Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race

The Seer

EOG Dedicated
I never knew he was so logical. You might want to read all of his blogs. He called Trump to be GOP nominee over a year ago. Trump was likely +1000 at least then, maybe more. I got Trump @ +365 when it looked like Brexit would pass. Trump dropped and is now +270.


The Greatest Cognitive Dissonance Trap of All Time
cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance

  • the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

Posted August 12th, 2016 @ 1:00pm in #trump #clinton

Here’s the set-up:

1. The mainstream media knows they are smarter than Donald Trump. They see evidence of this truth all the time, although much of that evidence is confirmation bias.


2. Trump does something smart – accusing Obama and Clinton of being “founders” of ISIS. This is a clever way to get the world to debate Clinton and Obama’s ineffectiveness during a time when ISIS expanded. In other words, it is brilliant media manipulation, and it worked.

3. CNN and other Clinton supporters interpret Trump’s statement about ISIS as absurd and uninformed because they can’t imagine a scenario in which Trump does something brilliant. Trump being brilliant isn’t one of the options, as far as they know.

The reality of Trump’s clever persuasion is crystal-clear to anyone who thinks Trump is smart. Trump was clearly joking about the “founder” part to get people squawking, and it worked. Total success. Brilliant technique.

Now the media has a big problem. They can’t admit that they were extraordinarily dumb in this situation and Trump was brilliant. That reality is invisible to them because it doesn’t fit their worldview.

So…cognitive dissonance happens.

This is a textbook set-up for cognitive dissonance. The facts we observe (Trump is smart, the media is gullible) is opposite of the media’s worldview in which they are smart and Trump is uninformed. So what do they do?

They act as if Trump is the dumb one in this situation. Because that fits their worldview.

And…they…fact-check his claim.

Meanwhile, the unhypnotized laugh themselves into a stupor watching this spectacle of cognitive dissonance. Humor aside, it is a marvelous and incredible thing to behold.

One of my smartest friends just emailed me to say he thinks Trump really believes that Obama and Clinton “founded” ISIS. My friend has a very high IQ and he’s well-informed. But cognitive dissonance isn’t influenced by intelligence. He believes whatever fits his worldview. Just like the rest of us.

The fun part is that we can see cognitive dissonance when it happens to others – such as with my friend, and CNN – but we can’t see it when it happens to us. So don’t get too smug about this. You’re probably next.

I think this story will end up in psychology textbooks. You rarely see such a clean example of cognitive dissonance in public.

Oh, and Trump hates babies, and he also wants a 2nd amendment supporter to assassinate his opponent. As long as the media is being dumbasses, they might as well fact-check that stuff too.

I have never been so entertained.

If you think Obama and Clinton were not founders of ISIS, you might like my book.

The Seer

EOG Dedicated
Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race

Posted August 14th, 2016 @ 4:59pm in #Trump #Clinton

In my book – that you might enjoy because it is full of words – I talk about developing your own personal bullsh*t detector. I won’t rewrite that chapter here, but I’ll tell you how my own B.S. detector sees the accuracy of the presidential polls.

One of the things I look for when I’m trying to detect B.S. is to see if two or more sources of information are in agreement. The polls showing Clinton with a solid lead seem to be in agreement, so that is strong evidence that it is a true snapshot of current sentiment. Some polls could be biased, and probably are. But all of them? That seems unlikely.

Common sense tells me there are enough anti-Trumpers in the world that they might indeed form a solid majority at this point in history. That’s not impossible on the surface of things. Common sense does not conflict with the idea that Clinton is ahead.

Now consider the size of the gatherings for Trump rallies versus Clinton events. That suggests a huge under-polling of Trump supporters. But another explanation is equally credible: Trump is more entertaining. That alone could explain the difference in event attendance.

Trump also dominates on Internet engagement stats, and he does better with online polls than with phone polls. But that could be nothing but a sign that he has more energy on the Internet. It doesn’t directly translate to votes.

So what are the strongest arguments that the polls are wrong and Trump will win in the end?

