😀 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Yes you mentioned that to me before and directed me to that little app. … however those “Ubiquitous Acronyms” are not usually found in a dictionary without a million choices therefore a waste of time (just in my opinion). I got suckered into one of those a week or so ago and spent 5 minutes to long and still did not know what it meant. The choice however was extensive. I going forward will apply (as you did) when in doubt ask.

    Besides genuine curiosity, I needed to be sure I wasn’t being called a ‘Stupid Misguided Has-been’ by a ‘Sarcastic Munchkin Hacker,’ insufficiently respectful of the wisdom of his elders.

    ‘Stupid Misguided Has-been’ by a ‘Sarcastic Munchkin Hacker,’? ROFL

    Then what? 🙂

  • contumacious teenagers? you are a true gentleman.

    My today’s teenager analysis is a bit more harsh … like “willfully ignorant” or worse “willfully stupid”.

    I must admit it is really entertaining though. 🙂

    • contumacious teenagers? you are a true gentleman.

      Perhaps it is because I truly sympathize with them. To have heard my mother tell it, I have been consistently grumbling about and willfully defying authority, since I was two-years-old. I think she was much relieved to turn me over to the Army Drill Sergeants at 17. I know my dad was; I had grown big enough to defiantly punch back, and could outrun him. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

      • Ahh Haa so you were a renegade child.

        I saved my renegade days until I was around 32 when it was wait a darn minute the “I can’t, you can’t, we can’t became non existent in my life. Today my response is save your breath and work on how WE CAN. On my own there simply is no I CAN’T. 🙂

        • Ahh Haa so you were a renegade child.

          Actually, I was a pretty good kid. I never got in trouble with the law. I kept good grades, until I got bored with school about my Junior year, and got an after school job, in lieu of doing homework. I sang in the choir, and my peer group was the mellow Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) organization. My primary hobby was Ham Radio. I was sort of a mild mannered geek, really.

          My main difficulty with my abusive parents, was that I just couldn’t kick the habits of asking, “Why?” and saying, “No!” once acquired at age two. I was so self-confident with my own mind’s abilities, that I was fortunately immune to mental abuse. By my teenaged years, I had become stoically inured to their physical abuse, and would laugh out loud at their rage, while they beat me black and blue. As hard as they tried, they couldn’t break me, and it sent them round the bend at times. I don’t think my poor mom ever did figure out why it would send me into a paroxysm of giggling, when while enraged and wielding a leather belt, she called me a “little bastard” or better yet, a “son of a bitch.” Funny… it still amuses me to think of it. 😀

          You must have become quite a handful for some poor guy at around the age of 32. Men are from Mars…; sometimes, women are from Hell! Did he survive it? 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

        • Oh My! Unfortunate tough childhood … however as difficult as it was it certainly produced who and what you are today.

          That looks pretty amazing from my perspective 😉

          My folks split up when I was 4. A traditional macho father “me Tarzan you Jane” to an extremely bright woman who wanted to be more than a house slave. He pushed and lost the love of his life as she packed his bags and sent him on his way.
          That was unfortunate because had he let her expand they would have been happy together. She loved him when he died and he loved her still too he admitted to my brother when he was so sick. She went to work for Lockheed then moved on to computer programing where she went on to become a first class world traveling Cobol instructor for 35 years.

          My father picked up THE BITCH of the century as his next wife. She was emotionally abusive to both me and my brother. I was tough skinned but it hurt my brother. It hurt my mother because she could see no way to protect us from this bitch though she tired.

          THIS BITCH was the only person I can remember hating. My father did nothing to protect us from her. Unfortunately I lost respect for him because of that. It was a torn state because he was my daddy and suppose to protect me from this BITCH and I loved him anyway when he did not. Instead he ignored it all. It was so bad he had to sneak over to visit his grand daughter.

          As you can imagine my respect for men in general was not great.

          Married by 19 to a insanely jealous young man (that did not appear until after we married) which made that respect for men even less since that insanity was over NOTHING AT ALL. Talking to his brother (who was married) at a total family outing which we had every weekend?

          Are you fracking insane… went through my mind many times?

          The straw? I wanted to go back to college.
          NOPE you can not!
          OH YEAH?
          Watch me!
          I waited for the what next that never came.
          I went back to college.
          That occurred at 30.

          By 32 jealousy still rampant after all now there was not just his 5 brothers and equal in age nephews to worry about there were all those college guys.
          Fatigue of listening and trying to reason with someone who was not reasonable. I do give him credit he never got mean or physically abuse over it. Of course that would have got him out the door in a nano second. Perhaps he realized that or was simply not willing to hit his wife.

          Finally the BIG talk … stop this insanity or pack your bags and get out. No can do. Bags packed and on the front steps. After a few days. Oh please please I promise it will never happen again. Okay against my better judgment one last time. Back he comes with bag in hand … daughter thrilled daddy is home … in house less than 10 minutes and it starts again … I marched past him picked up his bag and set it outside and said GO that was your last change. He went … so he survived but the marriage did not. My daughter said later (she was 9) Mommy can I go live with Daddy. I said why? She said because you are strong and don’t need me and he needs me to take care of him. I said NO this is not your choice to make it is mine and your Daddy will be just fine.

          I could see the relief on her young face … that there was no choice to be made. She was never an issue between her dad and I. He saw her whenever he wanted to see her. He remarried and we all get along well today. Well after in the beginning when she was acting jealous of him. I took her aside and said look get over this snarky jealous behavior … know one thing “if I wanted him back I would already have him”.
          Yes that is exactly how I function in the world.
          Because people can always function better knowing what to expect. Many people are not so comfortable with someone who is that direct. But for sure those who do know me know what I say I mean and what I mean I say.

          From that point on NO ONE tells me what to do.

          One last note … on my fathers death bed he apologized for all of the bad things my step-mother did to my brother and I … I forgave him for his weakness. HER I DID NOT and told her when she was sick and dying I hope she was miserable and burned in hell when it came time. On notification of her death I said “may she burn in HELL eternally” … knowing full well KARMA IS THE REAL BITCH and NO ONE escapes her wrath … LOL

          So that is my story.
          I am today the strong product of those harder times but would not change a thing because to arrive here makes everything worth it.

          Daily I look forward to the fun things in life because I do exactly what I choose and if something is not fun or gets boring I simply change directions … lol 😉

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