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Dilbert Future: Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century

Dilbert Future: Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century

by Scott Adams

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In The Dilbert Principle and current bestseller Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook, Scott Adams skewers the absurdities of today's corporate world. Now he takes the next step, turning his keen analytical focus on how human greed, stupidity and horniness will shape the future.

With this book, Adams follows in the footsteps of other


In The Dilbert Principle and current bestseller Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook, Scott Adams skewers the absurdities of today's corporate world. Now he takes the next step, turning his keen analytical focus on how human greed, stupidity and horniness will shape the future.

With this book, Adams follows in the footsteps of other great futurists, i.e., sitting at home making stuff up that can't be proven wrong for many years. Featuring the same mix of essays and cartoons that made The Dilbert Principle so uniquely entertaining, The Dilbert Future offers predictions on business, technology, society and government. Nobody is spared this time. Some predictions:

  • Children: They are our future, so we're pretty much hosed. Tip: Grab what you can while they're still too little to stop us.
  • Human Potential: We'll finally learn to use the 90 percent of the brain we don't use today, and find out that there wasn't anything in that part.
  • Longevity: We'll all live to 140. The Olympics will expand to include new events such as Complaining and Slow Driving.
  • Computers: Technology and homeliness will combine to form a powerful type of birth control.

  • Editorial Reviews

    Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
    Countless people look forward to the morning paper because it contains a Dilbert comic strip, a fine way to start the day on a cheerful note. But recently, at least as evidenced by this book, Adams's humor has developed into something snide and derogatory. He sees most people as "induhviduals." Perhaps he is boredjust as we all will become, he declares here, when everything is shared, via the Internet and new developments in video technology. Reading his book piecemeal, one catches more of the facetious humor. Among the 65 predictions here, Adams echoes many scholars in forecasting a work force of freelance experts doing contract work. He hits the target again when he dubs telephone marketing "confusopoly" because it serves only to befuddle the customer about price, since all companies provide essentially the same service. But one wonders why he bothers tackling certain areas, as in Prediction 59: "In the future, there will be drive-through pet-care facilities." Much of the work reiterates George W.S. Trow's conclusion that our civilization is growing increasingly trivial. Therefore, Adams's inclusion of a recommendation for making dreams come truewriting down one's wishes 15 times each dayis bizarre, suggestive of Cou's 1920s maxim that "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better."

    Product Details

    HarperCollins Publishers
    Publication date:
    Product dimensions:
    6.48(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.97(d)

    Read an Excerpt

    Chapter One

    How to Predict the Future

    Some people try to predict the future by assuming current trends will continue. This is a bad method. For example, if you applied that forecasting method to a puppy, you'd predict that the puppy would continue growing larger and larger until one day--in a fit of uncontrolled happiness--its wagging tail would destroy a major metropolitan area. But that rarely happens, thanks to the National Guard.

    The future never follows trends, because of three rules I have named after myself in order to puff up my importance.

    Adam's Rule of the Unexpected

    Something unexpected always happens to wreck any good trend. Here are some examples to prove my point:

    Good Trend Unexpected Bad Thing

    Computers allow us to work Computers generate 300
    100 percent faster percent more work.

    Women get more political power.Women are as dumb as men.

    Popular music continues to get better.I get old.

    Adam's Rule of Self-Defeating Prophecies

    Whenever humans notice a bad trend, they try to change it. The prediction of doom causes people to do things differently and avoid the doom. Any doom that can be predicted won't happen.

    Here are some examples of dooms that people predicted and how the indomitable human spirit rose to the challenge and thwarted the prediction:

    Prediction of Doom Human Response

    Population will grow faster than Scientists realize you can callfood supply.just about anything a "meat patty."

    Petroleum reserves will be Scientists discover oil in their depleted in twenty years.own hair.

    Communism willspread to the All Communists become
    rest of the world.ballerinas and defect.

    I might have some of the details wrong; I'm working from memory here. But the point is that none of those predictions came true once we started worrying about them. That's the way it always works.

    Adam's Rule of Logical Limits

    All trends have logical limits. For example, computers continue to shrink in size, but that trend will stop as soon as you hear this report on CNN:

    This just in. A computer systems administrator sneezed, and his spray destroyed the entire military computing hardware of North America, leading to the conquest of the United States by Haitian bellhops. More on that later, but first our report on the healing powers of herbal tea.

    At that point, we'll say, "Hey, maybe those computers were too small." That will be the end of the shrinking computer trend.

    If all trends end, what can we look at to predict the future? There are some things in life so consistent that they are like immutable laws of human nature. You can predict most of the future by looking at these immutable laws and applying logic.

    Immutable Laws of Human Nature

    • Stupidity

    • Selfishness

    • Horniness

    Those are the things that will never change, no matter what else does. People don't change their basic nature, they just accumulate more stuff upon which they can apply their stupidity, selfishness, and horniness. From this perspective, the future isn't hard to predict.

    I realize that by telling you my secrets I'm not only opening my kimono, but I'm also doing jumping jacks in front of your picture window, if you catch my visual gist. But I'm not worried about you learning my secrets, because I'll always be one step ahead of you.

    Prediction Two

    In the future, you will wish I had never put the image in your head of me doing jumping jacks in an open kimono. The Dilbert Future. Copyright © by Scott Adams. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

    Meet the Author

    Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, the comic strip that now appears in 1,550 newspapers worldwide. His first two hardcover business books, The Dilbert Principle and Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook, have sold more than two million copies and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for a combined total of sixty weeks.

    Brief Biography

    Danville, California
    Date of Birth:
    June 8, 1957
    Place of Birth:
    Catskill, New York
    B.A., Hartwick College, 1979; M.B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1986

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