“Loserthink” Quotes

I recently read “Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America” by Scott Adams. Below are the quotes I found most interesting (with Kindle page numbers.) If you like the quotes, buy the book.

The risk of mockery changes behavior. I would go so far as to say it is one of history’s most powerful forces. Location 104-105 

If all you know is how many times someone hit a target, it is loserthink to judge how accurate they are. You also need to know how many times they missed. Location 219-221 

it is a bad idea to trust the majority of experts in any domain in which both complexity and large amounts of money are involved. Location 224-224 

When lots of money and lots of complexity are in play, fraud is nearly guaranteed. Location 231-232

it is nearly impossible to mock a good idea unless you also lie about its nature or leave out important context. Mockery only succeeds in persuading against absurd beliefs. Location 290-291 

The technological change that broke the news business was our ability to measure audience reaction to every headline and every variation of every story. Once you can reliably measure the income potential of different approaches to the news, the people who manage the news have to do what works best for profitability or else they are abandoning their responsibilities to shareholders. On top of that, executive compensation is determined by profit performance. From the moment technology allowed us to know which kinds of content influenced viewership the most, the old business model of the news industry was dead media walking. Location 328-332 

Being absolutely right and being spectacularly wrong feel exactly the same. Location 357-358 

You and I are often penalized for what other people think we are thinking. Location 379-379 

If you are certain you know the inner thoughts of a stranger, that’s a sign you might have too much confidence in your opinion. Location 413-414 

If you are dismissing your critics with labels they would not assign to themselves, you might be engaged in loserthink. Location 462-462 

People who have good arguments use them. People who do not have good arguments try to win by labeling. Location 464-464 

No matter the topic, all sides typically believe they have the right facts and the other side is delusional. Location 491-492 

The productive way to think of your ego is to consider it a tool, as opposed to a reflection of who you are on some core level. Location 501-502 

If you think your ego is a tool, you can choose to dial it up when needed and dial it down when it would be an obstacle. Location 502-503 

The sweet spot for self-confidence involves operating with a belief that you can do more than the available evidence suggests, but not so much more that it would be crazy. Location 505-506

The world is not a fair place, and there is a good chance the people you are dealing with did not get to where they are because of their intelligence, hard work, and character. Location 514-515

Learn how to breathe properly, inhaling through your nose, exhaling through your mouth, and lowering your diaphragm when you inhale, as opposed to shallow breathing in your chest. Location 523-524

Effectiveness is more important than ego. Location 610-610 

Note how other people’s embarrassments mean little to you when you are an observer. That’s how much your embarrassments mean to them: nothing. Location 654-655 

When you combine a human brain that is wired to notice problems with a press that is incentivized to present stories involving huge problems, you can easily start imagining that the world is falling apart in a variety of fatal ways. And that worldview might limit your ability to appreciate all the things going right. Location 687-688 

It is helpful to think of your mind as having limited shelf space. If you fill that space with negative thoughts, it will set your mental filters to negativity and poor health, and there will be no space left for healthy, productive, and uplifting thoughts. Location 703-705

The thoughts you allow into your head are the code that programs your mind and body. Location 708-709 

If you are having trouble keeping negative thoughts from your mind, don’t try to “not think” about them. That just makes you think about them more. Instead, find the most positive and “sticky” thoughts you can imagine, and focus on them until your mental shelf space is filled. Location 717-719 

As a rule, we can’t always tell the difference between the people who are far smarter than us and the people who are dumber. Both groups make choices we can’t understand. Location 738-739 

One of the most normal situations in the world is that people like the same thing (in this case Las Vegas) for wildly different reasons. In politics too, people can support the same candidate for wildly different reasons. Location 784-785 

The first way history is not real is that whoever is in charge gets to write history any way they like. And the way they like it is whatever way keeps them in power and looking awesome. Location 816-818

Every government invents its own version of history to brainwash their population. Location 827-828

We are raised to assume we are the lucky ones who learn accurate history while evil leaders elsewhere are duping their citizens. I hope you can see how unlikely it is that any country is presenting history to its children in an objective way. Location 828-830

The trouble happens when people try to manage events in the present to fix the past. Location 850-851

