Thursday, April 15, 2010

Scott Adams, the Psychoanalyst

I don't recommend that people use a cartoonist as their psychoanalyst, but here's a bit from Scott Adam's blog (he's the Dilbert cartoon creator) that is pretty good analysis:
I'm always fascinated when society decides to label some type of behavior as a mental problem. For example, Tiger Woods is allegedly being treated for sex addiction while his real problem is some sort of unusual blindness to risk and consequences. The common name for that is optimism. That optimism is probably a big part of what makes him a spectacular golfer. No one would practice as much as he did from an early age without some sort of crazy optimism that he was The One. And it has to help your nerves in critical situations if you are optimistic that your putt will go in. If Tiger hadn't succeeded in becoming the greatest golfer of his day, he'd be the crazy caddy with delusions of greatness. The only difference between crazy and confident is that the confident guy was lucky enough to have the resources to pull it off. Somewhere in China there's a guy with just as much golfing talent and optimism as Tiger. He's a bus boy. And a virgin.

In summary, optimism paired with luck is considered greatness, whereas optimism paired with a Y chromosome is considered sex addiction.
What I don't understand is the screwy world where you make $90 million a year for knocking a tiny white ball around and women throw themselves at you. I keep thinking of that poor guy in China who's got all of Tiger Wood's talent but is still a virgin and working as a bus boy. What kind of sense does that make. When I was a kid I was told that hard work and talent would be rewarded. Now I've got a multi-millionaire cartoonist telling me "forget the talent, forget the hard work, it's luck and optimism". But I don't want to live in a world where luck and optimism are so outrageously rewarded.

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