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My Psychic Cab Driver

My Psychic Cab Driver

Old Jan 31, 13, 11:50 pm
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Question My Psychic Cab Driver

I was in Maui recently with my family, and on the way back to OGG for our return flight, we hailed a cab because we couldn't all fit in our rental car. I've been in quite a few Maui cabs, and it's normal for the drivers to be friendly, and overly talkative- but this guy was different. The following is all true:

In the car with me was my sister, and my mother. As we casually chatted with the cabbie, he started taking guesses about our lives. He first guessed where we lived (or near it) so we thought "that's not hard. Easterners are pretty common". Then he kept going.

Next he started guessing what we did. He guessed our respective ages exactly, and the ages of the family members he had never met. He guessed my sister's profession down to that she worked at a magazine, and he guessed my passion, which I write a daily blog on. He guessed my sister's aspirations, and that my other sister was in finance. It was downright creepy. All along the way during the 30 minute ride, he peppered details about himself, his culinary career (ironic because my sister worked at a food mag), his travels around the globe and such.

It was strange. When I got into that cab at 9:30 at night, I had no intentions but to sleep enough that I'd be awake for the airport. I couldn't close my eyes because he kept guessing things spot-on. We finally got out of the cab once we got to the airport, and all I could manage to say was "That was strange".

It was a really unique experience, and I must admit I had fun, but it made me wonder about realms I usually don't explore.

Have you ever had a similar experience?^
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Old Feb 1, 13, 12:43 am
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As this is not a trip report I shall move it over to TravelBuzz.

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Old Feb 1, 13, 4:29 am
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My Psychic Cab Driver

You should have asked about your future, or better yet whether or not Boeing will get the 787 running soon.

I haven't though, all the taxis I've taken had non English speakers. Usually my ride consists of them speaking in their language and me nodding every few seconds with a few, "ahhh, yea" in between.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 5:35 am
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On my recent trip to Myanmar, I talked with an elderly woman in a temple in Mandalay who correctly guessed the day of the week I was born on (Thursday). I suppose that is nowhere as impressive as what the OP described as she had a 1/7 chance to get it right. She also said that I was very kind, but had a short temper........it made me so angry when she said that.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 5:47 am
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They call that "cold reading" and it's how alleged psychics dupe the vulnerable.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 6:58 am
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Originally Posted by pinworm View Post
They call that "cold reading" and it's how alleged psychics dupe the vulnerable.
But how do they come up with the facts?
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Old Feb 1, 13, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by freezefactor View Post
She also said that I was very kind, but had a short temper........it made me so angry when she said that.
LOL. Spot on.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
But how do they come up with the facts?
Educated guess?

If someone was actually psychic, would they be driving a cab?

If a cabbie was suddenly granted psychic powers for even a short period of time, wouldn't he immediately park the cab, open as many online brokerage accounts as possible, and begin frantically daytrading options as fast as the computers would let him?

For the record, I don't believe any human being on earth is psychic, not even Warren Buffett.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
But how do they come up with the facts?
In the car with me was my sister, and my mother. As we casually chatted with the cabbie, he started taking guesses about our lives. He first guessed where we lived (or near it) so we thought "that's not hard. Easterners are pretty common". Then he kept going.

Accent? Saw your address on your suitcase luggage tags? Knows what flights depart the airport at that time? Was told what flight you were on (ie you told him airline)?

Next he started guessing what we did. He guessed our respective ages exactly, and the ages of the family members he had never met. He guessed my sister's profession down to that she worked at a magazine, and he guessed my passion, which I write a daily blog on. He guessed my sister's aspirations, and that my other sister was in finance. It was downright creepy. All along the way during the 30 minute ride, he peppered details about himself, his culinary career (ironic because my sister worked at a food mag), his travels around the globe and such.

Depends on how it is done. More relevant are the things he hinted at that you didn't bite at.

Or the alternative, if this was a pre-arranged pick up, it could be a scam in conjunction with someone at the hotel (who had access to your information - e.g. passports at check in, maid cleaning the room etc). Perhaps sometimes people are so astounded at his 'skill' they tip more, or they don't notice additional charges added to the meter. Yes, I am a cynic!

I have watched friends have 'readings' and I think it is clever, but a parlour trick. I kept note of the 'wrong' things given to a friend. Things like 'the letter B is important to you, is there someone whose name begins with a B... pause... could be a first name or a last name... pause... it could be a middle name... pause.... it could be a nickname...pause... or a relation perhaps, a brother maybe...BINGO. But she did it with a really pained expression, as though she was getting a scrambled message. This happened for things to do with her love life (really, a 40 something woman, with no wedding ring, your options are somewhat limited!) There was also some 'informal chat' before we started, and it was abundantly clear it was being mined for information - your casual chat with your relatives could have clued in on some things, even if you don't remember talking about them at the time.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 11:25 am
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Well, the other possibility is that the guy really is psychic, is actually a trillionaire who controls a sizable portion of the global economy through various personas and shadowy corporate entities, but likes talking to tourists in Maui so does the cabbie thing just to pass the time.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 12:10 pm
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Couldn't ask him about the Superbowl though could you?

I'd bet on his answer.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Well, the other possibility is that the guy really is psychic, is actually a trillionaire who controls a sizable portion of the global economy through various personas and shadowy corporate entities, but likes talking to tourists in Maui so does the cabbie thing just to pass the time.
He's psychic, but only within a certain proximity. Since many travelers to Hawaii are well-to-do, he drives a cab to be near them and steal secrets from their heads. The conversation bit is just to keep them occupied.

Mike
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Old Feb 2, 13, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
But how do they come up with the facts?
1: You gave them up, only you didn't know it.

2: You were mistaking generalities for specifics ("finance" for example is actually a very broad economic sector, 1 out of 4 employed people can be considered to be in finance in some capacity)

3: Likely guesses based on available information like age, sex, education, location etc and universalities..most people consider themselves kind with short tempers even if they are not, or passionate, or wanting to see things through, or trusting but cautious. This is how horoscopes work. "Libra's are stubborn but loving" .

4: Your own selection bias..you note the hits, forget the misses.
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Old Feb 2, 13, 10:44 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Well, the other possibility is that the guy really is psychic, is actually a trillionaire who controls a sizable portion of the global economy through various personas and shadowy corporate entities, but likes talking to tourists in Maui so does the cabbie thing just to pass the time.
That would make an incredible TV show. He definitely could have seen our bags. No idea how he got my sister's magazine job though.
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Old Feb 3, 13, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
If someone was actually psychic, would they be driving a cab?
My building's doorman claims that he's psychic. He also claims that he's been banned from multiple casinos and that he's won the McDonald's Monopoly million-dollar prize twice and given it away. Every time he makes an innocuous (but false) comment to me, "Welcome home...did you go out to dinner?" I'm so tempted to say something about his alleged psychic abilities.
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