syrakusos

Book Review: Scott Adams's "Win Bigly"

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Searching the site, I see that MSK and others have been following Scott Adams's tweets for several years. Also, MSK and others know this book. However, no review has been put up here.

Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter by Scott Adams (Penguin, 2017) is a tribute to Donald Trump. It is also a tribute to Scott Adams. The author of Dilbert has been popular online for decades; and he had tens of thousands of readers when, back on August 13, 2015, he began predicting Donald Trump’s victory. Throughout the book, Adams gives himself a lot of credit for that. Adams calls Trump a Master Persuader (in capitals). Trump won because facts do not matter. People make up their minds based on emotion and then cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias provide them with “reasons” to justify their choices. Adams says that Trump could have run on any platform, even Bernie Sanders’.

One of Trump’s most successful tactics as a Master Persuader is intentional wrongness. He makes a grandiose claim, such as building a wall along the border. People point out the errors. He might modify his position – he does that often – but it remains that he has framed the discussion, defined the terms, tilted the debate in his favor. Everyone talks about what he wants them to talk about. The border wall, banning Muslims, global warming, Syria, North Korea, whatever the issue of the moment, Trump made huge statements that grabbed headlines, then slowly shifted away from the hardline stance, often to no specific proposals at all. All the while, everyone talked about what Donald Trump told them to talk about.

Another way that Trump achieves that control and neutralizes his opponents is by flooding the news. He issues so many statements in so many media and so often provocative that news agencies can only report them all and yet be unable to actually focus on any one or a few of them. He did this in the campaign and it made him the most newsworthy candidate in the race.

Among the many failed strategies of the Democrats was their campaign called “imagine President Trump.” It was supposed to turn people against him, of course. People who consumed news were supposed to be shocked and disgusted by the picture and thereby vote for Hillary Clinton. In fact, all the Democrats achieved was to plant the vision of President Trump in millions of people. The Democrats did Trump’s selling for him. “Love Trumps hate” was another failed campaign slogan. All it said was “Love Trump…” And apparently, very many people do.

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Adams says that Trump could have run on any platform, even Bernie Sanders’.

If Adams says that then he’s an idiot.

Yaron Brook is right – by his own perverted standards which made him prefer Hillary Clinton to Trump for president – to say that he fears the American people.  They voted for Trump because Trump said he would deport illegal aliens and curtail immigration.  This is what most Americans want.  (Trump has been a let-down in some respects but at least he’s not Hillary.)

Mark
ARIwatch.com

 

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Michael,

I've read this book. Maybe I will do a review later.

One has to be careful with it, though. Scott is speaking from a persuasion perspective only. So when he says facts do not matter, he is not making a metaphysical or even broad epistemological statement. He is talking about persuasion, which I suppose, could be considered a subcategory of epistemology.

In other words, facts do not matter when persuading large groups of people short-term. That is more accurate. (Hell, think of Obama's election. :) )

He makes a great point that two different people can look at the same facts at the same time and place, and there can be two opposite movies running in their respective minds about what those facts are and what they mean.

He doesn't go much into how such belief systems (or core story models) are created or evolve, though.

More coming...

Michael

 

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Speaking of Yaron Brook, did anyone see that he is now raising money on Patreon to support his show on the Blaze (Glenn Beck's network)?  He must be in need of a lot of money because if you contribute a large amount per month (I forget how much) you can speak to him for 15 minutes a month.

Did the ARI enter into a contract with the Blaze to air the show?

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3 hours ago, Neil Parille said:

Speaking of Yaron Brook, did anyone see that he is now raising money on Patreon to support his show on the Blaze (Glenn Beck's network)?  He must be in need of a lot of money because if you contribute a large amount per month (I forget how much) you can speak to him for 15 minutes a month.

Did the ARI enter into a contract with the Blaze to air the show?

Brook is not a good person or even a sincere Objectivist.

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1 hour ago, Jon Letendre said:

Brook is not a good person or even a sincere Objectivist.

Would you mind running that by me again? I didn't hear you right. It sounded like Brook is not a good person or even a sincere Objectivist.

 

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1 hour ago, jts said:

Would you mind running that by me again? I didn't hear you right. It sounded like Brook is not a good person or even a sincere Objectivist.

 

He is globalist cabal, he was sent to infiltrate ARI and neuter it.

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On 12/22/2017 at 3:32 PM, Mark said:

If Adams says that then he’s an idiot.

... Trump said he would deport illegal aliens and curtail immigration.  This is what most Americans want.  (Trump has been a let-down in some respects but at least he’s not Hillary.)

