Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 10:21 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 10:21 | SYDNEY

The quotable Scott Adams


Sam Roggeveen


28 January 2010 21:07

You know him as the cartoonist behind Dilbert, but my goodness, the guy can write. Here are a few quotes from some of his recent blog posts, filled with ideas that bring the reader closer to understanding the world than many an academic study.

On climate change:

Humans are obsessed with their weight. I think a big part of that obsession is the simple fact that weight is easy to measure. Scales are relatively cheap, accurate enough, and sitting right on the floor next to your shower when you need them...Generally speaking, we care most about the things we can easily measure, even if we know other things are more important. The measurement bias is one of the problems with selling a concept like global warming to the masses. Individuals can't measure global warming, and it doesn't change much from day to day.

On counter-terrorism:

Terror networks are perfect targets for false communications. First, the real orders sound exactly like pranks. It would be hard to sort out the evil mastermind plots from the CIA practical jokes. For example, if you get the order to shove C4 up your ass and yell WALAWALAWALA while running toward a heavily armed American Checkpoint, is that a real one or a prank? It's hard to tell.

On the language of diplomacy:

I suppose it's the Dilbert cartoonist in me, but I can't help seeing world affairs as essentially a bunch of middle managers sitting around a rectangular table coming up with clever ways to convince the masses that turds are diamonds.

On complexity:

The real problem is that the world has become so complex that simple tasks are nearly impossible...I'd like to have an iPod. It would be great for working out. But I know that heading down that road would be disaster and heartache. Sure, it would be a simple task if it were just me. But the kids have iPods, and share an account, and there are gift cards, and limitations on porting to different devices, and a computer that only works half the time, and lord knows what other problems are lurking. The one thing I know for sure is that I'm not going to plug an iPod into the computer and happily download music with a few keystrokes. It would be more complicated than the Normandy Invasion. Instead, I just live without music. And exercise. So I suppose complexity is actually killing me now.