Uncommon Knowledge: How to Fail at Almost Everything with Scott Adams

 

I sit down with The Dilbert cartoonist and political philosopher Scott Adams to discuss his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. And yes, the current occupant of the Oval Office also comes up.

There are 22 comments.

  1. Member

    I haven’t watched 60 Minutes in over 20 years. This is the kind of intelligent conversation that needs to be shared. Thank you. (Have to wonder how many denizens of 2017 pop culture could even follow the discussion)

    • #1
    • September 14, 2017 at 4:19 pm
    • 7 likes
  2. Thatcher

    Just wanted everyone to know before watching:

    Mr. Robinson starts (after introducing Scott) with, “President Trump’s approval ratings are the lowest on record. And among academics and journalists and for sure professional people here in Northern California he is almost universally derided.”

    That was the nicest thing Mr. Robinson said about our President in the entire interview. I felt the need to share that.

    Scott Adams was magnificent in his patience, and persuasion. I enjoyed listening to him.

    • #2
    • September 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm
    • 3 likes
  3. Member

    ‘Just watched it… absolutely delightful.

    • #3
    • September 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    • 2 likes
  4. Coolidge

    I have very much appreciated Mr Adams since his beginning last year as a blogger, but now appreciate him even more.

    And you, Peter, are one hell of a good interviewer.

    • #4
    • September 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    • 4 likes
  5. Admin

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    Just wanted everyone to know before watching:

    Mr. Robinson starts (after introducing Scott) with, “President Trump’s approval ratings are the lowest on record. And among academics and journalists and for sure professional people here in Northern California he is almost universally derided.”

    That was the nicest thing Mr. Robinson said about our President in the entire interview. I felt the need to share that.

    Scott Adams was magnificent in his patience, and persuasion. I enjoyed listening to him.

    It’s not Peter’s job to be nice to the President, it’s his job to state the facts as they existed at the time of the interview (this was taped in mid-July).

    • #5
    • September 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm
    • 4 likes
  6. Member

    If only his mistrust of experts extended to those who claim exclusive expertise on the benefits of killing their children.

    • #6
    • September 14, 2017 at 4:50 pm
    • 7 likes
  7. Coolidge

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    Just wanted everyone to know before watching:

    Mr. Robinson starts (after introducing Scott) with, “President Trump’s approval ratings are the lowest on record. And among academics and journalists and for sure professional people here in Northern California he is almost universally derided.”

    That was the nicest thing Mr. Robinson said about our President in the entire interview. I felt the need to share that.

    Scott Adams was magnificent in his patience, and persuasion. I enjoyed listening to him.

    And yet, despite his misgivings about Trump, he chose to have Scott Adams as the guest.

    These are very interesting times. Polls show that the American voters are split in a most strange way: 43% of the voters are independent of both parties, Dems rank at about 27% and Republicans maybe at 30%.

    Our “Republican” President ran as a Republican basically because his teams of lawyers said that getting the Democratic Party Primary rules to bend his way was impossible. (It is a possibility that Bernie Sanders learned about that inflexibility the hard way. Although it is possible Sanders was a tool.)

    Trump has opposed the TPP, which is anathema to the Elite who control both parties. He has been willing to do what it takes to get not only a dialogue about immigration really moving forward, but to be called a racist and White Supremacist while that dialogue is taking place.

    Those of us who are in the middle class (the old middle class, wherein you are never really more than a paycheck or two away from the wolves, not the new middle class which is both spouses make above $ 300,000 and live in the kind of neighborhoods that most people thought everyone could live in back in the 1950’s & 1960’s) we still hope he remembers something about bringing jobs back. Because after all, a democracy only lasts as long as its middle class does.

    • #7
    • September 14, 2017 at 5:03 pm
    • 4 likes
  8. Coolidge

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    Just wanted everyone to know before watching:

    Mr. Robinson starts (after introducing Scott) with, “President Trump’s approval ratings are the lowest on record. And among academics and journalists and for sure professional people here in Northern California he is almost universally derided.”

    That was the nicest thing Mr. Robinson said about our President in the entire interview. I felt the need to share that.

    Scott Adams was magnificent in his patience, and persuasion. I enjoyed listening to him.

    It’s not Peter’s job to be nice to the President, it’s his job to state the facts as they existed at the time of the interview (this was taped in mid-July).

    The dry cleaner lost his pom poms.

    Great interview, Peter has a the knack of interviewing someone without being confrontational. Its a skill thats missing from cable TV.

    • #8
    • September 14, 2017 at 8:14 pm
    • 5 likes
  9. Reagan

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    Just wanted everyone to know before watching:

    Mr. Robinson starts (after introducing Scott) with, “President Trump’s approval ratings are the lowest on record. And among academics and journalists and for sure professional people here in Northern California he is almost universally derided.”

