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Dilbert's creator says you shouldn't have a career plan (forbes.com)
58 points by hansy 1133 days ago | hide | past | web | 36 comments | favorite



Why do we care what Scott Adams says about any topic other than creating a successful and amusing comic strip?


I'm guessing because of the correlation between comedians/humourists and intelligence/accurate observation.

Plus generally just being open curious human beings.

I don't think we should generally take carte-blanch the advice of anyone.

There's even grounds for not listening to those who are rich/wealthy/successful businesses when trying to analyse their own condition. There's an ego element there which means they'll want to apportion success to themselves relative to luck/chance/birth/others, and they're hardly going to come out and say "you know what, it was all a fluke" or "I ripped off bob/society..go me!".

Most of us humans are all too good at ascribing to large amounts of randomness some element in an attempt to explain outcomes post-fact.

I'll listen to Mr Adams. He seems to nail a lot of other things on the head.


Scott Adams is obviously very intelligent. Most people are taken aback by his confrontational net-persona. However, if you try to look at this persona as something constructed, as a fun project, and as a tool to drive traffic to his blog, you can see the brilliance.

Yes, he has covered just about any extreme position you can imagine. He's gone to anti-feminism caves, to anti-religion deserts, to abortion hell and recently dived into the "I viscerally hate anti-euthanasia people". So what? He raises valid points, and he raises them in a fashion that drives traffic to his blog, therefore maximizing the probability of discussion. As a side effect, he weeds out from the discussion those people who are not rational enough to see his extremist position as fabricated, and who respond emotionally. Win-win.

He's a dialectic genius.


Reading some of the stuff that got him in trouble, it's not particularly offensive (to me) but neither is it insightful or funny. Scott Adams was a good, even great, newspaper cartoon strip writer for several years, but he's been repeating himself for twenty and outrun hos talent.


Is he, actually, obviously very intelligent?

He seems reasonably smart in some ways. But he also seems to have no idea of the boundaries of his knowledge, which leads him to say a lot of stupid things. That doesn't qualify as "very intelligent" to me.


His point is to not have an overly specific plan, rather have a system where you are constantly learning things and meeting people that will be helpful to you in the future. He's also a former computer programmer and has a startup for easily sharing schedules among groups.

His interview on Tavis Smiley's show was awesome- http://video.pbs.org/video/2365115829/


Are you another one of Scott Adam's sock puppets? http://jezebel.com/5792583/dilbert-creator-pretends-to-be-hi...


I was not aware of all the controversy. I just happen to watch PBS. But I've come to realize that I shouldn't lead with the potential worst aspects of people. Or qualify everyone I like with "but I don't agree with X". It's burdensome.


His sock puppets seem to care a lot about what he has to say about all forms of douchbaggery.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/06/17/the-saga-o...

Scott Adams is up to his old obliviously obtuse act again. You may recall that the creator of Dilbert is an apologist for creationism, a pathetic anti-atheist wanker, and a narcissistic sock puppeteer, but did you know he’s also an obnoxist sexist pig? Oh, right, you did already know that. OK, but now he’s revising his personal history and making up stories about being a poor oppressed man, crushed by the matriarchy.

http://comicsalliance.com/scott-adams-plannedchaos-sockpuppe...

http://amptoons.com/blog/2011/06/16/scott-adams-still-a-douc...

http://www.rickworley.com/2012/06/20/scott-adams-douchebags-...

http://bitchmagazine.org/post/douchebag-decree-scott-adams-d...

http://bbs.boingboing.net/t/incredibly-interesting-authors-0...

http://www.reddit.com/r/comics/comments/gqzgx/dilbert_creato...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/21/987473/-Scott-Adams...

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/04/18/the-guy-...

...and so on...


Add this one to your list: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/07/jezebel_proves_scott_...

It takes down media feminists and sexually inadequate cartoonists, so you get to feel doubly superior after reading it.


There are better causes to devote yourself to than spreading your hatred for one man.


And there are MUCH better causes for YOU to devote yourself to than the Sysiphian task of carrying Scott Adam's douchebag water.

Nobody had mentioned what a douchebag he is yet, so it's a valid and relevant point to raise. And posting a few links is a lot less effort than the all the time and energy Scott Adams puts into his sock puppetry, so why not?

Seeing as how you're so devoted to your own cause, why aren't you also criticizing his sock puppets for being so devoted to their cause of praising him and calling everyone who doesn't agree an idiot? Obviously a lot of people here didn't already know what a douchebag he is, and now they do. Do you agree that he's a douchebag, or do you beg to differ, agree with his misogynistic opinions, and do you care to justify and explain his well documented behavior and opinions and blatant narcissistic sockpuppetry?


Well that escalated quickly!

Note: previous post was later radically altered.

It's a lot less effort than the all the time and energy Scott Adams puts into his sock puppetry, so why not?

Just because something takes a lot less time to do than something else, doesn't mean it's not ridiculous or awful.

Why aren't you also criticizing his sock puppets for being so devoted to the cause of praising him and calling everyone who doesn't agree an idiot?

a. He never called anyone an idiot.

b. He's not emotionally invested in the issue like you are.

Obviously a lot of people here don't know what a douchebag he is.

Thank you for providing evidence in an attempt to back up your beliefs. What a pity you have to use such aggressive and insulting terms for someone who holds different views to your own.

Do you agree he's a douchebag, or do you beg to differ, agree with him, and do you care to justify and explain his well documented behavior and opinions?

It's possible to answer "no" to every one of these questions. Let's break this down:

Do you agree he's a douchebag?

No. He has different opinions.

[D]o you... agree with him?

No.

[D]o you care to justify and explain his well documented behavior and opinions?

No.


