#63 – Win Bigly, Scott Adams BOOK REVIEW

August 9, 2018

Win Bigly

“I am endorsing Hillary Clinton for my own safety”

You can’t trust anything Scott Adams tells you. However, this isn’t because he tells lies (he doesn’t). It’s because Adams always has an angle. He’s a trained hypnotist and expert in the use and analysis of persuasion….. and he’s using these skills on you all the time [1]

The stated purpose of Win Bigly is to explain to you the persuasion skills Donald Trump used to win the US Presidential Election of 2016 against overwhelming odds, and for Adams to explain what he saw that enabled him to be one of the few pundits to predict a Trump win far in advance.

The actual purpose of Win Bigly is for Scott Adams to preen, run a victory lap, and position himself as a recognised expert so that you take him more seriously in future. The book is non-stop “look at how awesomely I predicted this” cloaked in false modesty, written with an obsessive self-interest in Scott Adams the man and what he was concerned about at each stage, rather than Trump, or the US generally. [2]

I actually admire that he did this. Win Bigly is a textbook example of watching a persuader at work, if you can run a meta-level read of it at the same time as a normal read. I started following Scott Adams’ blog in late 2015, after Mike Cernovich linked it, right through to months after the inauguration. Adam’s “Master Persuader” ideas were innovative, illuminating, and often accurately predictive. He deserves his current popularity.

However, he’s completely wrong. I wouldn’t say he’s a bullshitter – he makes too many falsifiable predictions for that label to be fair – but he often runs close to it. There are so many good ideas in Scott’s work that I needed to be very careful in analysing him while reading, holding everything in a mental quarantine as I work through their implications and decide what can be allowed into my world-view versus what is poison. He sings a convincing siren song.


Winning Bigly

The subtitle of the book explains the main thesis: Persuasion in a world where facts don’t matter. Adams wants us to use what he names the Persuasion Filter, filter being his re-branding of the common word ‘perspective’. He says humans are ‘moist robots’ that can be programmed to think certain ways if a persuader knows how to communicate to them. Donald Trump is a master persuader, utilising an incredible talent stack of skills to communicate very effectively. Much of the book is outlining this talent stack and explaining key examples.

And the whole time, Adams is using those same skills on you. For example, Adams explains ‘strategic ambiguity’ as a tactic whereby you are purposefully vague about a policy idea so that groups with mutually exclusive wants can all support you because each reads into the ambiguity what they wish to see. Really, this is an old PUA tactic of letting girls fill in the blanks, knowing they’ll fill them with traits of her ideal man that you might not possess.

For example, when Trump says “we need to take our country back” it’s an ambiguous statement. Who is ‘we’, what does he mean by ‘our country’ and taking it back from whom? A white nationalist may read this as taking back WASP America from the multi-culturalists and then deporting non-whites. A civic nationalist may read it as removing globalist influence and the foreign bribery at the Chamber Of Commerce. A coal miner in Pennsylvania could read it as a need to get out of the Paris Climate Accord and a business owner may read it as getting out of TPP and NAFTA.

Adams is using strategic ambiguity on the reader constantly.

He wants you to believe he only wrote positively about Trump’s persuasion skills but he didn’t agree with any of either candidate’s policy positions. Then he endorsed Hillary, then Gary Johnson, then Trump. Yeah, I’d say that’s covering the bases. He wants you to believe facts don’t matter, but then often slides into explaining how facts do matter.


Spygate isn’t relevant here

As a work of philosophy Win Bigly is solipsistic, immature, dishonest, and self-aggrandising. But of course it’s not a work of philosophy. It’s a work of persuasion. It’s a book people pick up before boarding a flight, when it’s either that or The Psychopath Test or 12 Rules For Life. It’s pop-psych. Some of you may believe this is the old “clown nose on, clown nose off” evasion used by Jew agents like Jon Stewart or Jimmy Kimmel, but I think it’s all a bit of fun.