    That was the nicest thing Mr. Robinson said about our President in the entire interview. I felt the need to share that.

    Scott Adams was magnificent in his patience, and persuasion. I enjoyed listening to him.

    It’s not Peter’s job to be nice to the President, it’s his job to state the facts as they existed at the time of the interview (this was taped in mid-July).

    The dry cleaner lost his pom poms.

    Great interview, Peter has a the knack of interviewing someone without being confrontational. Its a skill thats missing from cable TV.

    I’ve long thought Peter to be the finest interviewer working today and this episode proved it to me. The first time I’ve found Scott Adams even remotely interesting or credible as a pundit.

    • #9
    • September 14, 2017 at 10:34 pm
    • 1 like
  10. Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    I’ve long thought Peter to be the finest interviewer working today and this episode proved it to me.

    Because his manner is to say, “Make me understand what you think”. His questions are designed to facilitate that understanding.

    • #10
    • September 14, 2017 at 10:43 pm
    • 5 likes
  11. Member

    Okay, I’ll say it. I found Adams to be a shoot-from-the-hip pop philosopher/psychologist who seems overly impressed with his own presumed prowess on the powers of persuasion – as exemplified by his occasional boasting that he could see things that the rest of us mortals just couldn’t – which became irritating. He appears to make a lot of his judgment calls based on observation of human behavior but observations that are devoid of any sense of ethics or grounding in philosophy or history. His take on abortion was essentially intellectual cowardice. Other than that…

    • #11
    • September 15, 2017 at 10:04 am
    • 2 likes
  12. Coolidge

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Okay, I’ll say it. I found Adams to be a shoot-from-the-hip pop philosopher/psychologist who seems overly impressed with his own presumed prowess on the powers of persuasion – as exemplified by his occasional boasting that he could see things that the rest of us mortals just couldn’t – which became irritating. He appears to make a lot of his judgment calls based on observation of human behavior but observations that are devoid of any sense of ethics or grounding in philosophy or history. His take on abortion was essentially intellectual cowardice. Other than that…

    Adams does have a special ability – that he can observe the meta message while others among us only see the message. So while we sit in the cubicle wondering how the heck we are going to continue to placate the Uber-bosses above us, who continually put the work force in a double bind, and then on some level we realize it is not possible, we “get even” by taking an extra long lunch, Adams is busy formulating modern day work proverbs. This is a Mark Twain level ability and one that should be valued.

    He did not get where he is now without a lot of patience, hard work and that rare ability of uniting a plethora of skills. At the time circa early 1990’s, when he was getting up early and going to bed late to work on his original comics, most comic strip writers were consigned to the idea that within any luck at all, they might be in a few small news papers and make $ 5,000 a year.

    As far as abortion, it would be nice to see some consistency within the Republican party. Although many gnash their teeth over the idea that some 19 year old has an abortion, America’s workplaces wreak such havoc on women’s reproductive systems that it became big news within the Silicon Valley crowd that the semi conductor “clean rooms” were the cause not of infertility, as the women employees had suspected, but of massive numbers of miscarriages. (Which are, after all, “natural abortions.”)

    Yet the die hard Republican leaders do not want OSHA and do not want any regulations placed on Big Industry. My logical faculties demand some consistency. Either force Big Industry to allow for healthy environments for its workers or shut up about abortion already.

    • #12
    • September 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm
    • 2 likes
  13. Member

    CarolJoy (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Okay, I’ll say it. I found Adams to be a shoot-from-the-hip pop philosopher/psychologist who seems overly impressed with his own presumed prowess on the powers of persuasion – as exemplified by his occasional boasting that he could see things that the rest of us mortals just couldn’t – which became irritating. He appears to make a lot of his judgment calls based on observation of human behavior but observations that are devoid of any sense of ethics or grounding in philosophy or history. His take on abortion was essentially intellectual cowardice. Other than that…

    Adams does have a special ability – that he can observe the meta message while others among us only see the message. So while we sit in the cubicle wondering how the heck we are going to continue to placate the Uber-bosses above us, who continually put the work force in a double bind, and then on some level we realize it is not possible, we “get even” by taking an extra long lunch, Adams is busy formulating modern day work proverbs. This is a Mark Twain level ability and one that should be valued.

    Exclude me from your “we” group in your cubicle scenario.

    He did not get where he is now without a lot of patience, hard work and that rare ability of uniting a plethora of skills. At the time circa early 1990’s, when he was getting up early and going to bed late to work on his original comics, most comic strip writers were consigned to the idea that within any luck at all, they might be in a few small news papers and make $ 5,000 a year.

