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Arthur1981 comments on Applause Lights - Less Wrong

91 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 September 2007 06:31PM

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Comment author: Arthur1981 21 March 2010 08:28:18AM 16 points [-]

What I find interesting is that there are some obvious parallels between applause lights and Barnum statements - so named after P.T. Barnum.

Barnum statements are essentially statements which anyone can apply to themselves as true, which essentially say nothing, and which feel unique to each individual hearing themselves described that way.

Barnum statements are a stock-in-trade of cold-readers such as mentalists and psychics. It seems to me that applause lights are nothing more than the abstract, impersonal version of the same phenomena; or perhaps the same phenomena used in a rhetorical and ideological application.