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2018-01-18T17:57:08.001Z
0
{"feed":"Scott-Adams-Blog","feedTitle":"Scott Adams Blog","feedLink":"/feed/Scott-Adams-Blog","catTitle":"Fun","catLink":"/cat/fun"}

President Trump has delivered on a number of promises for his base. But there was an impressive amount of breakage along the way. You might say he President Trump did as much demolition as he did construction. The press is doing a good job of telling us what he accomplished in 2017. But they keep leaving out all the stuff he broke that probably needed to be broken. I’ll fix that for you here.

GOP – Trump broke the GOP and reconstructed it along his terms, successfully it seems.

DNC – The DNC has no charismatic leader, no game plan, and little money.

Clinton Dynasty – Done

Bush Dynasty – Done

Mainstream Media – The public learned that news coverage is based on bias as much as fact.

NFL – Ratings down, attendance down.

If President Trump were a large piece of construction equipment, which one would he be?

FBI (leadership) – The FBI as a whole is still highly credible, but the leadership is not.

Pundits – Nearly all the pundits were wrong about Trump’s nomination, election, and successful (by Republican standards) first year.

Government Regulations – For good or bad, we have fewer regulations now.

Hollywood – Big stars are alienating 40% of their potential audience whenever they take time off from groping.

North Korea – They used to have a pathetic but functioning economy. That situation is changing rapidly.

ISIS – Remember ISIS? They used to be a...

When candidate Trump first set about the job of redefining politics (and reality) back in 2015, people had lots of predictions about how things would turn out. One year isn’t long enough to know everything we need to know about his presidency, but it’s long enough to to check some of our predictions. As a public service, I put together a list of predictions that various people made about Trump that you can use to evaluate your own predictive powers. Count the number of items on the list that you once predicted would be true. I’ll tell you how to evaluate your score at the end.

Did you once believe…

Trump will never win the GOP nomination.

Trump will never win the presidency.

Stocks will drop if Trump is elected.

President Trump will deport ten million illegal immigrants.

Trump will be gone (impeached, jailed, or quit) by end of 2017.

Trump’s immigration ban on several Muslim countries will be found unconstitutional.

Trump colluded with Russia, and that’s a crime.

Trump obstructed justice (a crime) by firing Comey.

Trump’s skills as a “con man” might get him elected but it won’t transfer into doing the job of president.

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will cause huge problems.

Trump’s tweeting will cause huge problems.

GOP will never embrace Trump.

Trump will get nothing important done.

Trump will not work effectively with leaders of other countries.

GOP senators will vote against GOP priorities because of President Trump’s mean tweets.

Trump will not nominate qualified judges to the Supreme Court.

Trump is incompetent.

Presidential approval polls...

I thought I’d update my life story here. This was created in the WhenHub Studio at WhenHub.com. This is a nice gift idea for someone in your life. You can easily create a life story for someone you love. Share on social media or play to your TV on Christmas day with Apple TV or Google Chrome. Also good for New Year’s Eve parties — show the year in review.


The post Scott Adams’ Life Story Update appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

Crime is the base problem for a number of poor urban areas. Wherever you have high crime, you have trouble attracting employers. And without employment options, you end up with poverty, a low tax base to support schools, hopelessness, drug dealing, and the rest. So I thought I would share some ideas for reducing urban crime. The first idea comes from Black Lives Matters out of New York. I can’t judge this sort of idea from my suburban home in California, but I share it with you because it belongs in the conversation. There is a small experiment going on in part of Harlem that has drastically reduced violent gun crime. Police say the big difference is the number of illegal guns they took out of the neighborhoods in question, but they also credit a group called Street Corner Resources with “. . . a mix of adult education courses, connections to legal and housing help and free job placement programs that would result in positions that could pay $40 to $50 a day more than selling drugs.”

I think it’s always fair to be skeptical of success claims. But I like any plan that can be tested small and evaluated. This example fits that model perfectly. Ideally, we should have a dozen different programs running in different neighborhoods around the country to see which ones work best.

