‘Wizard of Oz’ draft scripts head for auction block

A collection from the archives of the 1939 film are going up for auction in December and could fetch up to $ 1.2 million. Rough cut (no reporter narration).


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Oldest ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Munchkin Remembered with Free Whiskey Shots

Jerry Maren, who was the oldest living “Wizard of Oz” munchkin, will be commemorated with free whiskey … if ya simply drop his name at an L.A.-area hotel with ties to ‘Oz.’ The Culver Hotel tells TMZ it’s giving away a free shot of Grant’s whiskey to…

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The Wizard of Oz: Classic Movies on the Radio – Lux Radio Theatre

Lux Radio Theatre - The Wizard of Oz: Classic Movies on the Radio  artwork

The Wizard of Oz: Classic Movies on the Radio

Lux Radio Theatre

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 1.95

Publish Date: December 12, 2006

© ℗ © 2006 Radio Spirits, Inc.

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Off to Be the Wizard (Unabridged) – Scott Meyer

Scott Meyer - Off to Be the Wizard (Unabridged)  artwork

Off to Be the Wizard (Unabridged)

Scott Meyer

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy

Price: $ 4.95

Publish Date: March 18, 2014

© ℗ © 2014 Brilliance Audio

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The Wizard – Todd Holland

Todd Holland - The Wizard  artwork

The Wizard

Todd Holland

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: December 15, 1989


Fred Savage stars in this warm-hearted family adventure that features the excitement and thrills of video game competition. Corey (Savage) refuses to let his emotionally disturbed younger brother Jimmy (Luke Edwards) be institutionalized, and the two run away together. They soon join forces with a resourceful girl (Jenny Lewis), who notices that Jimmy has a special talent: he is a "wizard" at video games and gets the high score on absolutely everything he plays. Evading their parents and a sinister bounty hunter, the trio head for a climactic showdown at the video game championships in California. Co-starring Beau Bridges and Christian Slater, it's an inside look at the world of video gamers that will have you cheering the whole way!

© © 1989 Universal City Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The Wizard of Lies – Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson - The Wizard of Lies  artwork

The Wizard of Lies

Barry Levinson

Genre: Drama

Price: $ 12.99

Release Date: May 20, 2017


Starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer as Bernie and Ruth Madoff, this HBO Films production examines Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme–his deception, lies and cover-up, all as the financier's wife and sons are catapulted into a harsh and unrelenting spotlight. Alessandro Nivola, Nathan Darrow, Kristen Connolly, Lily Rabe and Hank Azaria also star.

© © 2016 Home Box Office, Inc.

iTunes Store: Top Movies in Drama

Master Wizard Filter on the Democratic Debate

The Washington Post’s Stephen Stromberg says Hillary Clinton won the first Democratic debate with her line about being a progressive who likes to get things done. Personally, that line didn’t register with me at all. It has no visual or emotional content. The Master Wizard filter says that line was irrelevant.

According to the Master Wizard filter, the moment Hillary Clinton eliminated her chance of winning in the general election was by repeatedly saying a big part of her appeal is her gender.

Did President Obama ever say he should get elected because he is black? No. It would have cost him the election. 

It appears that CNN can’t report on that career-ending gaffe because it goes against the CNN narrative that the Democrats are talking substance and the Republicans are doing name-calling. CNN pundits are calling Clinton’s gender play a good move.

Update: In the field of persuasion, the name for Clinton’s mistake is called “selling past the close.” One assumes that her gender had already made all the impact on voters it was likely to make. The sale was already closed. Reopening a closed sale can only give the buyer a new reason to say no. That reason was provided when Clinton suggested her gender was a selling point FOR A FUCKING JOB.

I like to make predictions using the Master Wizard Hypothesis so you can hold me to them. I predict that Clinton’s poll numbers (for the general election versus Trump) will start dropping after a post-debate uptick, and never recover. The consensus prediction by others is that her debate was strong, and should keep Biden out of the race as she cruises to nomination victory and then the presidency.


Scott Adams Blog

President Obama: Wizard or Failure?

Russia is moving into Old Syria. Iran already owns the parts of Old Iraq that ISIS and the Kurds do not. Israel fears that the nuclear deal with Iran is a mistake of unthinkable proportions.

The data suggests that President Obama is a total failure when it comes to the Middle East.

Or… he is one of the most gifted wizards of persuasion and strategy our generation has ever seen.

The data fits both interpretations. You already know the interpretation that says Obama failed. Allow me to give you another interpretation – one that isn’t necessarily true – but happens to fit the data.

And the fun part is that we can make predictions based on both filters and see which one does the best job of explaining our reality. Just for fun. Don’t get your opinions on world politics from cartoonists.

The Master Wizard Hypothesis says there are people so skilled in the art of persuasion that they control world events while sometimes pretending they are inept, to cover their tracks.

The Master Wizard filter says that President Obama – magnificent bastard and Commander in Chief – just suckered Russia and Iran into the quicksand while taking The United States out of an endless and unwinnable fight.

And … doomed ISIS in the process.

The United States can’t defeat ISIS militarily because doing so would require killing too many civilians. Russia and Iran will have fewer problems in that regard because they control their media and their leaders don’t need to ask permission.

And let’s say you want to build a virtual wall around ISIS to contain them. You would need a substantial military power to guard the coast.

You need Russia. 

Right where they are deploying.

The Master Wizard filter says President Obama has a winning plan for eradicating ISIS at the lowest cost for Americans. America’s frenemies have now encircled ISIS, and the American media with their freedom of the press will not be there to watch what happens next.

ISIS is reportedly planting landmines around captured cities to keep the civilian population from escaping. They expected the United States to avoid bombing population centers. 

They were right.

But they they did not expect the United States to turn over the fight to Russia and Iran.

ISIS is done. 

Unfortunately, so is the civilian population in ISIS-held territory. But living under ISIS probably isn’t much of a life either. And I have heard no one suggest a more humane solution.

The Master Wizard filter says President Obama either created this perfect situation or recognized the opportunity and encouraged it. 

That would be totally bad-ass. 