You seem not to understand the point. Donald Trump said those things because people felt them. He could have had almost the same message, maybe exactly the same just spun differently, and run as a Democrat. He is an entrepreneur. I believe that Donald Trump sized up the markets and the demands within them and chose to tap the buyers (voters) along the right wing populist spectrum. Toward the end of the campaign, Michael Moore gave a speech that identified this and seemed to support it right up until the close. So, I agree that Donald Trump could have said almost the very same things and won as a Democrat. But that market was already dominated by Hillary Clinton. So, he played to a market with weaker competition. He also brought in more votes by selling to consumers who otherwise would not have bought any of the existing products. But I believe that Donald Trump is no more emotionally tied to immigration or national defense or global warming than he is to a particular hotel or golf course.

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30 minutes ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Hmm. With microsurgery?

Her books still dominate a shelf and half at every bookstore, 60+ years after publication and 35 years after her death. They would be right to see a threat.

Done right, ARI could be something by now. So they sent in Brook to bastardize evevery idea and turn every genuinely Randish person away so it couldn’t become a genuine, central, rallying org.

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Trump would not have won running on any old platform.

He was recruited to run by a decades-old Alliance, international in scope, that is now dismantling the cabal that had so deeply infected and nearly took total control over the world.

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On 12/24/2017 at 1:38 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Michael,

I've read this book. Maybe I will do a review later.

Promises promises...  

I accept that Donald Trump does not drive his car as if facts do not matter. But Adams's point and Trump's success are based on the truth that in the world of public opinion, facts do not matter.  People  respond from the heart and find "facts" that fit their needs. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias provide the "facts."  Sometimes they are "alterntative facts" of some kind.  As Kellyann Conway belatedly pointed out "2+2=4; 3+1=4; glass half full; glass half empty." Often the alleged facts are just inventions and fantasies.

Generally, pilots are as easy-going and friendly folk as you can find. It is hard to rile them up. It is because aviation is a very consequential application of science and mathematics. Electoral politics is the opposite of that.

 

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On 12/22/2017 at 2:32 PM, Mark said:

If Adams says that then he’s an idiot.

Yaron Brook is right – by his own perverted standards which made him prefer Hillary Clinton to Trump for president – to say that he fears the American people.  They voted for Trump because Trump said he would deport illegal aliens and curtail immigration.  This is what most Americans want.  (Trump has been a let-down in some respects but at least he’s not Hillary.)

Mark
ARIwatch.com

 

I think they voted for him to “drain the swamp.”

They sensed, for years, that something was very wrong and it was very big.

They noticed that every public person was withholding and speaking nonsense and acting, well, just fucking deranged.

He was the first person to say that out loud, over and over.

And it made all the right monsters hate him and say ludicrous things about him.

And that’s how we knew he was the right guy.

2018 is going to be truly glorious, starting right away.

Much will become clear soon, watch.

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Mattis visited Guantanamo two weeks ago.

An AZ National Guard military police unit was called up to go to Guantanamo, some left yesterday.

Lots of big corporate CEO resignations.

Very long list of politicians who just aren’t into Washington anymore, have announced not going to seek re-election.

One big news story we will see over and over in the new year will be the strange outbreak of public figures committing suicide. 

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16 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

I think they voted for him to “drain the swamp.”

That too! LOL.

I consider conspiracy theories on their merits and enjoy analyzing them.  I think Jon L’s theory (Brook as change agent) makes a good and revealing satire (one I’d thought of myself as a matter of fact) but as the real thing there are too many problems – even if in effect he might as well be exactly that.  For one thing Peikoff, Binswanger, all the old guard, are on board with Brook.  ARI Watch quotes Peikoff praising Brook to the skies (see the article “Leonard Peikoff on Yaron Brook and Immigration”):

“... we at the Ayn Rand Institute are doing what we can to spread some better ideas. Dr. Yaron Brook alone, its executive director – sitting right there – in the last six months has been interviewed on 59 radio and television programs and in the press, and has given 31 speeches to groups large and small, trying to get the word out. But no one man even he, no one institute, can change the world.”

When Peikoff was asked about Ron Paul in 2012 and Trump in 2016 he referred the question to Brook.  When in 2013 Peikoff had a momentary lapse of sanity about immigration, he more or less reversed himself during a public discussion with Brook. 

[Added: To change the subject ...]

You can forget Peikoff. There’s no one in the ARI orbit to salvage ARI.  The best that can be hoped for is that it sinks from lack of interest.

I don’t think it will go down for financial reasons.  Its top three donors have very deep pockets.  Carl Barney, the Koch Brothers, John Allison might choose to keep it afloat even when no one is listening any more.

About the Adams book, not having read it I must go by Syrakusos’s account, that in 2016 Trump could have run on any platform and still have won.  A platform is not a party it is a set of policies.  If Trump had run on a platform of open borders, come voting day the people Yaron Brook sneers at as “the rust belt” would have stayed home and Hillary would have won, not Trump.  All this is obvious.  

Trump is an amazing communicator and persuader.  Leave it at that instead of exaggerating to absurdity.

