Sunday, October 22, 2006

Deal? No deal.

  An article on the subject of Deal or No Deal from Jon Ronson:
  As Noel explains to me the ins and outs of cosmic ordering, I involuntarily look dubious. Immediately, Noel changes tack to insist he hasn't gone "off with the fairies".
  "Yes, the word cosmos might sound off-putting," he says, "but you don't have to call it cosmos. Cosmos is just a word. You can call it anything you like. You can call it Argos, or MFI... I wrote to the cosmos that I would like to meet a woman who'll make me laugh and make me happy," Noel tells me. "I wrote that I'd like a relationship that's not too heavy, with an attractive lady, and I'd like her to walk into my life by the end of September 2005. And she did!"
  There is a short silence.
  "She wasn't the person who sold her story to the Sunday People back in July, was she?" I ask.
  There's another silence.
  "Yes," says Noel.

  This is a fascinating belief. Noel Edmonds is saying that if you write down a request for something, and it is positive (for example, 'I wish you would shut up, you blithering idiot' is not positive at all), you have ordered it from the cosmos. And it will come!
  The obvious reason for someone believing in Cosmic Ordering is because they are desperate. They feel low. They have taken knocks. They aren't what they once were, and want to be there again. So, it offers this hope - the hope that 'positivity' will see you through. There is nothing more in life than to be nice and wait for the rewards! The meek will inherit the cosmos.

  Then again, he doesn't quite believe in it. 'Cosmos' is just a word - it could be anything giving you what you want. Is he really saying that, when he writes down that he'd like a relationship with an attractive woman, Argos or MFI delivered it? Obviously not, because I do not think that he believes his ex-girlfriend came as a flat-pack assembly.
  It is open to question then, what he really believes. Something, whatever it is - obviously maddeningly metaphorical - responds to positivity. And it makes good things happen. Want good things and they come. It might be the cosmos delivering your order, or a mundane business, or most probably it just happens because it should. Justice for all, and for all, justice!

  The sad and sickening logical conclusion to these thoughts is that the world is just. And people get what they deserve. And all the world's poor - including the starving babies, the physically and sexually abused, the tortured, those left to die who don't get the message and go on dying for years - must not be asking for nice things.
  Therefore, they do not deserve nice things. They are not being nice.
  Furthermore, they cannot be helped. In a great and beneficent universe, they are not getting what is only a request away. Does Noel believe in charity? Is there any point, when everything is everybody's as long as they ask for it? Does he see any point in giving what he has asked for when anyone could have it, or more, if they only requested positively?
  I do not know, and I'm not sure I want to know. Either his immoral flounderings or immense perversion of logic would depress me.
  And that leads me to...
  "I simply will not get involved with people who are negative," Noel replied. "I won't tolerate people in the workplace who are negative. I like realistic people, but negative people? No. Just get rid of them."
  "I have a habit of being a bit negative sometimes," I said.   "I'd hate my wife to read Positively Happy and dump me as a result."
  "Then be careful," Noel said, looking me in the eye, "because she might."

  Let's ignore the quandary of Noel implying a brutally negative outcome while not getting involved with negative people, as it bends the brain like a pretzel. Instead - would he even be able to talk about the awful realities that went totally against his theory, as I outline above? Would he be able to face the petty and routine destructions of innocent lives without simply shouting 'negativity!' at his interlocutor? And perhaps also 'ye olde witchecrafte!'.


  Then he says, "Take Edward. Edward, I'm really not sure about. I've got a funny feeling it may go horribly wrong for Edward."
  Noel says he knows this just by the way Edward walks, by his aura. You can tell winners by the way they walk, and Edward doesn't walk this way. Yesterday, another contestant, Mark, told me that Edward needed a big win more than anyone here: "Edward's got nothing," Mark said. "Literally nothing. He's completely skint."

  Of course, this is a realistic, and not negative evaluation of Ed's chances by Mr. E. Does Noel believe in Cosmic Ordering, or Ordering from the Great and Benevolent God of Ikea, or 'winning auras'? I don't know. It is obvious that he doesn't profess, at least in this article, the wish for those who are the poorest and the most needy to get some. Hey, it might be that Edward is just a loser, who's too negative, who doesn't deserve to win. I admit, reader, that this is an unfair supposition, based on the evidence, yet there is something compelling to negative old me about this conclusion.