The Master Wizard filter also says Iran and the United States are cooperating behind the scenes and getting more comfortable as allies. In the long run, Iran was going to get a nuke if it wanted one. A Master Wizard of Persuasion would seek to keep his enemies close, where persuasion works best. Distance and non-contact are the enemies of persuasion. According to the Master Wizard filter, building an active engagement with Iran, combined with skillful persuasion, reduces risk. (Only a Master Wizard could feel confident in that plan.)

I’m not saying the Master Wizard interpretation of reality is true. I’m just saying the data fits the interpretation. We shall see what the future holds.

Donald Trump, another skilled deal-maker and persuader, also favors walling off ISIS territory to strangle them. In Trump’s case there is also a branding benefit when you define a border. One side can be TERRIBLE while the other is FABULOUS.

Update: Iran’s Supreme Leaders banned further negotiating with the United States because he says we are trying to “influence” Iran. Have you ever heard language like that before?


Scott Adams Blog

The American Gun Problem – And How a Master Wizard of Persuasion Could Fix it.

Caution 1: This post includes real hypnosis and it will influence some readers to a different opinion on guns. If you don’t want to be influenced, please do not read.

Caution 2: You will not like what I say on this topic. That’s another reason to skip it.

— Start —

On one side of the gun debate in America we have a bunch of idiots spouting total bullshit arguments, generously sprinkled with cherry-picked statistics that are out of context or don’t apply to America’s situation. 

On the other side of the gun debate we have exactly the same thing.

And there is a simple explanation for this absurd situation. We make the same mistake every time when it comes to domestic issues: We look at averages and pretend those averages are useful for anything but starting fights. We do the same thing with all of our social issues:

Average woman

Average man

Average Immigrant (He’s a criminal and a good citizen at the same time!)

Average African-American

Average whatever.

There’s no such thing as an average person!!!

All gun arguments are based on average people doing average things in average places. I agree that the average person should live in a world with far fewer guns because that guy is an idiot with no common sense, no gun safety training, and no gun locks. Luckily, the average person does not exist. Instead, you have some people who are smart enough to safely own guns, people who are far too dangerous or dumb to own guns, and a lot of people in the middle.

Every individual has a different risk when it comes to guns. 

So forget about average people. Let’s consider a few real people. Take me, for example. I offend people for a living. I’m doing it right now. And I weigh 150 pounds. 

I am pro-gun. 

Because …  I might someday have a good reason to shoot someone who is bigger than me or armed. If your reason for supporting gun ownership involves loyalty to a document written hundreds of years ago by slave-owners with muskets, you probably have some explaining to do. Don’t include me in that camp. I support gun rights because I think there is a good chance I might someday need to shoot a human. Period. If the Constitution prohibited personal gun ownership, I would have to consider violating that document, for my own sense of safety.

My situation is unique, but it is easy to imagine there are other citizens who believe – correctly or not – that gun ownership makes them safer.

At the same time it is obvious that too many innocent people are being killed by guns. For most people, the more guns in the environment, the less safe they will feel, and probably with good reason. How can a government create one set of gun laws that satisfies such different risk profiles? It seems logically impossible.

The starting assumption that people are somewhat average in terms of gun risks is so absurd that any discussion on the topic turns into a debate over Schroedinger’s cat – it assumes the average citizen is simultaneously safer and less safe because there are people in both risk classes. 

Am I wrong to think a gun improves my personal safety? (I have no kids in the house, by the way.) Beats me. There are no statistics that apply to my specific situation. And no study can accurately account for my psychological sense of safety. The important question is who gets to make the decision about how safe I can feel in my own home – the government or me?

By way of context, I have been robbed three times at gunpoint in my life, including twice when I was a bank teller. On another day a gang member pointed a pistol at my head and pulled the trigger just to be funny. There was no round in the chamber. All of that happened in San Francisco, years ago. I mention those incidents so you know I understand the dangers of guns.

Eventually I earned enough money to move to the suburbs where I have not been assaulted in years. But you don’t forget the experience of having guns pointed at your head. 

I realize that nothing about my situation can be generalized to anyone else, and that is my point. We are all different in terms of gun risks. It is easy for me to imagine that millions of people are less safe because guns are readily available. That was probably the case for me when I was looking up those gun barrels in San Francisco. 

So how do we balance the legitimate safety interests of citizens who find themselves in wildly different risk situations? Some need more guns to feel safe and some need fewer.

The approach least-likely to work is the one we are trying now, in which the President pushes for gun restrictions while responsible gun owners resist. I don’t see that changing, no matter how many mass killings happen. 

So here’s one suggestion, based on the rules of persuasion that I have been blogging about lately. The idea is for President Obama (or our next president) to do the following:

  1. Stop calling it a gun problem.
  2. Stop talking about gun control or even common-sense restrictions.
  3. Start calling it gun safety and personal responsibility (High ground maneuver.)
  4. Ask the NRA to propose a gun safety plan that addresses the nation’s legitimate concerns. (Ask them to take responsibility for their freedom.)
  5. Ask an independent body (The Swiss?) to score the NRA’s plan for budget impact, practicality, and impact on freedom.

  6. Keep pushing until the NRA comes up with a plan that scores well. Then implement it in one volunteer state, as a test.
  7. Put a billion-joule spotlight on the test, track results, and hold the NRA responsible for the outcome.
  8. If the plan works in one state, expand it. If not, tweak and try again.

Here are a few ideas the NRA might support, although I confess to know little about their organization. I include these for the purpose of creating mental anchors and thinking past the sale. (Those are methods of influence.) 

The NRA could propose…

1. A massive government push to provide gun locks and gun safes.

2. More gun safety training requirements.

3. Death penalty (by firing squad to be ironic) for anyone who provides a gun to a future killer without first doing a background check. Under this plan, you can still sell your gun to anyone, but you take the risk of your buyer being a nut. In this model, everyone takes responsibility for their own actions, including private gun sellers. 

4. Gun buy-back programs.

5. Better enforcement of laws already on the books. (That probably requires a budget increase.)

6. Law to require that a gun lock is included with every gun sold.

That is just a starter list, so you can see what a safety-focused effort looks like compared to standard gun control arguments. I don’t intend my list to be a good start for a plan. I am not well-informed on this topic. In this blog we take rough ideas and see if we can shape them up.

