Egos are dangerous things. On one hand it's probably good to have confidence in your abilities. Confidence helps your performance in a wide range of endeavors. Studies seem to support that notion.

On the other hand, if you let anyone see your big ego, you're a giant douchebag. So there's that.

I used to think people either have big egos or they don't. But since I adopted a moist robot view of my body, I noticed I can manipulate my ego by manipulating my body chemistry. When my testosterone is high, my ego expands with it. It's simple biology.

I know what spikes my testosterone. It happens primarily through a healthy lifestyle, including sleep, diet, winning and exercise. And you can feel the changes during the day depending on what you're doing. At this point I'll bet I could tell you my relative testosterone levels at any point in my day. When my levels are down, I feel weak and tired and easily defeated. When my levels are high, I think I can do pretty much anything. And I've seen my confidence and self-image completely transform in less than an hour when I intentionally adjust my testosterone levels via my actions.

I long ago abandoned the juvenile idea that people have immutable good and bad traits. The moist robot view is that we can manipulate our traits within surprisingly wide boundaries. And our personalities are fluid during any given day. The angry Scott is nothing like the happy and creative Scott. The horny me is nothing like the satisfied me. So I reject the concept of "me" as some sort of static thing. Instead I see my moist robot container as something I can manipulate to engineer my mood to the situation. There are times when having more ego is useful. There are times when it is better to be humble. I jack my body chemistry as needed.

I have an advantage over most of you because I don't feel embarrassment like a normal human. I couldn't do this job if I did. Today will be a case in point. What follows would be embarrassing for a typical human with normal thresholds of embarrassment. But for a moist robot, it's just an exercise in chemistry adjustment.

Here's my story.

Have you ever heard the saying "You don't know what you don't know"? It's something you sometimes hear in the American business world but it isn't overly common.

I was about to use the saying in a comic and wondered if I was the original author of it. (Ego alert!) So I Googled to see if anyone else had been given credit for it. There's a Socrates quote on a similar theme, but quite different. And at least one other person was wondering about the source of the quote too, which led to a public question on Yahoo. No one else seemed to know the source of the quote either.

So I decided to take credit for it.

This is the sort of thing you do not do when you have socially acceptable levels of humility and the capacity for embarrassment. But moist robots like me are not burdened by such things. To me it was just a button I could push to boost my testosterone. So I did. You can see my claim-grabbing ways here.

I am fully aware that some of you just labelled me an egomaniacal douchebag for claiming authorship of the quote. But doing so jacked up my testosterone. I'm okay with that tradeoff. This moist robot is feeling good and ready to take on the day.


Scott Adams

In other news, now you can add your favorite pro sports schedule to your personal calendar with a few clicks at CalendarTree.com.  (I'm co-founder.) So far we have:

Formula 1


Major League Baseball

FIFA World Cup - Brazil

More on the way...

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May 1, 2014
Hi Scott,

I'd really like to know more about how you manipulate your moods based on your actions. It seems like a good thing to learn to do. :)
Apr 30, 2014
I independently coined "f*cktard." I don't believe that the rest of the world picked it up from me, though. Lots of others created it themselves. It was an insult whose time had come.

Accordingly, I wouldn't try to claim it as mine or prove that I was using it before others (what am I, an insult hipster?). I guess that means I have socially acceptable levels of humility, which in turn explains why I did not handle fame well when I tasted it.

Hmm. Maybe I should claim "f*cktard" after all. Less humility might not be a bad thing.

Sure, go ahead and claim the quotation. If anyone questions it, challenge them to a cage match.
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2014
Argh. The verb form is "quote"; the noun form is "quotation".
You may quote someone, or you may use a quotation. You may not use a "quote".

My ego forced me to display my superior grammar skills here. I feel chin hairs sprouting already...
Apr 30, 2014
Regarding the testosterone level you might want to check out the side effects of testosterone ... among many others, losing your scalp hair and growing more body hair instead. So you'll know when you have overdone it. Good luck :)
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2014
"Whatever gets you through the night, its allright." -- John Lennon
Apr 30, 2014
Do you get royalties from Taylor Swift?
Apr 30, 2014
Scott, you DID originally create that saying.

