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God's Debris

Book notes for "God's Debris", A Thought Experiment by Scott Adams

Highlights:

My solution was to create smart-sounding answers using the skeptic's
creed: The simplest explanation is usually right. My experience tells me
that in this complicated world the simplest explanation is usually dead
wrong. But I've noticed that the simplest explanation usually sounds
right and is far more convincing than any complicated explanation could
hope to be. That's good enough for my purposes here. Read more at
location 32

"We like to believe that other people have the same level of urges as we
do, despite all evidence to the contrary. We convince ourselves that
people differ only in their degree of morality or willpower, or a
combination of the two. But urges are real, and they differ wildly for
every individual. Morality and willpower are illusions. For any human
being, the highest urge always wins and willpower never enters into it.
Willpower is a delusion." Read more at location 828

"You're alone much of the time." He was right. I enjoyed being alone. I
had friends, but I was always happy to get back home. "How do you know
that?" I asked. "Your pupils widen when I talk about ideas." "They do?"
"There are two types of people in the world, my young friend. One type
is people-oriented. When they make conversation, it is about people-what
people are doing, what someone said, how someone feels. The other group
is idea-oriented. When they make conversation, they talk about ideas and
concepts and objects." Read more at location 912

"If I gave you advice, would you follow it?" "Maybe. It depends on the
advice." "No, you wouldn't follow my advice. No one has ever followed
the advice of another person." "Now you're just being disagreeable," I
said. "Obviously people follow advice all the time. That's not a
delusion." "People think they follow advice but they don't. Humans are
only capable of receiving information. They create their own advice. If
you seek to influence someone, don't waste time giving advice. You can
change only what people know, not what they do." Read more at location
928

"It would seem phony to you while you asked the questions, but it would
not seem that way to the stranger. To him it is an unexpected gift, an
opportunity to enjoy one of life's greatest pleasures: talking about
oneself. He would become more animated and he would instantly begin to
like you. You would seem to be a brilliant and talented
conversationalist, even if your only contribution was asking questions
and listening. And you would have solved the stranger's fear of an
awkward silence. For that he will be grateful." Read more at location
939

"Most disagreements are like my example. Two people have different
information, but they think the root of their disagreement is that the
other person has bad judgment or bad manners or bad values. In fact,
most people would share your opinions if they had the same information.
If you spend your time arguing about the faultiness of other people's
opinions, you waste your time and theirs. The only thing than can be
useful is examining the differences in your assumptions and adding to
each other's information. Sometimes that is enough to make viewpoints
converge over time." Read more at location 955

"A woman needs to be told that you would sacrifice anything for her. A
man needs to be told he is being useful. When the man or woman strays
from that formula, the other loses trust. When trust is lost,
communication falls apart." Read more at location 982

"Yes, probability is still involved. But fescue and foosball were only a
few of the unusual words and ideas that you tuned your brain to this
week. The others didn't cross your path again so you took no notice of
their absence. When you consider all of the coincidences that are
possible, it is not surprising that you experience a few every day. Read
more at location 1031

"A person who does affirmations takes mental tuning to a higher level.
The process of concentrating on the goal every day greatly increases the
likelihood of noticing an opportunity in the environment. The
coincidence will create the illusion that writing down the goal causes
the environment to produce opportunities. But in reality the only thing
that changes is the person's ability to notice the opportunities. I
don't mean to minimize that advantage because the ability to recognize
opportunities is essential to success." Read more at location 1034