  To me, the most negative thing I can concieve of is Noel Edmonds and his shitty belief system. It is one that gets rid of any form of social responsibility. It gets rid of any notion of aspiration to goodness, save that of asking for nice things. We can all succeed, we can all do well, as long as we ask for it. And those who are not doing as well as us can be ignored - for they are faulty.
  This is my understanding of his Cosmic Ordering Service, an illogical and inconsistent construct of a person's material worth that is not based on evidence whatsoever. It serves to oppress the oppressed even further, because it is their negativity that is their problem - the problem lies entirely with the poor themselves. It serves to award the lucky and the priviliged, because they only ever asked for positive things. It serves to make Noel Edmonds feel good, because he can think of no-one but himself, and his own needs. Maybe we can trust the words of those who purport to have known him, those who the universe brought to him:
  Marjan Simmons, The Sunday People, August 2006: "He was a very tender and lovely kisser. When I woke up with him the following morning, I felt completely at ease and his first words were, 'Cup of tea, darling?' He was a very giving man in all aspects and satisfied me in every way. Noel had his own special song for us. It was You're Beautiful by James Blunt. But once he was back at the top he didn't need me any more. I felt he just discarded me. He was a hypocrite who used me to make himself feel more positive about himself."

8 Comments:

Blogger Temporary said...

I was hoping for a discussion of Deal or No Deal. Noel Edmunds and his beliefs, I sense, are only the subject of temporary media fascination. They're a ball to kick around the newspaper columns for a few weeks. You bring up the moral questions of what effects cosmic ordering philosophy has on the disadvantaged. I am rather interested in the exploitation of, what appear to be brainwashed, disadvantaged people on the game show Deal or No Deal. A cultish environment appears to be causing a large group of people to lose contact with reality. While the show may lose popularity after a year or two, the precedent it has set is deeply worrying. The techniques used on the programme to create a kind of collective paranoia, superstition, and a belief in hidden systems behind straightforward occurances will have been learned and used in the future.

9:30 PM  
Blogger News is Good said...

"I am rather interested in the exploitation of, what appear to be brainwashed, disadvantaged people on the game show Deal or No Deal."

Is it not possible that Noel Edmunds beliefs are related to such exploitation, in the sense that they vaccinate him against having to feel responsible for the problems of others? Consider his remarks about Ed, how he has a loser's aura. I'm pretty sure Noel didn't shed a tear for him, just sensed the universe magnanimously ushering Ed out of the casino and handing him a tramp-coat. I imagine Noel thinks that Ed deserves that, that is why he has been labelled a loser, and the universe is still fair and lovely and Noel-centric. Losers lose because they're losers, he lost, he's a loser, bring on the next bunch.

To me, this aspect is far more fascinating than "a cultish environment [that] appears to be causing a large group of people to lose contact with reality". Schools, businesses, the army, a cinema... wherever you have large groups of people, you have an imposition of some sort of shared reality, and people accusing it of some level of cultishness. An established psychological idea that might explain this somewhat is 'groupthink'. So I reckon that it is sorting out individual beliefs, interrogating them, and establishing a norm of (what is often called) critical thinking that will start to dissolve these tendencies.

Deal or No Deal is not a very good cult. People are not brainwashed there (brainwashing doesn't exist, I'm afraid). In fact, contestants come to there already in their own reality, with a heady dose of magical thinking replacing their understanding of probability and justice. They do not learn such rubbish at the show. And those not inculcated in these beliefs do not take part in them, as Jon's article points out. Deal or No Deal is just a hub for desperate individuals who believe in the absolute justice of the universe and their absolute 'right to win', and their sad numerological systems of choosing red boxes. It is their individual beliefs which fascinate me, and it is with their beliefs I feel we could make a difference.

Deal or No Deal is just a meeting place, it is not the fount for the ideas. If you are really interested in the exploitation of disadvantaged people, I counsel you to look in many other places. A gameshow is not the most potent example of exploitation in this human world.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Temporary said...

'Groupthink' doesn't go far enough to describe what is happening. I believe Jon was right to point out the similarity with cults. Indeed, his experience in dealing with cult members gives his observation weight. I believe the definitions of the term 'cult' by Michael Langon and Louis Jolyon West show how Deal or No Deal is considerably closer to being a cult than 'schools, businesses, the army, a cinema... wherever you have large groups of people':

"Cults are groups that often exploit members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with leadership's demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called mind control, and through the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders."
"A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgement, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc) designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community."