See what you can do with this one. Maybe you can save some lives.

Afterthought: A reader of this blog once commented that the safest gun strategy is to publicly announce that you support gun rights while not keeping any firearms in the house. 


Scott Adams Blog

How Céline Picked up the Thread of a ’70s Knitwear Wizard

threesies celine

Phoebe Philo’s Spring collection for Céline was a ticket to ride. She designed it for the woman who is ready to spread her wings and kick off her shoes. The clothes were as efficient as they were simple and elegant, with speedy zip closures and forgiving elastic inserts.

Smart dresses with simple silhouettes were made in packable knits, and they had just a hint of that moody ’70s vibe that permeates the images of renowned photographer Deborah Turbeville. One of the leading fashion designers in Britain at that time was the jersey-loving Jean Muir, described as being “to the ’70s what Mary Quant was to the ’60s.” Like Philo, Muir resisted the siren call of the past. “Nostalgia is opting out; I loathe it,” she once said. Yet, having found her niche, Muir stuck with it, whereas Philo quietly—but firmly—advances the fashion conversation each season.

 



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Joanna Lumley in Jean Muir, 1977; Céline, Spring 2016

Photos: (from left) Rex USA; Gianni Pucci/ Indigitalimages.com

The post How Céline Picked up the Thread of a ’70s Knitwear Wizard appeared first on Vogue.

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Running Against a Branding Wizard – Trump Series

Who thought they could beat a branding wizard in a political race? 

Ask Sweaty, Plenty, Nice, Robot, or Low-energy.

To be fair, Trump’s opponents have also branded him… as a person who speaks his mind and doesn’t pretend to know more than he does.

Let’s call that roughly equal.

By the way, labeling Rubio “sweaty” is a brilliant debate tactics for next time. If you are a person who perspires heavily on stage, the one thing you do NOT want to do is think about it on stage. Makes it far worse. Expect Rubio to be a flop-sweat mess at the next debate.

And my favorite Jedi mind trick that Trump used in the first debate was directed toward Rand Paul. Trump said, “You’re having a hard time tonight.” That is weapons-grade mindf*cking.

I haven’t mentioned Walker, but only because voters probably don’t know that he and Rubio are different people. As I watched the second debate, I imagined the viewing public wondering why Rubio sometimes looked handsome and sometimes goofy. They probably thought it was a lighting problem.

image

If your firewall is preventing my illegal comics from pretending to be residents in your corporate servers, you can usually find them seeking amnesty on Twitter at @ScottAdamsSays


Scott Adams Blog

Checking My Gender Bias – Master Wizard Hypothesis

I’ve been blogging about my Master Wizard Hypothesis while focusing on Donald Trump and a number of other men. For the sake of balance, I will “out” for you two of the greatest living female Master Wizards of persuasion. Before I tell you their names, see if you can guess who they are based on my list of known tells for a Master Wizard.

1. Unusual success in a field, as if coming from out of nowhere.

2. A gifted communicator with a simple, visual, story-telling style.

3. A big influence on hundreds of millions of people.

4. A tie to a known wizard.

5. High intelligence.

6. Success in a variety of business ventures.

7. Unusually high productivity.

Okay. What famous women, still living, fit all of the tells for a Master Wizard of persuasion? If you are coming up blank, you might be a sexist.

Are you ready for the answers?

1. You should have guessed this one.

But here comes the funnier one. Remember: They hide in plain sight. That’s part of the skill set. 

2. I’ll bet you didn’t guess this Master Wizard.

See? Hiding in plain sight.

Reminder to new readers: The Master Wizard Hypothesis is just for entertainment. There are many ways to view the world. This one just happens to fit the data. Your way of viewing the world might work great too.

I wrote this book. If you don’t read it, someday you will be the only one in the room who doesn’t understand why systems are better than goals. And I will feel bad for you. But you will have it coming for not reading my book. Karma. Just saying. Play it safe.


Scott Adams Blog

Violating the Wizard Prime Directive

New readers of this blog are encouraged to catch up on my past posts. Otherwise this one will make no sense. Search for my #Trump posts to view this one in context. 

The summary version is that I am interpreting recent world events (mostly the U.S. presidential election) through what I call the Master Wizard Filter

The filter is not meant to be a true view of reality, if such a thing even exists. The idea is to see if my predictions under the filter fit observed outcomes. And also, just for fun, I will be “fitting” observable data to the filter and showing you how an alternate view of reality can be surprisingly persuasive.

This is just for fun. Truth is at a different URL.

— start —

Today I will show you how to engineer a Linguistic Kill Shot. The idea is to put together a set of words that are so persuasive they bypass one’s critical senses and end a debate. Our best recent example involves Trump calling Jeb Bush “low-energy.” 

I have been observing in the media that Trump and Rubio have been slinging linguistic arrows at each other for the past week or so. But something is different now, and I wonder if my regular readers have caught it.

Rubio went wizard. 

I assume he is now being advised by a wizard, given the quick improvement. Rubio’s linguistic salvos went from lame to weapons-grade in a week. Now Rubio is trying to paint Trump as “having a bad week” and failing in the polls ever since Fiorina “embarrassed” him at the debate. Those are Trump words. Wizard words. Nicely done, whoever is advising Rubio.

So how should Trump respond, according to the Master Wizard Filter? I will show you one approach for the purposes of showing you how to create a linguistic kill shot.

Keep in mind that older people vote in greater numbers than the young. So the best kill shots speak to the sensibilities of people that have a lot of life experience. Ideally, you also want to touch an emotional hot-button that galvanizes your base. And you want to agree with what people already think (pacing) then exaggerate it in the wrong direction (leading) using the force of its own energy, like Judo.

With that in mind, here’s a Linguistic Kill Shot, in paragraph form, that would take out Rubio. Imagine Trump saying…

“Rubio might be a good president someday, with more experience. Otherwise you get the same problem you have with Obama. Look at that Iran deal. That’s what you get when you’re not experienced. I won’t make dumb mistakes like that. I’ve actually made deals.”

Here’s the link I just created in your mind by association, bypassing logic.