From a persuasion perspective, history can be a useful tool. If I can make you feel guilty for something your demographic group did to mine, I might be able to influence you in a way that is good for me. Location 852-853

In the long run, nothing persuades like success. Location 872-872 

Our tiny brains don’t have the capacity to grasp the complexities of life and then process that knowledge to make smart decisions. We only think we can. Location 893-894

What we do instead of rational decision-making is employ a sloppy form of pattern recognition to make sense of our world. Location 894-895

We can’t tell the difference between valid patterns that might predict something useful and something that simply reminds us of something else but means nothing. Location 899-900

We humans are not good at knowing which history is the one that will repeat. Location 928-929

Life is messy and complicated, and the situations we encounter often remind us of multiple histories. But which of those histories is the one that is predictive? Location 929-930

History repeats until it doesn’t. And you never know when the “doesn’t” phase starts. Location 946-946

Belief in slippery slopes is loserthink. It is more useful to look at forces and counterforces to see where things are likely to end up. Location 1001-1002 

Whoever is hired to work on the new version of the software will call the person who worked on the last version an idiot. Location 1063-1063 

Whenever you are talking to an expert in any realm, be aware that the next expert is likely to tell you the work done by the last expert looked like a monkey pounding a keyboard with a banana. And the expert after that will be just as rough on the prior expert, all the way to infinity. If experts are routinely skeptical of other experts, shouldn’t you be skeptical of experts too? Location 1070-1072 

The best solution to a problem is often unrelated to who is at fault. Location 1103-1103 

You can often know you are heading in the right direction, which matters a lot, while the precision of your estimates is secondary. Location 1164-1165 

Both sides are right about the other being irrational, but wrong about themselves being rational. Location 1183-1183 

The more you care about a topic, the more susceptible you are to assigning meaning to coincidences. Location 1298-1298 

If you are genuinely trying to understand the world, please avoid judging entire groups by their worst members. Location 1340-1341 

The business model of the free press depends on reinforcing the ideas that each side of the political divide in the United States is as bad as the worst 5 percent. Location 1342-1343 

If I had to pick one defining characteristic that separates the successful from the unsuccessful, it would be luck. But if I had to pick two defining characteristics, the other one would be a sense of control. Successful people, and people who will someday be successful, seem to believe they can steer their fate by their actions. Whether they are right about that or not, it’s a winning mindset. People who think they control their situations will put more effort into doing so. Location 1456-1459 

If you take full responsibility for your outcomes, even while knowing much of it depends on luck, that’s how rich people think. Location 1472-1473 

Certainty isn’t a good indication of rightness for any complicated situation. Location 1504-1504 

Capitalism is similar to both science and fishing in that it is largely a failure machine. Most startups fail, for example, and most companies eventually go out of business, one way or another. But while all that failing is happening, employees are getting paid, vendors are selling products and services to the doomed business while it lasts, and the economy chugs along. You only need a small percentage of companies to succeed in order to have a strong economy. Location 1512-1515 

The reality is that entrepreneurs are making educated guesses and talking themselves into a degree of certainty that the facts do not support. Location 1517-1518 

Being wrong and yet confident is a good description of the human condition. Location 1520-1520 

Our irrational confidence makes sense if you assume humans evolved to have traits that help us survive. Our world rewards action over inaction, Location 1525-1526 

Real experts are likely to give you advice that is similar or at least compatible. Location 1597-1597 

When people ask you if the ends justify the means, they are trying to frame themselves as the moral player in the conversation while framing you as the unethical weasel. Don’t answer the trick question. Instead, restate the question in this form before answering: I think you mean: Are the benefits greater than the costs? Location 1607-1609 

The best response to a bad analogy is to say you don’t address analogies because those are different situations by definition, but you would be happy to address the costs and benefits around your topic. Location 1622-1624 

In the business world, a project that doesn’t pay for itself in two to three years is generally a bad idea. Location 1736-1737 

We humans are not good at predicting. And any notion that we have developed that superpower, in light of all observations to the contrary, is pure loserthink. Location 1800-1801 

In general, when you see a lot of energy in a particular area, spread across multiple companies, the technology or industry is likely to stay around even if the players change. Location 1811-1813 

