November 2, 2017

"I don’t believe Trump purposely injects errors into his work except in the form of oversimplification and hyperbole, as in the wall example."

"That stuff is intentional for sure. But for the smaller 'errors' it is more that he doesn’t bother to correct himself. I use a similar technique with my blog when someone points out a typo. Sometimes I leave the typo because it makes you pause and reread the sentence a few times to figure out what the typo was supposed to mean. The 'mistake' attracts your energy to my writing, and that’s what a writer wants. I want your focus. Some mistakes are just ordinary mistakes. But when you see a consistent stream of 'mistakes' from a Master Persuader, be open to the possibility that some of those mistakes are about controlling your focus and energy. When you first saw the title of this book, did you think to yourself that Trump doesn’t say 'bigly,' he says 'big league'? If you noticed my title 'error,' it probably helped you remember the book. And now whenever you hear the words 'bigly' or 'big league' in some other context, it will make you think of this book. The things you think about the most, and remember best, seem more important to you than other things. That’s the persuasion I engineered into the title."

This book is, obviously, "Win Bigly," by Scott Adams.

Speaking of remembering things, I'm certainly going to remember that positive spin on typos. As you might have figured out, I impulsively hit "publish" as soon as I do a first draft. Then, I proofread, and there's always at least one error to correct. I've thought about overcoming my impulsive draft-publishing, but now, I'm thinking, why proofread at all? It's better with some typos. You'll slow down and contemplate, what is Althouse trying to say? You'll have to embody thinking like me to find an answer, and that process will get my thoughts across better than if the draft had been perfect.

38 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

This sound like a good technique.

Quayle said...

I absolute agree!

Kassaar said...

Typos don’t focus my mind. They distract.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJinPA said...

typo make people reed me stuff more

jwl said...

Some people, including me, have an 'itis' where you don't see spelling and grammar mistakes until you hit publish.

Adams is over-egging pudding about how brilliant typos are - I am not convinced it is good for writers to leave their readers confused and make them figure out what you talking about.

Big Mike said...

It isn’t that your posts are better with typos in your writing. It’s that if you’re like most people it’s hard to find your own typos unless you let the writing sit for several hours so that you no longer know what you meant to write and perceive what you did write. And then you’d lose spontaneity.

mccullough said...

Sounds like I Meant to Do That

tcrosse said...

A subset of typos are the homonyms that AutoCorrect chooses to throw into text. They should be reigned in.

Nonapod said...

Regarding the book, if you're an Adams fan or follower, there's probably not a lot that'll be new here. I've only read the first couple chapters and so far this book seems pretty much a reiteration of the arguments he's made on his blog and elsewhere over the past year or so. I'm already very familiar with (and largely wholeheartedly agree with) all his ideas.

Bob Ellison said...

He's the King of I'm Smart. Kind of weird, given Dilbert.

Snark said...

Adams elects to call the characteristics of sociopathic charm, dishonesty and aggression "master persuasion". He's one of the more naked opportunists is this era of Trump and he will be well on the shit side of history.

Nonapod said...

Yeah, he does kind of toot his own horn a bit too enthusiastically. Of course he'll insist his lack of humility is just another thread in his web of persuasion.

DKWalser said...

Adams is right about typos, but I still think they should be corrected. It's a matter of courtesy to your readers. The lack of typos conveys a sense of care in writing that reflects well on arguments being made. Typos indicate sloppiness in the writing that might be a reflection of sloppiness in the thinking behind the arguments.

rehajm said...

For the grammar police set typos are fingers on a chalkboard. Probably not the type of focus you're looking for.

Drago said...

Snark: "Adams elects to call the characteristics of sociopathic charm, dishonesty and aggression "master persuasion". He's one of the more naked opportunists is this era of Trump and he will be well on the shit side of history."

Just write "irredeemable" "Deplorable". It's easier.

Ann Althouse said...

"Typos don’t focus my mind. They distract."

Ah, but the distraction IS the focus. You focus on the thing that distracts you, you stop, and you figure it out. You spent more time on that sentence. That was annoying for you, but psychologically, you got imprinted by that thing that detained you.

Consider the similar problem of a hard-to-read font. Adams writes:

"[C]onsider a small 2012 study by researcher Daniel Oppenheimer that found students had better recall when a font was harder to read. 3 Oppenheimer explains the unexpected result by noting that people slow down and concentrate harder to compensate for the hard-to-read font. That extra concentration is what makes lasting memories form.

