- Whiteboard discussion
- Moral flexibility
- Loser strategy
- Master Persuader view of the world
- Ego as a tool
- Ego as who you are
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The post Episode 60: Ego and Morality appeared first on Dilbert Blog.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Very big booms. Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum it's Friday, and you know it goes well with Friday, coffee with Scott Adams, and you know it goes well with coffee with Scott Adams, coffee grab, yours, you can get a quickly come on I'll, wait. Ok, you got it,
in my imagination or
everything's starting to change. There's a change in the air. Isn't there don't you feel it? It's kind of cool.
I guess the president will be giving a speech today about his plans for lowering a prescription drug prices. That might be good. News will see what he has in mind. So, but mostly today, I want to talk about this idea of ego and and narcissism
I was thinking of this because you probably saw this story about Jk Rowling tweeted. That she'd never believed in handwriting analysis until three minutes ago, because she saw a President Trump's signature.
which is as big Jaggi robbing fills up the page and
Apparently the handwriting experts would say in their astrology like way. I don't think, there's any
this, but they had? Experts would say that
That means that he's got a big ego and he's a narcissist now, let's,
just hold that thought. So the idea is that President Trump is a narcissist. Now a narcissist would think. If you had, a big ego would think that he could do things better than other people. That would be sort of a narcissist.
Hello, let me give you an example. There was also another story about how one of the actors from game of thrones really big guy. I forget his name, but in his his non acting life he had been. He had been trying to become the strongest person in the world, and I guess you proved that by lifting the heaviest object or something
and after three years of trying he succeeded he's actually literally well, according to whatever tests they give to do this,
the strongest person in the world is,
actually literally the strongest person in the world. No three years ago, when the mountain I as as you're calling him, I think that might have been his game through
his name now three years ago, when he said to his friends, you know, I think I think
to be the strongest man in the world. If I really put my mind to it, what it is friends say the
They say, oh you egomaniac.
You narcissist strongest man wait a minute wait a minute. I believe I believe his
I believe maybe his critics sounded something like this. Oh you're, going to be the strongest man in the world and the.
You are going to be the strongest man in the whole world. Look good luck with that seem.
and then three years later, who
the strongest man in the whole world.
Now was he an egomaniac? Was he a narcissist.
or did he just know what he could do and then he went and did it let's go back to President Trump
when he was running for president with no experience as a politician. People were saying: oh my god, the ego on that man, the narcissist he thinks
He can become president of the United States with no practice, and
Came president of the United States with no practice.
But he doesn't get credit for that, because you know Russia and you know racists.
and so there had to be reasons he got elected. They had nothing to do with this skill, so then people
Started saying well, he's
ego maniac use of nurses see things he can get things done and do all these things, and now we have a three point: nine percent unemployment rate kind of what he said he would
who we're negotiating with China and getting some headway? Apparently some progress with automobiles. I think- and maybe there might be more.
we might see progress in North Korea. That kind
that nobody is ever been able to accomplish now, if N Korea goes right and if the economy stays on track and those are pretty good bets, you know at this point I'd say those both look good. Could you say the President Trump is a giant, a narcissist with an oversize ego, or did he call his shot and then just do it in front of you
Did he tell you, I can do this thing and then he went and did it right in front of you just like the strongest man in the world, solving North Korea,
Was it easy if it solved
now. There is a some of you have already been trying to prompt me to remember that David, Brooks Famous Anti Trumper wrote an article.
in the New York Times. I think today
but pointed out what I've pointed out. A number of times, which is the President Trump's foot
The v in dealing with bad actors during his construction days had
deal with a lot of bad actors, is
Homes or like a pirate ship full of you know criminal.
Wilson and other ne'er do wells.
as well as nice. People, and not all of his friends are criminals and ne'er do wells,
but he seems to operate effortlessly with the best and worst people and the speculation in David Brooks.
which I agree with, is that he's uniquely qualified to deal with despots and dictators, and
You know foul people of every variety 'cause he can do it he's got that skill. He knew he had that skill.
So this is my leaving to my White Board talk. Show we go to the White Board. Yes, let's go to the way it works. I'm gonna pull in a feud. Disparate topics will pull it all together and if
things go well, so we're having this conversation now about waterboarding,.