Don’t assume you can tell the difference between actual knowledge and your own confirmation bias. Location 2025-2025 

A more productive way of thinking about your experience in this life is that you are what you do. Location 2030-2031 

Dwelling on the negative is expensive in terms of your social life, your mental health, and even your career success. People like to be around positive people, for all the right reasons. Location 2036-2037 

if I need to talk about something negative, I pair it with at least one positive thought. Location 2040-2040 

Never be yourself if you can make yourself into something better through your conscious actions. You are what you do. Location 2046-2047 

Every culture has its own feelings about success. I call that cultural gravity. If your culture celebrates success, you have low cultural gravity, and you can rise according to your talents and efforts. But if your culture disapproves of success, you’ll feel it dragging you back to earth every time you try to succeed. Location 2444-2446 

If you allow the opinions of unsuccessful people in your culture to hold you back, you’re engaged in loserthink. Location 2467-2468 

Waiting until you know how to do something exactly right is a poor strategy. You could be waiting forever. Better to jump in, make your mistakes, and see what kind of free assistance that attracts. Location 2476-2478 

We are a species that makes one irrational decision after another and then we cover our tracks by concocting “reasons” after the fact. In other words, we are not so much a rational species as a species that experiences the illusion of being rational. Location 2623-2625 

Your persistent belief in your own rationality is the primary illusion that controls your life. Location 2626-2627 

One big problem with judging people by their mistakes is that what you are actually doing is judging people by the mistakes you are aware of. The people you have judged to be angels might simply be better, or luckier, at getting away with their transgressions against humanity. That would result in an inaccurate ranking of human beings on your personal judgment scale. There’s no point in being a judgmental person if you can’t accurately rank people. That’s just guessing. Location 2668-2671 

The Twenty-Year Rule Let’s stop blaming each other for things that happened more than twenty years ago. Humans change a lot in two decades. Location 2762-2763 

Once you learn to embrace the realization that being right and being wrong feel exactly the same, you’re halfway out of your mental prison. Location 2812-2813 

State ONE thing you believe on this topic that you think I do NOT believe. Location 2854-2854 

When people are experiencing cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias (which is our normal human state), they tend to use what I call laundry list persuasion. That happens when none of the evidence is persuasive on its own, so there is an attempt to make up for the shortfall with quantity. The idea here is that if one piece of evidence has zero credibility, ten pieces of evidence with zero credibility add up to something real. Location 2869-2871 

Always talk first about the points on which you agree, to set the tone and establish yourself as a reasonable voice. Location 2888-2889 

You, rather than pointing out the omission, ask your critic to describe what the future would look like under their preferred plan. Location 2911-2911 

If you liked the quotes, buy the book.

“God’s Debris” Quotes

I recently read “God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment” by Scott Adams. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like the quotes, consider buying the book here.

“Every generation of humans believed it had all the answers it needed, except for a few mysteries they assumed would be solved at any moment. And they all believed their ancestors were simplistic and deluded. What are the odds that you are the first generation of humans who will understand reality?” (21)

“Four billion people say they believe in God, but few genuinely believe. If people believed in God, they would live every minute of their lives in support of that belief. Rich people would give their wealth to the needy. Everyone would be frantic to determine which religion was the true one.” (27)

“It is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the the usefulness of believing.” (29)

“People claim to believe in God, but most don’t literally believe. They only act as though tye believe because there are earthly benefits in doing so.” (29)

“The best any human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day.” (29)

“It is beyond the human brain to understand the world and its environment, so the brain compensates by creating simplified illusions that act as a replacement for understanding. When the illusions work well and the human who subscribes to the illusion survives, those illusions are passed to new generations.” (34)

“I can conceive of only one challenge for an omnipotent being – the challenge of destroying himself.” (42)

“Are you saying we’re evolving into God?”
“I’m saying we’re the building blocks of God, in the early stages of reassembling.”
“I think I’d know it if we were part of an omnipotent being,” I said.
“Would you? Your skin cells are not aware that they are part of a human being. Skin cells are not equipped for that knowledge. They are equipped to do what they do and nothing more. Likewise, if we humans – and all the plants and animals and dirt and rocks – were components of God, would we have the capacity to know it?” (53)

