Dear reader, we’ve discussed mind-reading, remember? We know it’s probably not real… right?
Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. That’s beside the point. Honestly I don’t know the scope of reality beyond what my brain understands, and I’m sure there’s a lot I don’t understand.
A wise man is never certain about anything!
So I don’t know if some specially attuned people can read minds or not… but I’m pretty sure that your run-of-the-mill news reporter cannot.
For the purpose of today’s post, “mind reading” is when someone deduces someone else’s inner thoughts, allowing the first person to create emotional stories about the second person.
Stories hook reader emotions far better than lists of facts, of course. Your own emotional strings are pulled and you feel compelled to know…
What Happens Next!?
“Facts” in this case are statements. They can be true or not. No matter. Without context, statements are dry, they’re uninteresting.
“Facts” are the skeleton, the structure. A story must be built around them, an emotional story, to hook the reader. And when the story is about someone else… you have to
create the drama, mamma!
The news media is great at this, at directing your attention via emotional hooks.
Back to mind reading.
The news media doesn’t know someone’s inner state when a decision was made, when new information is received, when that person is sitting alone at the end of the day.
All a news reporter (or their source) can do is guess the emotions at play… or perhaps even ascribe emotions, to flesh out the facts they’re presenting.
Yes, by framing someone else’s mindset, a story teller can make the reader feel a certain way about the information…
when they have no way to confirm if they’re correct.
Let’s Have a Word
The following list of words are used to assume someone else’s mental state. These 13 are not an exhaustive list. They serve to help you identify when someone is creating a narrative about someone else’s mental state.
- Caught off-guard
- Lashes out
- Panicked about
- Worries about
These words are used by the media to create drama and to push a narrative. This is one widespread format for “fake news.” There is often no confirmed basis in reality unless the subject of the story uses these words about himself or herself.
Otherwise, it’s all just mind reading.
Word list collected from Scott Adams’ Periscope broadcast on 2018-08-21.