Scott Adams | Win Bigly (Episode 669)

Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) of Dilbert fame revisits us to discuss his new book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter.

“Nobody ever won an argument with an analogy.” -Scott Adams

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Is Scott Adams a Trump supporter?
  • People don’t use facts to make decisions. They use emotion.
  • Learn the three types of persuaders and how they operate.
  • See how master persuaders move the topic to things they understand and can dominate (regardless of facts and details).
  • Find out why master persuasion is effective even if the subject or target sees the technique.
  • And so much more…


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There’s no denying that the current political climate is divisive, but this show is not here to further drive a wedge between anyone. On whichever side (if either) of the political spectrum you find yourself, let’s at least agree on this point: we can all learn something from studying how the current presidential administration uses persuasion.

Dilbert’s very own Scott Adams returns to The Art of Charm (check out his first appearance here) to discuss his newest book, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter, and the observations he’s made since Donald Trump’s unlikely victory in the 2016 presidential election. Listen, learn, and — if you can’t enjoy, then at least try to understand why we’re where we are today and where we might go next with this information.

More About This Show

“Unfortunately, there are effective people that we don’t like,” says Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic series and author of Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter. “And if you’re just looking at the tools and you can hold your nose and say, ‘What can I learn?’ Then you can learn.”

During the 2016 presidential election, Scott made a wildly derided prediction (as discussed in his last visit to AoC): Donald Trump would not only secure the Republican nomination, but the presidency. At the time, very few polls, pundits, analysts, or career politicians who understand how Washington works would have made such a bet. Yet here we are.

As a result of this prediction’s accuracy, Scott’s career and income have taken a huge nose dive for being associated with an administration steeped in controversy on many fronts. But does Scott consider himself a Trump supporter?

“I describe myself politically as ‘left of Bernie,'” says Scott, “except with a preference for things that might actually work. In other words, philosophically, I want free education, free health care, and all those things. I don’t know how to get there, but I think maybe America could at least have a plan to get there eventually.

“So politically, I’m not on the Republican side…I am sort of in their camp because I do represent a point of view which they like; I do appreciate that group because they’re the ones who supported me for two years, whereas the other group attacked me viciously for two years. So I have a strong preference for the people, which is different than the policies or the politician.”

Many in the camp where Scott now finds himself might be shocked at what Scott says next: “Let’s talk about Colin Kaepernick’s persuasion, because I’m a big Kaepernick fan. When I say ‘fan,’ it has nothing to do with football. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the specific policies he’s pushing — although that topic is important, of course. But persuasion-wise, Colin Kaepernick nailed it. He raised consciousness; the entire country’s talking about the thing that he started; he stayed within the law — he didn’t break any law; he offended our sensibilities in exactly the right way for a protest…he raised the issue that he wanted to raise and he took the bullet; he knew that this was going to cost him, and he did it anyway. So that, I have to respect.”

Not that Scott considers his own actions comparable in any way to Kaepernick’s, but he does feel like he’s been successful in raising people’s awareness of the way persuasion works as wielded by the current administration.

“The main thing I always talk about is the ‘two movies on one screen,’ Scott says. The number of times we’re looking at exactly the same information. There’s no data difference. We’re smart, we’re looking at it, and we just come to different conclusions.”

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about how a master persuader can often get away with making outrageously untrue statements (and why he or she would want to consciously do so in the first place), how someone easily embarrassed today (like, say, a certain bespectacled cartoonist we know) might become immune to shame tomorrow, how otherwise critical thinkers give into the allure of improbably bizarre conspiracy theories, what Scott learned about his own perception of reality by being robbed at gunpoint twice, what we can learn from our own cognitive dissonance, why Scott hates analogies in arguments, the concept of strategic ambiguity, and lots more.


If you enjoyed this session with Scott Adams, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Scott Adams at Twitter!

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1138 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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