I’ve been reading Scott Adams’ blog since so long ago I don’t remember when I first added his RSS feed to my reader. Before most people knew what an RSS reader was. Though, do they even now? I have a poor grasp on what others understand or remember, or indeed what I remember myself.
Ages anyway. Since way before he started ranting about Trump.
His posts on Donald Trump’s persuasion techniques have been doing impressively well with actually-predicting-the-future-accurately as far as I can tell. Since ages ago. Before most people I knew even realized Trump was running for president. I suspect I literally first heard that fact from Adams to be honest.
I watch from across an ocean, my contacts being selected from a bubble within a bubble concentrated on the liberal UK. Even worldwide and online these days, where once I was making friends online while knowing barely anyone with an internet connection.
It all seems to be proceeding exactly as Adams had foreseen. He’s said from the start, with many seemingly unlikely but eventually vindicated predictions along the way, that it’ll be Trump winning by a landslide of more than sixty percent.
His prediction that Trump would dominate the headlines by skipping the Iowa debate this week, that his absence would be more of a story than any candidate’s words, is yet another where he seems to have been right even while others were wrong. Laughing at his “mistake”, his “cowardice”.
At least Adams used his own powers of persuasion to persuade me that he was right. Which would itself be a demonstration of how persuasive the kinds of things he’s taking about can be. Which is of course part of Scott’s point, and the more general point about how insane politics is that it’s decided by this stuff instead of actual truth, justice or sanity.
I think Corbyn has been doing a similarly good job as it goes. Of dominating the headlines even by his apparent gaffs, to the degree of having them dominated by his absence somewhere. I dunno if Corbyn is doing it on purpose, but then I would have doubted Trump was doing it on purpose if I wasn’t reading a blog post every other day from a guy deliberately trying to persuade me that he was. I’m still not sure. Maybe it’s just the media figuratively eating itself.
It’s mostly amusing because the media and elites seem helpless to stop themselves doing it. They don’t seem to want Corybn or Trump, but they can’t stop talking about it and by talking about it they immanentize it.
Course, I’m doing it right now too. I don’t want to increase the odds of Trump winning. Far as I can see either he’s a moron or a psychopath. Yet here I am. Talking about him, probably in a way that’ll attract more attention than most of the stuff I talk about, yielding to his frame.
(I say that as someone who admires at least the fictional psychopath, Dexter. They might not all be bad. I’m less emotional than most myself. Psychopaths don’t all make bad leaders. There may be circumstances in which you want a psychopath in charge.)
The upside is that if Scott’s right, then Trump might not be the monster he often appears to be. That’s just the kind of image he needs to project right now. It’s impossible to tell how unhinged he actually is, because everything he does is an act to persuade and not reflective of his actual motives or desires.
Hopefully he’s just like Dexter or something. A tame monster?
I really ought to catch up on the actual Dilbert comics some day. They seemed do disappear off of my RSS ages ago for, I assumed, unfathomable copyright reasons. I’ll probably read his book this year too. He seems to have at least persuaded me to do that. A few on the queue to go yet though.
Anyway, I wanted to say it publicly so I can’t deny it later: If Trump really does win by 60+ percent of the vote, then Adams predicted it by noting Trump was good as persuasion, and detailing those techniques, in the face of the odds. In that case, he may have something to teach.