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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  14:19:45  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Found it at, where else, Randi's place......
quote:
PSYCHIC SANTA?

Reader Fred Rosenberger has an epiphany…

I wanted to share this with you, as I'm not sure you've ever addressed this specific topic.

Last night, my sisters and I went to get our photo taken with "Santa" at the mall. I'm the youngest of the three at age 37 – this is going to be a special gift for our mother.

Since we went rather late in the evening, there was nobody else in line, and we started chatting with Santa. One of my sisters asked if he had been doing this very long. You see, two years ago, when she brought her five children to see him, her oldest was beginning to doubt the mythology of the jolly old elf.

But that Santa was amazing. He started talking to them, and told the twin boys they needed to be nicer to their younger brother. They all needed to do a better job of picking up their clothes and putting them in the hamper. He may have even referred to some of them by name. When the children left his lap, they were CONVINCED he was the real deal.

It turns out this was the same gentleman – he's been the only Santa at that mall for the past three years. He proceeded to tell us that in his eight years of portraying Santa, he's learned a few things. ALL kids need to do a better job of picking up their dirty clothes. ALL older brothers need to be nicer to their younger brothers. And if you listen carefully, often either the parents or the kids will refer to each other (or even themselves) by name and not realize it. A good listener can learn a lot quite easily.

As he was telling us all this, I couldn't help but think of you, and many of our dear friends (Sylvia Browne and John Edward come to mind).

Thanks for everything you do. I'm enjoying reading all your commentaries (I'm up to June of 2002), and even the ones that are five years old are still extremely educational and entertaining.

Hope you enjoy this little story, and happy holidays!

p.s. If you feel this is worthy of your commentary (which I doubt, but I can dream), please feel free to edit it as you see fit. Writing has never been my strong suit.

I dunno, Fred. I think that readers will agree with me that you did a fine job! Thanks for the seasonal input! Your contribution illustrates very well just how straightforward and organized the “cold reading” process can be. It would be interesting to learn whether Edward and/or Van Praagh ever worked as a department-store Santa….!


As I have said time and again, cold reading is done by us all, and we are expert at it. It might even be classed as a survuval stratigy. In this case, it is at least job security.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  00:19:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
As I have said time and again, cold reading is done by us all, and we are expert at it. It might even be classed as a survuval stratigy. In this case, it is at least job security.


Wow, and here I had been thinking that all deliberate uses of cold reading were negative things.

This appears to be a fairly harmless application of the skill.

Nifty.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  01:02:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
Cold-reading with Santa. Good one.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  06:23:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
I think Santa is unhealthy, children could enjoy the holidays just as much without being lied to daily.

This goes for the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy as well.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  07:22:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
BigPapaSmurf, thanks for the putting my quote in your sig! Aw shucks....

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  07:38:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

I think Santa is unhealthy, children could enjoy the holidays just as much without being lied to daily.

This goes for the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy as well.

Children have been lied to since the dawn of sapience. Gods & demons, fairies & trolls, it's all the same old schtick: delight them or scare the cupcakes out of them. Either way, it's useful for keeping their noise level down and getting them to bed and out from underfoot at a reasonable hour. It is later, when they start to wise up, that the problems begin, and we must finally civilize the little barbarians.

Let them have their fantasies while they still can be happily impressed by them.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  08:51:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Well its our fantasy not theirs. Past mistakes are not excuses for present and future ones, anyway just my opinion, I dont have any kids or plan to in the future.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 11/30/2005 08:53:11
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  15:22:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
I think Santa is unhealthy, children could enjoy the holidays just as much without being lied to daily.



Could not Santa be an introduction to skepticism? When a child realizes that even his parents will lie to him, there is no one he can trust.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  15:48:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
When I was four, I stayed up with a camera to try to take Santa's photo. My parents encouraged this, but, of course, I fell asleep. I forget when I became aware of the non-existance of Santa, but it wasn't much longer after that.

Unfortunately, I did not arrive to that conclusion with god until much later.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 11/30/2005 15:54:00
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  16:32:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
See, I don't think I ever really believed Santa. I don't think my mom encouraged this, but I might just be forgetting...

