Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Why we love tyrants

I’ve always wondered how some leaders can sway people to do things rational thought would exclude, for example how Hitler managed to convince ordinary Germans that Jews must be exterminated.  Would I fall for such a message?  Have I?

The article below looks at the psychology used in these type of speeches. It seems to boil down to three steps:

  1.  We are mightily suffering:  _____________,
  2.  and that is the fault of ____________, who is our enemy.
  3.  The magic solution to this is ___________.

It’s scary how something this simple can work so well.  And it’s even scarier how it is being used today.

Why we love tyrants

Psychoanalysis explains how authoritarians energise the hatred, self-pity and delusion while promising heaven on Earth

David Livingstone Smith | aeon | 


February 16, 2018 Posted by | behaviour, history, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

How Trump screws with your mind

Emily Dreyfuss, Wired magazine editor, has a couple of illuminating articles on how President Trump screws with your mind for his own benefit. He’s not the only one to do so, so it’s in your interest to find out how and what to do about it.

The Cognitive Bias President Trump Understands Better Than You

Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again

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February 18, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How you vote depends on how you perceive honesty

What does honesty mean to you?

  1. An honest person will say what they think and believe
  2. An honest person will say factually accurate things

If you picked 1, you will probably vote Trump; 2, Clinton. The article below from explains.

A major difference between Clinton and Trump voters: how they perceive honesty

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November 3, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, politics, psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment