UnplannedChaos
April 15, 2011 9:12 PM   Subscribe

MetaFilter has some mainstream coverage over the Scott Adams thing.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 to MetaFilter-Related at 9:12 PM (1269 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

Huh, the things you miss when you're in a Basics of Worker's Comp Course with a bunch of people in their late thirties who act like bored teenagers.

Still, I got free danish out of the course, and free danish>anything Scott Adams has been involved with, so I think I've come out ahead.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:19 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's definitely made me respect the level-headed straightforward honesty of Jennifer Teeter even more than I already had.

Good job, Jennifer Teeter!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:21 PM on April 15, 2011 [25 favorites]


I have always liked Dilbert. I suppose that is because it has so few words in it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:21 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


God, how did I miss that as it transpired?
posted by killdevil at 9:22 PM on April 15, 2011


And I, too, have always liked Dilbert, despite knowing that Scott Adams is a little prickly as a person.
posted by killdevil at 9:24 PM on April 15, 2011


I don't really like Dilbert, but Scott Adams thinks of some weird inventive shit on his blog that's at least interesting reading from time to time.

That said, I'm sorry to hear he seems to have gone off his rocker.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:30 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally missed this too.

I propose that someone besides me starts a twitter feed that alerts us to interesting MeFi developments; would have also missed the resolution of the taters mystery and this awesome heartwarming update if I hadn't already been following the threads.
posted by lalex at 9:32 PM on April 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


This is a bit like admitting that I have never seen The Wizard of Oz, but ... I somehow missed seeing more than a half dozen Dilbert strips, ever. I just got this vague "Ziggy of Corporate IT" vibe and looked at other things.

It's really that ... big?
posted by adipocere at 9:32 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, ideally the guy will have a flash of self-consciousness and take this thing as a learning opportunity.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:32 PM on April 15, 2011


also, and I'm sorry, but Metafilter: currently engaging in a ritualistic shaming.
posted by lalex at 9:34 PM on April 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


Made. My. Week.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's a certified genius? I mean, most geniuses I know understand that, "Duh, I'm a genius," is not an argument, let alone a compelling one.

Is there such a thing as a genius certification mill?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:37 PM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


What we need here is an asshole certification mill.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:38 PM on April 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not even a proper ritual, no flames or virgins or acid or hot oil. Gods, it's like you're asking for a plague of rats. Am I the only person who cares enough to own a cloak and moonstone knife! Hmm?
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's really that ... big?

I worked at IBM once. Dilbert covered a significant fraction of all surfaces.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:39 PM on April 15, 2011


The worst part about it is that he couldn't even identify a portabela mushroom.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:42 PM on April 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


I don't know what the big deal is. This community is incredibly fucking hostile to Scott Adams. Always has been. Whenever his name is mentioned, there's eye rolling, name calling, the vitriol and the bile that rises is completely unwarranted. And it's not like I/P threads, where there are two camps and there's a debate - no, every Scott Adams thread is a Scott Adams lynching pole to the effect of "Scott Adams is a creationist right wing misogynist rich talentless hack". And you're surprised that he didn't promptly identify himself? I wouldn't either.
posted by falameufilho at 9:43 PM on April 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


MetaFilter: a popular discussion board
posted by brundlefly at 9:44 PM on April 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


He's a certified genius?
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:44 PM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ooh. Now he's MetaFilter's own Scott Adams.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:45 PM on April 15, 2011 [26 favorites]


most geniuses I know understand that, "Duh, I'm a genius," is not an argument, let alone a compelling one.

Most geniuses I know understand that bignoting yourself through a sockpuppet isn't all that clever, and actually rather sad & pathetic.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:46 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Most big sucessful geniuses I know are plagued and haunted by self doff and paranoia about their work and ability.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 PM on April 15, 2011 [23 favorites]


I don't know what the big deal is. This community is incredibly fucking hostile to Scott Adams. Always has been. Whenever his name is mentioned, there's eye rolling, name calling, the vitriol and the bile that rises is completely unwarranted. And it's not like I/P threads, where there are two camps and there's a debate - no, every Scott Adams thread is a Scott Adams lynching pole to the effect of "Scott Adams is a creationist right wing misogynist rich talentless hack". And you're surprised that he didn't promptly identify himself? I wouldn't either.

By all means, go ahead and defend the guy when the issue comes up. No one's stopping you.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:49 PM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


The self-adulation is coming from inside the website.
posted by lukemeister at 9:50 PM on April 15, 2011 [75 favorites]


Most big sucessful geniuses I know are The Whelk.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:50 PM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


I meant doubt but fuck it, I just made a new word usage because I am a genius.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 PM on April 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


*doffs self*
posted by Sys Rq at 9:51 PM on April 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


What a sad, pathetic man. For all of his fame, fortune, libertarian awesomeness and sheer genius, he still managed to get drawn into a flame war on MetaFilter and got banned because of it.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:52 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm just impressed at how fast StrikeTheViol called it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:52 PM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me how frequently on the internet I see someone show up, take a shit on the living room rug, and strut away smugly as if they'd somehow done anything better than prove they're the type of person who'd take a shit on your living room rug.

Scott Adams, that rug really tied the room together.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:54 PM on April 15, 2011 [53 favorites]


and got banned because of it.

The profile is still not disabled.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 9:54 PM on April 15, 2011


Scott Adams, that rug really tied the roomcesspool together.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:55 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"By all means, go ahead and defend the guy when the issue comes up. No one's stopping you."

That's not the point.
posted by falameufilho at 9:56 PM on April 15, 2011


got banned because of it

He is not banned. We didn't do anything of the sort.

Honestly, I think this MetaTalk thread would have made more sense earlier today, to stem off a bunch of yahooooo! comments in the thread itself, but now that there have been dozens of those in the original, I don't know really what there is to say here. Two pile-ons seems like one too many for the crime.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:57 PM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


We can talk about ....stuff?
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 PM on April 15, 2011


Stuff sucks. I prefer things.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:03 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I preferred things before they became famous.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:04 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Then let us suck things.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


If there's one thing I've learned on Metafilter, it's this: it is not a real thread until someone questions its existence.
posted by falameufilho at 10:05 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


falameufilho, Scott Adams draws community ire here for two reasons, one is personal taste related, the other is more philosophical.

So there's the question of whether or not you find Dilbert funny. That's pure personal taste. I thought the strip was a riot in the 90s, before the internet really got mainstream and it was this hidden secret thing making me laugh about stuff I like. Sorta like xkcd does today right? It's ultra-nerdy and feels like the humor is talking to a demographic of one sometimes.

But then in the 2000s, the strip seemed to just be mocking corporate culture and since I didn't have a traditional desk job at a huge corporation, I couldn't really relate and Dilbert sort of fell off my radar.

Some people never liked his stuff and often compare it to garfield. That's where the "instant Scott Adams hate" might appear to start.

The second, more philosophical problem is that he's kind of libertarian in the heady geek way lots of early internet nerds were and he claims not to go for the real crazy libertarian things, but it seems like as he is getting older he is skewing towards more and more libertarian rants.

He's got this op-ed column at the WSJ and every article there reads basically like "I have this crazy idea everyone should do the crazy stuff I did! Why isn't everyone doing crazy stuff like me and being awesome like me?! Why?!"

That seems to be the theme, and it annoys the shit out of me in the same way talking to libertarian-leaning uber geeks does, because most often I find they think of themselves as self-made men that pulled themselves up by their bootstraps that learned their own way of doing things and clawed their way out of college and into a career they mined themselves from raw bedrock stone. The reality is more like that old saying "born on third base and you think you hit a triple" where this mindset of a "self-made man" ignores the giant obvious perk of being born male and white and to a middle class or upper class family that bought you computers when you were young and gave you time and space to pursue your computer hobby to the fullest.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:06 PM on April 15, 2011 [244 favorites]


Holy crap! We resolved taters *and* trolled Scott Adams in the two days I've been away from my computer. Fucking hell, I either need to spend more time away from my computer or more time at it.
posted by stet at 10:08 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I think this MetaTalk thread would have made more sense earlier today, to stem off a bunch of yahooooo! comments in the thread itself, but now that there have been dozens of those in the original, I don't know really what there is to say here.

Well, I guess you've answered your own question.
posted by lalex at 10:10 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do worry about him. Between this and his misogynistic rant a few weeks ago, he seems to have gone into some sort of web free fall that seems uncharacteristic. I mean, I don't know him or anything, but unless he has a history of this sort of behavior that I have somehow missed, this is a lot of web weirdness in a short amount of time.

If you're peeking in on this Scott, it might be time to talk to a professional. And I know this can be especially hard for somebody who is smart, which I have no doubt you are, and who knows themselves to be smart, as you obviously do. We had a thread recently about David Foster Wallace which linked to the author's writing about his addiction, in which he discussed the fact that he felt his torments and addictions weren't ordinary, but extraordinary, and part of some grand narrative of the deep and profound suffering of the truly exceptional. I've known people who felt this, or variations of it, and it has prevented them from getting help they badly needed.

Not that you need help. I don't know you. But a professional could get a sense of whether this is just an aberration or if there is some issues that is manifesting itself, which you probably won't be able to figure out on your own. We're often blind to our own behavior, and how these behaviors may be hurting us, no matter how smart we are. And this sort of stuff is hurting you, Scott, even if you can't see it. I know you make a lot of fuss about how much money you have, but you must have enough to know that it's a poor substitute for a good reputation.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:10 PM on April 15, 2011 [28 favorites]


We resolved taters

What? WHEN?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:10 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


We resolved taters

This... what... I don't even...
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:12 PM on April 15, 2011


Look away if you don't want to be somewhat disappointed about the taters
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:12 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


unless he has a history of this sort of behavior that I have somehow missed, this is a lot of web weirdness in a short amount of time.

Perhaps "Scott Adams" is a sockpuppet himself, of Charlie Sheen?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:12 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Take EMRJKC94's warning to heart. If you cherish the nonsensical silliness of taters, do not read the explanation. I wish I could unread it, myself.
posted by brundlefly at 10:32 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Holy crap! We resolved taters *and* trolled Scott Adams in the two days I've been away from my computer.

Another request to point to the Tater Resolution. It seems to have flown under the radar, and is of much more import to Metafilter than DilbertGate.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:35 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow, I missed that totally. At first I found it funny, but the more I read the sadder it got. I hope if I ever get to the point of creating fake IDs to essentially give myself favorites, that someone will take away my computer and get me the help I need. Reading between the lines, there's something not right going on in his head.

That seems to be the theme, and it annoys the shit out of me in the same way talking to libertarian-leaning uber geeks does, because most often I find they think of themselves as self-made men that pulled themselves up by their bootstraps that learned their own way of doing things and clawed their way out of college and into a career they mined themselves from raw bedrock stone. The reality is more like that old saying "born on third base and you think you hit a triple" where this mindset of a "self-made man" ignores the giant obvious perk of being born male and white and to a middle class or upper class family that bought you computers when you were young and gave you time and space to pursue your computer hobby to the fullest.

This nails the phenomenon perfectly.
posted by Forktine at 10:42 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


hey, i'm jim davis - wanna cat picture?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:44 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


People. There was a link to the taters resolution earlier in this thread. If I could find it, y'all certainly can.

I don't know what the big deal is. This community is incredibly fucking hostile to Scott Adams. Always has been. Whenever his name is mentioned, there's eye rolling, name calling, the vitriol and the bile that rises is completely unwarranted. And it's not like I/P threads, where there are two camps and there's a debate - no, every Scott Adams thread is a Scott Adams lynching pole to the effect of "Scott Adams is a creationist right wing misogynist rich talentless hack". And you're surprised that he didn't promptly identify himself? I wouldn't either.

Cry me a river. I've survived all that here and more, and I'm still here. Having a good time, too.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:45 PM on April 15, 2011 [87 favorites]


JIM DAVIIIIS!!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:45 PM on April 15, 2011


But... I thought I was Scott Adams... or, did my turn end already... ok... so, who's Scott Adams after this planned chaos fellow gets done?
posted by fuq at 10:48 PM on April 15, 2011


I especially liked this comment from Reddit's coverage of the affair today...

Far more entertaining with the correct pronouns

"Can I repeat my success with Dilbert? I already turned a failing comic into a household word by transforming it from a generic comic into a workplace comic. I wrote a number of best selling books. I was one of the top paid public speakers for a decade. My website has earned me millions while no other comic property has done the same. One of my two restaurants was solidly successful. And now I'm one of the most popular writers in the Wall Street Journal. You can argue that all of my successes spring from my one lucky success with Dilbert, but I would argue that all entrepreneurs leverage whatever advantages they start with, whether that is technical knowledge, contacts, or whatever.

"As far as my ego goes, maybe you don't understand what a writer does for a living. No one writes unless he believes that what he writes will be interesting to someone. Everyone on this page is talking about me, researching me, and obsessing about me. My job is to be interesting, not loved. As someone mentioned, I have a certified genius I.Q., and that's hard to hide."

posted by malapropist at 10:50 PM on April 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


wile e cartoonist, certified genius
posted by pyramid termite at 10:53 PM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Does this mean we start referring to Scott Adams as Metafilter's Own Scott Adams? Or does he have to shout us out in Dilbert first?
posted by Mitheral at 11:00 PM on April 15, 2011


Far more entertaining with the correct pronouns

More entertaining? Debatable. More distressingly narcissistic? Oh, hell yes.

Fuck, even Trump isn't that full of himself.

Well, okay, yeah, he is, but only just.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:02 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mr. Dilbert
what would Henry say!

welcome to metafilter unclothed
posted by clavdivs at 11:07 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are we sure that UnplannedChaos isn't Garkov 2.0?
posted by lukemeister at 11:10 PM on April 15, 2011


Does this mean we start referring to Scott Adams as Metafilter's Own Scott Adams?

i think metafilter's pwnd scott adams would be more accurate
posted by pyramid termite at 11:11 PM on April 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


It feels like in the death of Encyclopedia Dramatica something else has been birthed, and so the cycle of internet ridonculousity can continue.
posted by NoraReed at 11:14 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I do worry about him. Between this and his misogynistic rant a few weeks ago, he seems to have gone into some sort of web free fall that seems uncharacteristic...

lets blame CERN.


posted by clavdivs at 11:15 PM on April 15, 2011


Mathowie: I'm on the same boat as you as far Dilbert appreciation - I used to really like it. It got tired for me, and I still have a white collar job. I used to really like his blog though, because he had occasionally hilarious pieces. But I got put off by his habit of trolling his audience. Because all his challenging of free will, Darwinism and atheism is nothing more than that - trolling. And successful troll is successful: he managed to get himself a quasi regular space on the WSJ to troll people. I find that very amusing, though I don't normally read his stuff as I used to.

"The reality is more like that old saying "born on third base and you think you hit a triple" where this mindset of a "self-made man" ignores the giant obvious perk of being born male and white and to a middle class or upper class family that bought you computers when you were young and gave you time and space to pursue your computer hobby to the fullest."

I'm an white male whose family bought me computers. Probably like you. I'm able recognize how blessed and privileged I am without having to endure that guilt trip though. I'm also able to recognize that this guilt trip fuels this misguided projection mechanism. It's kinda the same mechanism that makes people feel ashamed when they are abroad and see a countryman behaving like a jackass.
posted by falameufilho at 11:17 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can't believe I missed this! Dag, serves me right for leaving the house. What a thin-skinned egomaniac - I wonder how many Google alerts he has set up for his own name and projects?

