« Coffee With Scott Adams

Episode 311 Scott Adams: Morality Halfpinions, CNN Mind-Reading, Fiction, and Fires

2018-11-21 | 🔗


  • President Trump is willing to take the heat for our greater good
  • Fiction readers calling me dumb
  • The news “temperature” doesn’t change, regardless of the news
    • Big news slows or stops during the holidays
    • The news will seek to make little stories into big stories
    • Watch for mind reading and weird speculation

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The post Episode 311 Scott Adams: Morality Halfpinions, CNN Mind-Reading, Fiction, and Fires appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For them put them up. My bum bum bum, bum, bum, hey everybody, Saint Nicholas Duncan, come on in here. You know what time it is. I think you do it's time for Coffee with Scott Adams and while you're getting in here, I'm going to reverse my camera and show you a little good news from the outside world. If you've been following my periscopes, you know I've been showing you external views of how smoke there is I I'm about one hundred and fifty miles sort of more from the closest of the big fires in California, but until recently the hills which you see here very clearly were invisible. So this is the first day in over a week at least that those hills are visible and, as you can see, they're not that far away, so we have
I've been able to go outside because everything everything beyond this tree level to see the trees that are close, everything beyond that was a complete wide open till today, or Good news and apparently good work by the firefighters, maybe some rain, coming on Thanksgiving. So that's all good news Yeah the fires are still burning, is my understanding, but at least the biggest part of this smoke danger, where I live, is as fast. Okay, let's talk about CNN's, mind, reading the big story on CNN. Is that the president? wanted the Justice Department to investigate Clinton and he wanted Comi fired now
whatever you see a story about anonymous anonymous sources. Telling you what the president was thinking. How much Nobody should you put in How much credibility should you put? I just saw something funny go by in the comments how much credibility. should you put in a report by name sources who, familiar with the president's internal thoughts, how 'bout none if you've never been interviewed or the subject of the new It's easy to look at a story like that and say well yeah, people who know him say what that he wanted to do x. Now, it's entirely possible. that that's exactly what he was thinking and exactly what he wanted, but Let me tell you how easily this could be misreported so suppose
president, is talking about all the things going on all the attacks against him and suppose he says to his aides. Well, maybe we should just uh, you know indict Hillary and I'd call me if they're, if they're going to play this way, we should maybe we should play this too. What do you think and then is that his aides say no Miss President. That's a bad idea, don't do for the following reasons and then the President okay and then he doesn't do it. now the way I told it does that sound like a story. That just sounds like the way people talk behind closed doors If you put me in that situation, do you think at least once I would have asked the question: hey: do you think we should go after Hillary or go after call me because the things were going after them appear to me stronger than the reasons that people are coming after me? Should we consider that and then people
I know, and then I go ok. I heard you reasons, so I won't do it and, as we can see, he didn't do it so you once this is reported by CNN, is morphs a little bit. 'cause you're, not in the room, So here's one of the most important things about communication that you can understand. Things that you say at a rally in the context of Un the crowd, are different than what you would say at a press conference and are different from what you would say in what you think is going to be a private meeting among your staff, so the you talk in. Each of these contacts is quite different because it's a different audience that it will be received a different way What CNN is doing- and this is a clever trick- they're taking a private car- station and they're moving it to the public. Just the very.
