The Power of Mind Control

Attention is the key to mind control. Focus enough and count the number of passes that the white team makes in the video.

Many have wondered what the secret to mind control is. The secret is there if you focus enough.

Mind control is basically an ability to hide messages in what is not consciously taken in by someone. This is a lot of what advertising tries to do with various results. An example of this hiding, is the use of signs and words that our subconscious might pick up.

sex virgin subliminal

virgin sex subliminal. Spelling S-E-X. Coincidence? perhaps. Other examples of hiding images in logos: the arrow in Fedex, the bear in Toblerone and a few more.

The concept behind subliminal ads and mind control is explained in a good way by McLuhan’s  Tetrad (Laws of Media). Basically what it says is that there is figure and ground. Figure is an area of attention and ground is the rest (”inattention”). Hold on, this gets complicated if you haven’t read McLuhan.

The effect that ground has changes our conception without us noticing it. Once the ground is pointed out it becomes figure and very easy to notice, e.g. the feeling of your seat at this instance. As we have noticed it’s very easy to spot the ground once it has been pointed out, but not before.

Everybody experiences far more then he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behaviour, especially in media and technology, where the individual is almost inevitably unaware of their effect upon him.
-McLuhan (Understanding Media, p.318)

Derren Brown shows this very clearly in this movie where he manipulates two persons working for an ad agency to think what he wants them to think.

But how far can we take this “manipulation” of minds. Where does the limit between accepted manipulation and too much manipulation go? Many people think adding a single frame in a movie or changing the billboard in a sporting arena digitally to a commercial message is going to far but accepts music affecting and manipulating our mood in commercials.

I find mind control fascinating, especially since it’s very linked to advertisement. Comments?

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Josef Ohlsson Collentine

A transparent and kind American/Swede who likes cultural patterns and Social Media. A creative early-adopter who sports, discusses and explores. More about me
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