Rubio = inexperienced = Obama = Iran deal = Nuclear annihilation = you die

If you are worried that this linguistic kill shot will change the course of history, that is not likely. Every message depends on the credibility of its source. Now that this is public, and originating here, it takes that approach off the table. The only point is to show you how it is done, in case you someday want to change your own history.


Scott Adams Blog

Obama Vs. Iran – Who is the Wizard?

This is a good time to remind you that the Master Wizard Hypothesis I have been blogging about is for entertainment, not enlightenment. Truth is probably at a different URL. And I remind you that you should never take advice from cartoonists on issues such as nuclear proliferation. That is just one example.

The larger context of the Master Wizard Hypothesis is showing you some of the science-tested methods of persuasion on display from various leaders. The fun part (I hope) is seeing how well my predictions fit the data compared to whatever crystal ball you were using before. (None of this should be confused with science.)

That said… 

A popular American view of the Iran nuclear deal is that President Obama, a Kenyan Muslim, has gutted our government from within and now he is surrendering to Iran, a sworn enemy that plans to destroy us, and themselves at the same time, because someone picked the wrong God. 

The weaker view is that Obama unnecessarily made a bad deal that exposes Israel and the United States to catastrophic risk. Those sanctions would have worked in the long run, say this group of critics. Or maybe we could have looked extra-hard and found everything that needed a good bombing. Any military action would presumably continue forever because if we stopped bombing Iran, one assumes they might get all revengy. Realistically, once you start bombing, you have to keep that line item in the budget forever. But it might be better than nuclear annihilation, say the critics.

Then there are the optimists who assume our government would not agree to the deal we have been shown, so surely there must be lots of secret side deals that make Iran and America allies behind the scenes. I want to believe that version, so look for my cognitive bias as I tell you how this deal looks through the Master Wizard filter.

For starters, I have blogged that Obama is a Master Wizard of persuasion. He uses the same science-tested tools of persuasion that Trump uses, and to similar good effect. That is all described in the backlog of my blog here. (#Trump)

So we know we have in Obama a Master Wizard on one side of the Iran deal. According to the Master Wizard Hypothesis, The United States almost certainly “won” the negotiations even if the information that has been made public does not support that view. A Master Wizard would not lose a negotiation against an untrained opponent. (Even if he was not in the same room.)

But what if you have a Master Wizard on the other side? Wizard-on-Wizard is harder to predict. To dig into that question, I give you three quotes from Iranian President Rouhani, from his 60 Minutes Interview. Then I explain his technique.

Rouhani: “Of course, for reaching trust between the U.S. and Iran, there is need for a lot of time.”

Persuasion Method: Big Picture Maneuver. He takes us to a perspective where everyone agrees that if you wait long enough, anything can change. And we know patience is a good thing. The first person in a conversation to use the big picture maneuver always sounds like the wisest person in the room. In this case, our egos recognize Rouhani’s linguistic challenge to rise to his big-picture level of wisdom, and we do so automatically. We are wired to do so. Knowing it is a persuasion method does not protect you from the effect.

Rouhani: “The enmity that existed between the United States and Iran over the decades , the distance, the disagreements, the lack of trust, will not go away soon. What’s important is which direction we are heading? Are we heading towards amplifying the enmity or decreasing this enmity? I believe we have taken the first steps towards decreasing this enmity.

Persuasion Method: Big Picture Maneuver again. The first person in a conversation to say some version of “The direction of things matters most” always sounds the wisest. Your ego is triggered to join Rouhani on the level of wise people who understand that life is about direction, not destination. And by now Rouhani has established a pattern of saying big picture things that make you agree. Every time you agree with one thing – no matter how trivial – it primes you to agree with the next. So using the big picture maneuver more than once compounds its power by creating a pattern in your mind.

Rouhani: “We cannot forget the past, but at the same time our gaze must be towards the future.”

Persuasion Method: That sentence is a tell for a Master Wizard. It is engineered to a degree that made me tingle when I read it. I think I could write a thesis on it, but here are a few standout points:

1. “Cannot forget the past” will be processed by most brains as “forget the past.” Rouhani needs both sides to forget the past in order to move on. But on the surface he must say we “cannot forget” because that agrees with what everyone believes, so we let in that agreeable thought without editing. Once past your guard, the word “cannot” dissolves. What is left is “forget the past.”

2. Rouhani uses at least three Big Picture Maneuvers in one interview. All three get at the same issue of being patient and moving slowly in the right direction. But because each of Rouhani’s quotes comes at it differently, it is like working your abs with three exercises instead of one. Rouhani came at Kroft with a hat trick of Big Picture Maneuvers that he finished off in one perfect thought: “We cannot forget the past, but at the same time our gaze must be towards the future.”

My Verdict: Rouhani is a Master Wizard.

Okay, okay. I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that none of this matters because Rouhani is not the real power in Iran. The real decisions come from The Supreme Leader, Khamenei. 

That was certainly the case with Iran’s last president. That guy didn’t seem to have much power.

But the last president wasn’t a Master Wizard. Look for Khamenei to support whatever deal Rouhani makes.

In Top Tech Blog, now we can do an MRI scan of internal organs and create 3D digital models of them. How long before HP comes out with a scanner/printer that lets you scan your heart, print it out, keep it beating with a potato battery, and have the coolest science project of all time? That has A+ written all over it.


Scott Adams Blog

Wizard Attacks Wizard – The Trump Persuasion Series

If I told you that throughout American history some candidates for president “looked up” and another group “looked down,” would you be able to make a list of people in each group without a definition of those terms? 

Obviously President Kennedy looked up, literally to the moon, and all it represented. Reagan looked up to a shining city on a hill. Bush Senior looked up to a million points of light. 

Other candidates were arguably “looking up” in the sense that their messages were about something good ahead. Clinton wanted to build a “bridge to the future.” Obama was all about hope and change. And now Trump is about making America “great again.” All of that feels more up than down.

Now make a list of candidates that looked “down.” And by that I mean they were more about the details, and looking down to the actual work that needed to be done on the ground. Carter comes to mind, as does Bernie Sanders. If Gore had been elected president, I think he would have been looking down at the wiring, not up at the sky.