So my post with links to articles about what he actually did and said is ridiculous and awful, but nothing Scott Adams has ever done or said is ridiculous and awful?

And what's so ridiculous and awful about linking to Scott Adam's own misogynistic rants and the reactions they provoked? I'm certainly not the only one who disagrees with you and thinks Scott Adams is a certifiable douchebag. Are your sensitive oppressed male feelings hurt that I pointed out his history of saying misogynistic things like "The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles."

"He never called anyone an idiot." Get your facts straight. You could at least read the links I provided before making stuff up. His sock puppet called people who disagree with him idiots, in the same breath as calling himself a genius:

"If an idiot and a genius disagree, the idiot generally thinks the genius is wrong. He also has lots of idiot reasons to back his idiot belief. That’s how the idiot mind is wired. It’s fair to say you disagree with Adams. But you can’t rule out the hypothesis that you’re too dumb to understand what he’s saying. And he’s a certified genius. Just sayin’."

The fact that you have to make stuff up that's not true totally invalidates your arguments.

"He's not emotionally invested in the issue like you are." And how can you possibly say that he's not emotionally invested in the issue after reading what he said, unless you ARE just Scott Adam's sock puppet, and therefore have special insight into his private mental state. It certainly sounds to me like he's extremely emotionally invested in the issue, enough to create sock puppet accounts and write ridiculous awful narcissistic crap like that, which you interpret as not ridiculous, not awful, and not emotionally invested, since you have so much insight into his mental state, yet no investment in devoting yourself to the cause of carrying his douchebag water. (That's sarcasm, Scott.)


It's not whether Scott is a douchebag or not, it's that nobody really gives a shit. This has clearly touched you on a personal level.

Show us on the doll where Scott touched you.


Please go away.


Agreed that "passion is bullsh*t." Talk of passion suggests one can articulate motivations that are largely beyond human control and understanding as if one had control over them. "Passion" in this sense is ersatz. More than this: the assumption seems to me that one is willing to openly discuss what I would consider intimate aspects of one's internal life with strangers. This is game-theoretically weak. I say instead that I don't experience "passions" as such, which strike me as mercurial. Instead, I find myself driven. Driven by forces largely beyond my control, by biophysical processes that I do not comprehend.


It's dangerous business for him to be saying stuff like this. I mean, are we all going to go out and be lucky enough to have a successful comic strip? No, it's a fluke. It worked for him, great, but shut up and take your success. Don't tell others what they should do.


The title is sensationalist. The point is that even the best laid plans require an element of luck, so it's better to develop systems of successful habits rather than attaching your hopes and dreams towards a specific "goal". He's not talking about how you, too, can be a comic book artist, he's saying that you need to learn as many useful skills as you can. In his book he devoted considerable time to detailing just how serendipitous the success of Dilbert was. I enjoyed it.


Why is his opinion to be muzzled, rather than those who suggest having a career plan? How do we know a career plan is good advice for everyone?


Career plans are wonderful for those whose career goes according to plan. ;-)


nothing is perfect for every single person, which is what I'm saying


No advice is perfect for everyone, therefore never give advice? That'd be a pretty terrible idea.

The question is how many people the advice would be useful to vs how many it would harm, and to what degree. Framing it otherwise just inflicts a massive loss of utility on all the people who would have benefited from it - i.e. you'd be choosing a world with more misery to live in.


Clearly a case of tl;dr. Adams did a bunch of foolish stuff before becoming successful. Most of it was in pursuit of goals like 'get rich quick' (via a patent). He recommends adopting a system of principles that allow for a more flexible focus. Don't tell others what they should do. eyeroll


Foolish stuff like posing as his biggest fan on message boards to say how brilliant he is and how stupid everyone else is for not seeing that? "If an idiot and a genius disagree, the idiot generally thinks the genius is wrong. He also has lots of idiot reasons to back his idiot belief. That's how the idiot mind is wired. It's fair to say you disagree with Adams. But you can't rule out the hypothesis that you're too dumb to understand what he's saying. And he's a certified genius. Just sayin'."

Foolish stuff like saying things like "Women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone"?

Should I go on? I could go on and on and on, quoting him making a total douchbag of himself. He never stops, he just keeps digging deeper.


I could go on and on and on

And you do!


what are you saying?


I love my job. It's interesting, difficult at times for various reasons, pays well enough that I can live a good life, and has ideals that I can agree with. People always looking for the next larger paycheck bother me sometimes and I think that's at the core of what Scott Adams is saying.

Too many times we get caught up in our jobs because its something we feel we should do or because it pays more and more money but loving what you do is the real meaning behind his message.


I understand your sentiment, but you misinterpreted this example - he meant that the job-hopper was smart in having a system (continually get a better job) rather than a specific goal (get XX job).

Despite having landed a job with high satisfaction, Scott Adams is highly pragmatic and ambitious.


> but loving what you do is the real meaning behind his message.

And his second advice is "Passion is bullshit" (and no, you won't get what he meant just from the title, again). Maybe you should read the article.


Sorry for the late reply but you either mis-understood what I wrote or what Adams wrote. He's saying that people often sit in a job waiting to be inspired or suddenly become passionate about it. You seem to be implying that idealism is a mistake and a poor reason for staying at job.


Best one-sentence advice I've seen on this topic was here on HN: Don't try to micromanage your career, just focus on doing whatever has the most impact, and your career will take care of itself.


"Fat doesn't make you fat." Mr. Adams has seen the light.


"Starting a business that fails makes the comic better."


heres mine:

    finish college

    get job

    pay taxes

    work until i can afford a van, petrol, food, passport and visas

    get van

    travel world

    die


of course only two of these are certain...


Selection effects, the bane of almost all dreamers.




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