And we're seeing that the nominee for the CIA Haspel, what's her name, Haskell is being asked.
You know what what is her moral conviction about water boarding now in the public
adding everybody's trying to be nice and say the right things and not get in trouble. So nobody can say what is the obvious answer to the question and here's the obvious answer.
Risk of moral flexibility have a relationship and should
your risk goes up
during nine hundred and eleven or the risk of North Korea. Your moral.
possibility goes up to. Let me give you an example.
I did the water boarding work to maybe prevent some imminent.
terrorism or potential terrorism. Well,
you seem to know we're saying yes, or at least probably yes, now at the
enter our risk in the world looks lower it just it just feels like
set the moment or lower just today,
so today, if you ask somebody, would you
Water Board. I think most people would say
Now you know waterboarding is morally inappropriate. We won't do that
But if we had another nine, nine hundred and eleven type situation, if N Korea was almost going to attack us, would we consider lying.
To avoid a nuclear war yeah we.
headlines, immoral, but
I will certainly be a little bit flexible if you were avoiding a nuclear war. Now
What you can't say, if you're being considered for the top job in the CIA, is that dangerous times
wired a little bit of moral flexibility, because sometimes the ends of to justify the means, if what you're doing is avoiding a nuclear war, for example,.
Right one hundred percent of human beings agree with what I just said. What ninety
percent of human beings will deny it to their last breath in public because nobody wants to say,
in public, you know I could get pretty morally flexible. If I had to nobody, can save
But that's our underlying truth right now, I'm going to
why this into my next point that the
difference between what I would call a loser strategy and I
master persuaders view of the world is it,
Master persuader uses ego their own ego as a tool.
a loser says. My ego is who I am
right here- here's how this plays out. Let's say: let's say that.
North Korea was going to send a nuclear weapon our way and the only way we could prove we can avoid. It was a far president lied and said: hey. If you do that, we will do acts or
we're already doing x and was the only way to avoid a nuclear war was a lie.
is morally objectionable, but
master persuader would just say,
my morality, my my ego, the who I am part, these are tools
and the tool right now I need is whatever tool will prevent a nuclear holocaust. I'm using the extreme example 'cause it's easier
The loser says: well, I'm not a liar, I'm not a liar.
My my moral code. That's who I am you know me I get. I can't I
change who I am for the world. You know I got to be true to myself. Alright, the ego approach results in the destruction of the world by nuclear weapons. In my weird
later in more
in a more down to earth example. If you were a candidate trump or you were thinking about being
to date. The first thing you think of, as you know I am going to get- is savaged. If I run for president the the level of criticism that I will get will be off
the chart. If you cared about your ego as who you are you don't run for president, you don't,
because you don't want to have that kind of pressure on who you are
but if you believe that your ego is just a tool then
people are going to be criticizing the tool you just take a step back and say
other criticism is outrageous. Look at that criticism,
it's not really about Maine, it's about them. It's about it's just the
things that are happening in their head things:
happen in other peoples heads or not Maine, that's not who I am.
The loser strategy says: if people are going to think poorly of Maine, don't do it, don't do it if people are going to think bad thoughts about me? Let's, let's take this also to the idea of optimism and the power of positive thinking right president Trump famously his pastor. I say this all the time wrote the book the.
Positive thinking, Norman Vincent Peale was the author, who, incidentally, was also the pastor of Trump's church. This idea of saying yeah we can do this- everything is going to be great at the world, is going to be great, is a technique. If you didn't know it's a technique, and you saw somebody say I can see.
North Korea. I can solve a I'll make your company great all, be your president with no practice. You say yourself:
is wrong with this crazy guy. That's insane!
None of those things you're saying are rational right.
but the persuader says it's just a tool. These are the things I say to become president,
and then this is the same tool I use while president to get done those things I said I would get done.