This up or down sense we share about the candidates is important because the up candidates generally win. And when a Carter or Nixon slips through the cracks, we wish we had picked more of an upper.

My point is that the “up” candidate has a huge advantage. And in the past our “outsider” candidates were more about complaining down than looking up.

John Anderson = down (budget talk)

Ross Perot = down (budget talk)

Jesse Jackson = down (race relations)

Trump is the first up-looking outsider I can think of.

That’s why an article about President Obama criticizing Trump’s slogan caught my eye. This was direct wizard-on-wizard fighting that one rarely sees, and I’m not sure everyone caught it.

Keep in mind that Obama has said he is staying out of the conversation during primary season, as sitting presidents do. But he still wants Trump to lose. You know that.

And today he signaled (according to the Master Wizard Filter) that Joe Biden is waiting on the sidelines and Obama plans to back him. But he did all of that in the context of talking about his administration’s success with the economy and healthcare, a halo that extends to Biden.

But what caught my eye was Obama picking up on Trump’s use of “again” in his “Make America Great, Again” slogan. Obama cleverly turned “again” into a a statement of "gloom and doom,” pointing out that America is great already. That was a strong wizard move, to use Trump’s own words against him to turn optimism into pessimism.

Notice that the wizards change who you ARE, as opposed to criticizing what you DO. Obama turned Trump from an optimist into a pessimist with a sentence or two. Brilliant.

But by debate time last night, Trump had already adjusted, and emphasized that he would make America greater. I think what we saw, according to the Master Wizard filter, was a tap on the shoulder from Obama to tell Trump the big wizard is only sitting on the sidelines as long as he needs to.

Update: This is a bigger deal than you think. All the Republican candidates, and much of the press, have been chipping away at Trump and trying to get him to backpedal, change, adjust, or apologize for anything. Trump never blinked. But with a few well-engineered sentences, uttered once, President Obama – one of the all-time great wizards of persuasion – made Trump reword his campaign slogan.

Yeah, that happened. Did you even notice?

People keep asking what kind of kill shot would take out Trump. My guess is that only Obama has the linguistic firepower to do it, and he is handcuffed at the moment because of primary season. Things will get interesting when Obama starts influencing from the sidelines. Then it’s a fair fight.

I predicted that Trump would soften his immigration plan over time. At the second debate, he talked about letting the non-criminal resident illegals back into the country according to some vague process. That is the start of the softening. Soon the “good ones” won’t have to physically leave, but might have to register and prove their value to the country in some fashion. That will be the next level of softening. Trump just can’t call it amnesty.

And I heard every candidate agree with the wall idea, including one call to use drones as part of the solution.

Funniest comment I saw from a civilian after the debates was that half of the male candidates on stage appeared to have low testosterone. That was my exact observation while watching. Without judging, my objective observation is that several candidates have an effeminate speaking style. I doubt that is a winning formula for a Republican.


Scott Adams Blog

Carly Fiorina and the Wizard Filter

The media is reporting that Carly Fiorina won the debate last night. I agree with that assessment, assuming we are viewing a two-dimensional chess board.

But according to the Master Wizard Hypothesis, all that really matters to voters in the end is images, words, and emotion. Reason doesn’t enter into it. Let’s see how Fiorina did on the emotional dimension. And remember, this is just for fun, to test the wizard filter and see how well it makes predictions.

What images pop into your mind when you think of Fiorina’s debate performance? Ignore the substance and even the technique for a minute. Just relax and see what images pop into your head.

I’ll tell you what images I got.

1. “That face” – which in my opinion is attractive but makes me tense.

2. A dying fetus with a heartbeat. On a table. Doctors are talking about harvesting its organs.

So on the wizard scale, Fiorina self-immolated. Worst wizard move of all time. Literally. You would be hard-pressed to come up with a worse set of visuals to wear as a pant suit.

On the strategy dimension, one assumes that the best result for Trump would be… wait for it … you are already ahead of me, I hope…

… a Carly Fiorina debate victory. 

Because that success becomes a mere annoyance to Trump but a total anchor on Carson. A Fiorina rise (within reason) is Trump’s best case scenario. Trump is already running out the game clock for the nomination. He just needs the last two defenders to tackle each other. So far, so good.

That’s what the Wizard filter says. Time will tell.

Update: A lot of my blog traffic seems to be originating from one area lately. I wonder if it was something I said.


Scott Adams Blog

How to Spot a Wizard

Over the past few weeks I have presented to you an alternative filter for understanding your world. I make no claim that this filter is a true version of reality, if such a thing even exits. I offer this filter for entertainment only. The fun is seeing how well it fits the data and predicts the future.

According to my Moist Robot Hypothesis (that we are programmable meat) and paired with the Master Wizard view of the world, one can imagine a world in which all the big changes in society are engineered by a handful of living wizards at any given time. The wizards, in this context, have learned the rules of hypnosis and persuasion. This knowledge gives them access to the admin passwords for human beings. And they use it.

Today I will tell you how to spot a wizard, if such people actually exist. Look for these clues:

1. The wizard succeeds in a high-profile field without the benefit of as much talent as you would expect should be necessary. (This is the biggest tell.)

2. People seem to have an irrational hate for the wizard that is not entirely explained by the wizard’s actions. Regular readers already know these unusual reactions are signs of cognitive dissonance. Wizards induce cognitive dissonance often, without trying.

3. Look for an inflated ego combined with an unusually strong ability to withstand withering criticism. (Wizards get a lot of criticism.) The common view is that wizards are egomaniacs. In reality, the wizard works hard to remain ego-free, and hence can handle criticism well.

4. Wizards are often more ambitious, and often more aggressive, than you think is normal.

5. One or more major PR disasters define the wizard’s history.

6. The wizard has a gift for simplification.

7. Observers detect a reality distortion field.

8. Wizards have an ability to succeed where other fail by changing the entire game as opposed to winning at the existing one.

9. Wizards use words to create images and emotions in people’s minds.

10. Wizards seek public attention.

The wizard filter on the world isn’t necessarily true in some objective sense. The fun is seeing if the data and predictions fit the filter.