after doing that alone should make the sound wrong. Does it it does they moved it from the private context. Where it didn't mean much of anything is just one of the one thousand ideas that people kicked around and decided not to act on Suppose we had suppose we had a full First of all, the things that the president suggested you know said hey what about this and all things that his aides had suggested and then I did not to do don't you think. That's a big list. All the things. they kicked around and then they said, ok, there's a good reason. We can't do that, so we won't do it. so was CNN is done, is a little sleight of hand that you don't recognize if you're not doing communication for a living, they took a private conversation, they moved it to another domain, acting like it's like, as if it were public
and then it's all wrong. That's easy to do if you are moving the context from one to another. another thing there, here's an opinion piece, I haven't read the apple of the click on it called our fragile president, buy a one one of the president's usual critics. So now now somebody is reading the president's mind. And they've decided that, instead of him being a counter puncher in a tough guy that he's mentally fragile. how exactly do you know that because all of the evidence is that he has the toughest mentality. I've ever seen. Take, for example, the saudi situation Do you think the president was unaware them? Do you think the president was unaware. That there would be enormous, pushback
about the morality of going Softon, Saudi Arabia. Of course, he knew that he did it anyway. Yeah. So why did the President choose what anyway, any normal person would have known so I'm not reading his mind. I'm just saying something that anybody would have known. anybody would have known that his push back for the Saudi Arabia statement would be huge, but he did. anyway right. Is that what you do if you're, trying to, if you're fragile, do fragile people intentionally take in public the hardest choice? That will be criticized. Most they kinda, don't. That would be irrational thing to do if you are fragile and you were just looking out for yourself- the see. This thing that the president could have done is,
I agree with every other freaking person in the world. That's what I fragile person does I'll just go along with the crowd. What the president did was decided that he could take the heat, so the present ' is like in Jesus like a Jesus dying for our sins worst analogy: ever I'm not trying to persuade you hear of tried to make a point. The president, Is saying fairly directly, I realize how bad this looks going to take it all personally, so they with the country you the rest of the country. can retain your moral standing. Think about it. The president has allowed everyone else in the country to
Nineteen, their moral standing by criticizing him and they would maintain their moral standing. He doesn't. He gives up everything for the country. So he is the a moral one, but he's also making the adult leadership decision that how do we get to a place where the citizens of the country can keep their moral standard, as as they are because citizens are, are hopping mad right. The citizens are saying no, no, we're moral people. We cannot condone this and they're, saying it loudly publicly they're saying in their in every publication. You know, but both the left and the right. It's the most unifying thing I've seen lately, which is the entire country
say no, we are moral people we are above this. The president is created a solution where he alone will die for this decision. Now, it's sort of a hopefully eight, a temporary political death, meaning that he's taking all the heat. The Jesus analogy is not meant to persuade I'm just making an example of somebody who who sacrifices so one of the tests of whether your analogy is useless or useful. It's useful to describe a new concept and if you could describe the same concept without the analogy as I just did it's a person taking uh sacrifice for the greater good. Then the analogy is just a short. If I was doing it 'cause. I wanted you to think Trump was Jesus. That's probably not my best play alright. So.
so Sowal wall. Everybody gets to exercise their moral indignation and by the way I haven't done this yet. So I would like to join in with the rest of the country and say my god: I don't want to be associated with the More of a journalist, that's the worst: Moral thing I've seen in ten minutes, it's a pretty immoral world. So there are lots of examples. So I would like to join, With everyone in the United States, except our president, everyone, Gonna, join with everyone with everyone in the United States, except I am I'm going to oppose him with my straw. moral fiber, and I really do I I'm not even kidding about that from a moral perspective, Bing, nice to somebody who bone sawed his critic,
no way you can defend that it's indefensible on a moral level on a practical level on a self interest level on a strategic level, it's really easy to defend, those levels it's really easy to defend, but only one person is going to take that heat and luckily it's not you and it's not Maine. Just the president. He is decided to take the adult decision. Now I have referred to the his critics on this as taking the child, the child position, The child position is look at all these complicated variables. There's only one that matters, that's what children do. They look at a complicated situation and say I want candy, but it's dinner time, it's bad for you that free health is bad in the long run by one candy
As the child's view, so the child's view on Saudi Arabia's, we can't work with the Saudis they killed, the guy, that's a moral. We can't can't be on this side. I want, They're, leaving out All of the other complexities of the middle east- it's not adult thinking, but luckily there is exactly one adult and as luck would have it he's in charge, so he got that going for you um. I would also suggest that those who are saying that the United, say it is what it is. You know the the most powerful nation, because This is our moral fiber. May not have a good understanding of history. I would go so far as to say
