There’s a grand website by the name of Reddit (stop sniggering nerds, some people have never heard of it). It’s pretty self-referential and geeky but there’s often something funny and/or extremely rude and/or grim to see.
One series of posts on Reddit started with someone posting a photo of a ballerina’s feet. As expected they were all manky and beaten up. Later another poster started a post with “I see your ballerina’s feet and raise you some rower’s hands” with a photo of some quite badly cut up hands of a rower. Further to this another poster started “I raise your rower’s hands and raise you a wicket keeper’s hands” complete with pic of someone who’s clearly broken a good few of his fingers whilst behind the wicket.
Someone in the middle of this posted a silly pic of “I raise you – an accountant’s feet!” complete with a picture of some eminently normal feet. Now here, bizarrely, is where it gets more interesting, for me as a physio.
You can comment on posts on Reddit. Someone does so with an interesting question followed by some conversation between them: Well see the link here before carrying on.
Well hmm. What to say.
To me this chap sounds remarkably like a psychic. Not that he has somehow devined the truth magically from the ether but like a stage “psychic” (aka “fraud” or, more rarely, “delusional fool”). NB from the snippets I’ve read I’m most certainly not tarring this chap with that brush – merely that the conversation progressed as I’d expect a chat with a “psychic” to go.
Initially he throws out a statement and then expands with random information
“The shape of the right foot.
It looks like there is a problem with the shoulder (or maybe middle-lower back) that causes that shoulder to pull forward and down. The shape of the middle toe makes me believe it is in the shoulder instead of the back, but the back could be the cause of the shoulder mis-alignment.”!
It’s vague enough to encompass some hit but also to be a little wooly. Eg “it is in the shoulder instead of the back, but the back could be the cause of the shoulder mis-alignment.” Likewise it’s not really arguable with. It’s either going to be gone along with IE “tell me more”; or shut down completely IE “you’re having a laugh, shut it!”
Then he moves on to a statement that encompass almost everyone (is this called a “Barnum statement”? I think so).
“Look at yourself in the mirror and see if that shoulder is sitting in the same position as the left.”
Now for most of the population it’s notable that, if you’re right handed (a good guess for a “psychic”) then your right shoulder will more commonly be lower than your left shoulder; this is 100% normal. The accountant’s already said s/he’s an accountant (IE will be sitting all day at a computer and desk) hence will likely have protracted (slightly forward) shoulders as well. Further the guy didn’t even say “your right shoulder will be lower” he just said “have a look”.
So far so “psychic”. Now what happens next in “psychic” readings? Usually the readee offers more information about the subject. This is exactly what happens here. Our accountant then heads off into a story of doing his/her back in. Nearly everyone of working age has had an episode of back pain, there’s nothing odd there. (and incidentally it really doesn’t need an MRI at this point unless there’s raging leg pain linked to the back pain – can a dr sell unnecessary tests?)
So we can deduce that the accountant has told the reader more than the reader’s told the accountant. Likewise there’s nothing that the reader has said that’s anyway out of the ordinary, as the stage psychics would say “he got a hit” and therefore the accountant now believes that somehow the reader has special powers of deduction.