Adams seems goddamn deranged to me. If he melts down completely, hopefully Dilbert will either A) come to an end, clearing some precious space in newspapers nationwide for a comic that isn't utter shit or B) become an outward expression of his madness, much like the recent work of another cartoonist with whom Scott's sorry ass shares a surname.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:17 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I was looking at that picture of him in Gakwer, does he really need a Cintiq to draw Dilbert? I mean, yeah it's his dayjob, but still, it's Dilbert. I remember in one article he scoffed at people takin' art history classes "to remember what art looked like" like it was a thing. Maybe he uses a lot of brush strokes.
posted by hellojed at 11:20 PM on April 15, 2011


Maybe he uses a lot of brush strokes.

he was stroking his brush pretty heavily today
posted by pyramid termite at 11:22 PM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Callout time on the two trolled sites:
Reddit: 20 comments, >1 year
Metafilter: 1 comment, 32 minutes

This reddit thread goes a long way in explaining why AMA is such a den of trolls. A lot of people literally can't see the potential for abuse when both sockpuppets and self-promotion are allowed.
posted by benzenedream at 11:26 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm able recognize how blessed and privileged I am without having to endure that guilt trip though

I don't mean to harp on the guilt trip aspect, but that I keep hearing from successful geeks that can't understand why everyone isn't just like them, and the reality is not a lot of parents could buy a $2k 386 back in the day (mine couldn't -- I didn't own a computer from the age of about 13 until I was in my early 20s), so not everyone has a chance to become a geek much less a successful stand out one. And I think a lot of geeks forget that basic aspect.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:31 PM on April 15, 2011 [40 favorites]


Wow, Scott. Lots of effort just to be "MetaFilter's own…"

The upside is, we should see your stuff in the magazine any time now, right?
posted by klangklangston at 11:48 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This doesn't seem very palatable to me anymore. The whole thing actually seems pretty sad. And I actually sort of wish we could've avoided the requisite Metatalk thread to crow about our awesomeness in showing up a guy we don't like as a buffoon.

I guess I should count myself lucky. I was part of the Metafilter Shaming Brigade at the start; does that count as some kind of status? Do I get a badge for making people look dumb?

mathowie: “Two pile-ons seems like one too many for the crime.”

Surely it's two too many for the crime?

I mean, in essence, a pile-on is really the closest internet equivalent of a public shaming, complete with jeering and mockery. That's what we're doing here. I don't think pile-ons are really conducive to a healthy community. And I think that's what falameufilho was getting at up above with all that talk about "guilt trips."
posted by koeselitz at 12:04 AM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


when the waters grow cold and the limbs start to bind, always through a rope.

naw, I'm sure his personae can handle it.
posted by clavdivs at 12:09 AM on April 16, 2011


Surely it's two too many for the crime?

It's a deterrent.
posted by setanor at 12:11 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think pile-ons are really conducive to a healthy community.

In terms of building norms, yes they are. Go back & reread your Durkheim.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:11 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I guess I should count myself lucky. I was part of the Metafilter Shaming Brigade at the start; does that count as some kind of status? Do I get a badge for making people look dumb?

Do I look cool? Do I? Do I?
posted by setanor at 12:13 AM on April 16, 2011


I am Scott Adams.
posted by Jofus at 12:13 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


does he really need a Cintiq to draw Dilbert?

He needs to use it because of a muscular disorder. It is interesting how his income comes basically from drawing and public speaking and he's had disorders who almost prevented him from doing exactly that.
posted by falameufilho at 12:17 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


That reddit thread reminds me why I no longer visit reddit.
I'm sorry but that's fucking stupid. Someone as awesome as Scott Adams is on your forum playing around with an alt and you make a thing of it? You're pretentious douche-bags and I hope you and all your metafilter staff friends die in a fire.
posted by cj_ at 12:19 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hmm. The comment quoted by cj_ reads a lot like a Yahoo comment.
posted by Cranberry at 12:25 AM on April 16, 2011


Scott Adams, you are a woman-hating creep. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does the Metafilter Shaming Brigade have uniforms?
posted by chillmost at 12:50 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scott Adams, about himself: As someone mentioned, he has a certified genius I.Q., and that's hard to hide.

This was most hilarious. I too have "a certified genius I.Q.," and I'm profoundly stupid in myriad pathetically fundamental ways... Belonging to Metafilter never lets me forget this, because there are brilliant, brilliant people here. It's great for staying humble. Coming on MeFi to brag about your I.Q. is just not very bright.
posted by taz at 12:55 AM on April 16, 2011 [51 favorites]


He must have mistaken this place for the rest of the internet. And there IS a difference.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:09 AM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Huh, so Adams is a second rate Lee Siegel? Who would win in a fight: PlannedChaos or sprezzatura?

This kerfluffle is weird and creepy and makes me feel bad about the internet. So, bed!
posted by Neofelis at 1:16 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I'm not generally for public shaming, obviously, but I think showing up to tote your genius IQ in the third person is sort of in its own realm.

Hrmmmm. If a mod would go delete my comment over in the main discussion wherein I make fun of him, I'm feeling kind of bad about it now. I should go flag my own comment.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:25 AM on April 16, 2011


Where's that askme about whether you should put your IQ in your resume? I bet the advice would work perfectly here as well.
posted by boo_radley at 1:44 AM on April 16, 2011


Belonging to Metafilter never lets me forget this, because there are brilliant, brilliant people here.

Did anybody else notice that the discussion was really quite interesting until UnplannedChaos showed up, and full of all kinds of expertise, eg:

blahblahblah: "I teach entrepreneurship at a university"

MarshallPoe: "I used to teach at an Ivy where all the kid[s] were great at school"

joannemullen: "I finished writing a position paper on the future of employment policy for a major political party in Australia last week"

UnplannedChaos: "Good examples of masturdebating, Lodurr. (That's the process of furiously debating an imaginary viewpoint.)"
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:45 AM on April 16, 2011 [21 favorites]


Welcome Scott, I think you were smelling your own cesspool that you came in with. Metafilter's pool is very clean and regularly chlorinated!
posted by lee at 2:12 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


you guys,

as long as we're talking about self promotion...


i think radvla is actually a mustache.


or possibly a ham, i'm not 100% sure yet.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:14 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, I definitely noticed, Ubu. Also, that he felt the need to define it, and kept repeating it. I smite you with my portmanteau word! Woo! Smartysmartsmart!
posted by taz at 2:21 AM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Rhaomi, something about the intersection of ham and mustaches is tremendously appealing, don't you think?

wait, maybe I mean "appalling"
posted by taz at 2:27 AM on April 16, 2011


I just can't shake the thought that in some parallel universe I picked Reddit to hang out at instead of Metafilter, and now parallel-me is incapable of understanding Metafilter culture yet also holds strong opinions about the wrongness of it.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:30 AM on April 16, 2011 [29 favorites]


Holy crap! We resolved taters *and* trolled Scott Adams

Why isn't this stuff on the sidebar?
posted by ryanrs at 2:57 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I smite you with my portmanteau word! Woo! Smartysmartsmart!

Especially when there's a widely-used existing term that is used for the same concept, which doesn't even need explaining: strawman.

Surely the litmus test for neologism failure is if you need to explain your clever term; it defeats the entire purpose of using it in the first place.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:57 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok, why isn't the plannedchaos account banned? This seems like a a black-and-white no if and or buts bannination to me. And I think it's pretty clear I'm about as far along the light-moderation-is-best scale as you can get and still be on it.

I don't get it. Adams created an account and pretended to be not-scott-adams in order to defend Scott Adams. Creating an account and pretending to be someone else in order to defend yourself is astroturfing. Metafilter bans astroturfers. QED.
posted by Justinian at 3:28 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


mathowie: “Two pile-ons seems like one too many for the crime.”
Surely it's two too many for the crime?

I'm normally a big fan of the MeFi Internet detective squad and flameouts/pileons generally but, this time, something just seems wrong about the way the community acted over this. I'm thinking it's around 1.6 too many call-outs.
posted by dg at 3:41 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ho. Lee. Shit.

Scott, if you're reading this, I'm taking all of your books to Goodwill. The misogyny thing made me want to do it, but I've got a lot of books by authors who are creeps and crackpots (ever hear of a fellow by the name of Dave Sim?), and I can usually separate the artist from the art. But now you've gone and messed with MetaFilter, and that's just like messing with a friend of mine. You don't get to live in my house anymore.

I still like that banana strip, though.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:49 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow. Just finished going through the thread where plannedchaos comes in. How disappointing. That kind of sophomoric, all-in-it-to-win, blinkered debating style, peppered with little personal attacks and huge derails to clarify every tiny little point is simultaneously depressing and infuriating to watch unfold. And exhausting. And just all sorts of awful.
posted by molecicco at 3:54 AM on April 16, 2011


I had thought of making a MeTa earlier, round when it first happened, but just couldn't summon much...care? Interest? Not totally sure, but it seemed like it would just be feeding some sick desire or need on Scott's part for negative attention. The WSJ article had good points in it, but spending time with TEH CRAZY didn't seem fun, productive or useful. It's just feeding into the drama of an admitted drama queen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:56 AM on April 16, 2011


Here is the irony, if you didn't catch this link in the gawker thread.
posted by tomswift at 3:57 AM on April 16, 2011 [20 favorites]


Does this mean I can't name my sock puppet "Scott Adams"?
posted by rmd1023 at 5:19 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've always felt uncomfortable responding to Dilbert fans. I want to tell them I hate Dilbert because it's a fairly stupid cartoon, but that's not a nice thing to say to a fan. Now I can tell them I hate Dilbert because Scott Adams was a dick on Metafilter.
posted by ryanrs at 5:22 AM on April 16, 2011


Did anybody else notice that the discussion was really quite interesting until UnplannedChaos showed up, and full of all kinds of expertise [...]

UbURoivas, that's when I stopped reading the thread.

I also don't feed the bears in national parks.
posted by likeso at 5:28 AM on April 16, 2011


As long as we're clearing the air here, I want to confess something: I am Marmaduke.
posted by Nedroid at 5:31 AM on April 16, 2011 [38 favorites]


ACK!
posted by ryanrs at 5:33 AM on April 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


Out of curiosity, mods, how were you able to verify it was him so quickly?
posted by radioamy at 5:36 AM on April 16, 2011


the terrible drawing?
posted by ryanrs at 5:56 AM on April 16, 2011


If I had to take a guess, radioamy, I'd go with paypal info used to purchase the account.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 5:56 AM on April 16, 2011


I've often wondered what it would be like to be a genius.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:01 AM on April 16, 2011


At this point, banning the account would just give the asshole a trophy to wave in the air. Let is rot unused.
posted by mediareport at 6:12 AM on April 16, 2011


Regarding reddit, it is a weird place. I screw around over there, mostly just dumb comments and irrelevant jokes. I usually figure I've got a pretty good handle on the place. Sorta slashdot early 2000's era trolly forum with more people and less smarties. But it gets really strange when someone starts seriously proposing ways to improve the site that seem pretty obvious to me, like a method to reduce reposts. Reddit is so so so terrible about reposts. People intentionally repost things only hours after the thing first goes up. To me it's just dreadful, but proposals for a way to cut down on reposts is met with downvotes, eyerolls, mockery and insults. Similar to them thinking sockpuppetry is a wonderous, welcome thing, it's like users there want to have a shitty website. I don't get it.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:13 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


radioamy, cortex posts as joshmillard in the reddit thread; he's been doing a great job dealing with relatively uninformed (and often badly thought out) questions/attacks, but here's what he wrote about the discovery:

We've got an admin-side tool I check in on every morning that lists recent signups in reverse chronological order. It's about 15 or so on an average day who drop the $5 to sign up. The tool shows username, related accounts if any, and a couple fields from their paypal account (name, country, bizname).

Mostly this is useful for profiling possible spammers, which is why I check it daily, but now and then I recognize someone or their domain; that's more a private "oh, neat" thing than anything, since if they aren't making a weird ruckus on the site we don't consider it our business as mods who they are or what they're doing on the site. I figured it'd start and end with "huh, Scott Adams signed up" and then going to get breakfast, but this turned out a lot weirder than that.


Someone responded with this:

SO, just to be clear, when you sign up for metafilter, your personal information will not only be used for billing purposes and to weed out spammers, but will also be used to out you in a public forum if you do something the mods find questionable...

cortex replied like so:

Let's be super-duper clear here: we didn't out Scott. We told him he need to decide between disclosing his identity on mefi or cutting it out with the Vehemently Defending Scott Adams as a purported third party. He chose to identify himself on the site; if he'd chosen to walk away, that'd have been fine too.

We very explicitly did not make the decision of revealing his identity. His behavior was obnoxious in either case, but we went to considerable effort to make sure it was his call to make. It's not the first time we've had to deal with something like this, and we care a hell of a lot about not casually compromising folks' identities.


It goes on, but cortex deserves a medal for his patience.
posted by mediareport at 6:33 AM on April 16, 2011 [84 favorites]


Just wow. I stopped reading his blog because of the aforementioned trolling, and I'd missed the misogyny post completely. He had to know that he'd get found out at some point, so what did he hope to accomplish?
posted by arcticseal at 6:38 AM on April 16, 2011


Btw, this is what's known as "earning your keep" on the internet:

I'm one of the mods over at Metafilter

- wow...i see why you're mad. it's like scott adams personally took a dump in your mall cop hat.

I'd just had it cleaned!

- hey, quit being adorable- you're making this difficult!

posted by mediareport at 6:41 AM on April 16, 2011 [45 favorites]


He dropped in to "defend himself"? Jesus, what an ego. The more I find out about Adams, the less I like him.
posted by Decani at 6:51 AM on April 16, 2011


And you're surprised that he didn't promptly identify himself? I wouldn't either.
posted by falameufilho at 5:43 AM on April 16


Am I surprised Scott Adams acts like a coward by posting anonymously on a thread about him, as well as being a scientific ignoramus and an evolution denier? Now you mention it, I suppose I'm not, no.
posted by Decani at 6:54 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"PlannedChaos" has said Adams is "a certified genius" and that people are probably "too dumb to understand what he's saying."

Later Adams followed up with this comment: “I’m sorry I peed in your cesspool. For what it’s worth, the smart people were on to me after the first post. That made it funnier.”

Mr. Adams, if you're reading this, as long as you're catching up with internet forums I highly recommend you drop a little money over at SomethingAwful and poke through the Helldump forum a little bit. Just to study.
posted by trunk muffins at 6:55 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I didn't read the thread until people on twitter started pointing it out (and pointing at Gawker) because 1. It's a Scott Adams thread, and I don't much care for Scott Adams and his glibebrtarianism 2. I'd read the misogyny post and 3. I don't see the point in me reading a link that's likely to annoy me and then attack and defense on the ideas in the comments which I know will annoy me. Having read a bunch of the plannedchaos business now, it's a horribly embarrassing moment for Adams and some of the nyah-nyah that follows, including here, isn't exactly best of the web either.

When (and if, but I really expect when) Adams posts I response on his blog, I hope we don't get an influx of people who pay the $5 to pee in our cesspool, such as it is. That's one outcome I can see; it would suck for the community and the mods; and after Adams' last response I can see him encouraging people to do that, explicitly or implicitly, in his own blog. Let's hope it doesn't happen, even if I have no confidence Adams is above it.
posted by immlass at 7:05 AM on April 16, 2011


God I need an edit button. I never notice misspellings until after I post.
posted by immlass at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2011


Pretends to be his own Number One Fan. Could be a very weird variant of the Misery scenario happening. Call James Caan. But tell him not to pay the toll with a $20 this time.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


"I'm sorry but that's fucking stupid. Someone as awesome as Scott Adams is on your forum playing around with an alt and you make a thing of it? You're pretentious douche-bags and I hope you and all your metafilter staff friends die in a fire."