So did I. So did my college professor. So did one of my bosses. Independent, original co-creation.

Who came "first"? In which language? In what context? I've experienced near-simultaneous independent co-creations of cultural memes before; knowing that I "invented" some concept weeks or months or even years before having heard the exact same notion spreading through actual, pre-internet, social networks.

Unless you're the OED, or try to copyright and thereby attempt to profit from it, it's irrelevant who has genuine priority, if there even is such a thing. The "culture" is itself a "moist robot", or a server farm made up of robots, which amounts to the same thing. Co-processors are going to arrive at the same solutions simultaneously; 2-of-3 voting schemes will propagate "good" ideas.

Apr 30, 2014
I don't know the origin of this quote, but I lay claim to the "Humans are moist Robots" quote. I distinctly remember saying it to some childhood friends in the late 70s. Since google does not have a reference of someone saying it prior to this I must be the author. ;)
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2014
I know several people who can turn beer into pee.

It's almost magical.
Apr 30, 2014
It original came from the Bible (near the back).
Jesus said it to help explain away his disastrous pee into beer miracle.
Apr 29, 2014
Not the exact same quote, but something similar I've been saying to my employees for years: "You have to know what you know, and you have to know what you don't know, too." That is, it is OK not to know something, as long as you know you don't know it so you can learn about it.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 29, 2014
Might as well claim it until someone can prove you wrong. You can say that you were using it in speech at a certain time but can't prove it, so any written reference that predates your earliest written usage will invalidate your claim.

But enjoy while you can.
Apr 29, 2014
I claim this one:

"It is wise to maintain a circle of friends. In good times, they are good company, and in hard times, they are delicious."
Apr 29, 2014
I'm not sure if this is related, but "You don't know what you don't know" sounds like a paraphrase of the first stage of the "conscious competence" learning model, "Unconscious incompetence".
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 29, 2014
Was it h-o-r-n-y Scott that drew Dilbert's tie flat all those years ago?

It was him, wasn't it.

+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 29, 2014
You can't have it both ways. swp used the exact quote and you said it didn't count because of context.

When others have a different wordings, but in context you said, "you seem to be unclear on the whole 'quote' concept."

Please be logically consistent, you egotistical maniac.

[I'm doubting it happened because the context makes it an unlikely fit for the quote. -- Scott]
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 29, 2014
Scott's posting implicitly acknowledges the fact that in our culture, numerous ideas are swilling around that are often encapsulated in particular verbal formulations or axioms.

But this is so obvious that it is scarcely worth stating; moreover, if an axiom is as trite as the one being focused on here, there seems to be little value in claiming authorship of it, especially if that authorship immediately opens you to being challenged (as with this instance).

I must admit, I'm scratching my head over this one.
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 29, 2014
Wow, people seem hung up on the quote part!

The idea that we are not the same person based on our moist robot needs is being confirmed in so many studies now. I'm actually working on a list of simple behaviors that change my mental state either positively (make me more productive, happier, etc) or negatively.

On the quote attribution, when is the earliest date you published or were recorded using it? If you mumbled it in the bathroom, it doesn't count.
Apr 29, 2014
A Travelling People's Feild Guide
By Reshad Field
First published in Great Britain 1986
page 2

http://books.google.com/books?id=g_b_zXWUsYkC&lpg=PP2&ots=8vDFxlGao2&dq="you don't know what you don't know"&lr&pg=PA3

[The full quote is different from your excerpt. May I admit that you CAN find different quotes that include the same words plus extra ones and call it a day? -- Scott]
Apr 29, 2014
Swales (1986) points out, that this procedure allows the analyst to survive in a realm where ’you don’t know what you don’t know’.


Swales 1986: Current developments and future prospects. In Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Volume 7, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[He put it in quotes because he doesn't know the author either. -- Scott]
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