Nonapod said...

Adams elects to call the characteristics of sociopathic charm, dishonesty and aggression "master persuasion". He's one of the more naked opportunists is this era of Trump and he will be well on the shit side of history.

You believe Trump is a sociopath. Personally I have no idea. He way may be for all I know, I'm not a psychiatrist. But however you categorize Trump's personality, what specific arguments of Adams do you disagree with? What convinces you that Adam's will end up "on the shit side of history"?

Howard said...

People who get hairballs over typos and grammar don't have the intelligence or confidence to solve real world (not word) problems. This explains why Trump's persuasion works so well, the people influenced are not bright and/or are chemically altered via opiates and/or blood sugar imbalance. The left uses a similar technique for a different strata of moron by telling sob-sister stories to induce guilt in pot head pipe dreamers.

Howard said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said..."Typos don’t focus my mind. They distract." Ah, but the distraction IS the focus.
Exactly, idiots get distracted by noise rather than focus on the signal.

Kyzernick said...

Don't ask Snark for coherent arguments. That's like asking a snail to beat Usain Bolt in a race. It's just never ever gonna happen because the snail can't come close to making it happen.

Kyzernick said...

According to Howard, people who dislike typos are not intelligent. Also according to Howard, the people Trump has influenced (who are fine with typos) are not intelligent.

Howard needs to learn rhetoric before he opens his commie mouth.

Snark said...

"You believe Trump is a sociopath. Personally I have no idea. He way may be for all I know, I'm not a psychiatrist. But however you categorize Trump's personality, what specific arguments of Adams do you disagree with? What convinces you that Adam's will end up "on the shit side of history"?"

I'm not a psychiatrist either, and you don't need to be. There are many books written specifically for the lay person to recognize the personality disorder, and to understand the ways in which it is profoundly destructive. There are of course a deluge of professional opinions that are present as well on Trump, but you don't have to rely on them. The concepts are completely accessible to anybody.

What I resent about Adams is that he casts Trump as a master employing techniques, rather than a sociopathic personality displaying an intrinsic and brutal intention to dissemble, manipulate, and destroy, always in the conscienceless service of self. Nobody with influence should be giggling and marvelling at all this, also notably in the service of self. Sociopaths are destructive forces. Inviting people to absorb Trump's lessons on "persuasion" gives cover to this it could not deserve any less. Sociopaths "persuade" because they overwhelm and confuse normal defenses. People should be warned, not invited to applaud and emulate.

I think history will ultimately record this time in American life as dark and destructive. Anybody like Adams who spends this time fiddling- literally putting Trump's malignant narcissism to a sort of music - while America smolders and burns, will almost certainly be on the shit side of history.

Fabi said...

I had no idea America was in a state of smolder and burn. Any examples you'd like to share with the group?

Mountain Maven said...

I'm past my Scott Adams phase

exhelodrvr1 said...

"displaying an intrinsic and brutal intention to dissemble, manipulate, and destroy, always in the conscienceless service of self"

You know who that really sounds like?

exhelodrvr1 said...

That's why Hillary injects lies into everything she says, and why, after a Hillary speech, you hear frustrated yells of "Oh, FocUs!! FocUs All!! Did you hear what she just said?!"

Snark said...

A lot of politicians are going to be higher on the scale than most of us. CEOs as well. And - you guys will like this - journalists. Other examples. But it's not just about lying and venality, it's the confluence of a very specific set of personality characteristics and behaviours that go beyond that. Hillary is more like a Lance Armstrong type - ruthless, mostly charmless, narcissistic, driven. If she and Trump were the same type with the same tools and instincts we wouldn't have seen the kind of victory by Trump that we universally regard as a massive upset.

Nonapod said...

Trump as a master employing techniques, rather than a sociopathic personality displaying an intrinsic and brutal intention to dissemble, manipulate, and destroy, always in the conscienceless service of self.

You're assigning all sorts of intentions that may not be valid here. It seems as if in your mind Trump is a monstrous villain who get his jollies "destroying" in "service of (him)self".

