|Lorenzo de'Medici as he appears in "Blood of Brothers."|
So how does the idea come to fruition? Well, Leonardo observes members of the conspirators whipping a crowd into a froth. Only the thing is, you can't hear what their saying. Basically only the people directly around the podium are able to hear anything at all. This gives Leonardo the genius of applying the principle of Big Talk to win arguments.
And you know what? Big Talk is actually a real thing.
Here's the observation/study behind this statement:
Pairs of people were shown two sequences of images. One had an image that the pairs were supposed to notice, but both sequences went by quickly. Much of the time, people were unsure which sequence contained the target image. Afterward, each member of the pair made a guess as to which sequence contained the target image. If the pairs disagreed, they had to follow one of two procedures. One group exchanged written communication only. Another was allowed to talk. Neither side did badly. However, the written communication only pairs came up with better results. The reason the verbal communicators did so poorly? Big Talkers drowned out the silent minority.
The people who were allowed to talk did not improve their accuracy, but they radically improved their own opinion of their accuracy. In other words, people talk themselves into believing that they're right. More talk doesn't convince them otherwise, so they're lacking vital data that the silent pairs had. So basically, talking obscures the situation. Outside of this study, this kind of behavior goes on in any number of scenarios. Just think of the last time you couldn't get a word in edgewise because someone was talking over you about something.
Well, employing this principle is exactly what Leonardo Da Vinci did in "The Blood of Brothers," and it worked like it should have (and was absolutely brilliant to boot). Lorenzo's speech outshouts anything the conspirators can say, the mob listens, events turn around quickly as the people of Florence proclaim their allegiance to the de'Medici family, and the conspirators all get rounded up and summarily executed.
The lesson here is this: for a debate to be fair, both sides need equal time. One side shouldn't be allowed to outshout the other. The side that does get outshouted is probably going to lose. It doesn't even matter if they're right. That's just how humans roll.
"Blood of Brothers" was a fantastic end to the whole plot arc that we can now assume goes in the direction of Leonardo and his quest for the Book of Leaves. If only all shows could be this clever. If you have time, check out the new title credits for season 2. How can you go wrong with a lead-in of the Mona Lisa?
Da Vincis Demons titles season 2 from HUGE on Vimeo.