 

Edited by Mark
noted change of subject

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Before Trump, the image of the GOP were people like McCain or Romney--boring, old, having money, and trying to be statesmen.  The GOP needed something to revitalize it, its ideas, its image.  I remember listening to Hannity's radio show well before 2016 and him saying this.  Well Trump completely changed that.  He blasted on the scene, injected energy into an old, boring, failing political party, and had some ideas of his own.  Of course Trump isn't the GOP, it's come to be known as Trumpism now, but the GOP will never be the same again.  And Hannity seems to be happy.

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

That too! LOL.

I consider conspiracy theories on their merits and enjoy analyzing them.  I think Jon L’s theory (Brook as change agent) makes a good and revealing satire (one I’d thought of myself as a matter of fact) but as the real thing there are too many problems – even if in effect he might as well be exactly that.  For one thing Peikoff, Binswanger, all the old guard, are on board with Brook.  ARI Watch quotes Peikoff praising Brook to the skies (see the article “Leonard Peikoff on Yaron Brook and Immigration”):

“... we at the Ayn Rand Institute are doing what we can to spread some better ideas. Dr. Yaron Brook alone, its executive director – sitting right there – in the last six months has been interviewed on 59 radio and television programs and in the press, and has given 31 speeches to groups large and small, trying to get the word out. But no one man even he, no one institute, can change the world.”

When Peikoff was asked about Ron Paul in 2012 and Trump in 2016 he referred the question to Brook.  When in 2013 Peikoff had a momentary lapse of sanity about immigration, he more or less reversed himself during a public discussion with Brook.  You can forget Peikoff.

There’s no one in the ARI orbit to salvage ARI.  The best that can be hoped for is that it sinks from lack of interest.

I don’t think it will go down for financial reasons.  Its top three donors have very deep pockets.  Carl Barney, the Koch Brothers, John Allison might choose to keep it afloat even when no one is listening any more.

About the Adams book, not having read it I must go by Syrakusos’s account, that in 2016 Trump could have run on any platform and still have won.  A platform is not a party it is a set of policies.  If Trump had run on a platform of open borders, come voting day the people Yaron Brook sneers at as “the rust belt” would have stayed home and Hillary would have won, not Trump.  All this is obvious.  

Trump is an amazing communicator and persuader.  Leave it at that instead of exaggerating to absurdity.

 

I disagree that the old guard approval poses a problem for the theory. A theory of this sort presupposes an offer that could neither be refused nor complained about.

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2 hours ago, Mark said:

Trump is an amazing communicator and persuader.  Leave it at that instead of exaggerating to absurdity.

Mark,

Once you get Scott Adams, you will see that "exaggerating to absurdity" is often used for persuasion, not for communicating real facts or plausibilities.

Scott is selling the idea of how important persuasion is. Why? Because that is what his book is about.

Some of his statements are marketing and nothing more.

:)

Michael

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1 hour ago, Jon Letendre said:

I disagree that the old guard approval poses a problem for the theory. A theory of this sort presupposes an offer that could neither be refused nor complained about.

Jon,

I agree with this. (Oddly enough, I agree with Mark's wider point, too, about ARI being the play-thing of billionaire donors with an agenda.)

Was Brook sent to infiltrate ARI? Maybe. But sent by who? Soros? One world government bankers? Cronies? On the other hand, it might have been a personal goal or a thing about unspoken expectations among ruling class insiders (and he belongs to that club, although probably with not as much status as he would like to have). One thing is for sure. From everything I have seen, Brook is a globalist. And just because he had an easy time of charming the ARI old guard, that doesn't make him less of a globalist. I think he had smooth going at ARI because conceit and snobbism are easy-peasy to channel into to an elitist globalist ruling class mindset--one where the new adherents can still be "rugged individualists" in name only. :) 

There are many among the O-Land elite who talk a good game, but they don't appear to know the difference between rational egoism and vanity when you look at what they do.

Michael

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2 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

I just read Mark’s http://ariwatch.com/WhoIsCarlBarney.htm

Holy shit.

Jon,

There has to be a way to package this info correctly so that relevant people (parties interested in Ayn Rand in general) become aware of it.

I thought this would make a splash when Mark put it together, but so far, it only gets sporadic reactions like yours.

Michael

 

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7 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jon,

There has to be a way to package this info correctly so that relevant people (parties interested in Ayn Rand in general) become aware of it.

I thought this would make a splash when Mark put it together, but so far, it only gets sporadic reactions like yours.

Michael

 

Agreed.

I recall a period when I heard Peikoff was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

Does anyone else recall that? I cannot recall now exactly which year people were talking about it.

I was an ARI affiliated campus club President through early ‘90s, and I think it was starting at the end of that period. A few of us heard it from the old guard campus speech-givers ARI sent us. It was not put together with anything else, no dispute named, just “he’s getting death threats. So he bought a vest.”

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On 12/30/2017 at 10:18 AM, Neil Parille said:

Speaking of Yaron Brook

I thought it was, Yawon Bwook. That's the way he says it.

First time I heard him I thought it was Mel Brooks.

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