Wow, way not to grok a community you aren't a part of Redditer.
posted by Mitheral at 7:19 AM on April 16, 2011


All the Strips about Dilbert attempting to date take on an interesting light now that we know that inside his knobbly head he's a seething pool of MAN POWER rage and libertarian resentment.
posted by Artw at 7:19 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Pretty sure Adams subscribes to the "there is no such thing as negative publicity" line of PR thought. So far, he has been justified.

Please let's cut off any more hits. Can we agree here and now, that if there is ever another Adams thread, we simply ignore it? We exercise restraint and do not comment, reply, flag, open any MeTas, favorite any favorites... and just let the title display 0 comments in perpetuity.

Can we close this thread down, now? We can go play somewhere else... (tag) You're it!
posted by likeso at 7:20 AM on April 16, 2011


This doesn't have to be an either-or thing, does it? Scott likes to feel snide about people he doesn't really know. We like to mock him for being Scott Adams. This sounds like a mutually beneficial relationship and I see no reason to change it.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:23 AM on April 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


cortex posts as joshmillard in the reddit thread...

It's really interesting to read through Josh's responses and see people argue with him about how what Adams did wasn't explicitly in the guidelines or TOS and is therefore fine. If you got five minutes, check it out, totally fascinating. It starts here. This is not to point and laugh, but note the difference in communities.

Can we agree here and now, that if there is ever another Adams thread, we simply ignore it?

Yeah, probably not gonna happen.

On preview;

Rory's back!!!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:26 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was talking to Andy Capp about this on Skype last night, and as soon as I said "Dilbert," the poor old guy just went all red (redder) in the face and lost his shit completely. Andy just kept spitting out, "that cunt, that bastard, let him face me, that thick no-neck little wankstain, I'll --" and then he was spilling everywhere and Flo came in and began to walk him away so he could lay down for a little; over her shoulder, she gave me an apologetic smile and then switched off the webcam. Poor Andy. He never has been quite the same since that health scare back in '98. And I don't think he's even met Dilbert...it's more like what the guy represents to him. People have always told him, clean up, get respectable, get a job, for chrissake. "Look at this asshole, in his fucking tie and spectacles," he would snarl over the comics section in the pub when Dilbert first debuted. "He looks like he smells like milk."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I've emailed Mr. Adams a couple times - as a fan. In one case it was regarding a minor point he made in his newsletter, that I didn't understand. The details are boring. That it was unimportant is kinda the point, and I just wanted to say hi to a guy I thought was kinda neat and doing some neat work. In college I was a cartoonist in the school paper, and like Scott, part of my thing was I sucked at drawing. I liked his sense of humor and what he was doing and I thought it was really cool that he made his email address public and encouraged people to reach out. So I contacted him.
The second time it was to mention something I thought he might find interesting based upon a blog post he made. It's possible, on the second one, that I misread his interest.
Anyway, as someone who has appreciated a lot of Dilbert, I'd like to say that I'm surprised that Scott was really unpleasant on that thread, but sadly I'm not, based on my reasonably limited personal experience with him.
The sad thing about guys who behave like Scott Adams is there's virtually no happiness for anyone. The any press is good press thing becomes this weird self-feeding machine. You become the type of person who does things like going on the internet and generating heat, much of it negative, and then you wind up viewing humans as these weird wet robots who are either paying attention to you or not. Humans don't like being treated that way, but they sure like talking about someone famous who is being weird/a jerk.
It's so cynical and sad. It must make him miserable. It doesn't add value, it just wastes time, both his and others, and it's not Dilbert. It's not what he does. It's making a series of increasingly mistaken equivalencies: eyeballs = money, money = success, success = happiness.

tl;dr: Scott Adams was kinda mean to me a couple times over email.
posted by qnarf at 7:37 AM on April 16, 2011 [24 favorites]


Reading the Reddit thread the thought struck me that what Scott did was an obvious Metafilter community violation. Several of the redditers a looking for an explict written TOS violation and I think are confused because there isn't one.

Also the weirdest comments seem to get down voted to invisibility; glad we don't have that metric here.

On preview, agreement with Brandon Blatcher
posted by Mitheral at 7:38 AM on April 16, 2011


I was talking to Andy Capp about this on Skype last night, and as soon as I said "Dilbert," the poor old guy just went all red (redder) in the face and lost his shit completely. Andy just kept spitting out, "that cunt, that bastard, let him face me, that thick no-neck little wankstain, I'll --" and then he was spilling everywhere

Weird, the same thing happened to me when I was Skyping with Jeffy from Family Circus.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:38 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


weird wet robots That is either Cortex's new band name or the premise of Lady Gaga's next tour.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:42 AM on April 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


I used 'weird' three times in three sentences there. Yeesh.
posted by qnarf at 7:45 AM on April 16, 2011


What would make this come full circle is if someone started researching Scott Adams and found out he'd been plagiarizing metafilter for punchlines.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:51 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yay it is Rory!
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


All these years, I thought Dilbert was Adams' character in the strip- turns out it was Dogbert the whole time.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:55 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Several of the redditers a looking for an explict written TOS violation and I think are confused because there isn't one.

Yes, exactly. Metafilter sometimes gets that, but I think that was more in the past. It's an interesting difference in viewing the world, where some people seem to need those explicit rules and others don't.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoa.
posted by zarq at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2011


Wait until you people figure out who I am!
posted by cjorgensen at 8:04 AM on April 16, 2011


Using a sockpuppet to point out that you're a certified genius: Not so smart.
posted by odinsdream at 8:06 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is worse then the time Mary Worth was slinging mud around AskMe for months.
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 AM on April 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh, yeah? You shoulda been there when Beetle Bailey's PTSD kicked in and he went ballistic on the blue...
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oof, good morning. That was a weird day.

Reddit thread was more interesting before I went to a meetup last night than it was catching up this morning; it's weird to me how there's this like Radius Of Coherence in some of the branches of replies where the more comments into a subthread you go from whatever I just said, the less the rebuke has anything to do with anything I actually, in fact, said. But so it goes, I guess?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:12 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


The San Jose Mercury News covered the Gawker piece in their celebrities column.
posted by zarq at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2011


Scott Adams, about himself: As someone mentioned, he has a certified genius I.Q., and that's hard to hide.

I recommend storing it underneath a fedora.
posted by inigo2 at 8:18 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


cortex, don't forget that you may be arguing with multiple Adamseses over there.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:19 AM on April 16, 2011


Beer are you really Cortex doubting himself?
posted by wheelieman at 8:20 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm glad Rory Marinich is back, but now I think we have confront the uncomfortable possibility that Rory Marinich is actually an alternate personality created by the genius of Scott Adams.
posted by koeselitz at 8:21 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Scott Adams, about himself: As someone mentioned, he has a certified genius I.Q., and that's hard to hide.

I recommend storing it underneath a fedora.


If that fails, insert head in ass. Oh, wait, he's way ahead of me...
posted by jonmc at 8:21 AM on April 16, 2011


Funny, Rex Morgan kept insisting he was doctor but never actually answered any medical questions....
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


There was a post a month or so ago about the "ad hominem fallacy fallacy." The article had some important problems, but the basic idea was this: labeling someone's words as an ad hominem attack can be just as deadly and inappropriate in a conversation as actually making an ad hominem attack.

UnplannedChaos's activities in that thread may be the most clear example of this that I've seen. He sees an argument he doesn't like, and he wants to respond to it. If he hadn't at some point in the past come up with cutesy special terms like "masturdebating," he may have had to actually think about what he doesn't like about the argument: he'd have to spell it out, develop a clear and explicit response. But instead, he's come up with this whole terminology for the Mistakes Others Make. So, when he sees this argument he doesn't like, his mind does nothing but apply the label to it. "This is masturdebating. That's bad. End of the story." You can't argue with someone who does that. Someone who does that isn't open to the possibility of earnest discussion.

I used to check up on his webpage once in a while, back in the 90s. I remember finding the term, "cow-orker," both clever and disturbing at the same time. (In my defense for finding it even remotely clever, note that I turned 10 in 1993.) Now, I can clearly express what's so disturbing about terms like cow-orker, PHB, masturdebate, etc: it's all a way of turning off one's critical thinking skills. You call someone a cow-orker, you don't have to explain why you dislike their behavior; you call someone's argument masturdebating, you don't have to figure out what you actually thing is wrong about what they said. It reflects a whole attitude towards others, and I find it scary.
posted by meese at 8:22 AM on April 16, 2011 [55 favorites]


Dear AskMe, I am a young male cartoons and comics person. What can I do to avoid catching the apeshit disease if become successful later in life?
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I genuinely don't understand why Scott Adams didn't just sign on as Scott Adams if he felt like defending himself.

Also, the pushback on reddit is largely political. Adams is a libertarian, and reddit has a large libertarian subcommunity. I wouldn't take it as being representative of reddit as a whole.
posted by empath at 8:26 AM on April 16, 2011


Do Gawker and Hollywood Reporter count an "mainstream coverage" now?
posted by pracowity at 8:27 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wear a fedora.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 AM on April 16, 2011


That was too The WHelk
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:28 AM on April 16, 2011


Regarding the values dissonance over on reddit, I think that the key problem is that they have never had the experience of being part of an online community where some kind of integrity is enforced, and they don't understand the positive aspects that make it worth the effort to enforce said integrity.

To use a metaphor they might understand, they are lifelong vegetarians wondering why someone would make such a big deal over bacon.
posted by idiopath at 8:36 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Coming soon: a post about the history of adventure games gets derailed by a tedious defender of text adventures who turns out to be that other Scott Adams.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:37 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Funny, Rex Morgan kept insisting he was doctor but never actually answered any medical questions....

Don't even get me started about that ill-fated canoe trip I took in Georgia with Mark Trail....
posted by jonmc at 8:38 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Reddit thread:
[–]Odusei 18 hours ago
I'm suspicious of this comment. If you really were a mod on MetaFilter, it would be filled with relevant links.

[+]joshmillard 18 hours ago
Heh. For once, I was trying to be brief. I can make every letter of a word a link to something, if that would reassure you.

[+]Odusei 17 hours ago
I'm just trolling you a bit. Thanks for the interesting website I never bother to visit unless I'm on ritalin.
Metafilter: the interesting website I never bother to visit unless I'm on ritalin.
posted by zarq at 8:39 AM on April 16, 2011 [30 favorites]


Dear AskMe, I am a young male cartoons and comics person. What can I do to avoid catching the apeshit disease if become successful later in life?

I've given this a lot of thought lately, and I think the answer is dependent on which of the following is truer, generally speaking...is it:

* that, when obscure, few people know the cartoons/comics person well enough to realize exactly how really fucking crazy s/he really is, but if they had!, they would have known all along that said person was really fucking crazy; or

* is it that the qualities we recognize as being part and parcel of what makes an artist interesting -- that is, the facets of an artist that speak uniquely to the zeitgeist of his/her times -- actually become liabilities when that zeitgeist moves on to the next thing?

I think that most cases of a comics person seeming to lose his/her shit a decade or more into happy money time are one or the other...by which I mean to say, I don't think it's a disease that develops, but rather a condition that comes to be seen differently over time. Like: Once a cigarette hanging out of one's mouth was a sign that the smoker was an adventurous person with whom sex might be kind of interesting and rad; now it's often just a stop sign. Same behavior, different outlook. My guess is what usually changes is society itself (option two)...one day that mullet just is not cool anymore. It was cool, back when Kiefer Sutherland rocked that shit in The Lost Boys, yeah. But no more. And if you miss the memo...yeah. And how to avoid this? I guess basically settle not comfortably into one's niche, but continue to grow and change with the times, though that could as easily just be seen as trend-chasing. Always know to take a step back if the words "those fucking kids" come out of your mouth like you're a thwarted Scooby-Doo villain? I dunno.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:48 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I genuinely don't understand why Scott Adams didn't just sign on as Scott Adams if he felt like defending himself.

Faulty premise, I think. He didn't feel like defending himself, he felt like stirring shit.
posted by ericost at 8:52 AM on April 16, 2011


Wear a fedora.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:27 AM on April 16 [+] [!]


That was too The WHelk
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:28 AM on April 16 [+] [!]


The Whelk seems to be more of a ruff man, actually.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:52 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whelk, I will sew you a ruff tomorrow, full-on Elizabethan styley, if you promise to post pics of you drawing comics with a quill, thoughtfully. (PLEASE CAN WE HAVE THE IMG TAG BACK?)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:55 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I wish these asides where jokes with no basis in reality.
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


"You call someone a cow-orker, you don't have to explain why you dislike their behavior; you call someone's argument masturdebating, you don't have to figure out what you actually thing is wrong about what they said."

Meh, you're just bean-plating.
posted by klarck at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Sometimes I wish you had one like this. Come on. Go big or go home.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:59 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear AskMe, I am a young male cartoons and comics person. What can I do to avoid catching the apeshit disease if become successful later in life?

I used to wait on Dik Brown and his entire family back when he was alive and I worked in an art supply store in Sarasota. All of them were really really nice people.

I think what I am trying to say is that if you are not a d-bag before fame, you probably won't be one if you are successful.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:00 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's an interesting difference in viewing the world, where some people seem to need those explicit rules and others don't.

Solution: put "don't be a dick" in the guidelines.

Everyone else just sort of gets that you shouldn't be a dick, but the dicks need to be reminded.
posted by kenko at 9:12 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


"As someone mentioned, he has a certified genius I.Q., and that's hard to hide."

Which is almost as good as saying, "I know more about this than you can possibly imagine!"
posted by klangklangston at 9:16 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Some people become famous by complete accident; they were in the right place at the right time, and they know it. Some people become famous because they need fame for something, whether it's money or groupies or pushing a subversive message of social change. Some people push for fame because they're simply convinced that they're special and deserve an audience of millions of people.

Also: When you're famous, or even just known, you can get away with things you can't otherwise. Some people are only polite or quiet or nice because it's socially required, versus because they think it's the right thing to do. Then suddenly they get put in a position where people like them even if they act like assholes, and they have no reason to keep being nice, and they never will until they start appreciating the rest of the world.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Scott Adams is just better than you, wormy peon, and if you dare take his name in vain he will step on you and squash you out like the incorporeal Internet entity that you are.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:17 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ha! Incorporeal entites can't be squashed!
posted by kenko at 9:31 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Spoken like a non-Scott Adams entity.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:32 AM on April 16, 2011


I am everywhere and nowhere

but I still can't come to your poetry reading.
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


the resolution of the taters mystery

Whoa! I missed that, too.
posted by ericb at 9:33 AM on April 16, 2011


I'm sorry I peed in your cesspool.

For what it's worth, the smart people were on to me after the first post. That made it funnier.


This is a pretty minor form of what Something Awful refers to as the puppetmaster defense. It's what happens when you get trolled hard and try to act as if you were the one doing the trolling.

See also:

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I was enjoying all of the negative attention on Twitter and wondered how I could keep it going. So I left some comments on several Feminist blogs, mostly questioning the reading comprehension of people who believed I had insulted them. That kept things frothy for about a day. Now things are starting to settle down. It's time for some DMD.

Dude just loses his shit when people don't like him online.

Scott, no one here gave up $5 just to insult you. You are the puppet. Dance for us.

That out of the way, someone gave me some really good advice once, it had to do with not taking blogs you are not familiar with out of context and losing your shit. Feminists will be offended by misogyny, Metafilter will be offended by everything. It's not the end of the world.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:44 AM on April 16, 2011


I just read through the reddit thread (Warning: Do not read through the reddit thread.) about this, and I just wanted to also give props to cortex for doing some stellar community PR over there.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:01 AM on April 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Really, aren't we all Scott Adams?
posted by crunchland at 10:03 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I guess what I'm trying to say is that Scott Adams is just better than you, wormy peon, and if you dare take his name in vain he will step on you and squash you out like the incorporeal Internet entity that you are.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:17 AM on April 16 [+] [!]