that the reason the United States it is as powerful and as strong as it is, who might be closer to yeah the immoral things we've done. Take, for example, the United States stolen from the native Americans, who we murdered and and gave diseases to it and everything else. Not we. I wasn't there. But the United States is not exactly we built on a moral base, but in its defense in his defense, the christian ethic is a strong unifying thing for individuals and for business. Christianity is really good for business because you know if too serious Chris Tions get in the room to negotiate. They have. They have far higher. feeling that the other one will do the right thing so there's nothing
better! You can do for an economy, then dump a bunch of Christians in one place and say. All right, all you Christians, figure out how to make some money Christians. really good at that, and one of the superpowers is that because they share a belief It's like God is watching him there a little more likely, maybe a lot more likely to not cheat, even if maybe they could so Chrissy Entity is super useful for capitalism. Those two things just fit together really well, but I think it's a mistake to say that the United States got so strong Because of our strong moral fiber, that's wrong. Moral fiber helps a lot and individuals. But a national level. We did some, we did some bad
things to get where we are, such as stealing the land from the native Americans. Just to pick one example right yeah, you can go through your own examples of terrible things the United States has done which doesn't make the United States terrible. You know the country doesn't always follow the moral path Alright, I got myself into a weird little pickle with a periscope in which I talked about a hypothesis. The people who read the most fiction might be primed for confirmation bias, because when you read and everything in the story has meaning every clue means something to the story but in the real world. It's just coincidence. So if
if you're used to seeing lots of coincidences. The next coincidence, you see, you can say well, there's another coincidence doesn't mean anything. But if you read fiction all the time, then this is just a hypothesis. I'm not claiming there's any proof of the hypothesis is that your mind would be primed to see any kind of anecdotal. Duration as meaningful, because anecdotal situations are meaningful infection so I said that, but I used a bad chart in which I also threw in another concept about the likelihood that your major was part of it, and if you looked at the chart it looked like, I was saying, which I was not saying it looked like. I was saying that that Republicans are more likely to be the scientists. In fact, that's obviously the opposite Most scientists only left, so a lot of people who are and here's the funny part the people who complain
and and are getting on main, like on the dumbest guy who ever lived. Are the people who didn't understand the points elbow? you. Almost all of them are fiction readers. Another words. I made a point that fiction. Readers are more likely to draw conclusions from a few clues. Then maybe a scientist would the scientist would say yeah the clues point in one direction, but that doesn't mean anything. Gotta go look at all the clues. You got to put it in context. You put it got to put it in a controlled study, just the fact that it looks like it leans in one direction, really doesn't tell you anything, so I ended up proving my point by causing a whole bunch of people to think I'm really stupid. Wasn't exactly the plan, but his humorous just the same all right.
so somebody's doing here. So somebody saying arm Scott well, let me see if I can make that come back used to be able to scroll back these comments. I was gonna, make fun of somebody here, but I lost the exact comment. Correlation doesn't mean causation, so. Right, I said most scientists don't lean left now. If you were going to test my hypothesis as opposed to the one you think I said my hypothesis is that among scientists,
Once you read, the most fiction would be the most susceptible to being fooled by anecdotal, non scientific information, so you'd have to look at that class and say alright within scientists Some of them read a lot of fiction. Some don't is there a difference, and my hypothesis is that there would be now the question of. Why are most scientists? Also Democrats, that could be explained by a lot of different things, could be a socioeconomic factors which cause you to go to college. In the first place it could be. It could be that most professors are in an environment where all the other professors tend to be liberal, so that overtime, even the even the scientists become liberal, at least the professors do. So it's very possible
That the scientist being a minority of any college situation, that those professors and up over time becoming liberals and then there are training people to the same point of view 'cause, if you're a liberal, professor you're, going to say everybody who doesn't believe in climate science models which are not science but that's another story must be a bunch of dumb Republicans, so it does make sense because we're not talking about one variable, controlling everything in the world that among scientists, because they're in a big environment, in which they are the minority, and most of them are liberal overtime. Most most you'd expect that most scientists,
universities would be liberal and therefore they would be raising more liberal scientist? So that's a an entirely different set of factors than what I was talking about, which is, if you read too much friction you're, probably primes you because everything you do, prime, should it shouldn't be the exception. It would be strange if it's the exception now Section reading scientist think outside the box, the better to that might be true. I would not. I would not doubt that of it. And by the way, if you ever meet a Republican or a conservative scientist, they will tell you that they keep their head down