Adams is pushing hard for the theory that Trump won because he’s persuasive. Facts don’t matter. Hmmmmmmmm. What would be some alternative filters to explain his win?

  • Jared Kushner won the election by using advanced analytics to campaign in all the right places for electoral college votes. Trump disguised this strategy by hiring first Corey Lewandowski, then Clinton-campaign spy Paul Manafort, then Kelly-Ann Conway as official campaign managers but who were really just front men. Thus they took the heat and Kushner could work in secret.
  • There are two Donald Trumps. There is “The Donald”, a buffoonish reality TV star with stupid hair who says the dumbest things. There is also Donald J Trump an extremely savvy and experienced real estate magnate who has been outplaying the most apex of predators in the Manhattan jungle for decades. The buffoon is a ploy to cause his opponents to underestimate him. The real Donald J Trump is a revolutionary political leader who has been planning his presidency for decades.
  • The Clinton campaign gave orders to their MSM flunkies to promote Donald Trump in the Republican primaries because she thought The Donald was the real man and he’d be easy to beat in the general election. This is the ‘pied piper’ strategy. Adams wants you to believe Trump’s persuasion gave him all that positive coverage and then it was because ‘Godzilla’ (Robert Cialdini) was hired by the Clinton campaign after Trump secured the nomination that suddenly Trump started getting bad coverage. Really, it was always the Clinton plan to build him up for the nomination and then tear him down for the election.
  • Trump represented a genuine alternative to the establishment republican candidates and the utterly corrupt Hillary Clinton. Voters aren’t that dumb. Hillary had been demonstrably corrupt for decades and Trump wasn’t taking any large donor contributions. Bernie fans realised Clinton had screwed them by rigging the Democrat nomination and many stayed home. After fifty years of never having a real choice at the ballot box, the US voters finally had one and they chose Trump.
  • Trump’s policy positions were genuinely fresh and good for America, such as controlling illegal immigration, resisting political correctness, restoring the military, getting out of harmful global agreements, and scrapping Obamacare. Adams is flat out wrong when he repeats the Clinton lie that Trump was vague on policy. No. He had detailed policy documents on his campaign site from early in the race. Many Americans voted for the policies rather than the man. Facts did matter.
  • Demographic changes following the 1965 immigration bill, the Reagan amnesty, and flooding illegal immigrants have meant the Democrat party became the anti-white party, what Steve Sailer called ‘the coalition of the fringes’. This unholy alliance of contradictory identity groups can only be united through anti-white hate. Eventually, white people overcame their terror of being called racists and decided to vote against the people trying to exterminate them.
  • Multi-generational trends (be it r/K or Kondratieff Cycles) peaked Left with Obama who then gutted the Democrat Party with his own managerial incompetence, leaving it extremely vulnerable to a decent Republican campaign. This combined with a mass societal shift towards the Right that was larger than any man or campaign, as can be seen in rising nationalism in Europe. Trump rode that wave.

Personally, I think the Sun Tzu Filter is far more accurate than the Persuasion Filter. But I understand why Adams doesn’t use it. It would mean addressing issues such as Democrat treachery, globalism, the Jewish Question, and taking a stand on policy issues. If he did that, Adams would lose his strategic ambiguity and with it half his audience. He has to pussyfoot around the middle-ground pretending only persuasion matters.

Adams wants to be mainstream. You can’t be that and tell the truth about what’s important. I don’t blame him. We don’t live in an ideal world.

People who lack an education in history and the classics are easily fooled by charlatans. This is why every single year, without fail, there are con-men like Deepak Wayne, or JMULV, or Eben Pagan, or whoever. They tell an exciting new story [3] and the morons jump aboard the hype train. The same thing happens in the social sciences and with public intellectuals. Sometimes they are embarrassing frauds like Tai Nehisi Coates, or Paul Krugman, or Jordan Peterson. Other times they are more like Scott Adams: not frauds, but very clearly men with an agenda for self-promotion who push inconsistent and incoherent philosophies wrapped around some genuinely fresh and penetrating insight.