Wait, you guys mean that all this time, Rory was Scott Adams?! Explains why I never saw them in the same place at the same time.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:04 AM on April 16, 2011


Meh, you're just bean-plating.

wouldn't that be beanp-lating?
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:09 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretends to be his own Number One Fan.

I don't think Adams was pretending, actually.

This is a pretty minor form of what Something Awful refers to as the puppetmaster defense. It's what happens when you get trolled hard and try to act as if you were the one doing the trolling.

Absolutely. It's just about as annoying as when people conveniently pull out the "It was CLEARLY a joke" defense, when it clearly was not a joke.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 10:10 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I wish you had one like this. Come on. Go big or go home.

Yes, please! I propose a fund to get The Whelk the ruff he truly deserves. We would rock that ruff like no ruff has been rocked in, like 400 years. (And I say this as someone whose grandfather preached in a ruff, so, you know, I have a genetic sympathy toward ruffs).
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:11 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do hope to eventually get a reply as to why plannedchaos wasn't banned. Weren't a bunch of banninations handed out over the GiveWell astroturfing? Same deal rght?
posted by Justinian at 10:22 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems to me that often the people who pee in our cesspool have been drubk-posting. (Or something.) I don't recommend it since those poisonsed words they let loose do come back to haunt them.
posted by Lynsey at 10:24 AM on April 16, 2011


So there's the question of whether or not you find Dilbert funny. That's pure personal taste. I thought the strip was a riot in the 90s, before the internet really got mainstream and it was this hidden secret thing making me laugh about stuff I like. Sorta like xkcd does today right? It's ultra-nerdy and feels like the humor is talking to a demographic of one sometimes.

This makes the hate make more sense. I'm starting to enjoy the mini-backlash toward XKCD, and I can completly imagine that XKCD guy showing up in a thread like this. It seems like the hate of people realizing that something they identified with intensly is a. not that underground and b. kinda lame.
I've got a techie brother who was reading Dilbert from before he worked in an office. I did, too. The computer game and cartoon were fun too.
I thought he made some good points about self-promotion before he outed himself. Would have made so much more sense just to come in as Scott Adams. He's bigger than MeFi, usually, but sneaking in brought him down.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:24 AM on April 16, 2011


jessamyn mentioned the non account banning in the original thread.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:27 AM on April 16, 2011


Well, ok. Did the Givewell people disable their own accounts then? My impression was they were straight out banned without warning.
posted by Justinian at 10:31 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Solution: put "don't be a dick" in the guidelines.


A festival I went to this year has a 'no dickheads' policy. Oddly enough it seems to work.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:32 AM on April 16, 2011


I do hope to eventually get a reply as to why plannedchaos wasn't banned.

Didn't cortex explain that in the original post? And anyway, why are you so eager to get him banned? Wouldn't it be better if he came back and honestly explained why he did this silly thing?

(Well, I'm not a certified genius, but I don't see what the point of chasing him away would be, hilariously stupid as his comments were.)
posted by Dumsnill at 10:33 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not eager to get him banned, I'm thinking that rules and norms should be enforced regardless of who violates those rules and norms. The point of disabling the account (not "chasing him away") would be that he did something which generally results in one's account being disabled.

Do self-linkers get the choice between revealing that they self-linked or being banned? No, they don't. Similarly, I don't think the Givewell astroturfers were given this choice.

Now, if the argument is that he was a new member who just didn't know this behavior was not acceptable, and when it was pointed out that it was not acceptable he complied with the request to stop then that's fine. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds and so on. I suppose one can make a pretty good case that this doesn't rise to the level of the Givewell astroturf since this had no commercial or financial component. I was just hoping that the actual distinction would be made explicit.
posted by Justinian at 10:43 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


There would be a point to be made about how no one is above the rules around here, but really the strength of moderation here is the ability to make judgement calls. He was clearly trying to hide his identity to self-promote though, which is clearly a no-no. I'm not afraid letting it go is gonna lead to a massive spam wave, it's a unique situation.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:44 AM on April 16, 2011


I agree, and I possibly even buy the argument that he simply made a newbie mistake without $$$ implications as in the Givewell case. Like I said, I was just hoping for an explicit statement of the distinction rather than an implicit one. But I'm no genius like Scott Adams.
posted by Justinian at 10:46 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Same deal rght?

Not even remotely the same in my opinion. I think Adam's intentions were playful rather than deceitful but he wasn't really prepared for the pit of vipers he stumbled into.
posted by Manjusri at 10:49 AM on April 16, 2011


This whole thing makes me feel so validated. I feel like FINALLY people are getting what I have been trying to say for years, which is that Scott Adams is a jerk and kind of crazy. But you try to explain it to people and they blow you off as being bitter and jealous.

Finally he's done something so public that people are all like Oh wow, that guy is a jerk and kind of crazy.

Ordinarily I might be annoyed that it took so long for Adams to finally hit that tipping point. But frankly I'm just relieved to have the company.

I'm also surprised that he trolled Metafilter under a pseudonym. After the "women are like children or the handicapped" thing, he trolled several feminist blogs under his own name.

And when I say "trolled" I mean that as a statement of fact, as he himself gleefully explained in a later blog post.
posted by ErikaB at 10:52 AM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow. This is like some strange parody of the Wizard of Oz playing itself out with a dog, a brain, some courage, a heart, a brain, some hobgoblins, Wicked Witches.....Toto and Dogbert will be ever linked in my mind.
posted by effluvia at 10:53 AM on April 16, 2011


And when I say "trolled" I mean that as a statement of fact, as he himself gleefully explained in a later blog post.

When you register on someone else's site for the sole purpose of complaining about the mean things they are saying about you and to argue about it, you aren't the one doing the trolling.

This goes double when you pay them for the privilege.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:55 AM on April 16, 2011


There's a Dilbert-branded online storage thing? Weird.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:00 AM on April 16, 2011


Point taken, furiousxgeorge, and that gets back to an unknowable question which is whether he was A) deliberately stirring the shit to get free publicity, or B) legitimately (in his own mind) defending himself, but then fell back on the puppet master defense when things got too heavy.

Personally I go with A, based on what I have observed of him over the years. I used to be a huge fan, read all the books, took that shit to heart.

But I made the mistake of thinking about it and paying attention, and eventually he fell out of my favor. Largely because he does this kind of thing all the time. So much so that he believes that it's A) good sport, and B) good for people. (Really!)

I have no doubt that he kept the receipt for his $5 Paypal payment and plans to claim it on his 2011 taxes as a business expense.
posted by ErikaB at 11:06 AM on April 16, 2011


(Heck, just look at the username he chose. How very Tyler Durden of him.)
posted by ErikaB at 11:08 AM on April 16, 2011


Metafilter: Born on third base, but thinks it hit a triple.
posted by secretseasons at 11:09 AM on April 16, 2011


Man, it's like my grandfather used to say: leave a community forum for a couple months, and don't be surprised if when you come back an office-humor comic artist has made an ass of himself.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:11 AM on April 16, 2011 [32 favorites]


IT'S A REUNION THREAD NOW.
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, I liked Dilbert and the Dilbert books while I was in middle school. I was a weird kid. Some of his opinions were weird. Like how in one of his books, he argued that time is nonlinear, which means evolution can't be true as we know it (because it's based on past causes leading to future results, just like almost everything in non-quantum physics science), and quantum physics means that we can use affirmation (atheist praying, more or less, where you repeat a future result you want, such as say "I will be a multi-millionaire") to change our future. And all of this was more or less justified because the double slit experiment is weird. It was a strange thing to argue in a book largely meant for people frustrated with business politics.

I just lost a lot of respect for him with this, though. This is almost as bad as that time the Whole Foods CEO went on investment forums and stood up for his company and his own haircut (wtf?) while bashing Wild Oats pre-merger (which would artificially lower their stock price and make a merger cheaper for Whole Foods if people took him seriously) under a pseudonym loosely based on his wife's name.

Seriously.

Although this isn't so much about monetary gain as cyber-reputation. Which, in a roundabout way, might be a business action, as he seems to want to develop a good online presence (with ad revenue) in addition to writing simple "Hurr, work sucks" cartoons for the papers.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:20 AM on April 16, 2011


Well, ok. Did the Givewell people disable their own accounts then? My impression was they were straight out banned without warning.

I think there's a really significant difference in that the GiveWell people were basically using their feigned identity to solicit monetary donations.
posted by Miko at 11:31 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


IT'S A REUNION THREAD NOW.

I just came back for the masturdebating. Plz carry on.
posted by Ceiling Cat at 11:32 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel like "plannedchaos" didn't really do anything banworthy. He was hiding his identity, which I think is a perfectly acceptable thing to do online (I choose not to do that on MetaFilter, but I can respect people who do, and I also have a sockpuppet for questions/posts I wouldn't want to make as myself but would like to be able to comment in).

Of course, he did do it for disingenuous reasons. He was trying to defend his reputation while looking like a third party, which means his arguments would hold more weight (I'm not arguing that's true in terms of logic, but in terms of rhetoric). That's a lot different, than say, wanting to make comments that your boss might not like. The disguise wasn't for anonymity, it was for offense.

This is trollish behavior that I don't think MetaFilter should foster, but it isn't really blatantly wrong. I'd say a strong warning in an email/memail is enough.

But yeah, this does feel a lot like the puppetmaster defense. He embarrassed himself, tried to un-embarrass himself, and then claimed he did it all to amuse himself, not because he wanted to change what people thought of him so that people will continue to see him as a source of sage advice. We really don't need that on MetaFilter. We probably don't need that anywhere.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


and quantum physics means that we can use affirmation (atheist praying, more or less, where you repeat a future result you want, such as say "I will be a multi-millionaire") to change our future.

Scott Adams is Oprah?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:40 AM on April 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I do hope to eventually get a reply as to why plannedchaos wasn't banned.

It's a question of what the ban would accomplish. At this point, it's been made clear to him what the problem was with his behavior on Metafilter, and he stopped doing that thing and he's basically forever on Don't Fuck Around With The Site, Scott notice.

I don't get the feeling he's going to come back around, but if for some reason he did decide to come back and try and have some sort of substantial conversation about all this, the account is open.

If for some reason he decided to come back and fuck around with the site, okay, that's it, account closed.

Functionally speaking, he's skunked his account: about all there is that he can do with it at this point is try to make things more okay with the mefi community through conversation. I'm not banking on that happening, but I'm not fundamentally ruling it out either. I think the likely scenario is the account sits untouched going forward; formally banning it wouldn't change anything there.

Weren't a bunch of banninations handed out over the GiveWell astroturfing? Same deal rght?

We banned the initial pair of sockpuppets when that went down, thinking that was basically the end of that in what looked more or less like open-and-shut, run-of-the-mill spam bullshit. Then Holden signed up again and started talking, which is really when things blew up; and at the time the question came up as to why we'd let him have this new account, why we didn't just ban him again immediately.

And my thinking there was the same as here: what does banning just for banning's sake accomplish there? If he wanted to talk, let him talk. If he freaked the fuck out or something with the new account, we'd close it down immediately.

If Scott Adams comes back to his plannedchaos account and goes off the rails, we'll close his account down. If he comes back and talks, fine, he comes back and talks.

Pretty much the only compulsory bans we hand out—and this is also the vast majority of bans we hand out—are for driveby spammers where there's literally nothing more complicated than "you spammed the site, goodbye". The more complicated situations are likely to involve talking (in public, over email) and keeping an eye on going forward.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:40 AM on April 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


Hey Mods: Could you please re-enable all of my sockpuppet accounts? Somebody very important just passed his genius re-certification.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:43 AM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks, cortex. You possess nigh-Adams-like levels of geniosity.
posted by Justinian at 11:45 AM on April 16, 2011


it's weird to me how there's this like Radius Of Coherence in some of the branches of replies
posted by cortex at 4:12 PM on April 16 [+] [!]


Radius Of Coherence is the name of cortex's new prog-industrial band. Scott Adams hates them.
posted by Decani at 11:54 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's one constant in my life and that is every self-identified genius has irritated the shit out of me within the first 3 minutes of interaction. Seriously, saying "I am a member of Mensa" is usually the same thing as saying "I am an amazing douchebag."

Where this becomes a snake eating itself is when you hear these geniuses pointing out that genius isn't really all that hard to get. It's the smartest of these smarties that are rarified.

Bah, I've spent too much time thinking about this.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:56 AM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dude just loses his shit when people don't like him online.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:44 PM on April 16


Good Lord, if I acted that way I'd never get anything done.
posted by Decani at 11:57 AM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everybody is a genius on the Internet. My certification is in Canada.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why am I not surprised that a cartoonist can also be an ass? Some of the personal anecdotes I hear about ones I admire, make Mr. Adams look like Mother Teresa.

Perhaps it's a bit understandable. Being a famous cartoonist is akin to being a famous circus oddity. No matter how successful you are, you still generally aren't considered a "serious artiste". Self-centeredness or pomposity may be a way to compensate for that (I'm reminded of the B. Kliban cartoon of the "World Famous Cartoonist", a short, funny looking guy wearing sunglasses and a women on both arms).

Yep, artists can be pricks. That's probably how a lot of them can make it in the business.
posted by jabo at 12:10 PM on April 16, 2011


So I read The Whelk's comment "plagued and haunted by self doff and paranoia" and thought, "Now there's a phrase I've not heard of," and I work with people who talk about doffing and donning all the time. For firefighters, the technical terms for putting on and taking off safety gear are donning and doffing. Until I joined the fire department, I'd never heard the words outside a 17th century play, or in some ironic sense, but they're commonly used in the fire service.

So I looked at "self doff" and thought, "Sure, that's taking your own personal protective equipment off in a sort of reflexive way that can be easily linked to paranoia."

Seemed perfectly reasonable to me, and just another example of magnificent Whelkness.

And then I found out it was typo. But, as The Whelk noted, still genius.
posted by angiep at 12:24 PM on April 16, 2011 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: Born on third base, but thinks it hit a triple.

Even better, the quote is originally from Ann Richards (RIP) about George W. Bush. (Of his father, she said "He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.")
posted by KathrynT at 12:35 PM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


(Of his father, she said "He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.")

And, her delivery of that line was perfect!
posted by ericb at 12:38 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


CNET: 'Dilbert' Creator Uses Fake ID To Tell Web He's Great.

The Hollywood Reporter: Dilbert Creator Caught Defending Himself Anonymously on Popular Online Discussion Board.

Mediabistro: Scott Adams Caught Defending Himself Anonymously on MetaFilter.
posted by ericb at 12:41 PM on April 16, 2011


Fark: I read the MetaFilter thread last night, and the admin was very polite in calling out Adams for being a total dickhead.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:52 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


"My certification is in Canada."

What? I wish I'd know that was an option! I got mine in Dental Hygienist/X-ray Technician.
posted by Eideteker at 1:05 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a BS in BS and a BC in BC.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:09 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear AskMe, I am a young male cartoons and comics person. What can I do to avoid catching the apeshit disease if become successful later in life?

Adams has been diagnosed with a strange brain syndrome. From a 2006 CBS News article:

A balding, bespectacled working stiff inexplicably loses his voice - except when speaking in rhyme or pinching his nose. ...

Adams, 49, appears to be a rare example of someone who has largely - but not totally - recovered from spasmodic dysphonia, ...

Nearly three years ago, Adams developed a tremor in his right pinky whenever he tried to put pen to paper. He turned to a digital drawing tablet and stylus, and the spasms disappeared. Dilbert has been computer-generated ever since. ...

His only comfort was that he could sing and recite poetry with only minimal gasping and stammering. He recited nursery rhymes every night in hopes of "re-mapping" his brain.

