One Screen 2 Movies — How We Miss (at least) Half of Reality

Abhishek Paul
2 min readApr 25, 2019

Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) calls himself a student of the science of persuasion. His training as a hypnotist early in life gives him a unique understanding into how our minds can be made to work against us. According to him facts don’t persuade us, we are not rational beings — we make up our minds based on our beliefs, the way the message is framed, who says it and other non factual reasons. I thought this was just hyperbole, but his “one screen 2 movies” concept made me realize the genius in the man.

The premise is set in the Trump era, people might be looking at the same screen (tweet, news) but will come up with completely different interpretations, ie: one will call him a racist / buffoon while another will call it lawful / act of leadership. Any additional facts will still be viewed in this split screen mode and will not lead to anyone changing their minds.

We do not live in a courthouse, the evidence is not weighed impartially. The secret to any attempt at persuasion is to try and watch the other movie without dismissing it as irrational. Actually scratch that, the first step should be to realize that we are all watching only 1 movie while the other person is watching a different movie — so our reactions will be different. We will seem as irritating / stubborn / unreasonable as the other person does to us.