Scott Adams is Insane

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

In order to be an effective persuader, Scott Adams suggests, you must embrace the idea that common sense is an illusion:

And you must understand that humans rarely (if ever) do anything because of logic and reason. The part of us we consider rational is in reality a rationalizer. Your mind is creating little movies in which you are the star.

In a Hoffman type of reality, where we all experience our own version of the truth, you can see how affirmations might be less about magical thinking and more like a mental tool to edit the movie you are experiencing as your life. When you focus on the future you want, the result is self-persuasion, and perhaps that is enough in a Hoffman universe to write the upcoming scenes in your movie.

That is essentially how I experience my reality. I focus on whatever I want, and I imagine it as vividly as I can, as often as I can, and for some reason it happens. If you know anything about my history, you know it is filled with unlikely events that somehow conspired to get me everything I want. My experience violates everything that humans typically assume about reality. And that’s just the stuff you know about. Trust me when I say my daily experience is so far above normal that I literally can’t tell you about it without being labelled insane.


  1. Kyle says:

    Dude sounds like that aretae blog dude from back in the day.

  2. Slovenian Guest says:

    That label ship sailed when he started leading TV interviews with “I’m a trained hypnotist”, which is bad imagery and consequentially bad persuasion, especially when he makes no one act out like a chicken, yes Hillary did bark one time on stage, but still!

    I also wonder if he envisioned his divorce and if it counted as misconduct in court? Now in 2016 he considers marriage civilization’s biggest mistake.

    He is starting to get on my nerves, i almost wish, nay imagine vividly, that he would do more, or even a second brand new comic instead of wasting time on those posts.

  3. Alrenous says:

    Adams isn’t exactly insane. He wants to convince you to be insane, so you’re easier to manipulate.

    Problem. There are two kinds of people. First are immune to this kind of thing, e.g., will bother to look things up. The other kind are already insane.

  4. Djolds1 says:

    Yes. Adams’ solipsism is… extreme. And then some.

    OTOH, he is correct that rationality is handmaiden to the passions (or if you prefer, the rider serves the elephant), and hypnosis is a very effective tool, even if it has bad PR these days.

    Like any source, take pains to sort the wheat from the chaff.

  5. Toddy Cat says:

    “Trust me when I say my daily experience is so far above normal that I literally can’t tell you about it without being labelled insane.”

    Pretty big talk from a guy who can’t even draw a cat…

  6. Slovenian Guest says:

    He does far out, crazy stuff like hand feeding his dog scoobie snacks!

    While I’m at it, here is the first ever 1989 Dilbert, for anyone who wants to start this magical journey from the beginning, and his original blog is here, which i personally liked much better, as it loads up much faster. So much for web two point oh…

  7. BJK says:

    I read his book and he basically says “do all this stuff and you’ll learn new skills and expand your options.” But he was already writing cartoons at a young age. He might as well have said “if you’re good at something you’ll probably find out when you’re really young. All the experimentation you do is fruitless unless you have an inborn skill that you develop from a young age.”

  8. Isegoria says:

    Scott Adams pretty explicitly describes his cartooning as mediocre, but he combines it with other middling skills in a way that works — a way that he didn’t predict:

    Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare. And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it.

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