An example of coercion can be seen in the following example. A contestant is faced with 7 amounts of money: £1, £10, £20, £50, £100, £1000, £250,000. The Banker has offered the contestant £20,000. Noel Edmunds tells the contestant: 'The Banker thinks you havn't got what it takes. He thinks you'll bottle it. Will you take him up on the offer? Can you leave today knowing that you have squandered your chance at £250,000?' Of course, in reality what The Banker thinks is irrelevant. Further, the contestant is incapable of squandering anything by nature of the game. Yet the contestant is caught in an entirely imaginary game of nerve. Any poker player would take £20,000 without a moment's hesitation. Why, then, does the contestant hesitate? What are they thinking? The programme, and its presenter, have managed to get the contestant to battle mentally with a situation that doesn't exist. In the show, a group member might, at this point, advise the contestant that they should be 'strong' and maintain their 'resolve'. This takes the form, in reality, of taking unnecessary risks.

As Jon Ronson has pointed out, the contestants are isolated from their friends, family and familiar environment and are brought to stay in a hotel. The routine during this time is carefully controlled by 'carers' and various other production staff. These people often remind them of the presence of The Banker, telling them that the game is a game of wits between them. This is completely false.

You say that the contestants have a variety of individual beliefs and these should be investigated critically. That may be true. But what all of them have in common is that they have become incapable of seeing what is in front of them plainly. All of them believe that an extremely simple game has hidden depths. The show does not create the various individual beliefs, but it incubates a highly suggestable group of people so that if they have any kind of irrational beliefs these will become amplified.

I'm not sure what you mean by a 'good cult'. If the purpose of Deal or No Deal is to be a cult, then obviously it is not going to be successful - the contestants leave eventually, it's on national television (broadcasting its inanity for all to ridicule). What can be argued is that it uses many of the techniques found in cults.

You seem to feel a deep antipathy towards Cosmic Ordering and the various belief systems of the contestants. They seem to me so stupid as to be not worth getting worried about. Noel Edmunds himself is a loser, and perhaps, ultimately should be pitied. At the moment, however, he is doing damage via his television show.

8:58 PM  
Blogger News is Good said...

"Yet the contestant is caught in an entirely imaginary game of nerve. Any poker player would take £20,000 without a moment's hesitation. Why, then, does the contestant hesitate? What are they thinking? The programme, and its presenter, have managed to get the contestant to battle mentally with a situation that doesn't exist."

It seems that you must, on this basis, come to define the Wason selection task (and other of Wason's reasoning tasks) as cultish, as he found that people can reason poorly without any coercion from the experimenter at all. I suggest you read up on this fascinating area of psychological research.


"As Jon Ronson has pointed out, the contestants are isolated from their friends, family and familiar environment and are brought to stay in a hotel. The routine during this time is carefully controlled by 'carers' and various other production staff. These people often remind them of the presence of The Banker, telling them that the game is a game of wits between them. This is completely false."

I imagine that a murder mystery weekend must be a cult, too. You also appear to disregard the fact that plenty of contestants remove themselves from this, knowing that it is bullshit.


"You say that the contestants have a variety of individual beliefs and these should be investigated critically. That may be true."

There is no reason for such a tender caress towards the idea. Do you dispute that people have a variety of beliefs, and that these should be investigated critically? If you do, I don't see the point of you bothering to read this article, or go so far as to comment on it.


"But what all of them have in common is that they have become incapable of seeing what is in front of them plainly. All of them believe that an extremely simple game has hidden depths. The show does not create the various individual beliefs, but it incubates a highly suggestable group of people so that if they have any kind of irrational beliefs these will become amplified."

While I admit the situation does engender faulty thinking, it does not seem to me as if we can blame Noel Edmonds or Deal or no Deal for stupidity. For then we would have to dismiss, it seems to me, all gameshows - Weakest Link encourages the irrational activity of keeping in weaker players who ruin the total, the constant needling of Tarrant produces confusion in previously 'sure' contestants on Millionaire, participants listen to the audience too much in The Price is Right, and so on, ad infinitum. Are you really that threatened by gameshows?


"What can be argued is that it uses many of the techniques found in cults."

So do a massive variety of normal situations. Cults do not do anything special, they simply use the entirely mundane and widely-understood 'psychological techniques' of controlling people, similar to the ones a family will use on children, society on its peoples, and keepers of tradition on believers.


"You seem to feel a deep antipathy towards Cosmic Ordering and the various belief systems of the contestants. They seem to me so stupid as to be not worth getting worried about. Noel Edmunds himself is a loser, and perhaps, ultimately should be pitied. At the moment, however, he is doing damage via his television show."

