You wouldn’t expect a liberal (mostly) cartoonist like Scott Adams to be a leading voice in the attempt to change America. Maybe not so much change America, but to return her to an era where its citizens thought before acting. I am hopeful, but not confident that this will occur as history teaches about so many societies where their successes spiral into decay and then oblivion. I often say that I am glad that I’m not twenty-something and have decades left to deal with unthinking people who are ever so happy to display their ignorance…loudly.
The secondary title of this book is; How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America
“unproductive reasoning that I call loserthink. Loserthink isn’t about being dumb, and it isn’t about being underinformed. Loserthink is about unproductive ways of thinking. You can be smart and well informed while at the same time being a flagrant loserthinker. That is not only possible; it’s the normal situation. My observation, after several decades on this planet, is that clear thinking is somewhat rare. And there’s a reason for that. No matter how smart you are, if you don’t have experience across multiple domains, you’re probably not equipped with the most productive ways of thinking.”
Just watch the news, all news, not just your network of choice and you’ll see this on display. Adams presents some pretty compelling evidence about the status of our society where it seems like some of the most dim bulbs have the highest platforms in which to preach their drivel. God help us!
“All the doom-and-gloom in the press, and on social media, could give you the impression the world is in big trouble. The reality is almost directly the opposite: things have never been better for humanity, and the future looks incredible too. I’ll say more about that in a later chapter…I recommend keeping in mind the most important thing you will ever understand about the human experience: Being absolutely right and being spectacularly wrong feel exactly the same.”
Loserthink is one of those books where I highlight so many passages. It’s probably one of those books that I’ll need to read again in a year or so. I’ve tried to suggest that my wife’s book club read it as there seems to be quite a few “woke” people who participate. It hard to suggest to some that a book called “Loserthink” is not an insult to them in some way. My suggestion to Mr. Adams is for him to create a series of pamphlets similar to “Common Sense” put out during our nation’s fight for independence.
“But you don’t need to buy into all my optimism to see the larger point that you have been sold a negative view of the future because of the business model of the press. If the press has a choice of scaring you or telling you everything is fine, one of those paths is more profitable. Fear sells. I hope this chapter helps you to keep the fear stories in context.”
I am not sure that I am as optimistic as Mr. Adams, but his book brought me back from some despair or at least made be stop from pulling away from news and politics for a break. One last excerpt on the media and how I try to deal with “breaking stories”.
“That’s why I like to wait two days before forming a strong opinion on events in the news. The initial reporting is so often wrong or out of context that it’s a waste of energy to immediately get worked up about what you see in the news. Just wait a few days, and there’s a high likelihood you will learn the catastrophe that was reported was no big deal once you hear the context. Or the thing that looked minor is actually a catastrophe. It works both ways.”
No one really likes to read or heat about how they are wrong so we seek out similar messages, however, that is Loserthink. I was happy to confirm my “bias” in that I don’t always believe what I am told and generally seek evidence.
PLEASE READ THIS BOOK AND MAKE OTHERS DO SO TOO!