“Luck conforms to normal probability curves. Most people will have average luck and some people will experience extra good luck or extra bad luck. A handful will have good luck so extraordinary that it will be indistinguishable from magic.” (76)

“We like to believe that other people have the same level of urges as we do, despite all evidence to the contrary. We convince ourselves that people differ only in their degree of morality or willpower, or a combination of the two. But urges are real, and they differ wildly for every individual. Morality and willpower are illusions. For any human being, the highest urge always wins and willpower never enters into it. Willpower is a delusion.” (94)

“Women believe that men are, in a sense, defection versions of women. Men believe that women are defective versions of men. Both genders are trapped in a delusion that their personal viewpoints are universal. That viewpoint – that each gender is a defective version of the other – is the root of all misunderstandings.” (110)

“Women define themselves by their relationships and men define themselves by whom they are helping. Women believe value is created by sacrifice. If you are willing to give up your favorite activities to be with her, she will trust you.” (110)

“Men believe value is created by accomplishment, and they have objectives for the women in their lives. If a woman meets the objectives, he assumes she loves him.” (111)

“The best you can hope for in a relationship is to find someone whose flaws are the sort you don’t mind. It is futile to look for someone who has no flaws, or someone who is capable of significant change; that sort of person only exists in our imaginations.” (112)

“A woman needs to be told that you would sacrifice anything for her. A man needs to be told he is being useful. When the man or woman strays from that formula, the other loses trust. When trust is lost, communication falls apart.” (112)

“You should lie about your talents and accomplishments, describing your victories in dismissive terms as if they were the result of luck. And you should exaggerate your flaws.” (113)

“Your problem is that you view conversation as a way to exchange information… conversation is more than the sum of the words. It is also a way of signaling the importance of another person by showing your willingness to give that person your rarest resource: time. It is a way of conveying respect. Conversation reminds us that we are part of a great whole, connected in some way that transcend duty or bloodline or commerce. Conversation can be many things, but it can never be useless.” (113-114)

“Don’t judge people by their mistakes; rather, judge them by how they respond to their mistakes.” (114)

“People who do affirmations will have the sensation that they are causing the environment to conform to their will. This is an immensely enjoyable feeling because the illusion of control is one of the best illusions you can have.” (119)

“Not all leaders are irrational,” I argued.
“The most effective ones are. You don’t often see math geniuses or logic professors become great leaders. Logic is a detriment to leadership.” (127)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book here.

“Win Bigly” Quotes

I recently read “Win Bigly: Persuasion In A World Where Facts Don’t Matter” by Scott Adams. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like the quotes, click here to buy the book.

“We all think we are the enlightened ones. And we assume the people who disagree with us just need better facts, and perhaps better brains, in order to agree with us. That filter on life makes most of us happy – because we see ourselves as the smart ones.” (3)

“The method goes like this:
Make a claim that is directionally accurate but has a big exaggeration or factual error in it.
Wait for people to notice the exaggeration or error and spend endless hours talking about how wrong it is.
When you dedicate focus and energy to an idea, you remember it. And the things that have the most mental impact on you will irrationally seem as though tye are high in priority, even if they are not. That’s persuasion.” (20)

“The things that you think about the most will irrationally rise in importance in your mind.” (22)

“Consider a small 2012 study by researcher Daniel Oppenheimer that found students had better recall when a font was harder to read.” (25)

“A good general rule is that people are more influenced by visual persuasion, emotion, repetition, and simplicity than they are by details and facts.” (25)

“Humans think they are rational, and they think they understand their reality. But they are wrong on both counts.” (35)

“The main theme of this book is that humans are not rational. We bounce from one illusion to another, all the while thinking we are seeing something we call reality. The truth ist hat facts and reason don’t have much influence on our decisions, except for trivial things, such as putting gas in your car when you are running low. On all the important stuff, we are emotional creatures who make decisions first and rationalize them after the fact.” (37)

“On mushrooms… your perceptions are independent from the underlying reality. This awareness never leaves you. Once you understand your experience of life as an interpretation of reality, you can’t go back to your old way of thinking.” (43)