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  04:20:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Well its our fantasy not theirs. Past mistakes are not excuses for present and future ones, anyway just my opinion, I dont have any kids or plan to in the future.


Young children, as a general rule, do not posess the cognitive capability that most adults do. They live in a fairly magical world without any intervention from adults.

The whole Santa/Toothfairy/Easterbunny thing is pretty harmless.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  21:23:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

quote:
I think Santa is unhealthy, children could enjoy the holidays just as much without being lied to daily.



Could not Santa be an introduction to skepticism? When a child realizes that even his parents will lie to him, there is no one he can trust.


I agree. Believing that Santa is real, then realize that he is fiction is an important lesson. The tangent conclusion would then be that there is no God either. Besides, Jesus is a cheap bastard, he doesn't give away presents.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  21:51:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Besides, Jesus is a cheap bastard, he doesn't give away presents.
Just loaves and fish, which are about as much fun as gifts as underwear and stamps.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Trish
SFN Addict

USA
2102 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2005 :  22:03:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Trish a Private Message
Eh, Rowan figured out there was no Santa, her grandparents brought him into her life, when she was 5. She asked how a little fat man in a sleigh pulled by reindeer was able to go round the world in 24 hours. Then she asked how reindeer could fly anyway, let alone pull a sleigh with a fat man in it and where did Santa keep all those toys in his sleigh. Because wouldn't it be really hard to make it around the world in 24 hours and have to go back to refill the sleigh. A brilliant young mind in the making...she's now 15 and really likes physics. Of course, that could have had something to do with building a catapult - they wouldn't let her build a trebuchet - not enough room to throw their pumkin that far.

...no one has ever found a 4.5 billion year old stone artifact (at the right geological stratum) with the words "Made by God."
No Sense of Obligation by Matt Young

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and vile!"
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.
LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2005 :  04:44:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Trish

Eh, Rowan figured out there was no Santa, her grandparents brought him into her life, when she was 5. She asked how a little fat man in a sleigh pulled by reindeer was able to go round the world in 24 hours. Then she asked how reindeer could fly anyway, let alone pull a sleigh with a fat man in it and where did Santa keep all those toys in his sleigh. Because wouldn't it be really hard to make it around the world in 24 hours and have to go back to refill the sleigh. A brilliant young mind in the making...she's now 15 and really likes physics. Of course, that could have had something to do with building a catapult - they wouldn't let her build a trebuchet - not enough room to throw their pumkin that far.


I suddenly really like that girl.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Trish
SFN Addict

USA
2102 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2005 :  23:41:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Trish a Private Message
Actually Sib, she's really become a neat person to know. She's just picking up watercolors for painting and doing really spectacular things with the medium - yes, she's artistically talented too. But she has a head for mathematics, especially taking CP (college prep) Physics without having completed high school algebra yet and still maintaining a 78% (considering the rest of her grades were 90% and up, she's a bit upset about the low score.) in the class. This is aparently really doing well according to another high school physics teacher that I know. Most students without the Algebra background tend not to pass CP Physics at all. She's the only sophmore in the class all the other students are juniors or seniors.

And she considers herself to be religiously ignostic - don't know, don't care, don't bother me. Though the invasion of religion into the classroom is a 'bother me' (the recitation of the pledge) and she protests it when she gets annoyed with it. She wasn't able to wear her t-shirt that says 'America - It's NOT a Religion Thing - It's a Freedom Thing' for a while. It was too controversial. She wasn't happy, so she started a campaign to ban the wearing of religious t-shirts as being controversial. All her pagan/goth/non-christian (to include the buddhists, jewish, etc...) friends thought it was worth the effort. Didn't work, they just don't bug her about her shirt anymore, which was what she wanted.

Yeah, she's becoming a neat young woman.

...no one has ever found a 4.5 billion year old stone artifact (at the right geological stratum) with the words "Made by God."
No Sense of Obligation by Matt Young

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and vile!"
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.
LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943
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