Both books are about people putting their decision making to an external force (Dice man with a die, Yes Man by accepting any offer or invitation that he was given). Dice Man embraces randomness which ultimately leads to Chaos and self destruction. Yes Man embraces positivity and most of the outcomes are positive and constrictive.
One of the main issues I had with Dice Man when I read it was that you were kind of limited in a way because you were making a discreet set of decisions and it seems like the book was encouraging you to always include destructive options, which would occur (intrinsically) with a probability of some multiple of 1/6. To abuse the gamblers ruin, this basically means that if you're including destructive options, then you're almost certain to do damage to yourself eventually.
To that end, it didn't really seem that useful to me as a philosophy or as a tool. Not in any meaningful way. Yes Man, on the other hand, feels like it has greatly changed my life for the better. Your flatmate comes home from work and says to you "I've just had someone pull out of a gig. Want to come? I'm leaving in half an hour". You go, putting aside the fact that you're tired and were looking forward to some quiet TV. You meet someone who you end up dating for a few years. Or how a friend at college invited me to a talk given by local companies in the area offering industrial placements (year long internships taken as part of the degree). It was in 5 minutes time and I wasn't on the 4 year course that the placement was a part of. I had a free period so I went. Off the back of that I changed my course to the 4 year, applied to one of the companies that presented. I got the placement and off the back of that learned basically all the technical skills that got me my first job out of college. So on and etc.
I can't see the dice really allowing for that kind of flow, unless you use a d20 and heavily stack all of the options with positive, enriching and life affirming options. Which, really, isn't what the Dice Man book encourages at all.
A girlfriend that's into theatre took a course for being a clown and explained to me that one of the traits of the clown, as defining as the red nose, is accepting any challenge, saying that she knows how to do it perfectly with the ensuing disastrous results.
I realized that I'd been doing that all my life. So you can call me a clown but, as you say, results are often wonderful. Actually I start dating her with a couple of such daring decisions.
The clown seems to be some kind of metaphor for children's behaviour. So, nice.
Yes man also outlines its philosophy pretty explicitly (the "yes manifesto"). As such, it's easy to contrast and compare the two philosophies on pretty like-for-like terms.
Dice man does approach it kind of nihilistically though, but also shows the consequences of that approach.
Basically saying _yes_ to everything isn't going to magically make you only have great experiences. It will just mean having different ones.
I.e. I think it's more likely you'll end up in a better place if you say yes more (saying yes to absolutely everything is impractical) rather than just ending up somewhere "different" but equal
I am a big proponent of infinite universes branched at every decision point, and I've no doubt that saying yes every time doesn't result in the happiest outcome possible.
This is literally how I met my wife. Mutual friends were going to a Billy Joel concert and one couldn't make the show, so I was invited. I was tired, had a long commute home, didn't particularly feel strongly about Billy Joel, and generally didn't really want to go. For some reason, I said yes and ended up sitting next to a nice young lady who laughed at my jokes and was fun to be around.
I always reflect on that when I'm feeling like saying "no" to things.
Brilliant book, and it's a shame the film adaptation has fallen through. I guess it's a bit hard to adapt as a lot of it's exposition is inside the main characters head?
I think if they did it it may be pretty different from the book.
They mentioned Castaneda (The Teachings of Don Juan) in the article, I also thought of The Magus by John Fowles, The Glass Bead Game by Hesse and of course Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
What others are out there?
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Under the Volcano
All the kinds horses
The Sorrows of Young Werther
The Catcher in the Rye
Meetings With Remarkable Men
On the road
Ham on Rye
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Another Roadside Attraction
I heard of them both years back from everything2: https://everything2.com/title/Books+that+will+induce+a+mindf...
I was the lead developer there for a few years, after Jay Bonci split.
The Testament of Gideon Mack: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/014102335X
Hard Boiled Wonderland: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0099448785
Walking on Glass: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002TXZTE8
The Ginger Man: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0349108757
Perhaps not true cult classics, but they're often titles I've recommended or just buy for friends many times, and go back and re-read periodically.
So I changed it up and let the die decide if any given day was a fast day. I used 1d8 and 1s meant no eating that day (24h).
Did it fora few months and it kicked my weight loss up a notch. And yes: I had a few consecutive 1 days... So fasting was extended to 48h. No triples though, thank Zeus.
It cured the cheating ... And I found myself praying before rolls for "no 1s".
I called it stochastic IF (or SIF).
This is what I imagined cave dudes faced. SIF.
The dice method lets you remove yourself from this difficult final decision -- and since the decision you're now reluctant to take is now just 1 in 6 or 2 in 6 or such, and you include safe options too (e.g. "do nothing"), it's easier to write them down (you still feel like you have a way out through the dice when you're writing the difficult option down, as it might not come up).
It’s a die! I guess I shouldn't be stunned that the Grauniad makes this sort of error, but … sheesh.