Let me turn this around:
You seem to feel a deep antipathy to gameshows and the demands they make on contestants. However, gameshows appear to me to be so stupid as to not be worth getting worried about. The contestants, if they believe the rubbish they spout, are losers and should be pitied. At the moment, however, questionable believes are doing damage in every area of the world.

Here are some questions for you to ponder: what causes the most evil, gameshows or beliefs that lead to harmful action? Do the gameshows cause questionable beliefs, or are they just forums for the airing of such? Should we try to change gameshows to represent better beliefs, or would it be more effective to question beliefs in order for this to alter culture in all its forms?

And, what is worse? Numerous people being fooled on a gameshow, or one man attempting to spread the idea that in a just and rewarding cosmos those who deserve get and those who do not deserve do not, so that charity is useless?


If you can answer each and all of these questions in such a way that you wish to continue as you have started, please continue.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Temporary said...

I don't think I can answer the question of what causes the most 'evil' because it is a religious term with which I am uncomfortable. Let's say instead, what causes the most harm. Of course, beliefs that lead to harmful action are far more important than gameshows. But you are talking about the beliefs of one specific man: Noel Edmunds. His philosophy of Cosmic Ordering is not going to have the same global effect as radical Islamism, Nazism, anti-Semitism etc. Edmunds is not going to get very far trying to indoctrinate people in his beliefs.

'Cults do not do anything special...'

I do not understand your argument that cults are equivalent to families, society, tradition. Is there nothing that seperates the Heaven's Gate cult from a local school? Are people not concerned about Scientology because it seems more like a cult than, for example, Christianity? The religions aren't equivalents because Christianity is more transparent, open. Scientology's followers have to go away to study its texts, are put under tremendous pressure to go through strange 'auditing' procedures, they have been known to have been threatened for wanting to leave. My point is: not all organisations are equally cultish. Cults do not use 'mundane' techniques. Far from it. They take people out of the 'mundane' or 'everyday' so that they are more suggestable. Your dismissal of cults seems very strange when it is common knowledge that they are a huge source of misery for countless thousands.

'Do you dispute that people have a variety of beliefs, and that these should be investigated critically?'

No. But in the context of Deal or No Deal it seems more relevant to see how delusion is accentuated by what happens on location. In everyday reality we are not encouraged to entertain thoughts such as the contestants have. So, in real life, even if such thoughts fleetingly appear in the contestants' minds, they will probably dismiss them, and carry on because there is no apparent value in such thoughts. On Deal or No Deal, it is frequently seen as virtuous to carry on with a 'strategy' that is totally irrational.

8:34 PM  
Blogger News is Good said...

"His philosophy of Cosmic Ordering is not going to have the same global effect as radical Islamism, Nazism, anti-Semitism etc. Edmunds is not going to get very far trying to indoctrinate people in his beliefs."

There are people out there who will read the same books as him and come to similar ideas. There may even be some who offer Noel's allegiance to cosmic ordering as a good reason to believe in it too, because it's "worked for him". Therefore, it seems to me to be a fruitful course to show exactly why his beliefs are abhorrent.




"Cults do not use 'mundane' techniques. Far from it. They take people out of the 'mundane' or 'everyday' so that they are more suggestable. Your dismissal of cults seems very strange when it is common knowledge that they are a huge source of misery for countless thousands."

I would say that all they do is use mundane techniques that are used practically everywhere and everyday on everybody. It is just the aims are more sinister, being the control of beliefs and actions of others in ways contrary to what is normal. Such control is sought by society to cause people to act according to laws, by schools to cause students to act according to rules, by families to cause its members to act according to their dictates. All these situations take you out of what is 'mundane' and 'everyday' and subject you to pressures you do not want... as long as you define the situations as abnormal.


I direct you to a previous post by myself on the matter, with relevant quotes:

http://togivemeaning.blogspot.com/2006/04/why-chanting-cult-wont-work.html

"Much of the confusion over new religious movements relates to a misunderstanding of the conformity and discipline which is often required of its members. Sociologists D. Bromley and A. Shupe once described the Tnevnoc Cult which recruited young women, required them to shave their heads, wear special uniforms, gave them new names in a foreign language, required them to give up their personal possessions and sleep on hard pallets. During their initial membership in the cult, they were isolated from family contacts. They were later required to ritually marry the dead founder of the cult.
Bromley and Shupe received many inquiries about this abusive cult from sociologists and others concerned about psychological manipulation within cults. The latter did not realize that "Tnevnoc" spelled backwards is "Convent". The sociologists were referring to activity in a Roman Catholic convent. This same theme appeared in a paper delivered in 1989.
Down through history, many religious groups (like convents, monasteries, intentional communities, etc.) have required their members to adhere to strict diets, schedules, repetitive praying, abstinence from sexual activities, isolation from former friends and their family or origin and other disciplines. To the casual outside observer, this might appear to be abusive. However, members accept the rules, enter and stay with the group because they find it a generally positive experience. If it becomes no longer positive, they leave and move on."

