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tinheart said on April 19th, 2011 at 9:17 am

Adams is running full tilt to that zone where you can’t enjoy the work without being painfully aware of the cretin that created it. Or, as it’s called, the Johnny Hart Zone.

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Honestly, I don’t have a big problem with Scott Adams running under an alias. If he wants to hide behind a pseudonym to defend himself – who cares? I’m sure there’s one other person in this world who agrees with Adams. Would it matter if that one guy was the one dropping the comments rather than Adams himself?

An internet comment war is so steeped in anonymity anyway, who cares if its Adams defending himself or some third party doing it. The arguments stand or fall on their own regardless of who said them. PlannedChaos’s anonymity didn’t manipulate anyone. Who cares who is behind the keyboard?

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The internet’s come a long way. Now we only follow celebrity trolls.

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Joe Mama said on April 19th, 2011 at 9:42 am

I honestly think he’s doing it because he’s an attention whore and doesn’t care what kind of attention he gets. Maybe his mommy didn’t give him enough candy when he was a child. It’d certainly explain his attitude towards women if nothing else.

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Fredbert said on April 19th, 2011 at 9:46 am

I think Scott Adams is a genius and you’re all terrible people for hating on him. The man is only teasing us to get our mids to work on another level!

Copyright © 2011 Scott Adams

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Adams would be doing a lot better off if he’d learn a couple of facts about life:

1) Not everyone is going to like everything you do
2) Sometimes its best not to respond directly to your critics
3) If you are the kind of person whose ego requires everyone to like everything you do AND requires you to respond directly to your critics, get off the Internet immediately. You will do something stupid and/or possibly drive yourself insane

Adams comes across as an unthinking idiot every time he does one of these things where he digs himself into a hole and then just keeps digging. He needs to either learn to just say “I was wrong, I’m sorry” and move on or stop responding at all. And if he can’t do that he should stop posting on the Internet because it’s eventually going to start hurting his sales.

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Wow, now Adams is defending racists, too? Geez. Stop digging, man!

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The other weird argument, that he keeps putting forth, is that his blog is written for a certain audience and can’t be properly understood by people outside that audience. Bizarre.

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Daiyami-It’s not bizarre, it’s just circular. It’s the tired old “you’re too stupid to be worth arguing with. I can tell because you don’t already agree with me.” This is a pretty common argument on the internet, and a sure sign that the writer cares more about feeling smug than about answering their critics. It’s a lot like referencing Hitler in that once this happens, the only value the discussion has is the train wreck factor.

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To be fair, that’s a common problem on Metafilter too, for certain issues.

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…the tired old joke about George Bush having a chimp-like face…

That joke will never get tired!

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No no, I particularly like how he is drawing an equivalency between sockpuppeting, and wearing Spanx, in terms of “immoral behavior”. Wearing Spanx is on a continuum with genocide.

I can only assume it is because Adams feels that anyone who wears any kind of undergarment that changes observers’ perceptions of the wearer’s body (including, but not limited to, all bras that change the way a woman’s breasts naturally sit, which is to say, all of them; and the aforementioned products that are supposed to smooth and in some cases mildly compress flab so as to minimize its appearance) is basically a LIE AND DECEPTION being perpetrated on the observer. Because… what? It makes Adams bitter to think that he can’t quite tell whether a woman he’s looking at is actually hot, or maybe is only hot because Spanx is helping her out a bit? That’s immoral???

Wow.

Yeah. That’s TOTALLY like sockpuppeting to fool people into thinking that someone who totally isn’t you is willing to defend your to your critics.

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I probably don’t even need to point out that A) there’s a huge difference between George Bush monkey pictures you find on Google and a Republican official consciously and deliberately passing around insulting images, and B) putting “obama monkey” into Google will probably get you about twice as many hits.

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Turns out “george bush monkey” gets about three times as many Google results as “obama monkey”. Not sure what to make of that. I’d compare image searches too, but I really don’t want my boss to walk behind me and see a bunch of pictures of monkey Obama.

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As anyone who has ever (tried to) manage very intelligent people knows, it is very easy for a certain class of them to convince themselves that they are correct about all things, all the time, because any reasonably smart person can come up with a plausible-sounding argument. The argument, of course, be nonsense, but that’s not the point.

Generally, the only thing that keeps this kind of person from falling down the solipsism rabbit hole is some kind of critique that they cannot easily ignore. Scott Adams has been, pretty much, answerable only to himself for a couple of decades, so I doubt anything can penetrate the force field of “But I was able to string words together in a clever-sounding way that, if not analyzed, might appear to be an argument! I win!”

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I really think that all of you liberal feminists are missing the point here. The fact is that ‘PlannedChaos’ was a work of genius meta-fiction, and one that demands inveterate questions as to the very nature of “debate” and “argument” themselves. Who else is the thinker, but the very thought that first was thought of by thinking thoughts, hmmm?

The simple factoid may escape those who are imprisoned in their mental deficiencies, or their femininity, but it’s as true as my natural instinct for aggressive sex. Men are the largest forgotten minority in society, and multi-millionaires are the most forgotten of all.

All of you are hounding poor Mr. Scott Adams, who I hear has a perfectly satisfactory penis size, and should be ashamed of your fear to see the radical nature of his words.

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I don’t really see a lot of Dilbert as “self-deprecating” as he describes it. In my eyes the whole thing seethes with “all the people above me at work and all the women I try to date are idiots who can’t see things my way- THE RIGHT WAY -and I’m perfectly fine here by myself, marinating in my smug superiority.”

He’s that annoying kind of Mary Sue character who is not just right about everything but a long-suffering martyr for it. Which I don’t see as incompatible with the kind of person who wrote the dumb crap he’s getting called out for.

It’s actually sad to read some of the early Dilbert collections and watch the even halfway interesting characters and concepts get phased out in favor of Dilbert, the Neverending Opiate of the Office Drone™.

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Damn, didn’t realize Scott Adams was such a dick. Although I started to wonder when he wrote about his business ventures in college.

I think it’s hilarious that to Adams it’s the *appearance* of conflict of interest that’s importance, rather than the conflict of interest itself. Like creating a sockpuppet actually creates a new, independently thinking person.

Benman: I think with the Google searches the difference can be entirely explained by George Bush’s much longer public history (about 8 years longer).

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[...] a denial that amounts to “I’m a genius who is always taken out of context”. (See full evisceration by the Mighty God King for much more, including Adams on how feminists are just like children [...]

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I really don’t take issue with what he did. I just think it is incredibly stupid how he is justifying it.

If he had just said “hey, I like arguing with people without them knowing who I am” then who on the internet could blame him?

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I’m pretty sure that the last President we had who wasn’t compared to a monkey at some point was George Washington.

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“Turns out “george bush monkey” gets about three times as many Google results as “obama monkey”.”

Shorten “george bush” to “bush” and the proportions change from 3:1 to 1:2. Fascinating indeed.

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highlyverbal said on April 19th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

All articles on Scott Adams must include his compulsion to mention his “certified” (?) geniusness.

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Die Macher said on April 19th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Elimination bracket!

Quarterfinal 1:
Scott Adams v. Jaime Lassiter

Quarterfinal 2:
George W. Bush monkey v. Darkseid

Quarterfinal 3:
Charles Darwin v. Johnny Hart

Quarterfinal 4:
River Tam v. River Song

FIGHT!

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My favorite part of the whole Davenport story is how she keeps saying horribly racist things to explain how non-racist she is. “But I have black friends!” “I like to be Christian to everyone, regardless of their race.”

Where are this woman’s grandchildren? is what I want to know. Can’t they be like, “Christ, Nana, shut the frick up already.”

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Creating “sockpuppets” is a perfectly valid use of internet anonymity for exactly the reason Adams said – when people know your identity, they’re very very likely to ignore whatever point you may or may not have and judge the messenger rather than the message. A false identity makes it easier to change people’s opinions, and in an important reversal it also makes it easier for one to change his own opinion – it makes the shame of having to admit error sting that much less.

I’ve been in the habit of creating multiple online identities, having them argue against each other about issues I don’t have a strong opinion of my own on, and attach myself mentally to whichever side seems to be winning. This is extremely useful, a modern form of Socratean dialogue of sorts, and also something that would get you locked up if you tried to do it in real life.