I like Scott Adams and I absolutely recommend both this book and his earlier (and better) How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big. The fact he provoked so much thought from me is evidence of his value as a thinker. But I think he’s completely wrong and you should be very careful letting such a smooth operator have a direct route into your worldview.

If you think I’m just jealous because he’s way more popular than me and predicted the Trump win, I may remind you that I won $6,000 betting on the God Emperor and parlayed my support to get laid with lots of hot girls by running my Trump Stack routine on dates before the election. You can read how I masterfully persuade girls by checking out Daygame Infinite and Daygame Mastery. That’s persuasion honed at the coal face of street pickup.

[1] Often so bold as to explain the technique he’s using, as he’s using it on you. I do rather respect that.
[2] Of course, I’m quite aware that I write books entirely about myself and then fill them with photos of myself. So don’t think I’m criticizing Adams for it and I don’t begrudge him the victory lap because he put himself on the line when there was a lot to lose. I’m just pointing out what the book really is about, underneath his smoke and mirrors.
[3] The reason they rise to prominence is because they have a good story. Every bubble and every scam has a good story. If they don’t, they don’t catch on and you don’t hear about them.


  1. This was beautifully written and very insightful 🙂

  2. Adams is appealing to the 97%, not to the 3% who can see what’s going on.

  3. The main reason that Trump won was that he campaigned on jobs, appealing to blue collar workers who had soured on repubs for decades.

  4. Adams is correct to say that Trump had game and that that skill served him well. So it’s both policy and style that mattered. Policy for men and nonverbal style for both men and women. Trump showed leadership and fighting spirit. And he demonstrated high value with his competence dealing with attackers. [Adams is making his case for persuasion a lot stronger than that. It’s not just a thing, it’s the big thing per Adams. K.]

  5. “Frauds like….Jordan Peterson” I thought you liked Peterson from your post about him a few months back. What made you change your mind ? [Nope, I was never on the Peterson bandwagon. I just liked his essay on essay writing, and used his name in another post as clickbait. Aside from that I stayed well clear, sensing he was off. Vox Day’s Darkstream on YouTube really tears him apart. I recommend it. K.]

    • don’t see how JBP can be a fraud. i’m prepared to keep an open mind. i’ve seen plenty of vids on youtube trying to take him down but none of them did so adequately, in my opinion. Voxday has 10 vids on him. perhaps he and you are using his name to try and get viewers and clicks. again, i
      m willing to keep open to other viewpoints. but i was following him for two years already.

      which of voxday’s vids do you suggest?

      • well, i watched two so far, probably won’t bother with anymore. vox seems like an idiot pretending to be smart. the video about taking pills, in particular. vox is either dumb as a bag of nails and unable to understand analogy, or purposely misinterpreting peterson. [Astonishing. Vox is so obviously extremely smart and has such a solid track record of being right when everyone else believes the opposite at first. Stick with the videos and you’ll see the takedown. The videos make it very clear they are are work in progress as he delves further into Peterson’s demented mind. The basic takeaways about Peterson are: 1. He’s working for the globalists specifically to prevent the younger generation becoming nationalist. 2. He’s a self-admitted man of the Left. 3. He’s self-admitted lunatic but on anti-depressant pills and unbelievable flights on lunacy in his thoughts and dreams. 4. He can’t write for shit. It’s all bafflgab and obfuscation. 5. He knows very little of the Western canon in philosophy and literature. 6. He lies a lot. 7. He’s a low-value gamma male. 8. He keeps repeating the same things over and over and name-dropping the same couple of writers. 9. He’s anti-Christian, attacking Christianity through persuading everyone the Bible is mere myth. 10. He’s promoted by the same PR company as cuck Ben Shapiro. 11. He works with the UN on globalist projects. 12. He’s constantly on MSM, which legit opposition never is. Aside from all this, it’s obvious watching him that he’s just an emotionally unstable charlatan. K.]