For example, I see the early history of America as a handful of wizards manipulating world events. And I believe they were aware of their powers.

And I see Trump as a modern wizard who is baffling the media because he is playing three-dimensional chess on their two-dimensional chess board. Trump is talking directly to people’s subconscious. Everything else he says is just a carrier signal.

Someone asked me about Kanye West and his hilarious statement that he would someday run for president.

Ridiculous, right?

Except that Kanye is a wizard. 

I spotted him several years ago, and blogged about his genius then. He’s the real deal. And he absolutely has the tools to become president if he makes it a priority.

Consider the reaction you are having right now to the idea that Kanye West could be president. Your reaction (plus the fact that he is a legitimate genius) is what tells you he can do it. At least according to my filter.

Oh, and he’s a musical superstar who admits he can’t sing well. How did that happen, you ask?

Scott

I hope you are reading Top Tech Blog. Lots of good stuff there.

Models read my book. Therefore, everyone else should too. That’s just common sense.

image


Scott Adams Blog

Obama the Stealth Wizard

If you have been following my posts on Master Wizards that use hypnosis and persuasion tricks to control the entire world, you might have seen some tells in the Iran nuke deal. 

Disclaimer: This is for entertainment only. There is no scientific evidence to support the Master Wizard hypothesis. The fun is comparing this filter to your current one to see which explains the data better.

When most of the public heard about the Iran nuke deal, they saw a mortal enemy getting a free pass to build a nuclear weapon, albeit perhaps at a slower pace. That seems like a bad deal if you imagine there was some practical way to stop all of the Iranian nuclear advancements.

The government must be crazy!

But if you view the deal through the filter of the Master Wizard hypothesis, you see something entirely different.

What I see is one of the best wizards of all time (President Obama) convincing an enemy (Iran) that they are actually an ally. In other words, he did not change their minds about the world; rather he changed their minds about who they are. That’s what wizards do. 

The method (wizard-wise) is ridiculously easy. All you do is seed the situation by treating them like an ally, behind the scenes, without asking much in return. Humans are wired to see helpful people as allies. There isn’t much else to it.

This differs from appeasement. With appeasement, you make the mistake of hoping a genocidal killer has somehow changed his mind on his own for no particular reason. That’s a bad bet.  

With the wizard model, the wizard changes the dictator’s self-image. Once you change a person’s self-image, that person will act in a way that is consistent with the new self-image. According to the Master Wizard hypothesis, Obama could make that happen by engineering a linguistic virus and infecting just one or two top Iranian leaders. They would in turn infect the rest.

As an example, here’s a linguistic virus that would do it: “The past is done. Today we have more common interests than we have reasons to disagree. We ask that you treat us as friends.”

There’s a lot of engineering in those three sentences. By now my regular readers should be able to see the scaffolding.

If you are surprised that Colin Powell came out in support of the Iran nuke deal, don’t be. He sees behind the curtain.

Scott


Scott Adams Blog

Obama the Stealth Wizard

If you have been following my posts on Master Wizards that use hypnosis and persuasion tricks to control the entire world, you might have seen some tells in the Iran nuke deal. 

Disclaimer: This is for entertainment only. There is no scientific evidence to support the Master Wizard hypothesis. The fun is comparing this filter to your current one to see which explains the data better.

When most of the public heard about the Iran nuke deal, they saw a mortal enemy getting a free pass to build a nuclear weapon, albeit perhaps at a slower pace. That seems like a bad deal if you imagine there was some practical way to stop all of the Iranian nuclear advancements.

The government must be crazy!

But if you view the deal through the filter of the Master Wizard hypothesis, you see something entirely different.

What I see is one of the best wizards of all time (President Obama) convincing an enemy (Iran) that they are actually an ally. In other words, he did not change their minds about the world; rather he changed their minds about who they are. That’s what wizards do. 

The method (wizard-wise) is ridiculously easy. All you do is seed the situation by treating them like an ally, behind the scenes, without asking much in return. Humans are wired to see helpful people as allies. There isn’t much else to it.

This differs from appeasement. With appeasement, you make the mistake of hoping a genocidal killer has somehow changed his mind on his own for no particular reason. That’s a bad bet.  

With the wizard model, the wizard changes the dictator’s self-image. Once you change a person’s self-image, that person will act in a way that is consistent with the new self-image. According to the Master Wizard hypothesis, Obama could make that happen by engineering a linguistic virus and infecting just one or two top Iranian leaders. They would in turn infect the rest.

As an example, here’s a linguistic virus that would do it: “The past is done. Today we have more common interests than we have reasons to disagree. We ask that you treat us as friends.”

There’s a lot of engineering in those three sentences. By now my regular readers should be able to see the scaffolding.

If you are surprised that Colin Powell came out in support of the Iran nuke deal, don’t be. He sees behind the curtain.

Scott


Scott Adams Blog

Wizard Wars

Foreward: Everything that follows is true, to the best of my knowledge, but you can fact-check me on the Internet. Let me know if I got anything wrong.

As I often warn you, don’t get your opinions about anything important from cartoonists. This blog is for entertainment, not enlightenment. You’re on your own for the enlightenment.

I recommend that you postpone reading this post until you have at least 30 minutes of free time and your favorite beverage or state-legal prescription meds in hand. You are about to have an experience that might change the way you see the world.

The ideas that follow are not appropriate for children, people who might be offended by talk of witches, and anyone that disliked my book God’s Debris

Based on the public’s reaction to God’s Debris, my prediction is that 20% of you will have a truly interesting moment reading this post, and you will never see the world the same way. About 60% of you will be glad you read it for the entertainment value. The remaining 20% of you will be angry, and you won’t be able to articulate why. If you don’t like those odds, this is a good time to discontinue reading.

To avoid spoilers, don’t do any Google searches until you finish reading.

— End of Foreward —

In 1901 the first American-born wizard came into the world. His name was Milton Hyland Erickson. And to the wizards he later trained, he was their Merlin, or Dumbledore if you prefer. The main difference is that Erickson was real. 