[...]

Philip G Zimbardo, PhD wrote an article in the American Psychological Association Monitor titled: "What messages are behind today’s cults?":
"Cult methods of recruiting, indoctrinating and influencing their members are not exotic forms of mind control, but only more intensely applied mundane tactics of social influence practiced daily by all compliance professionals and societal agents of influence."
"...cult leaders offer simple solutions to the increasingly complex world problems we all face daily. They offer the simple path to happiness, to success, to salvation by following their simple rules, simple group regimentation and simple total lifestyle. Ultimately, each new member contributes to the power of the leader by trading his or her freedom for the illusion of security and reflected glory that group membership holds out."
"Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope."



...in the context of Deal or No Deal it seems more relevant to see how delusion is accentuated by what happens on location. In everyday reality we are not encouraged to entertain thoughts such as the contestants have. So, in real life, even if such thoughts fleetingly appear in the contestants' minds, they will probably dismiss them, and carry on because there is no apparent value in such thoughts. On Deal or No Deal, it is frequently seen as virtuous to carry on with a 'strategy' that is totally irrational.

I totally and utterly contest the idea that Deal or No Deal is some special and specific location in which contestants will suddenly and entirely of another's accord partake in irrational thinking. Wouldn't you say the purchase of a lottery ticket is in some ways similar, being an entirely irrational waste of money, in that most must lost out for few to win? What thoughts are we being asked to entertain by the 'It Could Be You' advertising campaign?
Read the article again: do some people appear unaffected by the demands of the situation? And do those who are the most nutty come fully covered in nuts already, having invented their schemes from watching the show and from ideas they maintain in real life? I believe that, if you look at the article, you can only answer 'yes'.

Cults, I am afraid, are not magical spaces of irrational horror. They take place in this world, run by (admittedly unpleasant) humans, and are schemes perpetrated upon humans. They use techniques of 'mind control' which we entirely permit in normal life when they are allied to aims that we endorse, or that we feel are too engrained to challenge.
And nor is Deal or No Deal. In fact, it is just a rubbishy game show. It is a myriad of individual difference that affects the contestant as much as the situation itself. One person can be on the show and find it all rather silly, another can find the space to luxuriate in irrational thinking.

What we must battle with is the belief of the individual, for it is only when more and more act to decry the irrational will it disappear, for it is something in each of us to a greater or lesser degree. The types of irrational thinking brought to the programme will not disappear with the programme, for they are fully exercised every week by countless millions when they buy a lottery ticket, or indulge in any form of what is known as 'magical thinking'. The disease, temporary, lies in each of us, and it comes before situations which call it out like a snake-charmer. While cults exploit the problem, the cause of it lies not with cults. The best way to deal with cults is to vaccinate mindes against such thinking, through education. Cults and irrationality will always exist as long as they give succor to those who see the most success in social fantasy.

12:10 PM  
Blogger News is Good said...

An attempt towards clarification: OR lengthy rubbish of no use to anyone

Let me try to assess, from my perspective, the debate so far:

My post's conclusion is:
"This is my understanding of his Cosmic Ordering Service... It serves to oppress the oppressed even further, because it is their negativity is their problem. It serves to award the lucky and the priviliged, because they only ever asked for positive things. It serves to make Noel Edmonds feel good..."


In your first post:
"I was hoping for a discussion of Deal or No Deal. Noel Edmunds and his beliefs, I sense, are only the subject of temporary media fascination. They're a ball to kick around the newspaper columns for a few weeks. You bring up the moral questions of what effects cosmic ordering philosophy has on the disadvantaged. I am rather interested in the exploitation of, what appear to be brainwashed, disadvantaged people on the game show Deal or No Deal. A cultish environment appears to be causing a large group of people to lose contact with reality. While the show may lose popularity after a year or two, the precedent it has set is deeply worrying."