Anecdotally, many Trump supporters know other Trump supporters who won’t admit their Trump support, even to loved ones, much less to pollsters calling their homes. It just isn’t safe to support Trump in many parts of America. I live in one of those places, and that’s why I endorsed Hillary Clinton for my personal safety. It’s just safer. (And yes, I am totally serious.)

The so-called Shy Trump Supporter is real, but we have no accurate way to measure them. Likewise, we have no way to measure people who haven’t yet been motivated to register but might later.

We also have to ask ourselves whether it is possible for all of the separate polls to be “rigged” in favor of Clinton. My B.S. filter says that whenever you have a situation in which there is a lot to gain, opportunity for cheating, and a low risk of getting caught, shenanigans always happen. So I expect, based on that universal law alone, that SOME of the polls are rigged and SOME of the actual election will be rigged as well.

But since all polls show Trump behind, and it is deeply unlikely that all polls are rigged, my best guess is that only the outlier polls are rigged, or at least inaccurate. Trump is probably down, but not as much as poll averages suggest.

My best guess is that Trump is genuinely behind in the polls, and unless something big changes, he will lose the election.

But something big always happens. Probably several big things will happen between now and November. And it might include one or more of these things:

1. New Clinton health issue or revelation

2. New Wikileak that is more damaging than what we have seen.

3. New Clinton Foundation revelations worse than what we have seen.

4. Trump makes an uncharacteristically empathetic speech that shows he can take advice, is not irrational, and that he loves all Americans.

5. The Shy Trump Supporter is really a monster size.

6. Godzilla changes sides.

7. I take sides.

8. A major terror event.

9. Trump outperforms expectations in the debates (especially the first one).

Anything can happen. But I think there are more potential shocks on the Clinton side because any bad news about Trump’s character or business dealings are already baked into the cake. He is virtually shock-proof. Clinton is not.

I still predict a Trump landslide, based on the 3rd act movie formula. Trump is in his deepest hole right now. This is when the surprise happens (next two months) if it is going to happen. He’s had other deep holes, but none as deep as this. This is the big one because time is running out.

For new readers, I don’t vote, and I don’t support the policies of either candidate. My political preferences are quite different from both. And I think it is insane to elect 70-year-olds to a job that requires so much energy and mental agility. You wouldn’t hire a 70-year-old for any other type of job that they had never held. Why does it make sense here? (Answer: cognitive dissonance)


The Seer

EOG Dedicated
Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race

Adams puts something out every few days. Here's today's

<section class="list-medium posts col-sm-12" style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; min-height: 1px; padding-left: 15px; padding-right: 15px; float: left; width: 775px;"><article class="blog-item post text js-blog-post-container-149413206951" data-id="149413206951" data-url="" data-image="" data-date="2016-August-24" data-creator="Scott Adams" data-title="On a Positive Note…" data-tags="Trump, Clinton, " data-description="" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; overflow: hidden; width: 745px; margin-bottom: 40px; font-size: 20px;">On a Positive Note…

Posted August 24th, 2016 @ 7:53am in #Trump #Clinton
It is easy to find ugliness in this election cycle, but I thought I would take a moment to point out two remarkable happenings that you might have missed.
Clinton and Trump are the most disliked candidates for president that this country has ever seen. And yet, see what they have accomplished without even getting elected…
Hillary Clinton has already broken the ultimate glass ceiling. I see no discussion – in private or in public – about the role of her gender. Clinton did that for you and your daughters. She took gender off the table for the most important job in the land. It doesn’t matter who gets elected now. Clinton already made the gender sale. In 2016, nearly all American citizens believe a woman can, and will, be president. Because of Hillary Clinton. That’s a big deal.
I know that some of you think Clinton “cheated” because she used the advantage of her husband’s presidency to seek her own destiny. But keep in mind that ALL successful people exploit their unique advantages. Clinton just did it better. She isn’t here by accident.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump turned the GOP into a pro-LGBTQ organization. No one saw that coming. And I think it is sticking. That’s a big deal.
So, while we were watching the two most odious personalities on the planet hurl lies and insults at each other, those two odious personalities were bringing civilization toward the light. And succeeding.
Don’t lose that.