“The most common trigger for cognitive dissonance is when a person’s self-image doesn’t fit their observations. For example, if you believe you are a smart and well-informed person, and then
You do something that’s clearly dumb, it sends you into a state of cognitive dissonance. And once you are in that uncomfortable state of mind, your brain automatically generates an illusion to solve the discomfort. In this situation, your brain would tell you the new information was inaccurate. The alternative is to believe that you are dumb, and that violates your self-image. You don’t like to change your self-image unless it is in the direction of improvement.” (49)

“It is easy to fit completely different explanations to the observed facts. Don’t trust any interpretation of reality that isn’t able to predict.” (54)

“People are more influenced by the direction of things than the current state of things.” (68)

“The reality one learns while practicing hypnosis is that we make our decisions first – for irrational reasons – and we rationalize them later as having something to do with facts and reason.” (71)

“If you want the audience to embrace your content, leave out any detail that is both unimportant and would give people a reason to think, That’s not me. Design into your content enough blank spaces so people can fill them in with whatever makes them happiest.” (78)

“Our brains interpret high energy as competence and leadership (even when it isn’t).” (92)

“Our visual sense is the most persuasive of our fives senses, so using a real person whom we recognize, and can imagine, is a great technique.” (95)

“Below I rank for you the broad forms of persuasion by their relative power…
Big fear
Smaller fear
Word-thinking” (99)

“When you attack a person’s belief, the person under attack is more likely to harden his belief than to abandon it, even if your argument is airtight.” (106)

“Fear can be deeply persuasive. But not all fear-related persuasion is equal. To maximize your fear persuasion, follow these guidelines.
A big fear is more persuasive than a small one.
A personal fear is more persuasive than a generic national problem.
A fear that you think about most often is stronger than one you rarely think about.
A fear with a visual component is scarier than one without.
A fear you have experienced firsthand (such as a crime) is scarier than a statistic.” (114)

“It is easier to persuade people when they expect to be persuaded. If your persuasion skills are viewed as credible, people will persuade themselves that you can persuade them, and that makes everything easier.Credibility, of any sort, is persuasive.” (116)

“If you want to persuade use visual language and visual imagery. The difference in effectiveness is enormous.” (137)

“Participate in activities at which you excel compared with others. People’s impression of you as talented and capable compared with the average participant will spill over to the rest of your personal brand.” (147)

“In business, always present your ideas in the context of alternatives that are clearly worse. Don’t just sell your proposed solution; slime all the other options with badness.” (147)

“Always remember that people make decisions in the context of alternatives. If you aren’t framing the alternatives as bad, you are not persuading at all.” (147)

“When you associate any two ideas or images, people’s emotional reaction to them will start to merge over time.” (153)

“Humans put more importance on the first part of a sentence than the second part.” (159)

“Simplicity makes your ideas easy to understand, easy to remember, and easy to spread. You can be persuasive only when you are also memorable.” (201)

Liked the quotes? Click here to buy the book.

“How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big” Quotes

How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big CoverI recently read “How To Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind Of The Story Of My Life” by Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert). Below are the quotes I found most interesting. As always, if you like the quotes please buy the full book here.

“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” (3)

“Happiness is health plus freedom.” (3)

“Simplicity transforms ordinary into amazing.” (3)

“Making comics is a process by which you strip out the unnecessary noise from a situation until all that is left is the absurd-yet-true core.” (5)

“Good ideas have no value because the world already has too many of them. The market rewards execution, not ideas.” (17)

“For our purposes, let’s say a goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don’t sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, it’s a system. If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal.” (33)

“I figured my competitive edge was creativity. I would try one thing after another until something creative struck a chord with the public. Then I would reproduce it like crazy. In the near term it would mean one failure after another. In the long term I was creating a situation that would allow luck to find me.” (40)

“If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it.” (46)

“When you decide to be successful in a big way, it means you acknowledge the price and you’re willing to pay it. That price might be sacrificing your personal life to get good grades in school, pursuing a college major that is deadly boring but lucrative, putting off having kids, missing time with your family, or taking business risks that put you in jeopardy for embarrassment, divorce, or bankruptcy. Successful people don’t wish for success; they decide to pursue it. And to pursue it effectively, they need a system. Success always has a price, but the reality is that the price is negotiable. If you pick the right system, the price will be a lot nearer what you’re willing to pay.” (46)

