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Author: 
Audrey Zhang

JediMindMeld

“I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.”

After President Obama referenced a so-called Jedi mind meld at his press conference on the sequester on March 1, news outlets jumped on the fact that he appeared to mix his sci-fi references–after all, aren’t Jedi from Star Wars, and isn’t the Vulcan Mind Meld a characteristic of Star Trek?

Well, it takes a nerd to out-nerd the nerds. Chris Peterson at MIT’s Center for Civic Media jumped online and defended President Obama’s statement, noting:

Jedi Mind Tricks, according to Wookiepedia, “refer to a spectrum of Force powers which influenced the thoughts of sentient creatures”; the Vulcan Mind-meld, according to Wikipedia, “is a technique for sharing thoughts, experiences, memories, and knowledge with another individual.”

Both are powerful methods of influence, to be sure, but neither fully captures what Obama was suggesting when he said he could not “do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.” (emphasis added) Rather, the most appropriate method for Obama to achieve what he suggested would be a Jedi Meld.

Now, it’s still likely that President Obama simply made a slip of the tongue–but if you believe otherwise, you can check out Peterson’s full defense here.