The Michel Hayek Complex: Why You’re Stupid if You Believe Him

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I can’t believe it’s gotten to the point where I need to highlight that you are exceptionally naive if you believe in the “predictions” this man gives every New Year’s Eve. However, the fact that the most important TV slots of the year are being taken up by this clairvoyant and his clones is disturbing, and the fact it is tradition reflects extremely negatively on who we are as a people.

Money is what it’s about

LBCI spawned the awfulness that is Michel Hayek, yet, the snake oil salesman wanted fatter bank accounts, as extorting money from below-average-intelligence politicians and businesspeople was not enough to get his special powers going. Of course, MTV was ready to up his salary, and voila, he’s suddenly on that station with blood-curdling music to go with his fantastical, beautiful-mind like broken readings of his jumbled up papers.

Tell me, if his purpose was purely to share with us our fates in the coming year, why do the financials matter so much? Enough to make him quit LBC after asking for more money and being eagerly serviced by MTV as a result.

He’s sort of the Maya Diab of depressed-looking liars, a piece of entertainment that can be easily brought to and fro with an extra zero on a paycheck.

Informed Guesses

His predictions are always very vaguely worded, such as “awards in the banking sector of Lebanon” Oh really? You mean the one sector in this broken country that actually works? The one headed by an exceptionally talented governor who has already received dozens of nods and commendations?

Protests and activism pro-indoor smoking? Bro, that’s already happened… And it’s only natural the upset business owners will keep blaming this beneficial piece of legislation for their financial woes, when in fact it is the situation of the country as a whole.

The Egyptian people will persist in fighting Morsi’s Islamism? Morsi will find himself more and more isolated? Well, that is already happening and it doesn’t need special fake powers to predict that the Egyptian people will rise to the challenge of kicking off the Islamist habit and instilling freedom and democracy and tolerance and choice in their new governments.

It goes on forever, and I can definitely say Hayek is a good observer and analyst. He can make fairly good, yet fairly obvious and completely un-supernatural guesses about what’s in store for the near future.

Self-Fulfiling Prophecies

I am 10000% sure that if I get the horoscope descriptions of each sign, and jumble up the names, that astrology buffs will be like “Oh my gaaaad! That’s SO like me! I do get along with everyone and we love very passionately”. What this means is that when we want to believe in something, we will look tirelessly for hints that it has come true or holds some truth. Just like we seek to explain our dreams by the events of our lives the day after. Just like some gospels were altered to make Jesus’ birth fit with ancient prophecies of the Messiah, and the “ab7ar” in Arabic poetry have exceptions so that the incoherences in the Koran are not considered false, after all, what kind of God does grammar mistakes? The list goes on and on…

In other words, we are prone to make the prophecies we want or believe to be true, become true somehow, whether it be maliciously by falsifying information like in our holy books, or unconsciously by misinterpreting our surroundings. That, coupled with Hayek’s extremely vague choice of words, makes it fairly likely someone somewhere will believe the prediction was indeed accurate, not just a coincidence.

Follow-Up?

LBC used to at least try to show some consistency by reviewing some of the previous year’s successful predictions. MTV this year just sat him in a chair, and he read for 48 minutes, then it was over. So, why doesn’t he audit himself and give us the results? I’d do it myself, but I have a life and can’t spend it verifying the vaguenesses in Hayek’s words. Someone, maybe the TVs, should do it, then, I am extremely confident that the success rates of the predictions will be no better than a coin toss ratio.

Edit: apparently, such a recap was made on MTV which I missed when I watched the predictions. Thanks for clarifying that folks, and sorry for the mistake!

Science vs Fairies

Fairies are much cooler to talk about and discuss. The mystery involved is pretty sexy too. It’s also exclusive to particularly charismatic liars like Hayek. Science is factual, it’s something everyone can grasp and it is verifiable and reproducible. Science though, built our modern civilization. Fairies built the Mayan one. One claimed the world would end last month, the other laughed it off based on evidence. I for one, am sure you would want to be on our side, the pragmatic one.

Lebanon, with reports that a third of our dear leaders seek guidance from fortune-tellers and other snake oil vendors, is very much in the Maya camp: stupid, extremely behind compared to other civilizations and inevitably doomed to fail and disappear.

To me, Michel Hayek is just a cooler version of religions. He just does a better show of it and doesn’t wear robes or oppress women (as far as I know at least). He adds a dramatic theatrical twist to it, as the tormented man with a curse-gift from God or whatever. He also adds names, politicians mostly. Which I find weird too, I mean, are his powers tuned to pick-up on elected officials only? Is that how the supernatural works? Why doesn’t he predict who you’re next boyfriend’s gonna be? Or who will win the Champions League this year?

Conclusion

Michel Hayek is good fun. It’s nice to laugh at it and say stuff like “imagine, hahahaha!” But, when it’s taken seriously, it’s scary, because it means we’re stupid and no longer rely on facts and evidence and reasoning to shape our lives and decisions (much less the decisions of our elected officials!). It’s like considering Honey Boo Boo a factual representation of a truly “beautiful” girl and her family seriously thinking they can pull it off in the beauty pageant world. Are you the person who thinks Honey Booboo and her hick family are being taken seriously? Or do you know that this is just set-up in a serious-ish way to allow folks to laugh at them and think better of themselves as a result?

Comments

  1. A says

    They did review them, for 1 freaking hour. it was utter stupidity, especially that all of them were, as you said it, self fulfilling prophecies.

  2. drHani says

    I suggest for all of you out there to compare a list of Micheal Hayek’s 2012 predictions with what really happened last year : http://www.lebnaneyat.com/?p=167
    If you feel compelled to crosscheck this list you can easily do so with videos on youtube.
    Personnally i studied what he ‘professed’ about the syrian revolution (found at the end ), and it was easy to discover all the subtle mechanics of his crappy predictions :)

  3. Amine says

    Thx for the good read gino. Look up Barnum or Forer effect. Its an in depth explanation on how people attribute vague descriptions to match their personality.

  4. some guy says

    Although I understand where you are coming from, and even though I am very logical, not religious and hate stupidity, I will have to pitch in my 2 cents to that Hayek issue.

    We, humans come in with various capabilities. Some hear better, others se better and a few think better. It comes to no surprise that very few could feel better too. I have been following up on that guy just for my own benefit of the doubt. It is true that his predictions are a little vague and very general and his choice of wording is smartly chosen. However, having gone one some validation spree for his predictions, the guy is not so bad. It would take a hell of an analyst to spit that content in a very unpredictable place like Lebanon. Also, if the guy after money only, he could have gone in different routes to make fortunes out of that. I am not saying I go by his predictions blindly. Yet, who are we to assert human brain power or senses. Google Daniel Tammet and tell me if you find what he does any human. Some things in life will remain mysteries.

    Thanks

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