The Seer

EOG Dedicated
Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race

The Most Biased Poll Ever

Posted August 28th, 2016 @ 1:55pm in #trump #clinton
Note: Yes, I know a Twitter survey with a non-random sample has no scientific validity. And yes, I know my followers are not representative of the public. And yes, I know the survey question leads the witness.
Still, I found this interesting from a persuasion perspective:
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</figure>The takeaway is that some substantial percentage of the public (but nowhere near 84%) agrees with the notion that Clinton is a bigot against white American men...............................


The Seer

EOG Dedicated
Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race

Why Trump Doesn’t Scare Me

Posted September 5th, 2016 @ 10:27am in #trump #bogeyman #confirmation bias #pre-suasion
Donald Trump scares a lot of people. They worry that he is a crazy racist who can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes. They worry that he will needlessly insult foreign leaders. They worry that he isn’t sufficiently knowledgeable to do the job. And so on.
But unlike the frightened masses, I perceive Trump to be safer than the average candidate for president. You might wonder what-the-hell I’m seeing that you are not seeing. That’s worth detailing because it is always fascinating when people look at the same situation and have wildly different interpretations. With that setup, here are my reasons why Donald Trump does not scare me.
I’m Not Afraid of the Dark

If you ask a hundred strangers to finish the following sentence, what types of answers would you get?

  • Timmy was afraid of …
I’ll bet the answer you would hear most often is “the dark.” Children are typically afraid of the dark because – as you know – ghosts and other monsters hide in the dark. Humans eventually grow up, but we never completely lose our childhood fears. Those fears are deeply ingrained.
“Dark” is a word that takes our brains immediately and automatically to a place of irrational fear. You might even say the word dark is a form of “pre-suasion,” which is coincidentally the title of an important, new book by the Godzilla of Influence, Robert Cialdini. Read it and learn how a word such as “dark” can rewire your mind to perceive your environment as more frightening than the evidence suggests.
Unlike most normal humans, I’m not especially afraid of the dark. I don’t believe in ghosts and I live in a safe neighborhood. That makes me less susceptible to the word dark as pre-suasion. If you happen to live in a dangerous neighborhood, and/or you believe in ghosts, the word dark is likely to influence you more deeply that it does me.
I also recognized soon after Trump’s GOP convention speech that Clinton’s campaign had evidently coached its surrogates to simultaneously use the word darkto pre-suade voters to see Trump as scary. What I saw was weapons-grade persuasion technique. Those of you who are untrained in the techniques of persuasion probably heard the word dark and it automatically started the fear subroutine in your brains, as Clinton’s team planned. Keep in mind that 42% of Americans believe in ghosts, according to a Harris Poll. Another survey found that 57% of Americans – and 72% of African-Americans in particular – literally believe in Satan. And Satan likes to hide in the dark. With the ghosts.
If you ask Clinton supporters what scares them about Trump, they will say things about his temperament. It will sound quite rational. But rational thought is almost entirely an illusion. What is actually happening is that Trump reminds you of something scary (in the dark) and confirmation bias fills in the “evidence” where there is none.
As a trained hypnotist, and a student of persuasion, I see the world through a persuasion filter. My viewfinder shows me confirmation bias, whereas many people are seeing Trump as an irrational conflation of ghosts, devils, and bogeymen that hide in the dark. Team Clinton created that persuasion trap. I recognized the technique. Some of you did too. Most of the world did not.
I’m From New York

