Lazy-Ass Fortune Tellers and Why They’re (Mostly) Frauds.

If there’s one constant in human nature it’s our irrepressible desire to make sense of things.  For example, what happens when we stare at a cloud?

Nice Bunny.

Awww. Nice bunny.

It ceases to be a cloud.  The shape becomes something we can relate to, something we know.  The same cognitive process occurs when deciphering the Fortune Teller’s reading–we seek associations between what they’ve “divined” and what we know, or want, to exist.  Even before they meet us, the Fortune Teller’s job is half done due to our predisposition to find these connections.  Put simply, those lazy-ass Fortune Tellers take advantage of our wiring.  And in general, this profession has us over a barrel.  Why?  Well, to some degree, we all want to know the future.

Ok.  I’ll assume that fortune-telling is an occupation that chooses you, much like a gifted singer who receives recording contracts.  If this is true, maybe there is a whiff of legitimacy in their tea leaf recitations.  As prognosticators go, many believe Nostradamus was a true seer, whose prophecies have predicted major world events, including 9/11.  Me?  I think it’s a numbers game–Nostradamus reportedly penned 6,338 prophecies.  Hard not to hit a homer when you swing that many times.

In the end, though, Fortune Tellers do provide a legitimate service–they give us hope.  The majority of readings are positive, satiating our need for good news.  So stop by that occult store for a quick Tarot card reading, a little trip down the creases in your palm, and if you have time, a full-blown crystal ball tour!

Look into my eyes...

Look into my eyes...

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6 Responses to Lazy-Ass Fortune Tellers and Why They’re (Mostly) Frauds.

  1. Sheena says:

    I had the theory myself John Edwards seems to feed off people, if you step back, you can hear him playing on responses and reading body language. It’s a skill, not a gift. skeptic.

  2. Once I have a palm reader look at my hand and she described me spot on. I was truly impressed. The next time I encounted a differant palm reader and she was full of bird crap. One can never be too sure. Enjoy always, T

  3. kitchenmudge says:

    You didn’t mention it, but you must have heard of “cold reading”:

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