Now even a year ago, I couldn't have done this White Board talk because it was before you saw that these tools work. You saw what you saw, Trump use the tool,
Become president, but that felt like a little bit of a special case, because elections are such a
weird human construct right, but then he takes his skills to the messy world
right now we see they work right that that conclusion is hard to hard to miss. Even for the critics critics the tools work going back to
Brooks, is article about how maybe President Trump is uniquely qualified to deal with despots because he's dealt with. You know
people all of his life and successfully again when President Trump deals with some horribly sketchy.
It's not who he is. It's just a tool. It's just the way to get something done
So he doesn't have his ego in the game when, when President Trump,
hangs out with his friend, oh who's. The fight promoter Don King
So if you looked at Don King's Wikipedia page you're going to see some really bad stuff, there.
If you were concerned with your ego, how people saw you, would you have him as a friend? Probably not right, but if you were,
You know. If you were a system allowed you to talk to everybody 'cause, you just see you go as a tool. Ok, you can do it all right.
So let me give you another example: Kanye West
Connie W everybody says my
Add Connie! What's wrong with your ego? What's right, you're such a narcissist whi, do you think you can be president? Well?
It's the same. It's the same thing going on Connie uses ego as a tool. He doesn't use it as who he is alright, so
I was out this is this allows I needed to simply do things that other people wouldn't imagine he the reason we're calling the eight is because
is because with no musical experience, you know back in his origins,
cited that he could do this to become con, and then he just went out and did it. How big did you you go have to be to imagine that you could pull that off and then he did it right. Kanye has taken his reputation and just torn it up and said I'll build a new one. I'll talk to Candace all talk to you you reach within me. You know that can't be good for his for his his reputation. Kanye was willing to completely destroy his ego right and
I mean he, he said it in fire. He took his ego out of his head set in front of the public. Yeah
set it on fire right in front of you,
he knew what it would take to have
what you a like a safe nice reputation. He knows what that takes. It's easy
that's what everybody else is doing. He just didn't do that now,
that he turned into a tool can talk to anybody determined that that's his that's his
Now that's a space, I'm going to talk to anybody, I'm going to love anybody. I want alright. He looks to the let's say: the less sophisticated observer
the best way to say it is that he's just operating out of ego, but when you
him sacrifices he completely.
Every now and then you see that it uses it as a tool. 'cause, it's. No. It's not always set at Tempe right he'll take his ego from ten, where it works to boost his confidence where it, where it's sort of a self talk it's like yeah. I can do this. I can make this happen to watch this.
two five albums this year and and then else my run for president in changed race relations in the country. I'll, do that all this month, and then he went out and did it right in front of you right. So when you see somebody you can take, the re go from a to
to a zero, then back to attend and then back to his zero right in front of you.
You can see it in real time, that's not somebody who says the ego is who they are, that somebody who's using it as a tool.
Right, so this relates a little bit to the torture of point, because if you think that
your ego is who you are, and your morality is sort of wrapped into Rigo. Then you say: well, there's
nothing? I can do because I'm a moral person I
do the things I need to do to a water board, a suspect to live in North Korea. If, if that's what it takes, I don't know the word. We fly to North Korea, but if it, if hypothetically, we had to
so the losers say I'm locked into my little world. I can't get out. My ego is who, who I am you- can identify these people because they're the ones who troll me and people like me. So if you look at my twitter feed you'll see the people who said even even recently as recently as yesterday, and today people say you can't reach with that person. Yes, I can. You
you can support Kanye, because maybe you don't agree with all of his political preferences. If he's even figured, it was political preferences. Yes, I can. I can do anything with my ego, because it's just a tool- I don't I don't use it as who I am so you've. I think you probably noticed the degree of criticism that
I get on social media, I think you've all seen it. I mean you've seen it on these periscopes. Have you noticed how little it seems to bother Maine? Now you could be confused by the fact that I so enjoy interacting with my trolls, for example, one of my critics today on social media on twitter uh. I said that I looked like a skeletor
No first of all, it's not far off as insults. Go I
I've never as bothered by one that's actually clever, and I thought to myself Skeletor: it's not bad. It's pretty bad yeah! That's pretty good, but-
I've course responded back. You'd have to see the picture 'cause it's this guy. With this long scraggly, hair and scraggly beard, it wasn't too attractive himself and he was he was mocking. My looks
so I responded back, then he reminded me of something I pulled out of my shower drain. Now
I enjoy that interaction. Yes, I did it if you will be right, so
where his insults would
other someone who had an ego that they believed was them
If you thought your ego was you and then somebody in public calls you skeletal or how would you feel what you feel terrible? Goos like? Oh, my god, that's my ego.
