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:
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Move over, Faith Popcorn! Cartoonist Scott Adams is back in book form, and this time he gives Dilbert and his cronies a free hand to forecast the trends that just might drive business and society during the next millennium. In typical Adams fashion, The Dilbert Future: Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century serves up a series of laugh-out-loud predictions on technology, marketing, work, jobs, gender relations, and even the future of democracy and capitalism.From the Publisher:
"The future," Scott Adams declares, "is an excellent topic for any author. By the time you realize I was wrong about everything I predicted, I will be dead . . . And let's say a copy of this book somehow gets encased in amber and trapped in a tar pit . . . Eons from now, when our descendants find it, they will read my predictions and believe that I was a wise holy man."
With The Dilbert Future: Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century Adams' legion of fans doesn't have to wait eons to discover his wisdom. A hilarious compendium of predictions, The Dilbert Future is designed to help readers guard themselves against any unpleasant surprises during the next millennium.
While some people try to predict the future by assuming current trends will continue, Adams reminds us that something unexpected always happens to wreck any good trend. For example, although computers allow us to work 100% faster (a good trend), they generate 300% more work (an unexpected, bad thing). On the more positive side, Adams also demonstrates that the indomitable human spirit usually rises to defeat predictions of doom: fears that the population would grow faster than the food supply, he notes, were quickly quashed when scientists realized you can call just about anything a "meat patty." In the face of such irrefutable evidence, Adams decided to base his forecast on something far more reliable than mere trends: the immutable laws of human nature.
Looking at the future through the prism of human stupidity, selfishness, and horniness, Adams creates a breakthrough portrait of what lies ahead in technology, the workplace, and the viability of various careers and jobs. His vivid, detailed, and highly imaginative (i.e. completely made-up) predictions make it clear that life in the future will be nothing like Star Trek with its transporters, holodecks, phasers, and sex with aliens. In the real world, Adams predicts, there will be a tremendous market for technology that will help workers goof off and still get paid. Among the employee-friendly products he sees on the horizon are the "Excuse 9000," a device which, by introducing appropriate background noises to a phone conversation, will add aural support to any alibi for not being at work, and the "BuzzCut," which will strip the buzz words out of email messages from the boss and retain only what the employee needs to know to remain employed. Employers, of course, will fight back. In the future, Adams asserts, aggressive companies will replace standard cubicles with head cubicles. Designed like a high-tech hairdresser's chair, they will feature an oversized helmet-like device with sensors that will make it easier than ever for managers to monitor the unproductive activities of each employee.
Obviously, with a work environment like that, many people will choose to work at home. Even today, some are already experiencing the unbridled joy of sitting at home and getting paid for sleeping, eating, watching television, and participating in a couple of less savory activities by adopting the technique known as "telecommuting." Outsourcing -- the shorthand term for allocating work previously done by trusted employees to complete strangers -- is another work-style Adams believes will burgeon in the future.
Foreseeing a day when "all work will be outsourced until all the work on the planet is being done by one guy," he is confident that the only downside to outsourcing is that one day the guy will call in sick and the entire global economy will plunge into depression.
Adams identifies many other economic opportunities lurking on the horizon. Working for a big company was a great deal until the downsizing era of the 1990s. Adams predicts that once companies realize they need more than just a CEO and a Director of Diversity, we'll witness the "Revenge of the Downsized." For highly skilled labor, "the job market will start to look like the NBA. Top technical people will command amazingly obscene salaries . . . [there will be] rich superstar professionals on one end of the spectrum; perspiration-wipers on the other. Those who aren't qualified to be either will become managers."
In certain fields, the future looks bright for even those just starting out. Adams recommends that newcomers consider temping, because no matter what they do (or don't do), it will have no effect on their careers. Accounting, auditing, and dentistry will remain excellent career choices for those who don't like other people but aren't coordinated enough to beat those other people up. And even the most uncoordinated can thrive in the ever-popular area of "getting paid to criticize others." The first step on that ladder may be a job as a newspaper or magazine columnist; the pinnacle will be becoming a publisher or an editor, a position which allows you to criticize not only the people who do the real work, but also the people who criticize those people.
As Adams succinctly puts it, "It doesn't get any better than that."
The Dilbert Future, Scott Adams' wry and perhaps prescient take on the future, features the same delightful mix of essays and cartoons found in The Dilbert Principle and Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook, both runaway bestsellers. As millions of readers know, it doesn't get any better than that.
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