Sadly, anonymity by itself can’t solve all debate related problems – people still can, and will, be quick to judge the tone of the message rather than, again, the message itself. Even when it comes from a person whose entire career is based on mocking people.

The message itself can be stupid of course, like disbelieving evolution. But it should be allowed to stand by its own merits, rather than be dismissed because you don’t like the guy who said it, or the way he said it.

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babadaba said on April 19th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I disagree with everything the above guy said.

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Roger G.G. Tinmar said on April 19th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Harry Potter SUCKS!

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K.J. Lorwing said on April 19th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Not as much as Game of Thrones! That totally BLOWS!

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highlyverbal said on April 19th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

acabaca suggests s/he has discovered some new form of techno-Socratic investigation. Anyone who has played chess against themselves knows this to be false, a chimera. Fake moves orchestrated by one agent don’t really get to the bottom of anything. (Also, just get a moleskin notebook or something, don’t get us involved.)

Further, s/he glosses over any potential downside to sockpuppetry. I can imagine many, but the salient one to this particular case is that the existence of the sockpuppet is being used to give the impression of the approval of more participants, not to enhance investigation into ideas.

Google, say, Mary Rosh.

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Thank you Chris. This is an excellent response, not just to Adams, but to a lot of moronic internet sophistry I see out there. The bit about the Bush chimp vs. Obama chimp is particularly dead on. There’s nothing more frustrating than people who pretend not to see a difference, and act like it’s “unfair” that Bush can be compared to a chimp but Obama can’t. IF YOU WANT TO FIND A JUVENILE WAY TO INSULT OBAMA, FIND A MORE CREATIVE WAY TO DO SO. One that isn’t racist.

I’ll be linking to this post a lot.

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Danbu-Sama said on April 19th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

this would all be much more convincing* if Adams’ objective arbiter of dispassionate Socratic truth hadn’t been going around repeatedly telling people that Scott Addams is a Certified Genius.

*not really

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Danbu-Sama said on April 19th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I like to think of people like Scott Adams as arguments for a 100% top marginal tax rate.

Because too much money just drives some people fucking crazy.

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And also there’s the fact that Adams soon deleted the post from his blog, demonstrating that he knew perfectly well that he had written something offensive, and then maintained afterwards that no, that blogpost he hastily deleted was totally cool you guys.

There needs to be an official internet rule that anybody who deletes or alters* a post has lost the argument.

*I don’t mean editing a post to add new information or to clarify an argument, but somebody who is trying to delete information in a post to hide that they ever said it.

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Tom Shapira said on April 19th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

You know what would be awesomely ironic? If there was a Dilbert strip about the evil of sock-puppetry…
http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-02-01/
Nevermind then

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Eric S. Smith said on April 19th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

So I followed the link to Dilbert.com, and got a pop-up. Not for anything that was humorously appropriate — it involved cartoon puppy dogs, or something — but it just tips the “is The Man Behind Dilbert a jerk or not?” balance that much farther in the “jerk” direction.

I would like to mention, on another point, that “I have Black friends!” isn’t a horribly racist thing to say. It’s something that people who think that racism begins and ends with a visceral hatred of all other races say. And, much like saying “I’m against littering,” when asked about their support for environmental issues, it’s pretty depressing coming from a politician of any kind.

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Cookie McCool said on April 19th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

It’s funny how when Einstein performed a thought experiment, the breadth of human knowledge was expanded and we advanced as a species. When Scott Adams does some thought experimentin’, it’s a just a trollboss on the internet howling away.

AND Einstein got more ass than a toilet seat.

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Look what Scott Adams did to Norman Solomon, author of “The Trouble with Dilbert”:

He had Dogbert insult a fictional version of Norman Solomon because Solomon criticized him for supporting some downsizing and making lots of money.

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“Turns out “george bush monkey” gets about three times as many Google results as “obama monkey”.”

Well it fucking well should: Bush looked a bit like a monkey and his admin was prone to really impulsive and short sighted actions.