Last weekend, Adams was chanting "Jack Be Nimble" for the umpteenth time when it dawned on him: He wasn't having a stitch of difficulty. ...

He's been talking ever since - albeit with a raspy, tinny voice.


The article goes on to mention that NPR personality Diane Rehm also has SD. Rehm's husband has Parkinson's, and I think that means her and her husband's illnesses are environmental or due to some kind of infection (or both).

I think Adam's truly pathetic claims about a genius IQ have to be seen in this context. He's got a very serious brain problem which is generally progressive. I view saying he is a genius under a false identity as his version of whistling as darkness falls.
posted by jamjam at 1:19 PM on April 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I first learned of this on Gawker yesterday.

Around the late '90s I used to really enjoy Dilbert, and I read some of Adams' books and found them funny and really insightful. Then he fell off my radar for a few years and apparently something terrible happened.

I thought people were being harsh on him too- then I clicked through to his rant about women being babies. At some point apparently his blog turned into a Howard Stern-esque echo chamber where he says stupid things to a small cadre of adoring fans. Weird and sad.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:20 PM on April 16, 2011


I've read both threads here, and I was, in fact, starting to feel bad for Mr. Adams, for the reasons jamjam mentioned. Everyone's fighting a hard battle, etc. But I'm still gonna paste this quote from his men's rights pussies screed:

But part of being male is the automatic feeling of team. If someone on the team screws up, we all take the hit. Don’t kid yourself that men haven’t earned some harsh treatment from the legal system. On the plus side, if I’m trapped in a burning car someday, a man will be the one pulling me out. That’s the team I want to be on.

What a bunch of bizarre and pitifully mistaken misogyny.

Go Team.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:31 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would have made so much more sense just to come in as Scott Adams. He's bigger than MeFi, usually, but sneaking in brought him down.

Who's bigger now?
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:34 PM on April 16, 2011


Depends on your criteria for "bigger".
posted by Burhanistan at 1:35 PM on April 16, 2011


He's got a very serious brain problem which is generally progressive.

Is SD generally progressive?

More on spasmodic dysphonia.
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on April 16, 2011


He's got a very serious brain problem which is generally progressive. I view saying he is a genius under a false identity as his version of whistling as darkness falls.
posted by jamjam


That is more than a bit overstated, and perhaps offensive to people who suffer from this condition. While SD can be progressive, it usually progresses very slowly (and in Adams' case, appears to have reversed, as does often happen), and as far as I know it has no particular consequences for cognitive or behavioral function, other than be a depressing thing to deal with. It's not like it's Alzheimers. I know a singer whose career was seriously derailed by SD. He's had it for 25 years, it struck at the height of his early career, and it's played havoc with his enormous talent and cost him a level of success he might have enjoyed otherwise. He's also enjoyed a regression of the symptoms and developed workarounds over time.

He's not a douchebag. He's a nice guy. I hear Diane Rehm hasn't yet been busted trolling the internet insisting she's a genius and everyone else an idiot either.

This whole thing adds new irony to one of my favorite sarcastic expressions: "genius move."
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:42 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah -- from what I am reading SD has no relationship to cognitive functionality.
"Spasmodic dysphonia is a chronic (long-term) voice disorder. With spasmodic dysphonia, movement of the vocal cords is forced and strained resulting in a jerky, quivery, hoarse, tight, or groaning voice. Vocal interruptions or spasms, periods of no sound (aphonia), and periods when there is near normal voice occur." *

The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association.

Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
Damn ... this is why I like this place. You learn so much every visit!
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


CNET
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:13 PM on April 16, 2011


Whoa, Scott Adams says he will explain his actions on his blog next week.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:21 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is nothing that metafilter does better than a good, old fashioned, pile-on.

I mean yeah, what he did was weird and imprudent. But the chorus of "yeah, I liked him, then ignored him now I think he's an ass" comments is truly stupendous.
posted by gjc at 2:21 PM on April 16, 2011


yeah ........ take THAT mr millionaire comic book guy !!!!!


(stay tuned for next weeks episode, where Donald Trump gets his memail privileges revoked)
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:22 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Scott, or someone impersonating him has commented on the CNET article:

"I'm a big fan of television, but I think you're underestimating the entertainment value of being incognito and having a discussion about yourself. It's like attending your own funeral, except in this analogy everyone hates you and thinks you're a giant dick.

"But I don't do it simply for entertainment. That's just a bonus. You'll see more of an answer next week at www.dilbert.com/blog"
posted by to sir with millipedes at 2:23 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like attending your own funeral, except in this analogy everyone hates you and thinks you're a giant dick.

I'm sure he'll be pleased as Punch when his analogy proves far more accurate than expected.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:27 PM on April 16, 2011


When that blog drops, we're all gonna have SUCH egg on our faces, you guys. This is one guy who is definitely in control of the situation... but WHY is he making us wait a whole week to be set aright? I'm sure he could put a rhetorically resonant, mind-blowing life lesson on the value of personality and representation together in far less time. What other marvels lie in store!?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:28 PM on April 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


where Donald Trump gets his memail privileges revoked

He may wig out.
posted by clavdivs at 2:31 PM on April 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


IT WAS ALL A PLAN AND IF WE WERE GENIUSES WE WOULD'VE KNOWN THAT — THE CLUES WERE RIGHT IN HIS HANDLE OMG

BTW, is reddit always this fucking dense? I mean, holy shit!
posted by defenestration at 2:32 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I mean yeah, what he did was weird and imprudent. But the chorus of "yeah, I liked him, then ignored him now I think he's an ass" comments is truly stupendous.

Yeah, it does seem to be the majority outlook on him. I know this might seem like a stretch, but I think it's because now most people think that he is an ass.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:35 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


WINNING
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:38 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, okay, this just went from moderately silly to downright pathological on his part. Call off the pile-on.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:40 PM on April 16, 2011


If the explanation next week on his blog is simply a statement for how this kind of thing is clever on his part or exposed something about community blah-blah and basically spins this in such a way that shows how clever it all is on his part as some sort of sociological experiment where he was totally in control of his responses, I'm going to be very disappointed. Even if for the sake of argument he could establish such a response was intended to be helpful or revealing (and that's a big 'if', as I think he just got caught doing something embarrassing), it would not only be pretty damn disrespectful to an established community without some sort of apology, but in my mind transparently false.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:55 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


So it should be a WSJ OP-ED instead?
posted by defenestration at 2:58 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just got my first sock puppet account!
posted by plannednachos at 3:03 PM on April 16, 2011 [59 favorites]


If the explanation next week on his blog...

Hey Scott? I'm not going to your blog to find out why you were an ass. If you're going to pull these sort of high school antics, you could at least put out or something.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:04 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


defenestration: "So it should be a WSJ OP-ED instead"

Maybe a Cracked article, like "Top Six Reasons Why Making A Sockpuppet Is Awesome" would be better suited to the task.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:05 PM on April 16, 2011


BTW, is reddit always this fucking dense? I mean, holy shit!

Wow, other websites can do the dopey point-of-principle-taken-to-absurdity shit that we do too!
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Artw, do you really think it's the same here? I've never seen that brand of context-be-damned, so-logical-I-make-no-fucking-sense style of argument here.
posted by defenestration at 3:11 PM on April 16, 2011


Well, maybe I shouldn't say never... but it's certainly a rare occurrence.
posted by defenestration at 3:13 PM on April 16, 2011


> but it's certainly a rare occurrence.

There's probably a pretty close proportion between frequency of occurrence and size of active user base that buts both sites in equal crazypants land.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:15 PM on April 16, 2011


Threads about Hitler loving racist crazypants doing something asshatty because it's "free speech" are pretty much MeFis sweetspot for this.
posted by Artw at 3:17 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the explanation next week on his blog is simply a statement for how this kind of thing is clever on his part...

You can be sure that will be the takeaway.
posted by Miko at 3:21 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fucking Lannisters.
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:21 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


You can be sure that will be the takeaway.

It will be, I'm sure of it.

But at that point, do we link to it and discuss it? I'm pretty sure we will.

And I will read it, and possibly comment on it.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:31 PM on April 16, 2011


And will one of us discussing the link, unbeknownst to us, be the very person who wrote the blog post linked?
posted by found missing at 3:38 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is he perhaps among us RIGHT NOW? dn dn dn.
posted by Miko at 3:45 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who knows. Other than one of us and maybe cortex and mathowie.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:46 PM on April 16, 2011


This is like the internet version of Inception.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:54 PM on April 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Go deeper
posted by Dumsnill at 3:55 PM on April 16, 2011


That's what...

Oh, never mind.
posted by found missing at 3:56 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fuck. Missed the kick again. Somebody please kill me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:00 PM on April 16, 2011


Right, I'll go fill the tub.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:02 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


gjc: "There is nothing that metafilter does better than a good, old fashioned, pile-on.

I mean yeah, what he did was weird and imprudent. But the chorus of "yeah, I liked him, then ignored him now I think he's an ass" comments is truly stupendous.
"

I'd like to point out that one of the earlier comments on the FPP was me saying just this. If anything, I was near the bottom of the pile. And in light of subsequent occurrences, I feel that I was spot fucking on.
posted by Splunge at 4:04 PM on April 16, 2011


I don't really have an opinion of Scott Adams as an artist or writer. However, invoking your supposed high IQ in an argument smacks of insecurity, not authority. Whenever, I see it in action I feel embarrassed for the person schlepping it out--in any context.
posted by rain at 4:04 PM on April 16, 2011


No - I meant for real.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:06 PM on April 16, 2011


Sorry - "Realz."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:07 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The meta-story, and the thing that makes this all super-fun-time in Modtown is that yesterday was one of the brief "no one's around" few-hour windows MeFi sometimes has. I was having lunch with restless_nomad and then flying home, she was going to karate and then a potluck, cortex was on his way to a meetup, mathowie was on his way back from CA, pb was on the road somewhere and I think even vacapinta had plans. Usually Friday nights are pretty tame so we were like "Everything will be FINE..."

As this unfolded from the "Hey look Scott Adams signed up!" to "He seems to be fighting with people in the thread" to "Man he's sort of being a jerk" to "We should probably talk to him" to "Wow this is really making me angry, what do we do if we don't hear from him?" to "Should we just leak this to some other blogs" to "Oh look he's commenting about how he might be Scott Adams" to "Okay he's mentioned it, let's see what happens" and all of us checking email and the thread while watching the clocks for whatever our immovable schedules were foisting on us and hoping it didn't all collide into a perfect storm of publicity and snark and rage and five concurrent MetaTalks while no one was around at all.

And it didn't. Which is sort of great.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:10 PM on April 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


I blame myself.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:14 PM on April 16, 2011


This is why you need a downunder mod - I was home the whole time & doing nothing but working my way through a litre of duty free Islay single malt.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:15 PM on April 16, 2011


This is why you need a downunder mod

If you know what I mean.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:17 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


And I think that you don't.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:18 PM on April 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is why you need to hire this Norwegian mod: I blame It's Raining etc. for pretty much everything, and I can't possibly afford Islay single malt.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:19 PM on April 16, 2011


UbuRoivas: Free? Please explain.
posted by Splunge at 4:21 PM on April 16, 2011


If you know what I mean.

It's something to do with S&M, right?

on preview: duty free.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:23 PM on April 16, 2011


Oh damn, duty free. Nevermind. Just a moment of wild wish fulfillment there.
posted by Splunge at 4:24 PM on April 16, 2011


He said duty
posted by found missing at 4:24 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Duty or no duty, you guys are so upper middle class.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:25 PM on April 16, 2011


doody free.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:25 PM on April 16, 2011


no shit
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:26 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey Dumsnill: What kind do you want?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:26 PM on April 16, 2011


Hey there. No need to call names. I'm low class or no class all the way. I just dream upper middle.
posted by Splunge at 4:27 PM on April 16, 2011


All of the above.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:28 PM on April 16, 2011


He said duty

It's tough, but somebody's gotta do it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:34 PM on April 16, 2011


Sounds like you need more bran.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:37 PM on April 16, 2011


To be fair, I once returned from a trip, entirely duty free, and was miserable.
posted by found missing at 4:38 PM on April 16, 2011


Okay Dumsnill. If you MeMail me a valid e-mail address in the next five minutes, I'll PayPal you the going price of a Laphroaig 18 Year Old. Offer good for the next 5 minutes only, and only for Dumsnill.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:40 PM on April 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, for the next podcast, the mods'll be interviewing Adams, right? C'MON.
posted by COBRA! at 4:48 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


They couldn't afford his genius.
posted by Splunge at 4:50 PM on April 16, 2011


If time isn't linear, maybe they've already interviewed him. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT?!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:52 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I missed the entire thing, and I have to say, that's the most bizarre shit I've ever seen.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:54 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now I remember. I already heard the podcast. Jessamyn and Cortex were great as usual. Adams was a dick. As usual.
posted by Splunge at 4:54 PM on April 16, 2011


Surely time can't be so linear that you didn't you get the mail, you middle class bastard?
posted by Dumsnill at 4:55 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Matt wasn't in the podcast, by the way. But I can't tell you why. You'll eventually find out why.

And it will be wonderful!
posted by Splunge at 4:57 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's upper middle-class bastard. Cheers!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:07 PM on April 16, 2011


the fuck? I thought I saw someone streaming by a few decades ago, giving off chornomess like it was Christmas. You best clean your slim stream up or the Laundry is gonna take you to the cleaners.
posted by The Whelk at 5:09 PM on April 16, 2011


Well now I'm sorry I compared him to Jim Davis and Cathy Guiswite for a cheap laugh. I'm usually only half that much of a jerk.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:10 PM on April 16, 2011


That's chronomess you noob.
posted by Splunge at 5:13 PM on April 16, 2011


You may be an upper middle class kind of guy, but damn, you stick to your word. I've met at least 4 upper middle class guys before, and no, they never sent me six cases of Islay single malt.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:14 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Need to just hire a babysitter for the site when you are all out. I mean that, a no shit babysitter, the one putting flyers in your mailbox. Just have him/her read the site and call for the adults if anything goes wrong.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:16 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fuck. Missed the kick again. Somebody please kill me.

Not until you play the Swan Queen.
posted by The Whelk at 5:17 PM on April 16, 2011


Well, at least in this stream you're a noob. I also will meet you yesterday from a different line wearing a huge Elizabethan collar and a belt of human skulls. We dance and then you disappear, leaving behind a a sad declawed cat that has been painted purple.
posted by Splunge at 5:18 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


a no shit babysitter

I vote Susan
posted by The Whelk at 5:19 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh cool a ruff.
posted by The Whelk at 5:19 PM on April 16, 2011


Well, at least in this stream you're a noob. I also will meet you yesterday from a different line wearing a huge Elizabethan collar and a belt of human skulls. We dance and then you disappear, leaving behind a a sad declawed cat that has been painted purple.

Again?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:24 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "oh cool a ruff."

No. A meow.
posted by Splunge at 5:29 PM on April 16, 2011


Sorry Loquacious. Wasn't speaking to you.
posted by Splunge at 5:30 PM on April 16, 2011


I just got my first sock puppet account!
posted by plannednachos at 6:03 PM on April 16 [12 favorites +] [!]


Welcome to Metafilter, Scott!
posted by ericb at 5:32 PM on April 16, 2011


He's also wrong about time, just speaking as a time travel nerd.
posted by klangklangston at 5:34 PM on April 16, 2011


I have been reading books about the Tudor era for the past several weeks now and I would strongly recommend against a ruff as they are rather uncomfortable plus you'd need to hire some Dutch tart to come and starch it for you. I'd also strongly recommend against the peascod doublet with a full on codpiece. Trust me on this, I am a certified genius.
posted by longbaugh at 5:34 PM on April 16, 2011


No. A meow.

