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Free yourself from Loserthink

Saturday March 21st 2020 by SocraticDev

Scott Adams is an American entrepreneur better known as the creator of the comic strip Dilbert. This daily comic strip is a satire about the workplace. The main character, Dilbert, is a computer engineer plagued by torments generated by an absurd and Kafkaesque work organization. The reader witnesses a world where incompetent bosses hold power while competent employees are powerless.

In November 2019, Scott Adams published a more serious book around the theme of critical thinking. This book published by Penguin Random House is titled Loserthink: How the Untrained Brains Are Ruining America. The plot is marked by the presidency of Donald Trump. The author presents himself as a proud Republican and takes the opportunity to offer a nuanced perspective on American public figures such as Donald Trump, Roseanne Barr and Kanye West.

Scott Adams' Loserthink is a guide intended to make us aware and help us to free ourselves from this mental habit: the thought of losers (loserthink). Loserthink is to flee from objective reality to isolate oneself comfortably in the false reality of our own little bubble.

Scott Adams encourages us to distance ourselves from our ego and learn to appreciate the complexity and fluidity of reality. He suggests depersonalizing the debate and considering any situation from different angles. He also devotes a chapter to each of these ways of thinking:

  • think like a psychologist;
  • think like an artist;
  • think like a historian;
  • think like an engineer;
  • think like a leader;
  • think like a scientist;
  • think like an entrepreneur;
  • think like an economist.

While recognizing that we never entirely escape the prison of false opinions, he offers some good intellectual habits to help us break our mental prison:

  • Consider your ego as a tool and not as your own identity. Take note of our opinions and predictions in order to be able to recognize later, with humility, where we were royally mistaken;
  • If you never offer an alternative plan to your suggestions, you simply didn't say anything. Do not expect intelligent people to take you seriously;
  • If you constantly argue about the definition of a word instead of the best decision to make: you do not belong to the world of productive people.

In short, it is a fun read and easy to consume. We often recognize ourselves in the illustration of the traps in which people fall ...

It is certainly a book to read and reread annually!

sources

"Scott Adams" https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Scott_Adams (2020-03-21)

"Dilbert" https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Dilbert (2020-03-21)

Scott Adams (2018), Loserthink : How the Untrained Brains Are Ruining America,, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/607083/loserthink-by-scott-adams/