Erickson was an autodidact, and maybe more. He discovered that he could arrange words in a way that cast spells on people and took control of their minds. If you have seen the Star Wars movies, you know all about the Jedi Mind Trick. Erickson’s power was like that, but slower, and with more words.

In earlier times, such a person would be burned as a witch. But Erickson was born into an age of science, and in the new world, non-science claims such as his were swept to the side and assumed to be bunk. 

Fortunately for us all, Erickson was a good wizard. And he made it his life’s work to train other wizards in his ways. As one might expect, the most talented of Erickson’s wizards went on to amass incredible wealth and breathtaking power. The new wizards were not saints, or even close, but they were generally a force for good. They built some of the biggest companies in the world. They led nations toward social justice. They ended wars triggered by evil wizards overseas. They stimulated economies.

These super-wizards live and work among us, but their powers are visible only to other trained wizards. The public believes these wizards achieved their success with luck, brains, hard work, and passion. Those things matter, but the wizards had more. They could shape reality by altering how people see the world.

Sometimes the wizards work publicly, and brazenly, knowing that their methods are only visible to other wizards. Other times they work behind the curtain, pushing buttons and pulling levers while the media looks in the wrong place and reports the wrong causes.

Now, for perhaps the second or third time in history, one of these Erickson-trained wizards is running for President of the United States. You can expect that candidate to win. His name is Donald Trump.

Allow me to connect the dots for you.

Donald Trump is buddies with the most powerful wizard alive, Tony Robbins. Robbins is the biggest motivational speaker, life coach, and self-help guru in the world. Here’s a video showing Trump and Robbins selling a National Achievers Congress event they partnered on. First, listen to Trump’s style (full of happy-sounding words but zero content) and compare it to Robbins who follows on the video and is also full of happy words with zero content. See the similarity?

Tony Robbins’ inspiration was John Grinder, an American linguist and a student of Milton Erickson’s teaching. Based on Erickson’s work, plus a lot of marketing ridiculousness, Grinder developed NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Critics say NLP is more garbage than science. In my experience, NLP is about 10% real and 90% marketing. But the real part is exceptionally powerful.

What other wizards have been trained by Tony Robbins, you ask? This article in INC explains why Bill Clinton had Tony Robbins “on speed dial.” Clinton had advice from at least one other known wizard, and that advice probably changed the course of history, but I can’t mention that name for ethical reasons. 

Another disciple of Erickson, Pierre Clement, opened schools to teach the Erickson method with some of his own flourishes added. One student of Clement’s school went on to write extensively about Erickson’s ideas. But to make them less “wizard-sounding” and more practical, he coined the phrase Moist Robot.

That would be me.

The moist robot philosophy, which I wrote about in my How to Fail book, is an outgrowth of Erickson’s teachings. In the moist robot view of the world, rational thought is mostly an illusion except for simple tasks and perhaps math. The good news is that the small, rational voice in your head can sometimes muster enough control to send you in a productive direction. 

Erickson’s discovery is that words are like a UI for the mind. If you pick the right words, the mind goes into admin mode and you can rewire things at will. It might take lots of repetition, but you can get a lot done with that wiring over time. 

Arthur C. Clarke famously said that any sufficiently advanced technology will look like magic. In this context, the magic involves the question of how someone like Donald Trump could be leading in the polls. But it isn’t magic, it is method. Trump is operating on a wizard level in terms of word choice.

Milton Erickson is known as the modern father of hypnosis. The word “hypnosis” is loaded with misinformation because people have been exposed to bad movies and stage hypnosis shows. Stage hypnosis is more “magic tricks” than persuasion. The “trick” is that it only works with an audience. If you give me a hundred people, I can find one that doesn’t mind clucking like a chicken in front of the rest. He might even enjoy the experience. To the other 99 folks in the audience, it seems this subject is under a hypnotic spell and doing things against his will. The reality is that he’s just a dude doing things he doesn’t mind doing at all, but experiencing it in a super-relaxed state. There is more to it, but the central “trick” is that the subject is not embarrassed in the way that you would be, so the effect seems greater than it is.

Real hypnosis, in my view, is closer to the science of persuasion. The best book on that topic is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Dr. Robert Cialdini. 

So how powerful is this stuff?

Ask Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. All wizards.

Have you ever wondered why Dilbert has an uncommon first name, no last name, a nameless boss, and he works for a nameless company, making nameless products, while living in a nameless city? That’s hypnosis. By omitting those details I allow the reader to better feel some version of “That’s me!”

Likewise, when you criticize Trump for being vague on policies, you should know it is intentional. The empty spaces are provided for you to fill them in with whatever you think is a good idea. For a skilled wizard, the less he says, the more you like it. The wizard lets your brain fill in all the blanks with your personal favorite flavor of awesomeness.

Two months ago Donald Trump was widely thought to be under-qualified for the job of president because he has never been a politician. Today most of the chatter is about how he is good at delegating.

Two months ago you thought he was just an annoying loudmouth and a braggart. Today a lot of people are thinking he is presidential stuff.

I don’t know what Hillary Clinton thought about Tony Robbins’ advice to her husband, or whether she did some wizard training herself, but one assumes so because of the association. And that means if the race comes down to Trump versus Clinton, two Erickson-trained wizards will be going toe-to-toe for the first time in American history.

You might be wondering if I could use my wizard powers to become president someday myself. The quick answer is yes, even with my obvious flaws, unless I ran into a stronger wizard along the way. But don’t worry about a third Adams presidency. I like my job better. And the world does not need my help because Tony Robbins seems to have things under control. Literally. But I will keep my eye on all of them for you 🙂

Scott

At this writing, the #1 selling career guide on Kindle (priced over $ 2) is mine. You can find it here. It is full of moist robot goodness.

And check out Top Tech Blog for what’s new and exciting.


Scott Adams Blog

Donor Offers $1M Reward for Judy Garland’s Stolen ‘Wizard of Oz’ slippers


The slippers were stolen 10 years ago.

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Healing After Divorce in 5 Allegories: I Was Married to the Wizard of Oz, But I Never Thought to Pull Back the Curtain

I studied and analyzed a lot of literature in college, and I came to realize in these mid-to later years of life that I learn best and with deeper understanding through parable and allegory. This literary inclination, in many ways, saved my life after my husband decided our marriage was over.