Meow, meow. *

* If you watch this and don't at least break a smile, something's wrong.
posted by ericb at 5:36 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well since you say so, I have to believe you. It's the internet, after all.
posted by Splunge at 5:36 PM on April 16, 2011


That was to longbaugh. Although that video is genius as well.
posted by Splunge at 5:37 PM on April 16, 2011


I'll tell you all about it next week.
posted by longbaugh at 5:37 PM on April 16, 2011


He's also wrong about time, just speaking as a time travel nerd.

Which is funny cause the other iteration of you I met while in the Woods Between The Wrods was totally wrong about time travel.

Granted he was also a large, military banana slug but there you go.
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not again.
posted by Splunge at 5:46 PM on April 16, 2011


ericb: ... whoah.

also, The Whelk can *totally* rock the ruff.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:48 PM on April 16, 2011


I'm not saying he wouldn't look splendid - just that it really isn't a comfortable item of clothing.

Hello, genius remember.
posted by longbaugh at 5:51 PM on April 16, 2011


Have any of you been to the MetaUniverse? I stopped there on the way to 1976 to score some Thai sticks.

They mod the whole galaxy and there hasn't been spam for over a million years. The food product as well as the information form. Although, with instant matter transference they are usually the same thing.

I got out of there fast. It was during the Quonsar War. You don't want to see that.
posted by Splunge at 5:52 PM on April 16, 2011


is it wrong of me to think it would be cool to have a moment of being notable on the internet or news in some fpp-able way (that was also a 'nothing terrible happened' way), and then i can come into the inevitable fpp thread and be all 'THAT'S MEFI'S OWN, BAYBEE!'
posted by rmd1023 at 5:53 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


If I was Scott Adams, I'd fake the timestamp on next week's blog post explanation and make it look like I actually wrote it three years ago because I'm a master of space and time and I already knew this was going to happen. Also, I'd try not to be such a dick.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:53 PM on April 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


You don't want to fake that stuff. Everyone that did that was on The Whek's belt. Every damn one...
posted by Splunge at 5:56 PM on April 16, 2011


Seems like there's always someone on The Whelk's belt.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:58 PM on April 16, 2011


Deguass the Mostly Gassy rulers of the Pleasure Empire and we'll see about getting you a belt.
posted by The Whelk at 6:06 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please stop making jokes that force me to Google things in order to get them. On a related note, the second result for "mostly gassy rulers" is the Wikipedia article on Adolf Hitler.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:16 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whoa, Scott Adams says he will explain his actions on his blog next week.

I hope we can together and decide not to give that jerk any page-hits.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:18 PM on April 16, 2011


Maybe a Cracked article, like "Top Six Reasons Why Making A Sockpuppet Is Awesome" would be better suited to the task.

Nah, Cracked has standards.

Cortex used 'going forward' twice in one post. All love and respect to your awesome moderation job but when my boss talks like that I understand the existence of Dilbert.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:20 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope we can together and decide not to give that jerk any page-hits.

I already have five different versions of an FPP written for several possibile spins he puts on this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:23 PM on April 16, 2011


Yeah, Metafilter needs to Win the Future instead.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:24 PM on April 16, 2011


Dude this universe's future belongs to the ravenous penguins setting off a nuclear winter.

Lets win the Future of Universe K-RAINBOW TANGO. It is ..just seriously awesome.
posted by The Whelk at 6:33 PM on April 16, 2011


SomeOne should show him a Cory Doctrow thread, so he knows how light hr got off.
posted by Artw at 7:02 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I propose the person who makes the post include a link to imgur with a JPG of the post.

That way we can all see his gambit (I presume it will be "LOL, look at all the unique visitors to my blog!"), without having to give him the ad revenue.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:46 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Heh. Now that *would* make us Reddit.
posted by Artw at 7:50 PM on April 16, 2011


masterbeardtaters!
posted by plannednachos at 7:53 PM on April 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey guys, I've been real busy the last couple of days. What'd I miss?
posted by item at 7:58 PM on April 16, 2011


A whole bunch of awesome songs got posted to MeMu.
posted by mintcake! at 8:05 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh my goodness, those poor boychoir boys.
posted by Miko at 8:07 PM on April 16, 2011


I like the old Kibo better.
posted by NortonDC at 8:20 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't you understand? We are all Kibo now.
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally missed this. Mainly because I had to Google Scott Adams to see who the hell he is. I had completely forgotten about Dilbert.
posted by Heretic at 8:28 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I propose the person who makes the post include a link to imgur with a JPG of the post.

That is a pretty good idea, but I thought it might work better in allegory form.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:51 PM on April 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Don't you understand? We are all Kibo now.

Not Spot though—he's just a dog.
posted by kenko at 9:04 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for bozo.metafilter.com, megabozo.metafilter.com, and nonbozo.metafilter.com to be rolled out.
posted by kenko at 9:04 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoa, Scott Adams says he will explain his actions on his blog next week.

i can explain it in 4 words - he's an attention whore
posted by pyramid termite at 9:41 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, ffs. Now he's going to write an article about how seeming like one of the biggest idiots I've ever seen online was part of his plan. Scott...every other contender for "biggest idiot" made the same claim. It's never convincing.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:53 PM on April 16, 2011


Whoa, Scott Adams says he will explain his actions on his blog next week.

"I'm fooling you and you don't like it." [NSFW]
posted by mintcake! at 10:19 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


god how do you even esy search a ruff maker?
posted by The Whelk at 11:42 PM on April 16, 2011


Hey guys, I've been real busy the last couple of days. What'd I miss?
posted by item at 9:58 PM on April 16 [+] [!]


Some dude trolled us with a sockpuppet, then called himself out and left. Oh and it turned out this one time we thought we were being funny, we were actually being kind of mean. You didn't miss anything.
posted by nanojath at 11:43 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some dude self-appointed genius trolled us astroturfed himself with a sockpuppet, then called himself out was advised to out himself and left after flinging a juvenile "cesspool" slur which calls into question why he chose to show up here in the first place, especially in a cowardly & intellectually dishonest sockpuppet guise. Oh and it turned out this one time we thought we were being funny were calling a narcissistic wankstain a spade, we were actually being kind of mean completely correct. You didn't miss anything other than a textbook example of somebody acting like a complete & utter twat.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:53 AM on April 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


Artw: "Heh. Now that *would* make us Reddit"

No, on reddit they would know better than to post a jpg of text, they would post a png instead, it compresses text better.
posted by idiopath at 1:04 AM on April 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


"You're like chow mein, man. You're just not a big deal!"

It might be kind to consider that spasmodic dysphonia has been linked to psychiatric problems, and that being a socially-inept asshole could be symptomatic rather than voluntary.
posted by Sallyfur at 1:17 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah hah! I just learned something. I'll tell you what it is next week...if I can remember,
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:27 AM on April 17, 2011


Predication of Adams' response:

1) I went in to provoke exactly that kind of reaction.

2) Specifically, this kind of reaction: [cherry picks most obnoxious responses from Mefi Members]

3) Most of them are not successful entrepreneurs.

4) All publicity is good publicity.

5) I made money off of this.

6) A=A

7) [links to buy Dilbert books and swag]
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:43 AM on April 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


I'm not a fan of Dilbert anymore but I see nothing wrong with self-promotion when you're not famous and narcissism when you are. What weirds me out is why he slunk in here under a fake name instead of showing up with thunder and fury. Guess that's what happens when you're a business type and a newspaper comic writer. A proper arrogant artist would be much more fun.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:42 AM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know who else was into self-promotion when he wasn't famous and narcissism when he was? Also, an assumed name, thunder and fury?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:30 AM on April 17, 2011


Topo Gigio?
posted by taz at 5:36 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


It might be kind to consider that spasmodic dysphonia has been linked to psychiatric problems, and that being a socially-inept asshole could be symptomatic rather than voluntary.
posted by Sallyfur


Umm, we went over that above, and this is bullpuckey and offensive to people who have SD. "Linked to psychiatric problems" is a nearly meaningless statement, and most of the science on this (I happen to follow it) shows no definitive causal link at the neurological level. Naturally, SD is a depressing, anxiety-inducing condition to have, and like many chronic conditions it is "linked" to being depressed and anxious. As far as I know there is no basis whatsoever to imply that SD sufferers normally have narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or any other major psychiatric disease as a result of the specific neurological impairment that causes SD.

You cite one small study of 43 patients that wasn't looking for a causal connection; there is a large literature on psychiatric comorbidity and speech disorders, and among them, SD is one of the lowest-correlation disorders. Most of that science is in fact geared toward proving the now deprecated argument that speech disorders like SD are psychogenic, anyway. None (or very little) of it is intended to argue that speech disorders cause psychiatric diseases or even share the same neurobiological bases.

SD doesn't *cause* any cognitive or behavioral dysfunction that anyone has proved, even less is there any evidence it *causes* any psychiatric disorder (and among the "comorbid" disorders, depression and anxiety prevail, not personality disorders anyway). One recent study shows a comorbidity rate of 7.1% for SD, which is the lowest among comparable speech disorders, and not out of line at all with people suffering from long-term chronic illnesses that interrupt their ability even to express their suffering. (Heck, not out of line with the general population, period.)

I know people with SD, one person quite well, none of them have evinced any psychiatric problems whatsoever, over many years, other than fighting the depressing realization that they are losing control of their voices (the ones I know are singers, singers' chronic voice disorders being a deep interest of mine). None of them are aggressive trolls. All of them, in fact, are basically very lovely people

I think we should be careful not to tarnish all sufferers of this debilitating condition with casual speculation based on very limited reading of a complex scientific literature. Obese people tend toward significant psychiatric comorbidity too. Are we going to blame every act of aggressive trolling by overweight people on a medical condition as well?

Sometimes I think that NIH should not have made PubMed quite as public.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:38 AM on April 17, 2011 [25 favorites]


This is definitely a thing that has happened.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:46 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Topo Gigio?

Close. Hulk Hogan.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:47 AM on April 17, 2011


No need for Etsy, Whelk, I told you I'd make you one. Let's use Spoonflower and print tiny little Whelks all over the fabric, just to be meta about it...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:26 AM on April 17, 2011


(More specifically, photos of you wearing the other ruff, printed on the fabric of the new ruff... RECURSIVE RUFF)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:29 AM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


dont fool yourself folks, you would eat crayons for half his pay.
posted by clavdivs at 10:00 AM on April 17, 2011


On the other hand, you would also poop rainbows!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:24 AM on April 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Scott Adams is one of those people like the CEO of Godaddy : easy enough to forget about, but every once in a while he says something really dumb, and you're all like, "Who asked HIM?"
posted by Afroblanco at 10:41 AM on April 17, 2011


crayons are delicious give me 5 million.

(I have a ruff budget to think about, now)
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on April 17, 2011


ruffcursive
posted by ersatzkat at 11:47 AM on April 17, 2011


Very good, then, anything about the chow mein part?
posted by Sallyfur at 12:00 PM on April 17, 2011


dont fool yourself folks, you would eat crayons for half his pay.


If I could be guaranteed it wouldn't be hazardous to my health, damn straight I would.

That job would be easy as hell.
posted by defenestration at 12:01 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


As glad as I am that the taters mystery has been solved, I am experiencing an overwhelming melancholy that I can no longer use the word in good faith.

At least here. I will IRL begin to refer to porn exclusively as taters.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:34 PM on April 17, 2011


If I could be guaranteed it wouldn't be hazardous to my health, damn straight I would.

Crayons are actually really good for you. Get the 64 box - all those greens!
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:40 PM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


dont fool yourself folks, you would eat crayons for half his pay.

I'd eat crayons on a dare, so that's not much of a metric.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:07 PM on April 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Crayons are kind of tasty.
posted by Miko at 2:05 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


████████████►
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:11 PM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mr Rogers takes us to the crayon factory
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:26 PM on April 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I draw the line at Sharpies.
posted by clavdivs at 2:31 PM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey, I just read the infamous "misogyny" piece and I was shocked to discover that I felt like Scott was being massively ironic and non-serious - or at least selectively serious. This distresses me, because I really don't like the guy I wanted to add to my hate-on by thinking he's a sexist bastard as well as a scientific ignoramus. What to do?
posted by Decani at 3:09 PM on April 17, 2011


My now 4-year-old, in his younger, diaper-wearing days, loved nothing more than a fresh box of Crayons. He'd bite the tip off of every single crayon and nom it right down.* This made for some insanely startling diapers. Otherwise, it doesn't seem to have done him any harm. That we can tell. So far.

* Yes. He did this more than once. **What, he's the second kid. His little brother probably will eat Sharpies.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 3:16 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What to do?

You could just keep showing up in every thread about the guy to call him an "evolution denier" <snort>.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:23 PM on April 17, 2011


dont fool yourself folks, you would eat crayons for half his pay.


We should put this in the form of an urban myth...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:00 PM on April 17, 2011


Perhaps apropos.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:01 PM on April 17, 2011


"Should we just leak this to some other blogs"
Hmmm, not quite sure what this means.
posted by unliteral at 6:29 PM on April 17, 2011


Oh and it turned out this one time we thought we were being funny were calling a narcissistic wankstain a spade, we were actually being kind of mean completely correct. You didn't miss anything other than a textbook example of somebody acting like a complete & utter twat.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:53 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Oh, I was referring to the Taters Revelation in the latter part of my summary, not the Adams thing, but I can see I wasn't clear. I definitely think Adams is a dip although I'll stand by my position that his shenanigans just don't merit that many words.
posted by nanojath at 6:59 PM on April 17, 2011


Hmmm, not quite sure what this means.

Just idly bullshitting on the mod list watching someone fucking around on the site and wondering if they'd stop.... It put us in this incredibly awkward position where we didn't want to ban a user just for pretending not to be themselves [since doing that is in and of itself basically outing someone, something we will not do as mods if someone wants to keep their identity private] but at the same time if Scott Adams decided not to quit, we felt sort of helpless to do much. By the time we knew he was going to stop of his own accord we'd already sort of stopped making jokes about it. And then when people on other sites were all "You outed him!" we were like "What? No way, we made jokes about it specifically because it is something we'd never do!"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:55 PM on April 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Hey, I just read the infamous "misogyny" piece and I was shocked to discover that I felt like Scott was being massively ironic and non-serious - or at least selectively serious. This distresses me, because I really don't like the guy I wanted to add to my hate-on by thinking he's a sexist bastard as well as a scientific ignoramus. What to do?"

Realize that it was massively oversold on the misogyny qua misogyny, but still a bit of an amateur troll-job full of high school dude feminism.

On some level, you could go through and waste the time to tell Adams exactly how he's wrong, but to do that, you have to fall into dissecting the frog and killing the humor unless you're really fucking good at condensing abstruse theory into pithy quotes, and most people aren't.

So you can either let Adams go on thinking he's been so incredibly clever or get mad at him or refuse to play.

But seriously, it's like, man, Scott, I've been to 4chan, the fucking alpha and omega of trolling. Lulz, they spring from the unexpected, and you're fucking telegraphing your punches on the internet (if I might mix metaphors egregiously).

Most of the feminist responses slipped too easily into rage because 1) this shit matters to real people, and that makes it hard to be abstract, especially if you know a whole bunch of people it for whom Adams' base assumptions and reifications of gender norms matters as a quality of life issue, and 2) Jezebel was part of it, and they might as well be titled Feminist DRAMA because Nick Denton got to get the page views, baby, and so hires people in that phase of their life where they're the most strident (and then everyone in any Gawker enterprise seems to have that moment of clarity and quit or get fired).