I think they will tell you that they don't talk about their views too much in public. I have had that experience of talking to a conservative scientist and it was fascinating to hear his opinion uh. Somebody says: that's me, I don't talk about it. All right, I'm now we're also entering the holiday faces and during the holiday phase. I would draw your attention to the following phenomenon. Have you noticed That's the news, and it doesn't matter which side of the news you're talking about the news tends to have a certain. Let's say: temperature. Which is uh things are things are going wrong? There's problems, there's problems at that temperature doesn't seem to change even as the news changes have, you noticed that have you noticed that
whatever news there is. If, if, if you had news, let's say Nuclear war risk or terror attacks. You know that on a scale of one to ten, those things would be, let's say a ten and of how excited to your your treatment of it should be But the the excitement stays the same, no matter what stories are showing showing the news. So what you should expect is that over the holidays, the Big news slows down or stops. In other words, we shouldn't see much in the way of actual big news on x six weeks, what the news business will still keep you ratcheted up to attend. So what you should see is small issues that are being promoted like their big issues. So you should see in the next six weeks, especially from CNN. tons of mind, reading stories and tons of,
watch how many unnamed sources are behind the biggest stories. so when you have a real news and real big problems, you talk about them, but if you don't the real news and we're not going to have it for six weeks or so. If it's typical, then you should see things like Ivanka's email becoming the biggest problem in the world. You should things like the president's treatment of Saudi Arabia, which, if you think about it, is uh. Small problem, though, that the news business has decided to make a big problem, because Bad people are killing people all the time and we're still doing business with them. It's sort of business as usual. So if you take a look at China, for example, they are? Apparently putting their there
muslim minority population in concentration camps. Think about that We deal with China and and it is literally rounding up their muslim population and putting them in concentration camps. The thing is, I agree you I ag you h, r stuff, like that: the Uyghur population there I think ethnic Turks, maybe under a few million of them, but they're actually, there's. Basically, you know the the first step toward ethnic cleansing and China. We do more business with an anybody. Don't so it is. You always have to keep things in can't
next, so you're going to see things that are naturally small. Look like they're the biggest problem in the world in the next six weeks and then at the end of six weeks at the end of six weeks, we'll just stop talking about the things that were well? There was an anonymous source who said the president was angry about something we think the in his interior thoughts. He had a bad thought. We believe that he's not considering all the variables because we're, in his mind and it's not what we would have done. We have one slash two pinion about doing this, because we're going to ignore all the other variables and just look at this one, because that's what makes it news. Otherwise, it wouldn't be news if you put it in context that so you're going to see nothing but fake news. Half Ians, mind, reading and and also the other one is weird speculation about the future. So, for example,
I'm sitting this week, if we give up our moral leadership because of this just show, you saying then Then everything will fall apart, to which I say I don't see any connecting tissue What how does that argument work? Can you fill in some details? if we give up our moral leadership on this one thing, the Middle EAST will start acting differently have you met the Middle EAST as anybody met the Middle EAST. I tell you one thing: don't care about one person getting killed. If there's anything they care less about in the Middle EAST, is one person got killed, big if they were caring about that, they wouldn't have time to do anything else. 'cause. You know how often one person gets killed for some evil political, religious reason in the Middle EAST, it's yeah.
if you can hear the here the ticker it would be like click, click, click, click, click, that's all the people getting killed for terrible reasons in the Middle EAST right now. Click click, click, click, click, click, click to show he was just one who got a lot of attention so which is not to minimize the brutality and horror of it. I'm just saying that God gotta see these things in context. uhm yeah. As somebody noted here, I have a very tough holiday season coming up. if you've, never had a family or died before the holidays. I don't recommend it because, because next six weeks are going to be tough for me but I'll, but I'll get through it.
Read Gordon Chang on Shannon here, Gordon Jennings, my favorite go to guy for that region. Well, thank you. Everybody here also nice, but the Sentinel China will be sorry and of the Th K hm sure shogi is pronounced like or
aspin cough that sounds about right, all right. What I really didn't. I appreciate all your good thoughts. They do mean a lot to me and I think I'm done for today. Somebody to somebody keeps us saying in the comments I'm going to mention that the somebody's trying to come up with a nickname for Kamal Harris and somebody is suggesting Kowalik Amala. What do you call a bear? I think that's funny, because a Koala bear they're sort of famous for being the most useless animal. The most useless animal can't even take care of itself. You know if you didn't freedoms starve to death, the the other slow, like cool, all the better. I can barely move it's funny
but it's not nearly as weaponized as the word cold, cold you're not going to beat. I don't think I don't think you're going to beat that word as a kill shot. Alright, that's enough for now I'll talk to you all later. Why