My divorce shook my world and kept me reeling for a very long time. I was hashing and re-hashing constantly; what exactly happened? What could I have done differently? was it really my fault? I had relentlessly been told that I was to blame. I could not break free of these thought loops in my brain. I was still so reactive to every accusatory, angry email and text message he sent.

Towards the end of our 20-plus year marriage I was not happy. Once he left, I felt a calm freedom knowing the dread I had felt every night — would it be the angry person or the calm one who would turn his key in the lock — was gone. But still, I couldn’t move on. I was stuck desperately trying to understand and change the past. That is until I mentally re-wrote the script of my marriage by accepting these 5 allegories:

1. The Wizard of Oz Perhaps you were married to someone like this — an outwardly formidable person who needs to be in control and to have final say. He fights hard to believe his own delusion — that he is imposing and right. You learned to tiptoe around him to avoid a fight, and to let him be infallible. But it is all bravado on his part — it stems from fear and an actual sense of powerlessness. Until you pull back the curtain and see the “small” man desperately working the illusion, you cannot be in control of your own destiny — you give him power over you. Although the wizard demands that you, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” you must, in order to see him for who he really is and to move on with your life.

2. The Golem You are most likely familiar with the psychological term projection: It’s “a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.” Often, we, the spouses, serve as our ex’s projections. The Jewish legend of the Golem is a good analogy. The Golem was a manmade creature whose role it was to serve and protect, and destroy the enemies of its creator. If you were like me, your ex fashioned you into his golem. Imagine you were a sentry standing guard, there to shield him from his innermost feelings of inadequacy, his “enemies”– if he was not happy in the marriage, it was your fault; if something went wrong, it was your slip-up; if his life was not measuring up to what he had hoped for, you were somehow culpable. You were this being that served as the root of his life’s disappointments. In legend, the Golem eventually becomes unmanageable and turns on its master — It has taken me a very long time to, in fact, become “unmanageable” and breakaway from this self-imposed incarceration.

3. The Doppelganger Maybe you can relate — I have a Doppelganger. There is me, the person who I know myself to be — loving mother, caring daughter and sister, devoted friend and benevolent human being — and then the “double-walker”, also known as the evil twin. This other me is apparently; “on an entitled horse”, “a selfish b**ch,” and “f**ked up,” and my ex has her walking around in this world. I know I shouldn’t care, but I do. It unnerves me that he has constructed this malicious persona — that there are people who hear about me, or see me or meet me, and they are filled with my ex’s distortions. But, I am beginning to grasp that I have to let her be, my Doppelganger — for she walks in his world, not mine.

4. Stockholm Syndrome The ex was angry, controlling — a bully. It may be you were or are married to someone like this. So why do we stay? Why do we forgive the browbeating and yelling and blaming and still “love” them? And why are we still hooked in? I use the concept of Stockholm Syndrome to understand it. The dictionary definition is, “an emotional attachment to a captor formed by a hostage as a result of continuous stress, dependence and a need to cooperate for survival.”

Okay, that’s a little strong. We aren’t actually held captive; I personally did not fear for my survival. But the essence is right on. The stress is pretty persistent because we never know when to expect an outburst — “Did I do something wrong? Did I forget something? Did I not pay enough attention?” So we work really hard to avoid any discord. We are constantly walking on eggshells. Combine that with the incredible relief when our spouse does not get triggered and hostility is avoided, or when there are small acts of kindness and care. Then we are profoundly grateful to be treated well. This intermittent reinforcement keeps us both vigilant and hooked. What happens is that we become so invested in trying to maintain the good parts of the relationship that all our energy becomes relentlessly focused on just getting through the day without rancor. So we stay, and keep feeding the problem.

5. There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk Perhaps you are familiar with this poem, Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson — if not, it’s something of a redeemer. *

“I
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost . . . I am helpless. It isn’t my fault . . . It takes forever to find a way out.

II
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

III
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall . . . it’s a habit . . . but, my eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

IV
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

V
I walk down another street.”

What does this story mean for us — the divorced or separated? We all embarked on our romantic relationships with beginners’ eyes — we certainly didn’t know the degree of difficulties that would lie ahead. We “fell” into our problems, unawares.

The trouble soon began and continued; the anger, bullying, blaming…Yet we made excuses for it, and always, once the enmity had passed, denied, to ourselves, that the behavior was out of the ordinary. We traveled back down the same street, falling into the same hole, over and over. In time, we became fully stuck in our patterns — they became a vice and a vise, “If I just explain myself the right way he’ll understand and won’t be so angry”, “Maybe I did do something wrong”. We deluded ourselves into thinking we had the power to change the outcome. We continued to walk right into the hole with our eyes wide open.

Until…until it dawns on us — we realize, “That is him, those are his rules. I don’t have to abide by them.” We have learned to walk around the deep hole.

Why then do we choose to walk down that same street once we are aware of the dangers? We do it because we feel more comfortable with the perils that we know than the perils imagined. There is a commonly told story that old navigational maps used to warn about unchartered territories with the words, “There be dragons there.” When we finally choose to walk down another street it is unchartered territory — we have to take a great leap of faith, and this is incredibly daunting. This apt quote by writer André Gide really resonates: “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” The new street may be terrifying at first, but in time, it will become known.

*Nelson, Portia. There’s a Hole in My sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery. Beyond Words Publishing Company, 1994. ISBN: 0941831876

http://excommunique.com/

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Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower IV (Unabridged) – Stephen King

Stephen King - Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower IV (Unabridged)  artwork

Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower IV (Unabridged)

Stephen King

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy

Price: $ 38.95

Publish Date: September 30, 2003

© ℗ © 2003 Penguin Audio

iTunes Store: Top Audiobooks in Sci Fi & Fantasy

Wizard Cat: Humans Are The Absolute Worst Thing, Ever

If looks could kill, everyone on Earth would be dead right now.

And yet, like some kind of lethally engaging entertainment, we just… can’t… seem… to stop… hitting… refresh.

This cat might actually have some wizard powers. It wouldn’t be the first time cats put a spell on a human.

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