    Good for him.

    As far as abortion, it would be nice to see some consistency within the Republican party. Although many gnash their teeth over the idea that some 19 year old has an abortion, America’s workplaces wreak such havoc on women’s reproductive systems that it became big news within the Silicon Valley crowd that the semi conductor “clean rooms” were the cause not of infertility, as the women employees had suspected, but of massive numbers of miscarriages. (Which are, after all, “natural abortions.”)

    Yet the die hard Republican leaders do not want OSHA and do not want any regulations placed on Big Industry. My logical faculties demand some consistency. Either force Big Industry to allow for healthy environments for its workers or shut up about abortion already.

    I wasn’t aware that diehard Republican leaders universally didn’t want OSHA. I wasn’t aware that Republicans didn’t want any regulation placed on Big Industry. I believe that numerous Republican Attorneys General have prosecuted many companies for violations of health and safety standards. I wasn’t aware that Republican leaders in general were dismissive about concerns about miscarriages because of clean room environments. Can you cite an article or two where it’s evident that a Republican leader was dismissive of this? Regarding abortion specifically, the elimination of a potential human life is a matter of morality and ethics. It is not simply a women’s issue only to be dealt with by women contrary to what the hard-working, multi-talented, amazingly perceptive Scott Adams thinks.

    • #13
    • September 15, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Member

    CarolJoy (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Okay, I’ll say it. I found Adams to be a shoot-from-the-hip pop philosopher/psychologist who seems overly impressed with his own presumed prowess on the powers of persuasion – as exemplified by his occasional boasting that he could see things that the rest of us mortals just couldn’t – which became irritating. He appears to make a lot of his judgment calls based on observation of human behavior but observations that are devoid of any sense of ethics or grounding in philosophy or history. His take on abortion was essentially intellectual cowardice. Other than that…

    Adams does have a special ability – that he can observe the meta message while others among us only see the message. So while we sit in the cubicle wondering how the heck we are going to continue to placate the Uber-bosses above us, who continually put the work force in a double bind, and then on some level we realize it is not possible, we “get even” by taking an extra long lunch, Adams is busy formulating modern day work proverbs. This is a Mark Twain level ability and one that should be valued.

    He did not get where he is now without a lot of patience, hard work and that rare ability of uniting a plethora of skills. At the time circa early 1990’s, when he was getting up early and going to bed late to work on his original comics, most comic strip writers were consigned to the idea that within any luck at all, they might be in a few small news papers and make $ 5,000 a year.

    As far as abortion, it would be nice to see some consistency within the Republican party. Although many gnash their teeth over the idea that some 19 year old has an abortion, America’s workplaces wreak such havoc on women’s reproductive systems that it became big news within the Silicon Valley crowd that the semi conductor “clean rooms” were the cause not of infertility, as the women employees had suspected, but of massive numbers of miscarriages. (Which are, after all, “natural abortions.”)

    Yet the die hard Republican leaders do not want OSHA and do not want any regulations placed on Big Industry. My logical faculties demand some consistency. Either force Big Industry to allow for healthy environments for its workers or shut up about abortion already.

    So your “logical faculties” tell you that “Big Industry” either has to stop causing “massive numbers” of miscarriages, or we should all stop opposing abortion?

    • #14
    • September 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    • 2 likes
  15. Coolidge

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Okay, I’ll say it. I found Adams to be a shoot-from-the-hip pop philosopher/psychologist who seems overly impressed with his own presumed prowess on the powers of persuasion – as exemplified by his occasional boasting that he could see things that the rest of us mortals just couldn’t – which became irritating. He appears to make a lot of his judgment calls based on observation of human behavior but observations that are devoid of any sense of ethics or grounding in philosophy or history. His take on abortion was essentially intellectual cowardice. Other than that…

    I’ve been a Dilbert fan for a long time. I disagree with pretty much everything that falls out of his face – but he’s a good cartoonist.

    I think Adams deserves some credit for publishing his predictions when he did – a year before the election. He took a hit for it, he lost some bookings over it. So in you’re view he’s over reacting because he took a huge risk – with far greater downside than gains. He put himself in a no win situation – right or wrong – there where going to be critics who’d call him an idiot. So let him enjoy his moment – his risk paid off, he was proven right.

    Your right about his take on abortion, but I think its even worse. Women should not be given complete freedom on the issue – babies arent solely theirs. Men contribute 50% of the DNA to the baby, its half theirs. (more than half financially) So its not just cowardly its wrong.

    • #15
    • September 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm
    • 2 likes
  16. Member

    I really enjoyed that interview–it was so upbeat.

    Thank you.