It's just who I am and who I am just got compared to Skeletor. That's pretty bad.
but when I heard it, I first of all laughed and then I used it for a fuel. I thought huh. How can I respond to that? This will be fun, and then I came up with a clever response, at least clever enough for two entertain myself, which is which was the goal there and it
have lifted me up a little bit, so I used my ego as a tool. I use it just for refueling. In this case it was just a refueling, stop. Ah critic. This will be fun refuel
so consistently with you look around
the people of the people around you and you see the people who were not trying something risky. Those are the people who believe that their ego is who they are those the people who would not stand in front of a group with any risk of embarrassment. The people won't apply for a job because they might get turned down the people. Won't you ask somebody, I don't because they might get a no. The people want to ask for the sale because they think they're not going to get the right answer because any of these negative results or who they are, and you don't wanna, have a fight with yourself. You know you don't want to degrade yourself, so you avoid those situations. If you look at each of the things which I have,
seated at look at the pattern here, with no experience as a cartoonist, I decided to switch from the corporate world to cartooning. You can imagine what all of my friends said about that idea. Didn't look like it was too like
but I using the
And Vincent Peale Mindset full of optimism. I said yes, if I fail at this,
would be terribly embarrassing to people like this, but I'm not one of 'em. If I
Dale, the failure lives on its own. It's not main, I'm the guy who learned something so who I am is a person who tried something hard if it worked great and it didn't work, cartooning work down for me. If it didn't work, I would be the guy who tried something that was risky lived through it and learn something I win both ways. So I've got no investment of ego. In this thing,
except maybe on the upside, I feel good when I transitioned to be a public speaker, I was terrible at it and I embarrassed myself um quite substantially in front of the big crowd. The first
I'm I tried other times. I've also embarrassed myself in front of crowds, but I worked on it,
Then, when I was actively doing love speaking, that was probably one of the top public speakers in the country and one of the top paid. So
got there eventually, but I was never stopped by the fact that my you know that I was criticized or went through
what would have been a humiliating experience? If I saw myself as my ego, I don't just the two
and likewise when I transition from you, know that world into talking about politics, use all the all the criticisms that I talk did any of those criticisms slow. When
nope, because I'm not my ego ego is my tool, and so I said to myself
I can do this thing, writing about politics, that I've never done, have no experience and no.
ability and will be mercilessly mocked to me, that was just a Tuesday. Alright, so ask yourself
If your ego is helping you or holding you back you're going to see this everywhere like in in your life,
you're going to recognize that almost all of your obstacles or this when
I see somebody who who succeeds versus someone who doesn't if they have let's say similar skills. It's usually this that the people who who hit a ceiling and can't go past, it is usually ego ceiling. That's what I see there's a prison reform bill that passed in Congress. Does that just happen I'll have to check that
All right, let's get a little feedback. Was this useful? Did anybody get anything out of this.
Oh well, I'm reading your answers. I'll answer the question that came by. How did I become a better speaker? The quick answer is: I took the Dale Carnegie Course, which teaches you to be comfortable in front of people. The second part of the answer is practice.
And the third part of the answer is what I was talking about. The not
My ego stop me from doing things. That would certainly be embarrassing. It's one thing to take a chance on something that might be embarrassing. It's a different if it's a different thing to take a chance. That absolutely will be embarrassed. Okay, all right, so I'm getting lots of good comments.
And I think I'll keep this one short. I am using the money that people are donating to my patrie on account. You can just go to page. Look me up, as Scott Adams says same same name, I use on Twitter. I use that to fund Trans. I've got a system now, I'm paying to translate these into podcasts was audio only and maybe put on Youtube later, I'm not sure, but that's what page runs going toward. So, if you like to see the sort of message get a wider audience, that's what the page on the characters for- and I will talk to all of you- maybe later today, Pacific by.