  6. Thank you for that one Nick.
    You cleared it up for me……
    I read this book a few months back and was scratching my head…..what is the point Scott adams was trying to make, apart from giving himself Pats on the back…..? it seemed so different from “how I Failed at everything…….” Which was a great book that I took many tips and lessons from.
    Coates Krugman and Jordan Peterson……they are what Taleb calls IYI – intellectual yet idiots…..

  7. Great article, I wish I had written it.

    There’s a lot better authors on persuasion than Scott Adams.Try (STUPENDOUS asshole) Richard Bandler’s Persuasion Engineering for instance. Bandler was a natural, and his Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) got a bad rep from commercializing it too hard and getting swamped with spergs who tried to do it robotically like they tried to become PUAs by memorizing pick-up lines, with the same results, but it really does work for persuasion if you can work with it intuitively rather than getting bogged down in the theoretical BS and details.

    Another great book from the same school of thought that Bandler swiped his ideas from, Ericksonian / conversational hypnosis, is Tad James’ Hypnosis – A Comprehensive Guide. He has not only studied everything published on hypnosis more deeply than anybody, he tested and built his techniques over decades of practice, distilled them into the absolute essence and put it on paper succinctly in a way that can be used by practitioners at any level. The core of the techniques can be used for effective persuasion in informal settings as well. Basically, know what you want to get them to do, get your target to imagine things, and you’ve got them.

    (Sorry if this gets repeated, it wasn’t posting when using FF)

  8. Well written article, and cool images, too. Good writing.

  9. I would argue this doesn’t make Scott Adams a bullshitter but just a smart marketer. As you said in today’s time this is the kinda stuff you need to do to sell to buffoons.

    I’m sure you’re aware but not everyone is as lucky as you, and has enough income to be able to say whatever they want and market in a sincere honest way.

    How would you say someone like me who wants to make it in the business world does so without bullshit marketing hype and bending the truth sometimes.

    Yeah content marketing works to an extent, but you’ll never be as successful as the good marketers.

    As always thanks for the great article.

  10. I think you’re right talking about the Sun Tzu filter. I’m sure Trump uses a lot of so called persuasion techniques, especially vague language and strong imagery, but I don’t think it’s his main shtick. The whole persuasion thing always comes across as “secret system” Gamma as hell to me. I just don’t think it fits who he is.

  11. By labelling Trump as the next Hitler, Godzilla placed the spotlight over the leftists bullying attitude. If he made it on purpose or not is for you to decide.

  12. don’t see how JBP can be a fraud. i’m prepared to keep an open mind. i’ve seen plenty of vids on youtube trying to take him down but none of them did so adequately, in my opinion. Voxday has 10 vids on him. perhaps he and you are using his name to try and get viewers and clicks. again, i
    m willing to keep open to other viewpoints. but i was following him for two years already.

    which of voxday’s vids do you suggest?

    • sorry about this. wordpress is playing funny beggars. i’ve been trying to respond to your comment.dunno if it came through or maybe came through 8 damn times

  13. well, astonishing. indeed. 12 astonishing claims. i shan’t address them all, although the one i’ll agree with, repetition .. it’s pretty hard to not repeat yourself over hundreds/thousands of hours of lectures. kinda like the comments on JRE podcast mockingly saying things like ” joe “i do yoga and flotation tanks” rogan” or “joe “big ass salad with avocado” rogan” try being a public voice and never repeating yourself. or even try hanging out with your friends and not repeating yourself.
    anyway, i digress, many of your (vox’s) 12 claims are absurd – attacking christianity by persuading people the bible is a myth? are we suggesting the bible ISNT a myth? a collection of tribal elders’ campfire tales, passed down through thousands of generations. sure, they will have originated somewhere, somewhere real. but become distorted over millennia.

    anyway .. don’t need to get too deep into that..