Your points are that, whatever Noel thinks, it's just one belief. What affects more people is the gameshow itself, and its cult environment. It inculcates irrational thinking in people, and that is worrying, using techniques of control that are derived from cults.

So, your assumptions, as they appear to me are:
Cults make people think irrationally using various tricks
Deal or No Deal exploits these tricks
Deal or No Deal makes contestants think irrationally


I have come up with various arguments against your position (as I see it):
Cults do not make people think irrationally, instead people choose (badly) to find an easy route in a difficult world
Their techniques are not special to them, they are everyday forms of control that we accept in the right situations (there are plenty of examples of situations that look like cults when we cover up the fact they are normal and accept facets of religious or social life, I mention one bit of research above)
Deal or No Deal does not make people think irrationally, plenty of contestants are bemused by the idiocy, those who fall for it have already designed systems from just watching the show and living their lives
Such faulty thinking is prevalent, in other game shows, in playing the lottery, so you are not right to say that "In everyday reality we are not encouraged to entertain thoughts such as the contestants have"
A question that you didn't appear to answer, namely "what is worse? Numerous people being fooled on a gameshow, or one man attempting to spread the idea that in a just and rewarding cosmos those who deserve get and those who do not deserve do not, so that charity is useless?"


You also appear to assume that irrational thinking is caused by cults. I point to my own research to say that it is only exploited by cults. Cults are not the cause of irrational thinking, they feed off it and attempt to expand it. Therefore, we must address the irrational thinking of the individual to get rid of cults, not the other way round.
Figures show that cults work through steady attrition. People join up, last about 5 years on average (in Scientology) and leave, often rather pissed with themselves and the church, sometimes seeing it as a 'pleasant and blameless lie' (psychological aside, this may partly be some an effect of cognitive dissonance, which is a facinating idea). And there are always more people ready to join. It just takes handing out leaflets to address the fears of the weak and the needy. A friend of mine at school became a Mormon because they started knocking on his door when his dad had lost his mother. To me, this was predatory, to them it was truth coming to find them in an hour of need.

We are allowed to make irrational choices, I am afraid, and it is hard to legislate against them. Instead, we must innoculate as many people as we can against them, through education. This has been a task on going since knowledge has been prized, and it works slowly. But it is the only answer we have.

Destroy a cult, and you do not destroy the seat of irrationality, only its expression. To me, the stupidity of Deal or No Deal is an irrelevance - people are turning up to an unusual situation, a televised contest of randomness and statistical chance in which they main gain little up to much. I would play it without superstition, just opening the boxes in order, and knowing that the banker is some producer with a computer. Other play with much superstition and, you must know this now, are otherwise taken by superstition. The programme does not bequeath them with magical thinking, the cultish situation merely rewards it.

Chip away at the edifice of magical thinking, as we have been for millennia, and more and more people will play Deal or No Deal in an unperturbed and logical way. And less and less people will be able to cling selfishly to the sickening belief that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer because of their auras, because of their relationship with the cosmos, because of who they are. It does not worry me that some play by superstition on Deal or No Deal and win, or lose - in the end, it's a game of chance, and the gameshow itself is not makin people irrational. It does worry me that there is a belief out there, in a book, endorsed by a (crappy) celebrity, that entail nothing more than the callous disregard of the problems of mankind.

Which is worse, I ask again?
Someone playing Deal or No Deal and, in the process, believing in fairies?
Or a man in the street soaking up the belief of Cosmic Ordering and from then on proclaiming that the poor can help themselves, and need no help from us, as long as they simply ask positively from the beneficial and all-giving cosmos?

12:41 PM  
Blogger Atum said...

Noel is quite the nipple peltast, it seems.

Should the Deal or No Deal gameshow be regarded as a cult, or does the behaviour of the contestants rather reflect their lack of education (e.g. who on earth taught these people probability?) prior to their taking part in the show?

It would be interesting to know what kind of tests Channel 4 employ to guage how entertaining (read: dramatically gullible) potential contestants will be.

Nonetheless, the idea that Ch4 is brainwashing people is pretty unbelievable. It has not once entered my head that sinister machinery is behind the beliefs and behaviour of the incredibly stupid people on the show. Rather I feel the explanation lies with their evident stupidity and the stupidity of their new gameshow environment. What is more stupid than a single stupid person? A group of stupid people egging each other on.

So I agree with News on this, for those of you that are still reading.

I have written to the Cosmos asking for Noel Edmonds to realise that Cosmic Ordering is a lie.

11:16 AM  

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