You know how Trump is always saying inappropriate and violent-sounding things? Most people see that type of language as offensive and even dangerous. The exception is people who grew up in New York. We see it as “talking.”
After college, when I moved from upstate New York to California, I had to relearn how to talk. My New York style offended nearly everyone. Let me give you an example of how a Californian talks compared to a New Yorker.
Californian: It looks like it might rain today.
New Yorker: Oh, shit. Fucking rain. I need that like I need a goddamned bullet in my head.
See the difference?
When Trump talks about roughing-up protesters, or shooting someone on 5th Avenue, people from New York don’t raise an eyebrow. But Californians start wondering how to have that guy involuntarily committed to some sort of facility that can fix whatever is wrong with him.
I’m not defending Trump’s speaking style. I consider it a mistake to speak in New York style outside the state. I make that mistake several times a day. And nearly every first-draft of my blog posts is peppered with New York-style profanity and violent imagery. I take most of it out in the final pass.
So don’t be afraid of Trump because of the way he speaks. That’s how people from New York talk. If you don’t believe me, ask someone from New York if they are offended by Trump’s language. Then ask a Midwesterner or a Californian the same question. Only the New Yorker will laugh at the question.
Making a Huge First Offer

Trump has been consistent for decades in his practice of making an aggressive first offer and negotiating down to something reasonable. He talks about it in his book,The Art of the Deal. So when Trump announced he would deport 11 million people, I saw that as an aggressive opening offer, consistent with his history, and nothing worthy of fear. Most of the world saw it as a final offer.
It wasn’t.
Recently we learned that my interpretation from last year was accurate. Trump is now focusing on the “criminal” aliens who committed additional offenses after entering the country illegally. He plans to “prioritize” that group and get around to the rest at some future date, when circumstances might be different. That’s how a Master Persuader talks.
The problem is that Trump can’t say today that he will be lenient with illegal immigrants tomorrow because that would encourage more people to enter the country. The best play – and the only one likely to work – is to scare people into thinking he will deport everyone, then soften after the bad ones have been expelled and the wall is working. Trump is approaching immigration like a persuader. If you trust him to be kind later, his approach looks both humane and practical. But if you are afraid of the dark, and afraid of New York-style talking, you might see something sinister. I predicted last year that Trump would soften on deporting 11 million people, and he is doing just that, right on schedule. To me, Trump has never been scary on this topic. He was acting like a Master Persuader and using fear to slow incoming immigration as well as to get elected.
Pattern Recognition

The human brain is designed to recognize patterns, but we aren’t terribly good at it. We see patterns where none exist. And once we think we see a pattern, confirmation bias kicks in and supplies our minds with lots of imaginary “evidence.”
For example, if you think Trump is a racist, you were probably offended that he referred to Judge Curiel as “Mexican.” But if you do not think Trump is racist, you might notice that Americans with Italian heritage refer to themselves as Italian. And Americans with Irish backgrounds often call themselves Irish. Even Americans with Mexican heritage call themselves Mexicans. It’s just a shorthand way of talking. Every single one of us talks the way Trump does.
My perception of the Judge Curiel situation is that Trump was making a common-sense legal point about the nature of bias. All humans are influenced by their experiences, and a judge with Mexican heritage – and beloved Mexican family members – has a good chance of being biased against an alleged anti-Mexican defendant. That’s just a statement about how normal humans are wired. It says nothing about Curiel’s talent as a judge.
As a student of persuasion, my mental filters are set to spot confirmation bias the way bird-watchers are trained to spot birds. Most voters have never even heard of confirmation bias. They don’t know it is a thing.
Once you know what confirmation bias is, you can better recognize it in others. My perception is that what people see as Trump’s racism is actually their own confirmation bias. That doesn’t mean I’m right. But keep in mind that I am trained to spot confirmation bias in others, and this is the cleanest case I have ever seen.
The other possibility is that my writing about Trump has put me into cognitive dissonance and I’m the crazy one here. I can’t rule that out. But to the point of today’s blog, it explains why Trump looks safe to me and dangerous to those who don’t know what confirmation bias is.