Obama on the other hand doesn’t look like a chimp except in the very racist sense of “looking like a chimp” that says that all black people are inherently chimp like, even though non-albino chimps are far far darker skinned than black human beings are. Plus he’s going to go down in history as one of the better public speakers as far as presidents are concerned and has this habit of 1, going through his close political advisers at a rate of knots, and 2, of turning up to meetings of other politicians and getting them to all shut up and for the time they’re hanging around at the meeting, get them to all sort of agree to what he wants them to do through a combination of fear and pure fast talking. And that’s before we even get into how 3, his primary effect upon american politics has been to throw it into absolute nation-wide chaos with a bunch of mad dadaist clowns that seem to be leading his political enemies into largely self destructing until Obama gets a comfortable second term electoral win.

So you’d think the Obama/Joker mashup image would be far far more popular among his detractor; If you’re going to demonise him, he’s the joker, not a chimp (assuming that the “hope” imagery wasn’t so distinctive that your visual political mockery couldn’t actually just involve Obama himself).

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hilzoy fangirl said on April 19th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I’d like to request “I should write Dilbert.”

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Illuyankas said on April 19th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

No-one should write Dilbert.

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I had a discussion with a feminist friend about the pussy / weakness link, and did some research, and was surprised to learn that ‘pussy’ as slang for a weak, ineffectual person actually seems to have a totally different etymology than ‘pussy’ as slang for female genitalia.

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Bush looked a bit like a monkey

A bit?!? Dude looked like a chimp. Period. There was a website waaaayyyy back, I think before the 2000 election, called Bush or Chimp? It was uncanny how much that man’s facial expressions look like a that of a chimpanzee.

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@highlyverbal: “Fake moves orchestrated by one agent don’t really get to the bottom of anything. (Also, just get a moleskin notebook or something, don’t get us involved.)”

But it’s precisely the involvement of others which makes it work. My own comments are fabricated or half-hearted, but the responses to them will be genuine and earnest. It’s different from solitaire chess in that there are countless players, and the only purpose of my own comments is to pit them against each other and see who wins. It’s basically trolling, except the purpose is to glean something useful out of the exchange (trolling is another extremely useful thing with a bad rap BTW, also insulting people is inherently a good thing and should happen more often, but that’s best left for a separate argument).

“the existence of the sockpuppet is being used to give the impression of the approval of more participants, not to enhance investigation into ideas.”

Giving the impression of the approval of more participants is precisely something that is needed to enhance investigation into ideas, if said ideas are so unpopular that most people will dismiss them off hand without bothering to even consider the evidence.

In an ideal world people would pay no mind to how many of their peers agree or disagree with an idea while judging its worth, they would only consider the idea itself. But we clearly don’t live in one. We live in a world where sometimes the only way to make people even consider the facts is to first tell them lies.

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One of the sad truths of popular culture is that cartoonists go insane if they work at it for decades. By being alone with their work for so long and constantly expressing small, bite-sized thoughts without other people to discuss those issues with, they get very, very weird. The heavy isolation required by the work takes a toll.

This is why Jim Davis and his farming out of “Garfield” to a huge team of assistants was genius.

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dangermouse said on April 20th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Trolling is indeed educational.

Like for example, from acabaca’s trolling, I learned that acabaca is a sociopath.

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acabaca said: “I’ve been in the habit of creating multiple online identities, having them argue against each other about issues I don’t have a strong opinion of my own on, and attach myself mentally to whichever side seems to be winning. This is extremely useful, a modern form of Socratean dialogue of sorts, and also something that would get you locked up if you tried to do it in real life.”

Wow. And you’re proud of this.

Hey, what’s groupthink applied to one person only?

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babadaba said: “I disagree with everything the above guy said.”

Ah shit.

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[...] think Scott Adams would know better than the engage in sock puppetry, but you’d be wrong. And “dilhole” is a great [...]

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Frank Comparison said on June 22nd, 2011 at 11:22 am

Something lots of people are missing is that different web communities have different standards regarding identity. On 4chan, anonymity is core, for example. Facebook requires real-world identity. Other sites fall somewhere in-between. Metafilter does not require real-world identities, but does expect users to keep to a single site identity (with some small exceptions) and not to misrepresent themselves for real-world gain.

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