I’d also like to see a system in which senior citizens within a dangerous neighborhood can watch security camera videos of all...

One of the big changes in our national consciousness, thanks to President Trump, is that many of us are starting to see politics in terms of “deals.” We are also thinking about a growing economy. Compare that approach to the Obama/Bernie/Clinton worldview that is more about wealth transfer in a world of scarcity. For my purposes today, you don’t need to decide which approach is better. I only make the claim that we are more focused on the Art of the Deal than at any time in American politics. This is one of the many ways President Trump is in our heads.

And the deal-making mindset, along with some lucky coincidences, has created the greatest opportunity for improvement that the African-American community has seen in decades. At the same time, Republicans have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn a larger share of the black vote in 2018 and beyond. All we are missing is the right deal. Is there a potential deal that is good for President Trump and the GOP while also being good for BLM?

Yes. And it isn’t even hard.

I’ll get to that deal after some necessary context. (It’s worth your time.)

You probably remember that candidate Trump famously asked African-American voters during the campaign “What the hell do you have to lose?” It sounded like a weak offer when I first heard it. But combined with his deal-making approach to politics, you could also see it as an invitation to pitch some ideas. The door is open.

As we approach the holiday season there will be much debate on how President Trump has performed for his first calendar year. As a populist president, I think the best way to judge his performance is by focusing on the issues voters say are their top priorities. Pew Research polled voters to determine their political priorities for 2017. Let’s see how President Trump is doing so far on the top ten priorities according to the public.

Terrorism (76% rated top priority)

ISIS is on the run, thanks in part to President Trump’s loosening of the rules of military engagement, as well as pivoting from a Whack-a-Mole strategy to a total annihilation strategy with no withdrawal date. Both moves are good persuasion. And while President Trump’s “extreme vetting” is unpopular with many citizens, it has probably reduced risk to the homeland. And General Mattis is widely considered to be a strong hire.

     Grade: A

Economy (73% rated top priority)

I’ll give President Obama 75% credit for the strong economy. But I think consumer confidence and the stock market tell us there is optimism about the current administration. That confidence is buoyed by Trump’s reduction in regulations via executive orders, his tough talk on trade, and his persuasion toward a higher GDP that is already becoming self-fulfilling. If people believe the economy will be better next year than this year, they invest this year, thus making next year better. We might see something good come out of tax reform, but I don’t think...

Readers who pre-ordered my new book, Win Bigly, already got a copy of the bonus chapter that I offered with the pre-order. Now that the book is out, I thought I would include it here for the rest of you. The context is that I’m a trained hypnotist and people often ask me about the topic, so I thought I would answer the most common questions about it. This chapter is in the book, but publishing it here makes it easier to share.

For me, the biggest impact from learning hypnosis was recognizing that people are not rational creatures. We’re creatures who act irrationally and then rationalize our choices after the fact, at least for any decision involving emotion. Once you embrace this concept, the world is far easier to understand. But there are a number of other practical benefits to adding this skill to your talent stack. I’ll tell you a few below.

The Making of a Hypnotist

Hypnosis is a special form of persuasion, generally involving one hypnotist guiding one patient (or subject) toward some sort of personal improvement. You don’t need to be a trained hypnotist to be persuasive, but understanding what hypnosis can and cannot do is extraordinarily valuable. It can change your entire worldview. That’s what happened to me when I trained to be hypnotist. I once believed people use facts and reason to make decisions. When I disagreed with people, I assumed it was because I had different facts or better reasons.

That was an...

After the tragic terrorist attack yesterday in NYC (where I am now), leaders were quick to say it was an act of terror and the perpetrator was a coward. Both terms are persuasion mistakes. I’ll tell you why.

Terror is what the bad guys want. If we label the outcome as terror, we give them their win, and we remind the public to stay scared.