“Let your ideas for the future rule your energy today. No matter what you want to do in life, higher energy will help you get there.” (67)

“It’s smarter to see your big-idea projects as part of a system to improve your energy, contacts, and sills. From that viewpoint, if you have a big, interesting project in the works, you’re a winner every time you wake up.” (67)

“I’m better than 99 percent of the world in Scrabble, Ping-Pong and tennis because I put in more practice time than 99 percent of the world. THere’s no magic to it.” (70)

“You shouldn’t hesitate to modify your perceptions to whatever makes you happy, because you’re probably wrong about the underlying nature of reality anyway.” (72)

“Every generation before us believed, like Snickers (my dog), that it had things figured out. We now know that every generation before us was wrong about a lot of it. Is it likely that you were born at the tipping point of history, in which humans know enough about reality to say we understand it? That is another case where humility is your friend. When you can release on your ego long enough to view your perceptions as incomplete or misleading, it gives you the freedom to imagine new and potentially more useful ways of looking at the world.” (72)

“Where there is a tolerance for risk, there is often talent.” (88)

“Things that will someday work out well start out well. Things that will never work start out bad and stay that way. What you rarely see is a stillborn failure that transmogrifies into a stellar success. Small successes can grow into big ones, but failures rarely grow into successes.” (88)

“The quality of the early products was a poor predictor of success. The predictor is that customers were clamoring for the bad versions of the product before the good versions were even invented.” (89)

“Bad luck doesn’t have the option of being that consistent forever.” (90)

“It’s generally true that if no one is excited about your art/product/idea in the beginning, they never will be.” (91)

“If your work inspires some excitement and some action from customers, get ready to chew through some walls. You might have something worth fighting for.” (91)

“You can raise your market value by being merely good – not extraordinary – at more than one skill.” (96)

“When I combined my meager business skills with my bad arts skills and y fairly ordinary writing talent, the mixture was powerful. With each new skill, my odds of success increased substantially.” (98)

“Recapping my skill set: I have poor art skills, mediocre business skills, good but not great writing talent, and an early knowledge of the Internet. And I have a good but not great sense of humor. I’m like one big mediocre soup. None of my skills are world-class, but when my mediocre skills are combined, they become a powerful market force.” (99)

“Everything you learn becomes a shortcut for understanding something else.” (99)

“I don’t read the news to find truth, as that would be a foolish waste of time. I read the news to broaden my exposure to new topics and patterns that make my brain more efficient in general and to enjoy myself, because learning interesting things increase my energy and makes me feel optimistic. Don’t think of the news as information. Think of it as a source of energy.” (100)

“You can’t directly control luck, but you can move from a game with low odds of success to a game with better odds.” (101)

“If you find yourself in a state of continual failure in your personal or business life, you might be blaming it on fate or karma or animal spirits or some other form of magic when the answer is simple math. THere’s usually a pattern, but it might be subtle. Don’t stop looking just because you don’t see the pattern in the first seven years.” (103)

“Today when I see a stage and a thousand people waiting to hear me speak, a little recording goes off in my head that says today is a good day. I’m the happiest person in the room. The audience only gets to listen, but I get to speak, to feel, to be fully alive. i will absorb their energy and turn it into something good. And when I’m done, there’s a 100 percent chance that people will say good things about me.” (106)

“Children are accustomed to a continual stream of criticisms and praise, but adults can go weeks without a compliment while enduring criticism both at work and at home. Adults are starved for a kind word. When you understand the power of honest praise (as opposed to bullshitting, flattery, and sucking up), you realize that withholding it borders on immoral. If you see something that impresses you, a descent respect to humanity insets you voice your praise.” (107)

“Dilbert was the first syndicated comic that focused primarily on the workplace. At the time there was nothing to compare it with. That allowed me to get away with bad artwork and immature writing until I could improve my skills to the not-so-embarrassing level.” (109)

“Quality is not an independent force in the universe; it depends on what you choose as your frame of reference.” (109)

“Animation shows take longer to “tune” than live action because the writers for animation can’t know what worked in a particular show until it is fully animated and too late to change.” (111)