People like my book because people like books. Plus, it has reviews. Also, models read it.
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The Seer

EOG Dedicated
Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race

Checking My Predictions About Clinton’s Health

Posted September 11th, 2016 @ 6:50pm in #Trump #Clinton
In a blog post I wrote on December 27th, 2015, I said this…
Bonus Thought 1: One of the skills a hypnotist has to master is reading people’s inner thoughts based on their body language. That’s a common skill for people in the business world too, but hypnotists go deeper than looking at crossed arms and furrowed brows. We learn to look for subtle changes in breathing patterns, tiny changes in muscle tone, variations in skin color (blushing or not), word choice, pupil dilation, and more. I assume law enforcement people look for similar tells when doing interrogations.
As regular readers know, I’m a trained hypnotist. And to me, Hillary Clinton looks as if she is hiding a major health issue. If you read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, you know that so-called “experts” can sometimes instantly make decisions before they know why. In my case, I am going to make an “expert” hypnotist prediction about Hillary Clinton without knowing exactly which clues I am picking up, or whether I am hallucinating them.
Prediction: I’ll put the odds at 75% that we learn of an important Clinton health issue before the general election. That estimate is based on my own track record of guessing things about people without the benefit of knowing why. I think Trump is picking up the same vibe. He has already questioned Clinton’s “stamina.”

On December 29th, 2015 I blogged that Trump would be seen as “running unopposed” before election day. I mentioned Clinton’s health as a possible reason.
While I’m on the topic, I’ll add another prediction to the Master Persuader series. I predict that by the time Trump is in the general election and running against Clinton, you will start hearing that Trump (Lucky Hitler) is – for all practical purposes – “running unopposed” as Clinton’s poll numbers plummet.
That can happen in a variety of ways. One way is if Clinton’s health or legal issues rise to the point of being disqualifying, and Trump persuades us to think about those things more than we think about anything else. Once you imagine there is one candidate in the race who is eligible and one who might not survive the term, or might be in jail, you start to imagine it as a one-person race.
And you will. That’s how you get a landslide.
Look for the words “running unopposed” in pundit articles and quotes within a few months of election day. And it still counts if it started here, because it won’t catch on unless it actually fits.
On April 29th of 2016 I expanded on the thought in this post.
I have blogged and tweeted that Hillary Clinton looks unhealthy to me. And I have mentioned on Twitter that one of the skills of a hypnotist is identifying subtle bodily changes. Observation is a huge part of a hypnotist’s skill. You look for micro changes in muscle tone, breathing, posture, and anything else that can tell you whether your technique is working or you need to quickly pivot to a new approach. Think of it as rapid A-B testing on humans. And like any skill, one gets better with practice. I have more than three decades of practice for this specific skill.
What I see in Clinton’s health is an unusual level of variability. Sometimes her eyes bug out, sometimes they are tired and baggy. Sometimes she looks puffy, sometimes not. It would be easy to assume fatigue is the important variable. And that is clearly a big factor. But notice that the other candidates have little variability in their physicality. Trump always looks like Trump. Cruz always looks like Cruz, and so on. Sometimes we think we can detect fatigue in their answers, but visually the other candidates appear about the same every day.
Clinton, on the other hand, looks like an entirely different person every few days. That suggests some greater variability in her health. And that’s probably a tell for medications that are waxing and waning but rarely at the ideal levels. Or perhaps the underlying conditions have normal variability. Or both.
Under normal circumstances it would be deeply irresponsible for a cartoonist to give a medical diagnosis to a stranger he hasn’t met. I trust you to ignore my medical opinions. I do this to build a record of my persuasion-related predictions and to show you the method.
I give Clinton a 50% chance of making it to November with sufficiently good health to be considered a viable president. Judging from her performance on the campaign trail, she is managing her health effectively to get the job done. But I would think most people who run for president end up sacrificing their health in some measure. The big question is how much buffer she has left.