Calling a terrorist a coward might sound like a powerful insult, but it isn’t persuasive. No terrorist views sacrificing his life for his cause as cowardly. The word bounces right off. To make an impact, you have to use a word that has at least a grain of truth from your subject’s perspective. If your words can’t get a foothold, they are not persuasive.

President Trump — who is better at persuasion than almost anyone — labels these attackers “losers.” That’s a step in the right direction. And it also features Trump’s famous engineering for future confirmation bias. Every time ISIS loses territory they are reminded they are losers. That sinks in over time. People are more influenced by the direction of things than the current state. President Trump correctly persuades to the trend, so events support the label of loser. Neither “terrorist” nor “coward” persuades to the trend.

I think we can do better.

When a would-be terrorist considers his plans, he is probably 100% convinced that paradise awaits him, virgins and all. Our best counter-persuasion would involve injecting some doubt in that belief. Eternity is a long time to...

Today might be one of the biggest days of my life, and it will be impossible to explain why that is so unless you know at least a little bit about blockchain, dAPPS, cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, and the legal distinction between a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) and an ICO.

If those words look unfamiliar, one of the biggest technical revolutions the world has ever known is sneaking up on you. The folks in Silicon Valley — who live about three years in the future compared to the rest of the country — can’t stop talking about this topic. The smartest people in the Valley tell me blockchain will change nearly everything, and already is. It’s like “the Internet” before anyone had heard of the Internet. That’s how big it is.

One small example is that startups are raising funds by creating and selling their own digital “tokens” or “coins,” using blockchain technology, that serve as the payment mechanisms within their products. The tokens have an advantage over regular money in part because you can program simple rules for them using distributed apps, or dAPPS, to add function to your product. And blockchain brings its own set of advantages I’ll mention below.

In the case of WhenHub, a dAPP will trigger an automatic payment when certain conditions are met. The effect is to eliminate billing and invoicing efforts for micro-contracts while creating a distributed record of each transaction that is impervious to manipulation.

President Trump tweeted this morning:

 

And that causes Business Insider to run this headline:

 

 

 

 

 

But within minutes the publication pivoted to this headline:

 

 

 

 

Now the headline no longer says “crooked,” as in “Crooked Hillary.”

And that’s how you know President Trump is in your head.

 

Also, Win Bigly because of all the things.

Step 1: Get yourself one of these hats.

Step 2: Spray-paint the tips with black paint.

Step 3: Buy a pant suit wherever-the-hell Hillary Clinton shops.

Step 4: Smile like you just smoked a doobie and executed a close relative.

Step 5: Nailed it!

You might love pre-ordering my new book, Win Bigly, because you now have a costume for Halloween.

North Korea is building nukes and ICBMs to prevent the United States from attacking. Meanwhile, the United States does not want to attack North Korea. And yet we find ourselves at the brink of nuclear war while not actually having a root problem on which we disagree. They don’t want to be attacked and we don’t want to attack them. Doesn’t that seem solvable?

The problem, as I see it, is psychology more than weaponry. As long as North Korea sees the United States as a military threat, expect North Korea to keep upgrading their nuclear arsenal.

So what would it take to “reframe” the situation from two mortal enemies on the brink of war to something less dangerous?

Perhaps we should look at the same reframing strategy President Trump is using to apparent success with ISIS. The president reframed our involvement from temporary to permanent. Then he added a momentum change courtesy of General Mattis. Under President Obama, ISIS probably saw the U.S. military involvement as a temporary problem because that’s exactly how it was framed. Now they see it as permanent . . . and they observe themselves losing. The “permanent loser” frame is a different framing than before, and it might be the reason we see more surrenders. (Or we might be seeing more alleged surrenders because exaggerated reports of that type would be good persuasion too.)

At the moment, North Korea sees the economic sanctions as temporary. They also see our threats as temporary until they have full nuclear deterrent. The...

How did we get to a place where The President of the United States has historically low approval at the same time we have recent highs for consumer confidence?

