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Internet Cold Reader

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“What proof is there that [Hitler] is an atheist? In Mein Kampf, he actually seems to be a believer.”
“I'm sure you are against classroom prayer and homeschooling as well, just like Hitler.
— Two editors of Conservapedia have a reasoned exchange of opinions

A particularly annoying Online Persona which practices Cold Reading. The Internet Cold Reader will read a four-sentence long post, use it to deduce your life-story, psychology and political/religious views and then use that as a basis for their argument. Sometimes they'll accept correction on these points, sometimes they won't. Common in fora and blogs.


Please note that most Cold Readers don't actually sound like armchair psychologists, but the ones who do are hilarious. Some actually do it on purpose.

Hypothetical example:

"I didn't think Twilight was too bad, if you don't think too hard about it."
"Ah! Obviously you are a closet misogynist and think that every woman needs to find a perfect, godlike, sparkly man to give her entire life and absolute obedience to! Also, you probably have anti-intellectual leanings, and feel threatened by the idea that there might be such a thing as quality literature outside of your little bubble."

Do try to give them the benefit of the doubt. If nothing else, they can help you to watch your posts for Unfortunate Implications.

For "readings" on some greater scale see also Conspiracy Theories.


Further Demonstrations:

  • Clearly, your desire to avoid the hypothetical "Flame Bait" stems from your own insecurities about the topic, as you are daunted by the prospect of unharmony and reject the natural human desire for intellectual discussion. This controlling nature probably stems from the same source as your anti-intellectualism, leading you to attempt to control the thoughts of others.
  • Why would you assume that people "naturally" desire intellectual discussion? While you might hold to the ridiculous theory that, because we live in a society with an intellectual tradition, people are born with some kind of drive towards reasonable debate and common understanding, it seems more reasonable to me to assume that you want this page to descend into mayhem and rage, and no doubt spend a lot of time surfing in search of innocent wiki pages to so destroy (as well as porn.) Nevertheless, if you think we can really survive...
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  • Moreover, why utilize the nonexistent term "unharmony" instead of the commonly accepted "disharmony"? Clearly, the discrepancy between your calls for discourse and your own egregious error in style and vocabulary signifies a terrible mental dichotomy between intellectualism and anti-intellectualism within your poor, addled mind. Your confusion, no doubt, stems from a tragically divided upbringing. Your mother and father likely found themselves at different axes of the anti-intellectualism/intellectualism debate. I'm sure it's a very fascinating story, but in the interim we would all appreciate it if you sought therapy for your psychic fissure rather than excising your wounds with wiki-vitriol.


  • Sometimes such a character is called a "telepath", because cause-to-confabulation ratio tends to fall far beyond Sherlock Scan range of Ass Pull and into Mind Reading. Also, this turns an old joke into Double Entendre (at least):
    Help Wanted: Telepath. You know where to apply.
  • San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle once claimed that this type has repeatedly emailed him to argue that he only hated a given movie because he wasn't in the right demographic. He then gave a Long List of all the demographics they'd put him in, several of them contradictory.
  • In Seanbaby's List of angry commenters you encounter on the web, shades of this trope can be seen in Detective Hypocrisy, The Insecure Biographer and the Blind Shit Flinger.


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