The Seer

EOG Dedicated
Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race Trump loses

Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race Trump loses

The Era of Women

Posted October 13th, 2016 @ 12:04am in #Trump #Clinton #gary johnson
If the latest groping/kissing allegations against Trump hold up – and I assume they will, based on quantity if not credibility – it won’t matter what Wikileaks says about Clinton. She will win easily.
If Clinton wins, you’ll wonder if this invalidates the Master Persuader Hypothesis. The short answer is no, because the concept doesn’t account for unknowns of this magnitude. If a meteor had struck Trump a day before election day, it wouldn’t say much about his skill as a persuader. The Master Persuasion Hypothesis worked splendidly until the double-whammy of the Access Hollywood tape and the “octopus” meteor.
Trump could still win, but only if some new and unexpected meteor strikes Clinton. Here’s how I see it through the persuasion filter:
1. Facts and policies stopped mattering months ago. No one cares.
2. Wikileaks has no meteors to offer. The Wikileaks misdeeds involve people who are not Clinton, and they involve issues that are boring and a bit complicated. The public will not be much influenced by them.
3. The “octopus” line about Trump is engineered persuasion of the highest order. It makes the story deeply visual and extra-creepy. Godzilla, or someone similarly skilled, is probably behind that word. It’s too engineered for a civilian to concoct during an interview. That’s professional work. And it’s probably a golden stake through Trump’s political heart. (Well played.)
This is a good time to remind you that I endorse Gary Johnson because he only touches himself.
Anyway, getting to the point of this post, if Clinton wins, it will be because women voted for her in landslide proportions while men (on average) preferred Trump. And that means two things of historic importance.
1. We will elect the first woman to be President of the United States. That’s good for everyone.
2. Everything that goes wrong with the country from this point forward is women’s fault.
I feel some relief about that. The next four years are likely to be some of the worst in our country’s history. The Republican establishment will make sure of that because a failed America is in their best interest in the short run. Four years from now they want to offer their chosen savior (Paul Ryan). Trump would have a good chance of bullying the Republican establishment as he has done so far. Clinton, not so much. She’ll be buried in scandals, both real and imagined.
Men had a good run. We invented almost everything, and that’s cool. But we also started all of the wars and committed most of the crimes. It’s a mixed record to be sure. Now it’s time for something different, apparently.
Hillary Clinton is all yours, ladies. She and her alleged rapist husband are your brand now. Wear them well.

The Seer

EOG Dedicated
Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race Trump loses

Re: Scott Adams blogs on POTUS race Trump loses

<section class="list-medium posts col-sm-12" style="box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; min-height: 1px; padding-left: 15px; padding-right: 15px; float: left; width: 775px;"><article class="blog-item post text js-blog-post-container-152685424531" data-id="152685424531" data-url="" data-image="" data-date="2016-November-03" data-creator="Scott Adams" data-title="Same Candidates, Different Worlds" data-tags="Trump, Clinton, " data-description="" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; overflow: hidden; width: 745px; margin-bottom: 40px; font-size: 20px;">Same Candidates, Different Worlds

Posted November 3rd, 2016 @ 8:58am in #Trump #Clinton
Last night I was comparing campaign coverage on CNN and FOX News. It was like seeing two different realities.
On FOX, the big news is that the FBI is not only investigating the Weiner laptop emails, but separately the FBI has a major investigation about the Clinton Foundation. I watched Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani – who knows a thing or two about prosecutions – explain the money-laundering-bribery crimes the Clinton Foundation has allegedly committed. In other words, if you only watch FOX News, you might believe Clinton is the head of a crime organization that just got caught, and therefore she has no chance of winning the presidency.
Now switch to CNN.
CNN is temporarily a comedy network because it is hilarious to watch them avoid mentioning Clinton while pretending to cover a race that allegedly involves two candidates. They talked about process. They talked about Republican voter suppression. They talked about Trump. But they don’t say much about Clinton. On CNN, what matters most is putting the messengers on trial. CNN pundits accuse the Russians of stealing DNC emails to influence the election. They accuse the Director of the FBI of announcing stuff he shouldn’t announce. On CNN, Clinton has a solid lead in the electoral college and she is likely to be our next president.
So choose your reality. If you like the reality where Trump wins, you can watch it happening live on FOX News. He’s crushing it over there. But if you hope for a Clinton win, watch CNN and see your dreams come true. She’s doing great on that network. On November 8th, one of those realities will fall away.