Almost everything President Trump does has an impact on the economy, and on consumers. That includes national security, immigration, taxes, health care, budgets, treaties, government regulations, and international relations. If the public is optimistic about the economy, that is normally the same as having confidence in the president. At least on the big-ticket items.

The types of presidential actions that have lower impact on the economy include court appointments, opinions on confederate statues, NFL kneeling, transgenders in the military, birth control funding, unpresidential tweets, poorly-executed disavowals, hyperbole that fails the fact-checking, seemingly unnecessary political attacks, and all manner of obnoxious presidential behavior. The majority of citizens disapprove of President Trump on at least some of those topics.

I don’t think we’ve ever seen something like this before. A majority of citizens disapprove of President Trump while simultaneously having confidence he’ll get most of the big stuff right and the economy will reflect it.

During the 2016 campaign, my haters mocked me mercilessly on Twitter for predicting that a candidate with insanely low approval ratings could ever get elected president of the United States. I said it wouldn’t be the problem people thought it would be. And it wasn’t. Part of the reason is that Hillary Clinton also had low ratings. But I also suspected there were so-called shy Trump supporters who held private opinions...

For your Friday reading, first check out Politico’s excellent article by Michael Kruse on how the “Power of Positive Thinking” guru, Norman Vincent Peale, influenced President Trump’s approach to rewriting reality. Then see my Periscope where I tie together those thoughts and more. People on Twitter are saying it’s my best yet. You be the judge.

And remember to pre-order my book, Win Bigly, for even more on this topic including a bonus chapter about hypnosis only for the pre-order folks.

I’m pro-gun. I say that up front because your beliefs about my intentions will color how you see this post. My intention is to be objective. You can be the judge.

The Vegas gunman used bump stocks on semi-automatic rifles. Those were totally legal. They are also a poor choice of weapons, or so I am told by gun experts. In fact, they are so inaccurate at the distance involved in the Vegas incident that professional snipers say Paddock could have done more damage with a single-shot weapon and some aiming.

The gun experts I talked to (informally) also agree that the shooter would have killed more than a hundred additional people had he used a fully-automatic weapon. You can legally buy an automatic weapon that was made prior to 1986, for about $15-20K. The shooter was a millionaire, and he seemed to know a lot about guns. He would have known a fully-automatic rifle is designed to not jam the way his bump stock rifles did. He would have known they fire more bullets per second and more accurately. The death toll would have been much higher had the Vegas gunman used the right weapon.

He knew a fully automatic rifle would be more lethal than a bump stock rifle.

He was rich enough to afford the fully automatic weapon.

He had months to plan and prepare.

He was smart.

And yet he didn’t use a fully-automatic weapon in the attack.

The probable reason is that a fully-automatic weapon is harder to obtain and it...

After years of trying, I think I came up with an idea that nearly 100% of people would agree is a good one. Rare!

The idea is to create a national “dashboard” for citizens to track the progress of government. Imagine a website with a bunch of small graphs on it for each element of national interest, from gun deaths, to national debt, to stock market performance, to the number of people covered by health insurance, and more. Click any graph to see more information, including the legislation in the pipeline to address that area.

I’m imagining some semi-independent group managing the site, but the figures would mostly be generated by the government.

If you want to make something better, you have to measure where you are and how you are trending. Measurement is a base idea behind all management theory. The government already measures lots of stuff, but citizens don’t see it gathered in one place for an overall picture. And you can’t allocate resources until you see how all the topics are doing, because resources are limited. Every expenditure comes at the cost of not spending the same dollars elsewhere. A national dashboard would let everyone see the problem areas at the same time and in the same way.

I talk about this idea on Periscope here.

It might be a good idea to pre-order my new book, Win Bigly, at this special page, because you get a bonus chapter by email. You’ll like it.