The thing for Adams is that, you know, trolling's an art, and by bringing weak sauce to the Mom's Email Forward crew that still reads Dilbert, he's coming across more as, like, the uncle that's trying too hard at Christmas — I assume the UK equivalent would be the guy who announces to all and sundry that he's voted LibDem because he's above politics, someone who confuses being aloof and snarky for having provocative opinions.

I tend to think "massively ironic" is a wild overstatement, and that "mildly ironic" is usually a cover for people who want to endorse a view without suffering the social consequences of earnestness, and even when they don't, it's often idiotic. I respect David Bowie a hell of a lot more than I respect Scott Adams, but Bowie's Nazi outfit bullshit was pretty goddamn inane even if he was making great music (and Adams isn't making great comics).
posted by klangklangston at 7:58 PM on April 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


The thing is, on the internet, irony doesn't matter. If you say "I hate puppies!" it really doesn't matter if you actually hate puppies. What matters is that you said you hate puppies.

Ironic sexism online is the same as unironic sexism. You can't sit around and say: "oh of course I was joking." It doesn't matter. On the internet, it's the speaker's responsibility to make themselves understood. You have to own your words.

This is a major difference between the internet and real life, so it gives people some trouble. But I think it's a necessary part of learning to interact online.
posted by koeselitz at 8:11 PM on April 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


Well, there's an 'ironic' tag on Fark but no one uses it right.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:12 PM on April 17, 2011


I ate puppies.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM on April 17, 2011


Well, there's an 'ironic' tag on Fark but no one uses it right.

Which would be ironic, no?
posted by Forktine at 8:21 PM on April 17, 2011


What Nazi outfit bullshit? I'm pretty sure you should check who's being inane there. Bowie did a lot of parody and appropriation of pre-war European aristocracy and art culture on the Station to Station tour, and the album dealt a little with Nazi lore, but it was the music critics who lowered the level of discourse by simply calling Nazi when he waved from a Benz in a black button-down shirt.

Just to say: he's not the failure at mild irony you're looking for.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:33 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having just looked it up, I am chastened and wrong.
posted by klangklangston at 8:44 PM on April 17, 2011


Metafilter: Chastened and wrong
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on April 17, 2011


Well, klang, if you'd only gone with Eric Clapton's hearty endorsement of Enoch Powell...

(Mind you, there's no reason to respect Eric Clapton despite that, so, uh...)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:07 PM on April 17, 2011


I had a real head-tilt moment trying to figure out how in the hell that sexist screed was ironic and then my head went buhhh? further over when it was suggested that the irony might be mild and then the Bowie thing just snapped it clean off.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:28 PM on April 17, 2011


Bowie does that to people.
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's kind of a Nazi about it, in fact.
posted by koeselitz at 9:36 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


He hasn't killed a man in 30 years lay off.
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If your read PlannedChaos's comments with the voice of Rickey Henderson in your head. it's pretty damn awesome.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:12 PM on April 17, 2011


I couldn't help reading them in the voice of Comic Book Guy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:08 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just to say: he's not the failure at mild irony you're looking for.

I though Joy Division were the ones normally taken to task for their Nazi imagary, and indeed, the very name of the band.

On that topic, I like the story of Factory Records supremo Tony Wilson being aggressively questioned over that fact, and responding "I take it you didn't notice that we also have a band called The Durutti Column on our books...?" (named after the biggest anarchist column formed during the Spanish Civil War).

I'm not sure what this adds to anything, other than that playing with fascist imagery was just something in the water in post-punk Britain. You could look at the Gang of Four as another example.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:18 AM on April 18, 2011


thought.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:19 AM on April 18, 2011


The thing with Bowie wasn't just the alleged fascist salute, though, he was also quoted as saying that "Britain could benefit from a Fascist leader", which he apparently later blamed on his heavy drug use at the time. (Wikipedia).
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:17 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing is, on the internet, irony doesn't matter. If you say "I hate puppies!" it really doesn't matter if you actually hate puppies. What matters is that you said you hate puppies.

Ironic sexism online is the same as unironic sexism. You can't sit around and say: "oh of course I was joking."
posted by koeselitz at 4:11 AM on April 18


Well, I think irony should be obvious enough that people get that you're being ironic - or at least obvious enough that most reasonably smart people do. You shouldn't need to say "Oh, I was joking". That's part of the joy of irony: it's a multi-level communication of ideas, and there can be a deeper satisfaction in subtle or nuanced communication than there is in the relentlessly literal kind. This is why I sometimes feel a bit sorry for people who rail against irony: it seems like they're expressing the frustration of the guy who doesn't get the joke, and so feels a bit thick.

I think it's perfectly possible to get irony on the internet or in any other written format, so long as the writing is good. That said, I just re-read Adams's piece more attentively than I did last night and yeah, I was cutting him too much slack. Now it reads like he's largely indulging in snide cynicism for no particularly good reason.
posted by Decani at 3:45 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did you know that sarcasm is a sort of irony.

Of, of course you did.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:41 AM on April 18, 2011


The word 'masturdebating' makes me feel slightly ill. Like 'feminazi', the combination of provocativeness and arrogance is so very cringey.
posted by mippy at 7:58 AM on April 18, 2011 [21 favorites]


Apparently the original use by plannedchaos was "Good examples of masturdebating, Lodurr. (That's the process of furiously debating an imaginary viewpoint.)"

Isn't that what the rest of us call a strawman? (Or, I suppose, "strawmanning," if you must verb it?)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:06 AM on April 18, 2011


cringey.

Nothing personal, but can we please stop adding 'y' to words to create new adjectives. It makes us sound stupid.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please, DA. I had a blood test this morning and I don't need to feel any queasier.

Trust me, the explanation doesn't help, either.
posted by mippy at 8:14 AM on April 18, 2011


Nothing personal, but can we please stop adding 'y' to words to create new adjectives.

'cringey'#s been part of British and Irish English for years, and ugly as it may be to you, sometimes it is entirely the most apposite description.
posted by mippy at 8:16 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


How does 'cringeworthy' sit with you?
posted by mippy at 8:17 AM on April 18, 2011


Isn't that what the rest of us call a strawman? (Or, I suppose, "strawmanning," if you must verb it?)

I think masturdebation is meant to be more prolonged than a strawman argument. So, a strawman argument involves saying, "My opponent says X [when they actually say Y], X is obviously false, therefore my opponent is wrong." Masturdebation, on the other hand, is when you start out with a straw man, but then spend hours and hours debating the strawman position's merits or problems.

Or, at least, that's the most charitable reading of the definition I can come up with. But, of course, even under these extremely charitable conditions, it's still not exactly a scenario in which you couldn't just use the term "strawman."
posted by meese at 8:21 AM on April 18, 2011


The word 'masturdebating' makes me feel slightly ill. Like 'feminazi', the combination of provocativeness and arrogance is so very cringey.

There's something about it that seems to scream, "I literally patted myself on the back after coming up with this word and chuckled a little and got a bit of a semi"
posted by Greg Nog at 8:24 AM on April 18, 2011 [24 favorites]


YES that's it. THE SMUGNESS RADIATES LIKE HIS AURA OF GENIUS
posted by mippy at 8:26 AM on April 18, 2011


Scott has written a post about this incident on his blog.
posted by bjrn at 8:30 AM on April 18, 2011


"My plan came off the rails when I learned the hard way that Metafilter doesn't have a privacy policy. I assumed, incorrectly, that the worst thing that would happen is that I'd correct some rumors online, amuse myself, and get discreetly booted off the system by the administrators. Instead, the moderators acted on a tip, probably because I left bread crumbs in my comments the size of tractors, snooped into my not-so-private sign-up information, and threatened to make my identity public unless I did so myself."

Feh. We gave him a choice to knock off the hijinks and either walk away, come clean, or be banned. I guess he would have preferred being banned. I guess it's not that surprising that he knows nearly nothing about the site, but having the site owner contact you directly and discreetly to give you a chance to gracefully avoid some future hassles seems to me like a good option. Oh well. I was a little surprised how full of nothing that post was.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:38 AM on April 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


I suppose it's the unreliable narrator.
posted by mippy at 8:50 AM on April 18, 2011


True fact: I woke up suddenly at 4am today feeling anxious and unsettled about Scott Adams' mental health. It took me an hour to get back to sleep. Seriously, what he did just seems more and more bizarre the more I think about it.
posted by selfmedicating at 8:50 AM on April 18, 2011


He called us a cesspool. :(
posted by Melismata at 8:51 AM on April 18, 2011


Shorter version of that overlong post:

He was trying to suppress some incorrect online rumors and preserve his reputation and using an alias was the best way to do that.

Also I'm pretty sure he was trolling with the Obama chimp birther stuff.
posted by euphorb at 8:54 AM on April 18, 2011


I was a little surprised how full of nothing that post was.

Well, unless you think that presenting your faults in a self-deprecating manner can cover a multitude of sins.

Planned Chaos: Isn't it fundamentally dishonest, and therefore immoral, to debate under an assumed name?

Scott: Yes. On the scale of immoral behavior, where genocide is at the top, and wearing Spanx is near the bottom, posting comments under an alias to clear up harmful misconceptions is about one level worse than Spanx.


No, it's about exactly on the same level as lying. The moral scale has nothing to do with this particular incident, as no one is saying that it was equivalent to genocide.

What is strange is that there's a "greater good" argument being defended, as apparently there was a belief that no one would listen to him under his actual name, so this is the only way the truth would be heard. Not only is that insulting to his audience here, but we see how well it actually turned out. This actually turned into a "violating a moral norm of truth-telling for the worser good" situation. And I can't help but feel that this was the pretty obvious inevitable end game for people who are sensitive to these kinds of things.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:56 AM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Did anybody else notice that the discussion was really quite interesting

I came back to the thread after seeing the mention in, I think, The Hollywood Reporter, and thought "Wait a minute, didn't I comment in this thread? Why yes, I really liked blahblahblah's great description of what teaching entrepreneurship entails. And this is what it's turned into? Oh MeFi, you protean beast."
posted by benito.strauss at 9:02 AM on April 18, 2011


I've also famously predicted that the theory of evolution will be debunked in my lifetime. That sounds like crazy Creationist talk, and a direct contradiction to my statement that evolution is a scientific fact. The context for that prediction is the notion that a future Einstein might someday demonstrate that our common sense understanding of the passage of time is flawed. If that happens, every part of our observed reality will be debunked, sort of. Instead of focusing on evolution, I could have predicted that the history of your daily commute to work will be debunked. It's the same point but less catchy.

By now you are probably thinking that my prediction has nearly zero chance of being right. I'll let you in on an industry secret: You're correct. You know all of those books on the market that predict various economic bubbles, social upheavals, and disasters of all kinds? Most of those authors don't believe their predictions are likely to pan out. They're making calculated bets that in the unlikely event they guessed right, they will become famous. That's worth a fortune in future speaking gigs and book deals.

My contrarian prediction about evolution being debunked in my lifetime was the same sort of bet. It's unlikely that I'll be right. But if I get lucky, I'll be the one person who predicted it. And because of the "in my lifetime" condition, I can't be wrong until I'm too dead to care. This is the sort of thing I do that really, really, really pisses off some people, especially the anti-creationist bearded taint guy.


It's kind of odd that he explains of the anti-evolution stuff as a really savvy move and supervillainously describes exactly how. Like, whatever savviness his plan has only makes sense if he doesn't publicly disclose his ulterior motive. His need to explain his logic here, like the imagined blog-reader is a confidant, seems like a crazily insecure need for validation. I wonder how his marriage is going.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:04 AM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does he really think he was giving "verbal wedgies" to anyone in that thread? Because it looked to me like he was getting soundly trounced.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:07 AM on April 18, 2011


or how is restaurant is doing.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on April 18, 2011


[Your defensive back pedaling, revisionist history, and arrogant claim to be master of all that is moral and right is duly noted. -- Scott]

Is that Adams editing Matt's comment? Bizarre.
posted by NortonDC at 9:11 AM on April 18, 2011


I just saw that. Matt gives him the benefit of the doubt, and is very polite, and man acts like a weapons-grade dick. It's just a bit depressing.
posted by mippy at 9:13 AM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I posted my email to him to dispel this "revisionist" nonsense.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:19 AM on April 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


What a certified genius.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:19 AM on April 18, 2011


Wow, this quote:

"That's where an alias comes in handy. When you remove the appearance of conflict of interest, it allows others to listen to the evidence without judging."

So, if I pretend to be someone else and then unload a cart full of horseshit about my own exploits, that is then evidence. Duly noted!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:23 AM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


To be fair, all history is revisionist when you understand that our common sense understanding of the passage of time is flawed.

It's also come to my attention that there may be rumors floating about that I'm not a certified genius. Would it be possible to waive the five dollar fee for a new sockpuppet account? I'd like to correct those rumors about me not being a certified genius, and need to change the messenger in order to do that. Using an alias is the best way to change the messenger.
posted by Drastic at 9:24 AM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought the only certified genius was Wile E. Coyote.
posted by Melismata at 9:28 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading briefly through this thread (and the original), I am disappointed to find such a large number of ad hominem attacks.

Adams makes a habit of crossing lines and challenging his readers. No doubt that it can come across as trolling, but if you read him for any sustained period of time, you won't be so quick to draw that conclusion. I admire the guy. He cranks out a bunch of work and he is willing to post things that most people wouldn't dream of touching. This is really the first instance where I have seen him act ungraciously.

I second what db said up-thread, I'm usually pro-MeFi mob, but, given my familiarity with Adams' writing, this is pretty disheartening. I hope that this is a little too much crowdthink and that MeFi is better than this. Under different circumstances, I think Adams and MeFi would actually make a pretty good team.
posted by ajr at 9:34 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


No doubt that it can come across as trolling, but if you read him for any sustained period of time, you won't be so quick to draw that conclusion.

From his post:
By now you are probably thinking that my prediction has nearly zero chance of being right. I'll let you in on an industry secret: You're correct. You know all of those books on the market that predict various economic bubbles, social upheavals, and disasters of all kinds? Most of those authors don't believe their predictions are likely to pan out. They're making calculated bets that in the unlikely event they guessed right, they will become famous. That's worth a fortune in future speaking gigs and book deals.

My contrarian prediction about evolution being debunked in my lifetime was the same sort of bet. It's unlikely that I'll be right. But if I get lucky, I'll be the one person who predicted it. And because of the "in my lifetime" condition, I can't be wrong until I'm too dead to care. This is the sort of thing I do that really, really, really pisses off some people, especially the anti-creationist bearded taint guy.
So he states insincere opinions in order to get attention. That's textbook trolling.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:38 AM on April 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


Maybe this is the bit where the superheroes have a fight due to case of mistaken identity, allowing the real villain to get away? In which case, fear not, ajr. Narrative logic will have MetaFilter and Scott Adams teaming up against the real enemy - Democrats and civil rights activists who are about to ruin the career of an innocent woman.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:39 AM on April 18, 2011



I second what db said up-thread, I'm usually pro-MeFi mob, but, given my familiarity with Adams' writing, this is pretty disheartening. I hope that this is a little too much crowdthink and that MeFi is better than this. Under different circumstances, I think Adams and MeFi would actually make a pretty good team.


I don't know, I came in to the party late, but the posts he made here were pretty asinine. He really did set the tone for the responses.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:45 AM on April 18, 2011


Man, was there ever a troll that didn't fall back to claiming a super secret plan?
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


East, he's making a joke. Do you really think that he would be out in the world writing a book and speaking if evolution is disproved in his lifetime? He's making fun of the professional trolls. It's a thought experiment of the kind that he has been doing every week or so for years.

I'm simply saying that Adams writing is more complex and nuanced than it appears at first glance--hence my comment that you have to read him for a while before you really get what's he's trying to do. I understand that his writing is not for everybody, but that doesn't justify the amount of vitriol I've seen in these threads.