You say Trump dissembles and manipulates. As Adams and many other people have argued ad nauseum, how exactly does that make him any different than any other successful politician, successful business leader, or influential religious leader since the dawn of man? If you're saying that indicates that Trump is definitely a sociopath, then you'd probably have concede that about most successful leaders (and believe me, many people would agree). But of course, it's endlessly debatable whether humanity is run by a bunch sociopaths or not and I'd rather not go down that rabbit hole right now.

Earnest Prole said...

the distraction IS the focus

I refuse to read bloggers who commit typos more frequently than a Blue Moon. It's a clear sign their thoughts are sloppy and they don't care about their readers.

Earnest Prole said...

Covfefe was an interesting typo. The rest, no.

Snark said...

Nonapod I think you and I were posting at roughly the same time, and ended up saying some similar things. Lying and manipulation is necessary but not sufficient to sociopathy. If Trump was just like everybody else Adams wouldn't be building a second career around the spectacular ways in which he isn't. I use the words I do because I think it's big, serious and important, not because I'm casting a cartoon villain. The cold and predatory self interest of a true sociopathic personality is one which is very foreign to most of us. It's not really accessible without a bit of study, and therefore tends gets lost in arguments of relativism and whatabooutism.

Here's an example I would use. We've read recently about Russia's efforts to exploit hot button issues in Facebook and Twitter material to sow chaos and pit Americans against each other. Just in the last 24 hours we've had Trump tweet aggressively about Guantanamo, due process for terrorists, the death penalty, and the fact that the justice system is a joke and a laughingstock in this context. All sensitive, divisive issues in American life. It's almost a mirror impact of the Russian efforts in some ways, and I don't mean to draw a parallel to Russia there, just to a destructive, self serving intent that neither considers nor cares about a negative impact other than to instinctively exploit it. It's harder to see if you agree with some of Trump's sentiments, but it's still there. And that's just the last 24 hours.

Roy Lofquist said...

For some of us typos are the stuff of nightmare. When a simple transposition of letters or writing "Oh" instead of zero can cost you a two day delay through the keypunch compile cycle you get fanatical about proofreading.

I'll bet I take at least three times as long to type comments as the average bear. And nobody cares. It's a cruel world.

Unknown said...

http://dilbert.com/strip/1997-02-16

Nonapod said...

Just in the last 24 hours we've had Trump tweet aggressively about Guantanamo, due process for terrorists, the death penalty, and the fact that the justice system is a joke and a laughingstock in this context. All sensitive, divisive issues in American life. It's almost a mirror impact of the Russian efforts in some ways, and I don't mean to draw a parallel to Russia there, just to a destructive, self serving intent that neither considers nor cares about a negative impact other than to instinctively exploit it. It's harder to see if you agree with some of Trump's sentiments, but it's still there.

Let me start off by saying personally I've never liked Trumps bombastic speaking style, demeanor, or his general garish superficiality. I'm more interested in what he does rather than what he says or how he says it.

As to whether he's a destructive sociopath or whatever, for me that's a bit harder to get a handle on mostly because the definitions of what a sociopath is and isn't seem to change and are debated endlessly in the psychiatric community. Obviously Trump regularly says very provocative things with the clear intent of affecting public discourse. As you no doubt know, he typically goes for the "big ask" and then moderates his position. It's a strategy. Is it a morally righteous strategy? I guess that would depend on what his ultimate goals are and if you believe those goals are morally defensible.

Guantanamo, due process for terrorists, the death penalty ect... no doubt you have your own moral evaluations on those various issues informed by your life experiences and core values, and it's a bit murky to get into each of those discussions, so lets leave that aside for the moment. So Trump is saying a bunch of stuff here that could be viewed positively (he's security focused law and order guy that wants to keep us all safe) or in a very negative light (he's a budding authoritarian tyrant). But even if you believe he desires to be a tyrant, you'd have to acknowledge that it would be pretty difficult for him to actually achieve that in our current system. And he would probably aware of this as well.

At any rate, I'm less interested in what he Tweets about and more interested in what he actually does. As I said before, he may well be a sociopath, but he might not be a destructive one.

Fabi said...

I'm shocked at how well the children of a "sociopath" have developed into such decent adults.

bgates said...

Just in the last 24 hours we've had Trump tweet aggressively about Guantanamo, due process for terrorists, the death penalty, and the fact that the justice system is a joke and a laughingstock in this context. All sensitive, divisive issues in American life.

Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.

Walter S. said...

Some typos are art full, and some typos just hry om yjr esu/