I’m pro-gun, but mostly for selfish reasons. Some people (such as celebrities) are probably safer with defensive weapons nearby. But I acknowledge the reality that guns make people less safe in other situations. No two situations are alike. That’s partly why the issue can never be fully resolved. Both sides pretend they are arguing on principle, but neither side is. Both sides are arguing from their personal risk profiles, and those are simply different. Our risk profiles will never be the same across the entire population, so we will never agree on gun control.

That said, I want to call out the worst arguments I have seen on the issue of banning bump stocks. If you are new to the conversation, a bump stock is a $99 add-on to an AR rifle that turns it into an automatic-like weapon for greater kill power. The Vegas gunman used bump stocks. They are legal, whereas a fully automatic rifle is not.

Many pro-gun people in the debate seem to be confused about the purpose of laws in general. Laws are not designed to eliminate crime. Laws are designed to reduce crime. The most motivated criminals will always find a way, and law-abiding citizens will avoid causing trouble in the first place. Laws are only for the people in the middle who might — under certain situations — commit a crime. Any friction you introduce to that crowd has a statistical chance of making a difference.

Humans are lazy and stupid, on average. If...

After the tragic terrorist attack yesterday in NYC (where I am now), leaders were quick to say it was an act of terror and the perpetrator was a coward. Both terms are persuasion mistakes. I’ll tell you why.

Terror is what the bad guys want. If we label the outcome as terror, we give them their win, and we remind the public to stay scared.

Calling a terrorist a coward might sound like a powerful insult, but it isn’t persuasive. No terrorist views sacrificing his life for his cause as cowardly. The word bounces right off. To make an impact, you have to use a word that has at least a grain of truth from your subject’s perspective. If your words can’t get a foothold, they are not persuasive.

President Trump – who is better at persuasion than almost anyone – labels these attackers “losers.” That’s a step in the right direction. And it also features Trump’s famous engineering for future confirmation bias. Every time ISIS loses territory they are reminded they are losers. That sinks in over time. People are more influenced by the direction of things than the current state. President Trump correctly persuades to the trend, so events support the label of loser. Neither “terrorist” nor “coward” persuades to the trend.

I think we can do better. 

When a would-be terrorist considers his plans, he is probably 100% convinced that paradise awaits him, virgins and all. Our best counter-persuasion would involve injecting some doubt in that belief. Eternity is a long time...

How did we get to a place where The President of the United States has historically low approval at the same time we have recent highs for consumer confidence?

Almost everything President Trump does has an impact on the economy, and on consumers. That includes national security, immigration, taxes, health care, budgets, treaties, government regulations, and international relations. If the public is optimistic about the economy, that is normally the same as having confidence in the president. At least on the big-ticket items.

The types of presidential actions that have lower impact on the economy include court appointments, opinions on confederate statues, NFL kneeling, transgenders in the military, birth control funding, unpresidential tweets, poorly-executed disavowals, hyperbole that fails the fact-checking, seemingly unnecessary political attacks, and all manner of obnoxious presidential behavior. The majority of citizens disapprove of President Trump on at least some of those topics.

I don’t think we’ve ever seen something like this before. A majority of citizens disapprove of President Trump while simultaneously having confidence he’ll get most of the big stuff right and the economy will reflect it.

During the 2016 campaign, my haters mocked me mercilessly on Twitter for predicting that a candidate with insanely low approval ratings could ever get elected president of the United States. I said it wouldn’t be the problem people thought it would be. And it wasn’t. Part of the reason is that Hillary Clinton also had low ratings. But I also suspected there were so-called shy Trump supporters who held private...

For your Friday reading, first check out Politico’s excellent article by Michael Kruse on how the “Power of Positive Thinking” guru, Norman Vincent Peale, influenced President Trump’s approach to rewriting reality. Then see my Periscope where I tie together those thoughts and more. People on Twitter are saying it’s my best yet. You be the judge.

And remember to pre-order my book, Win Bigly, for even more on this topic including a bonus chapter about hypnosis only for the pre-order folks.