Sunday, November 2, 2014

Scott Adams is a fascinating person...

Scott Adams is a fascinating person...  I first ran across his work through his Dilbert cartoon.  Reading the day's strip is still a morning ritual for me, and more often than not results in a hearty laugh-out-loud for this geek.  He captures the office dynamics so perfectly, and finds a way to make them funny.

Then I started reading his blog, and later a couple of books.  Both of these are full of meaty, interesting ideas and concepts – somehow not something I ever expected from a cartoonist.  I don't know where or how I acquired the notion that a cartoonist wouldn't be that interesting a person, but clearly I did – because reading Adams' prose surprised me.  A lot.

This morning I read another great example, on his blog.  A key paragraph:
The winner worldview is that you have responsibility for your own life and it is irrelevant who is at fault if the people at fault can't or won't fix the problem. I've noticed over the course of my life that winners ignore questions of blame and fault and look for solutions they can personally influence. Losers blame others for their problems and expect that to produce results.
This resonates very strongly with me, as I had a similar revelation early in my adult life.  In my case, it happened while I was in the Navy.  The trigger was a very clear one: my bosses told me that I was doing such a great job that I couldn't go on vacation (the Navy calls this “leave”).  It was clear they weren't going to change their minds – so I went on a sort of intellectual strike: I stopped knowing how to fix computers (my job).  They got the message, and we made an explicit agreement: I'd get my vacation, and I would start knowing how to fix computers again.  That was a formative experience – after that, there are many occasions when I reached some objective by finding my own way to get it done.

If you enjoy reading someone with a unique and refreshing perspective on the world, I recommend Scott Adams' blog and booksHis cartoons aren't bad, either :)

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