Scott Adams on Loserthink, Part 8

In the book, Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America, Scott Adams analyzed and discussed ways to teach us how to eliminate our biases and to sharpen our ability to think critically.

These are some of my favorite quotes and takeaways from reading the book.

Scott Adams provided some tips on how we can break out of our mental prison.

What to watch out for: Cultural Gravity

“If you allow the opinions of unsuccessful people in your culture to hold you back, you’re engaging in loserthink. If you can learn to think of yourself as free from the cultural gravity of your peers, it will pay off in the long run.”

What to watch out for: Knowing to Where to Start

“If you can’t figure out how to do a task the right way, do it the wrong way and watch how quickly you get free advice.”

What to watch out for: Unfocused Priorities

“Your first priority should be you. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be much use to anyone else. But hurry up – the world has lots of problems and maybe you can help.”

What to watch out for: Context

“Reports about famous people and other trustworthy topics are either wrong or misleading about 60 percent of the time, often because they lack context. Wait a few days before forming an opinion on anything new, just in case context is missing. It usually is.”

What to watch out for: Listening to the Experts

“We live in a world in which it is dangerous to ignore the advice of experts, but it is almost as dangerous to follow their advice. The trick is to know when the experts are the solution and when they are the jailers of your mental prison.”

What to watch out for: Fake News Filter

“News that is reported the same by news outlets on both the left and the right is probably true. If you only see a story reported by news sites that lean in one direction, it probably isn’t true.”

What to watch out for: Persuasion

“If you think humans are rational about their biggest priorities, you are poorly equipped to navigate life.”

What to watch out for: Managing Embarrassment

“Put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations on a regular basis just to maintain practice. If you get embarrassed as planned, watch how one year later you are still alive. Maybe you even have a funny story because of it.”

“Note how other people’s embarrassments mean little to you when you are an observer. That’s how much your embarrassments mean to them: nothing.”

What to watch out for: Change What You Do to Change How You Think

“To think more effectively, improve your fitness, diet, and sleeping.”

What to watch out for: The Forty-Eight-Hour Rule and the Twenty-Year Rule

“It is loserthink to imagine you can accurately discern the intentions of public strangers. It is better to ask people to clarify their opinions and accept that as the best evidence of their inner thoughts.”

“It is loserthink to judge people by their much younger selves. People change. And they usually improve.”

What to watch out for: Conspiracy Theories and How to Know You Fell for One

“Being absolutely right and being spectacularly wrong feel exactly the same.”

“If your view of reality is consistent with the past but falls to do a good job predicting the near future, you might be in a cultlike organization with a manufactured worldview. If members of your group discourage you from listening to opposing views, it’s time to plan your escape.”