    meh i’ve followed peterson for two years now, yeah he’s not perfect, but there’s a reason why his Maps of Meaning course was consistently voted as “life changing” by his students. yet he’s been attacked and misrepresented and catapulted into the public eye.
    uhh i could go on but it’s enough for now. i’m with you on a lot of things, nick but this … i’ll watch the rest of the vids , on your reccommendation, and we’ll see

    goddammit evdry time i try and post messages some shit goes wrong. apologies wordpress seems to be messing up my/your shit [You’re welcome to disagree with me. If I’m right about JP, it’ll all come out soon enough. And if I’m not, then so be it. K.]

  14. @bowlerhat and Nick.
    Just take it as a given that if they have/enjoy mainstream or quasi-mainstream EXPOSURE then they are Shills/Compromised. The Globalists know that people can’t handle the full truth so they give em the purple pill to control the opposition. Plus there is gold in the frustration industry. Btw I’m not saying alternative media is the truth either, most of it is often worse than the mainstream.

  15. To the best of my knowledge, There is another essential element that hasn’t been discussed by Scott Adams or anybody else with a large audience; MAGIC and the Clinton’s/Left complete abscence of it.
    This article is superlative in explaining the dynamic at work in the last POTUS election. Mandatory reading guys.

  16. ^^^
    “I’d be interested to know, if anyone kept such statistics, how many people in Clinton’s campaign staff practiced the watered-down versions of mindfulness meditation, yoga, and similar practices that make up a large part of the spirituality of the privileged these days. The problem with such practices, when they’ve been pried loose from their original context and the challenging connections to spiritual realities those include, is that they become very effective at convincing you that everything is wonderful, even when it’s critical to realize that everything isn’t wonderful and drastic action has to be taken right away to avert catastrophe. Such anecdotal evidence as I’ve heard suggests that such practices were at least as widespread among Clinton campaign staff as they are in affluent socially liberal circles generally, and may have been considerably more so.

    That may have played a significant role in Clinton’s defeat, in other words. It’s also possible, though I know this is unacceptable to suggest in most corners of today’s industrial culture, that the occult labors of /pol/’s chaos magicians may also have been involved. As occultists like to say, TSW; it doesn’t matter whether or not currently popular notions about the world provide a theory to explain the efficacy of magic, the fact remains that every human society around the planet and throughout time has practiced magic, and the most parsimonious explanation for that reality is that the art and science of causing changes in consciousness in accordance with will really does cause changes in consciousness in accordance with will.”

  17. Take home message; The left cannot meme because essentially Marxism has no element of magic and that is how it will be defeated.

  18. well

    i watched several of those 20/30 min videos of vox rambling and saying uhm and ah and i mean and ya know, didn’t really see him put forth a coherent argument. nothing more than “jordan peterson is a shill coz i can sense something fishy”.
    i also watched vox on jesse lee peterson (another shill) and again vox didn’t have too much to say other than how smart he is. although he didn’t seem smart enough to understand that jesse was mocking him.

    anyway, i got no axe to grind and no need to continue the argument here. i’m open to most ideas but will need more evidence than vox’s spidey senses

  19. nick, my apologies, wordpress keeps messing me up everytime i post. sorry if i’ve posted the same thing a million times. but it tells me “dupliclate post” when the post hasn’t been … posted [no problem. K]

  20. Well written piece. You put into a nice tight argument a number of observations I’ve made about Adams and his work. Just a few days ago, I watched one of his periscope sessions, and he started out by saying “how many of you think I can convince you that slavery reparations aren’t such a bad idea”. My thought: OK, he just baited the hook. Then he went on to argue (not very convincingly) that TALKING about slavery reparations was a good idea – which wasn’t his initial premise at all. Of course, point that out and he’ll probably ban you. He further argued that the slavery reparations crowd just “wants to be heard” – yeah, I call B.S. on that one Scott. The reparations crowd are playing at hardcore Frankfurt School class warfare, plain and simple.

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