    • #16
    • September 15, 2017 at 10:19 pm
    • 1 like
  17. Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    Your right about his take on abortion, but I think its even worse. Women should not be given complete freedom on the issue – babies arent solely theirs. Men contribute 50% of the DNA to the baby, its half theirs. (more than half financially) So its not just cowardly its wrong.

    I sympathize with Adams’ point about women bearing a bigger share of the burden. I get that and it’s true — it’s both a blessing and a curse that women pay personally a much bigger price than men do. But mankind has a say in laws — isn’t that right? Child-bearing and the child that is born is a function for the nation itself.

    Here’s the thing about Adams saying that men should just back away on this women-based topic: since men bear most of the burden of earning a living for society and for going to war should they have a larger role to play (and I mean by their rights established by Adams’ reasoning) in both these areas? More votes — say 2 votes to a woman’s 1?

    • #17
    • September 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm
    • Like
  18. Member

    Also, what right does the child have in the child-bearing question? There aren’t just two people involved in this and it is obscene to so blithely ignore this and to ignore the effort being put forth by the life that is struggling in the womb to bring forth a new citizen, a new person.

    • #18
    • September 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm
    • Like
  19. Member

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    Your right about his take on abortion, but I think its even worse. Women should not be given complete freedom on the issue – babies arent solely theirs. Men contribute 50% of the DNA to the baby, its half theirs. (more than half financially) So its not just cowardly its wrong.

    I sympathize with Adams’ point about women bearing a bigger share of the burden. I get that and it’s true — it’s both a blessing and a curse that women pay personally a much bigger price than men do. But mankind has a say in laws — isn’t that right? Child-bearing and the child that is born is a function for the nation itself.

    Here’s the thing about Adams saying that men should just back away on this women-based topic: since men bear most of the burden of earning a living for society and for going to war should they have a larger role to play (and I mean by their rights established by Adams’ reasoning) in both these areas? More votes — say 2 votes to a woman’s 1?

    I can only accept the idea of women having absolute authority in abortion if they also take absolute responsibility, including financial. Adams himself made the point that authority and responsibility have to balance; I don’t think he thought through the implications of his belief.

    • #19
    • September 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    • Like
  20. Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    Your right about his take on abortion, but I think its even worse. Women should not be given complete freedom on the issue – babies arent solely theirs. Men contribute 50% of the DNA to the baby, its half theirs. (more than half financially) So its not just cowardly its wrong.

    I sympathize with Adams’ point about women bearing a bigger share of the burden. I get that and it’s true — it’s both a blessing and a curse that women pay personally a much bigger price than men do. But mankind has a say in laws — isn’t that right? Child-bearing and the child that is born is a function for the nation itself.

    Here’s the thing about Adams saying that men should just back away on this women-based topic: since men bear most of the burden of earning a living for society and for going to war should they have a larger role to play (and I mean by their rights established by Adams’ reasoning) in both these areas? More votes — say 2 votes to a woman’s 1?

    I can only accept the idea of women having absolute authority in abortion if they also take absolute responsibility, including financial. Adams himself made the point that authority and responsibility have to balance; I don’t think he thought through the implications of his belief.

    Yes — right. Good point.

    However, the nation still has a stake in the decision that she makes whether she takes responsibility or not.

    And the child is constantly being ignored in these discussions.

    • #20
    • September 16, 2017 at 9:04 pm
    • Like
  21. Member

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    Your right about his take on abortion, but I think its even worse. Women should not be given complete freedom on the issue – babies arent solely theirs. Men contribute 50% of the DNA to the baby, its half theirs. (more than half financially) So its not just cowardly its wrong.

    I sympathize with Adams’ point about women bearing a bigger share of the burden. I get that and it’s true — it’s both a blessing and a curse that women pay personally a much bigger price than men do. But mankind has a say in laws — isn’t that right? Child-bearing and the child that is born is a function for the nation itself.

    Here’s the thing about Adams saying that men should just back away on this women-based topic: since men bear most of the burden of earning a living for society and for going to war should they have a larger role to play (and I mean by their rights established by Adams’ reasoning) in both these areas? More votes — say 2 votes to a woman’s 1?

    I can only accept the idea of women having absolute authority in abortion if they also take absolute responsibility, including financial. Adams himself made the point that authority and responsibility have to balance; I don’t think he thought through the implications of his belief.

    Yes — right. Good point.

    However, the nation still has a stake in the decision that she makes whether she takes responsibility or not.

    And the child is constantly being ignored in these discussions.

    You understand that my expectation in saying that is that it will never, ever happen.

    • #21
    • September 16, 2017 at 9:07 pm
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    You’re such a great interviewer, Mr. Robinson.

    • #22
    • September 22, 2017 at 11:42 pm
    • 5 likes