“Success in anything usually means doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t, and for animated TV shows that means you don’t hit your pace until about the third season.” (111)

“i no longer see reason as the driver of behavior. I see simple cause and effect, similar to the way machines operate. If you believe people use reason for the important decisions in life, you will go through life feeling confused and frustrated that others have bad reasoning skills. The reality is that reason is just one of the drivers of our decisions, and often the smallest one.” (117)

“Politicians understand that reason will never have much of a role in voting decisions. A lie that makes a voter feel good is more effective than a hundred rational arguments. That’s even true when the voter knows the lie is a lie. If you’re perplexed at how society can tolerate politicians who lie so blatantly, you’re thinking of people as rational beings. That worldview is frustrating and limiting.” (117)

“View humans as moist machines that are simply responding to inputs with programmed outputs. No reasoning is involved beyond eliminating the most absurd options. Your reasoning can prevent you fro voting for a total imbecile, but it won’t stop you from supporting a half-wit with a great haircut.” (118)

“All you do is introduce yourself and ask questions until you find a point of mutual interest.
1. What’s your name?
2. Where do you live?
3. Do you have a family?
4. What do you do for a living?
5. Do you have any hobbies/sports?
6. Do you have any travel plans?” (123)

“The reality is that everyone is a basket case on the inside. Some people just hide it better.” (130)

“In most groups the craziest person is in control. It starts because no one wants the problems that comet rom pissing off a crazy person.” (140)

“The way fake insanity works in a negotiation is that you assign a greater value to some element of a deal than an objective observer would consider reasonable. For example, you might demand that a deal be closed before the holidays so you can announce it to your family as a holiday present.” (140)

“The biggest component of luck is timing. When the universe and I have been on a compatible schedule – entirely by chance – things have worked out swimmingly. When my timing has been off, no amount of hard work or talent has mattered.” (158)

I stayed in the game long enough for luck to find me.” (158)

“The success of Dilbert is mostly a story of luck. But I did make it easier for luck to find me, and I was thoroughly prepared when it did. Luck won’t give you a strategy or a system – you have to do that part yourself.” (160)

“I find it helpful to see the world as a slot machine that doesn’t ask you to put money in. All it asks is your time, focus, and energy to pull the handle over and over. A normal slot machine that requires money will bankrupt any player int he long run. But the machine that has rare yet certain payoffs, and asks for no money up front, is a guaranteed winner if you have what it takes to keep yanking until you get lucky. In that environment, you can fail 99 percent of the time, while knowing success is guaranteed. All you need to do is stay in the game long enough.” (160)

“Experts are right about 98 percent of the time on the easy stuff but only right 50 percent of the time on anything that is unusually complicated, mysterious, or even new.” (166)

“Simply find the people who most represent what you would like to become and spend as much time with them as you can without trespassing, kidnapping, or stalking. Their good habits and good energy will rub off on you.” (170)

“The single biggest trick for manipulating your happiness chemistry is being able to do what you want, when you want.” (173)

“You need to control the order and timing of things to be happy. It’s important to look at happiness in terms of timing because timing is easier to control than resources.” (173)

“Step one in your search for happiness is to continually work toward having control of your schedule.” (174)

“By any definition, what I’m doing is work, but because I can control the timing of it on this particular day, it doesn’t feel like work. I’ve transformed work into pleasure simply by having control over when I do it.” (174)

“Happiness is the natural state for most people whenever they feel healthy, have flexible schedules, and expect the future to be good.” (175)

“Recapping the happiness formula:
Eat right.
Get enough sleep.
Imagine an incredible future (even if you don’t believe it).
Work toward a flexible schedule.” (178)

“That’s what I call failing forward. Any time you learn something useful, you come out ahead.” (191)

“You’ll be surprised at how often a bad night of sleep leads to nonstop eating.” (195)

“in the long run, any system that depends on your willpower will fail. Or worse, some other part of your life will suffer as you focus your limited stockpile of willpower on fitness.” (207)

“My worldview is that all success is luck if you track it back to its source.” (218)

“If you think your odds of solving your problem are bad, don’t rule out the possibility that what is really happening is that you are bad at estimating odds.” (224)

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