It seems that lots of people are taking this too personally, me included.
posted by ajr at 9:49 AM on April 18, 2011


This guy's jokey thought experiments are really complicated. He should be more careful about where he inflicts them, or people are gonna get the wrong idea.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:03 AM on April 18, 2011


The damn fool doesn't even know that "MetaFilter" is spelled with an intercap.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:12 AM on April 18, 2011


No, Faint of Butt, I don't expect you to understand, but that was actually a subtle joke.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:13 AM on April 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


It is only in achieving Scott-nature that we can know Scott-nature. To awaken and become Scottadamssatva, one must find the knowingness that Scott is all things without contradiction: sincere and yet insincere, total jerk and yet certified genius.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:20 AM on April 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Scott Adams is a silly, silly man.

My favorite line in his response is "Don't hate the tool." That should have been his post title, really.
posted by taz at 10:25 AM on April 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ick. At this point, watching the mods reply to him in good faith and watching him use it to generate additional hits/attention/grar by whatever means necessary is starting to get gross.

Time to disengage, maybe?
posted by Lyn Never at 10:34 AM on April 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can we amend the acronym to Metafilter's Ousted Scott Adams?

Because, as the saying goes: sir, you are no MeFite.
posted by cmyk at 10:37 AM on April 18, 2011


At least he's not fat.
posted by ajr at 10:37 AM on April 18, 2011


So somewhere on this horrible non-permalinkable comment list, mathowie said that he didn't force Scott Adams to out himself, and Scott Adams says mathowie was being revisionist, and then mathowie proved he was not being revisionist, and so Scott said
[Are you saying you were willing to be my accomplice in duping your readers if only I would stop doing more of it? DMD. -- Scott]
And then cortex tweeted:
"How dare you threaten to out me!" "Uh, we didn't." "How dare you conspire to keep my identity hidden!"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:40 AM on April 18, 2011 [18 favorites]


Yeah, I was at the dentist getting a tooth drilled when Matt and Jess were having their comments crapped upon inline by Scott. I think I was having more fun.

It's frustrating as hell to see someone push so hard for the spin instead of just saying, "yeah, that was a shitty move, I shouldn't have done that, lesson learned" and walking away. But it's feeling pretty Fool Me Twice at this point even trying to engage him.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:40 AM on April 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


But it's feeling pretty Fool Me Twice at this point even trying to engage him.

Watching Matt reply on his blog made me think of this AskMe.
posted by TedW at 10:46 AM on April 18, 2011


Adams writing is more complex and nuanced than it appears at first glance

I considered this for a moment, but honestly, no it's not. It's not complex and nuanced. It's mostly fairly juvenile.

watching the mods reply to him in good faith and watching him use it to generate additional hits/attention/grar by whatever means necessary is starting to get gross

Yes, IANAPsychiatrist but it does feel like we're taking on our assigned role in a narcissistic drama.

The whole thing is depressing. I want to talk about it because it's a weird thing that happened, but also, there's no way to talk about it without becoming part of the metanarrative of either "MeFi's Cruel Tribal Behavior" or "Scott Adams, Misunderstood Persecuted Genius."
posted by Miko at 10:49 AM on April 18, 2011 [25 favorites]


I'm kinda sad I visited that blog of his. It reminds me too much of my ex-boss. Can some men not conceive of being wrong? It's not often that I find myself quoting Cromwell, "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken."
posted by handee at 10:49 AM on April 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


That Cromwell quote sticks with me, too, but I always think it's weird that it came from Cromwell.
posted by COBRA! at 10:51 AM on April 18, 2011


What the crap is DMD? Is this some oh-so-witty Adamsism that we're all supposed to know? Other people are using it in the comments, too.
posted by koeselitz at 10:52 AM on April 18, 2011


"You really can't argue people into not thinking you are a dick" should probably be the take home every one gets from this.
posted by Artw at 10:53 AM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


"dance monkey dance" is what I've heard, I guess it's a Dogbert thing?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:54 AM on April 18, 2011


DMD = Dance, monkey, dance!

So, yeah.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:55 AM on April 18, 2011


Watching Matt reply on his blog made me think of this AskMe.

Yeah. Unfortunately, it's one of those things where as the primary ambassadors to mefi and as folks who would generally rather see drama mitigated than fueled, to some extent we kind of have to make the effort to clarify at least once.

I signed up for reddit finally a while back specifically so I could hop into something mefi related and say "well, really it worked like this...", even though I've had reservations about sinking time into lengthy reddit arguments. So when this happened, I was able to hop in and answer some questions and try to be clear about what went down from our end, and I think that was a net good in that correct info got out to a high visibility place, but it also meant having a bunch of folks drop combative shit on me dissociated from any real useful conversation about the situation or mefi's community guidelines.

There's a weird fucked-up irony here that Scott's defending his tone-deaf anonymous arguments with strangers as some sort of necessity to effectively control rumors etc, while we're trying to go out and clarify our end in as transparent a manner as possible because we feel like saying who you are and what happened without being coy or flinging shit around is basically the right way to do it. But ultimately we have very different goals than Scott does, as far as I can tell, so it shouldn't be overly surprising that we have different practical ethics about how to accomplish them.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:55 AM on April 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's a strange argument that he makes -- that a person representing themselves is always going to be seen as being an unreliable narrator, and therefore the best thing he can do is participate anonymously, as a manufactured persona supporting his positions (and how! Even my sock puppets don't call me a genius!)

So the cure for the fact that people are going to see you as being duplicitous is ... to be duplicitous and hope they don't catch on? And why? Because online rumors can damage his brand, and there are oh-so-many people who would be financially hurt by this?

And, worse still, when he steps into a thread as himself, people immediately start attacking him personally?

Perhaps that's true elsewhere on the web, but, with the exception of people who come into a thread looking to pick a fight, when the subject of a thread shows up in it, as themselves, to represent themselves clearly and fairly, the tone of the discussion here instantly become a lot more respectful, even when people disagree.

Scott, I know you think the Web is the Wild West and your some sort of bespectacled Lone Ranger, dispensing justice to protect those in your charge. But this is not Tombstone. This is one of the tamed corners of the territories, thanks to some very good sheriffs. And you have come in, in your mask, your guns a-blazing, mistaking this for the sort of trolls-have-the-upper-hand, fight fast and dirty, take no prisoners forum that you find elsewhere. And when you learned it wasn't, you fled to the hills, built a straw Mathowie, and burned him an a kangaroo court.

There's an expression you may have heard in your years of roaming these wastelands, and you've obviously been driven so punch-drunk and trigger happy by your assumed vigilante role that you forgot it. Its as follows: Lurk moar.

You didn't bother to learn about this community or its standards, and you violated those standards. And I don't know if you recall your Lone Ranger very well, but he was originally intended as a hero who was indistinguishable from a villain -- it's a bandit's mask he wears.

Sometimes it's worth to stop and ask yourself if you have actually crossed the line from vigilante to villain. When you draw your gun in a town where that's against the law, you have.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:55 AM on April 18, 2011 [28 favorites]


Lurk moar.

That is pure genius, my friend!
posted by Astro Zombie 2 at 10:57 AM on April 18, 2011 [35 favorites]


As a general rule, you can't trust anyone who has a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest is like a prison that locks in both the truth and the lies. One workaround for that problem is to change the messenger. That's where an alias comes in handy. When you remove the appearance of conflict of interest, it allows others to listen to the evidence without judging

He really misunderstands what "conflict of interest" is. I work in a lot of situations where we have to look at conflict of interest - nonprofit boards, collectors in competition with museums, people using their public radio shows as a platform for educating about something they do in their business as well. The problem is not that you can't "trust anyone" who has a conflict of interest. The problem is that you need to surface and acknowledge the conflict, and then the only "workaround" is to remove that person from situations where they're able to influence conditions for their own personal gain instead of in alignment with the goals of whatever the enterprise is. So an alias never comes in handy. It actually subverts honest discussion and an honest acknowledgment of facts pretty thoroughly. There is not just an appearance of conflict when someone speaks up in favor of their own work; there's an actual conflict, and by "changing the messenger" you are doing nothing other than withholding information in order to manipulate. The other players in the scenario are being misled by the false appearance created, and are being prevented from surfacing and acknowledging the key piece of information that is the fact that the party speaking is not a disinterested party.
posted by Miko at 11:00 AM on April 18, 2011 [29 favorites]


I just bet he's had a really big fight with Wikipedia at some point, with bannings and drama and all of that.
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on April 18, 2011


But this is not Tombstone.

Yeah, that was the other thing that stood out. People who are still talking about "The Internet" as this single entity with a single set of characteristics are, I think, really out of touch at this point. "The internet" doesn't do anything or have any of its own characteristics beyond hardware. The internet is peeeople in communities, and those vary, and it's not the BBS days anymore when you wielded your bright sword and scored points and that was universally rewarded. If there were ever such days, really.
posted by Miko at 11:03 AM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I like Dilbert; sure it's getting a little predictable but given the amount of time it has been around that's understandable. But I would really enjoy it more if I didn't read anything else by or about Mr. Adams. The NYT story about his restaurant The Whelk linked to was full of noteworthy tidbits; for example : “I spend less time thinking about the strip than anything else I do,” he said. It makes it hard to be charitable about the quality of his comic if he isn't putting much effort into it. And his whole theory that the Dilberito failed because competitors pushed it to the back of the shelves comes across as a bit paranoid. It sounds like an unappetizing product with a crappy name; if I wanted a meatless burrito I would eschew the "wheat based meat substitute" in favor of a good old-fashioned bean burrito.

And his comments about how he is so clever he is misunderstood by most people come across as sort of like Andy Kaufman, but much less entertaining.

On the other hand, he apparently tips well, so he must not be all bad.
posted by TedW at 11:05 AM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the comments to Adams' blog post:
"As far as I am concerned, metafilter should be kissing your hindquarters for splashing their name all over a blog with a huge reader-base."
Um, maybe he should be kissing MetaFilter's ass instead.
posted by ericb at 11:05 AM on April 18, 2011 [24 favorites]


It's amazing to me the number of people on Scott's blog and around the internet who interpret this as an issue about using an alias. I'm not sure how we could be more clear about the fact that it has nothing to do with that. It's somehow getting lost in the coversation.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:06 AM on April 18, 2011


maybe he should be kissing MetaFilter's ass instead.

Compare the search queries! Gold.
posted by Miko at 11:08 AM on April 18, 2011


I just bet he's had a really big fight with Wikipedia at some point, with bannings and drama and all of that.

Amusingly the Wikipedia Scott Adams article was improved by MeFi's own kindall at one point.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:09 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the important things that MeFi has taught me, and apparently not Scott Adams, is that sometimes when I think I'm being misunderstood, I'm really just being a dick.
posted by klangklangston at 11:12 AM on April 18, 2011 [48 favorites]


How many of you think I am Scott Adams?
posted by Paphnuty at 11:17 AM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


He really misunderstands what "conflict of interest" is.

I love, love, LOVE that he acknowledges how big a problem conflicts of interest are and then (apparently without a trace of self-awareness) says that the obvious solution is to pretend you are someone who doesn't have a conflict of interest.

The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.
posted by auto-correct at 11:17 AM on April 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


As a general rule, you can't trust anyone who has a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest is like a prison that locks in both the truth and the lies. One workaround for that problem is to change the messenger. That's where an alias comes in handy. When you remove the appearance of conflict of interest, it allows others to listen to the evidence without judging

Except the way it comes across is not as an unbiased third party, but a fanatical biased third party, which is even less reputable.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:19 AM on April 18, 2011


One of the important things that MeFi has taught me, and apparently not Scott Adams, is that sometimes when I think I'm being misunderstood, I'm really just being a dick.

One of jscalzi's more clever observations is that the failure mode of clever is 'asshole.' It's a good thing to be mindful of in interactions with people generally, not just online, and I would say that it and not perpetrating "well, actually..." are my personal self-improvement efforts of the year.
posted by phearlez at 11:19 AM on April 18, 2011 [23 favorites]


One of jscalzi's more clever observations is that the failure mode of clever is 'asshole.'

You thought that was clever. I just thought he was a bit of an ass--

Oh! Waitaminute!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:22 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Failure Mode of Clever is one of my bookmarks. When our flawed understanding of time leads to personal time machines, one of my errands will be to return to myself, probably sometime in my early twenties and shake it into myself.
posted by Drastic at 11:26 AM on April 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Get back in the box, Paphnuty.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:28 AM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I finally put my finger on what bothers me about "masturdebator" -- in my mind, it has the same ring as "duclod". A portmanteau coinage rooted in anger, with a sense of "my superior inner world is organized in a very specific way which few can understand."
posted by Miko at 11:31 AM on April 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


How many of you think I am Scott Adams?

Nice try, Spartacus.
posted by FishBike at 11:31 AM on April 18, 2011


According to Alexa, search traffic to Metafilter for the term "gay rest stop" is down by 0.03% in the past month. What? Suddenly fewer people are interested in gay rest stops?

It's probably too early to worry, but I must say I don't like where this trend seems to be heading, and we may need to start thinking about getting to the bottom of it.
posted by taz at 11:33 AM on April 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


search traffic to Metafilter for the term "gay rest stop" is down by 0.03%

Give me a break, I've been busy with my thesis! I'm sure you'll see a bounce back when I'm unemployed next month.
posted by auto-correct at 11:36 AM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I, for one, am glad that the whole incident prompted him to take days out of his life to write a defensive, unclear treatise. Clearly, only a genius would choose to use his time so wisely.
posted by angrycat at 11:39 AM on April 18, 2011


Dilbert Creator: It’s Your Fault I Pretended to Be My Own Fan on Message Boards
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:41 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


It makes me a little sad that with all his success and wealth that this is the best thing he can find to pass the time.
posted by the_artificer at 11:43 AM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


As Andy would say to Opie, money isn't everything.
posted by Miko at 11:48 AM on April 18, 2011


Andy knew him as "Ben" Kenobi.
posted by BeerFilter at 11:55 AM on April 18, 2011


Great. Scott Adams is saying that he intentionally trolled the community, but objects to being called a troll (because he is, in fact the victim), and seems to feel that the experience should be educational for all those who are too ignorant to understand his superior philosophy. He's lying to you for your own good, why can't you appreciate that?

mathowie et al, I know your pain. Everything about this sucks.
posted by zennie at 12:07 PM on April 18, 2011


So in the end, it appears that we here at MetaFilter made an insulting post about Scott Adams, which forced him to pay $5 and pretend to be an idiot Dilbert fan. Our insistence that Adams use a pseudonym led directly to the wise and wicked mathowie trapping him in a terrible choice: either announce his true identity, or go away and never come back. Clearly there was only one option, so naturally Adams chose to remove his disguise and make the whole Internet think that he's a bozo who goes around creating sockpuppets to defend himself and boost his own ego.

Don't you realize what this means, guys?

MeFites are the true masters of trolling.

Dance, monkey, dance!
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:10 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm still finding it a very interesting endeavor to try to translate Adamsese into English, which means trying to understand his self-aggrandizing and unreflective worldview well enough to compensate for it in reading what he writes. One of the funny things about Adams's understanding of rhetoric and argumentation is that "context" usually means "the most charitable and forgiving reading possible," while "out of context" means "actually reading what I wrote." The reason why this is so is very revealing:

[M]ost of what I write outside of the comic is meant to be entertainment for a certain type of reader who likes to be exposed to a wide variety of viewpoints no matter how ridiculous. With the blog in particular, the explicit model is that I write down whatever dumbass theory pops into my head and try to sell it as God's final word. Then my readers shred it in the comment section, or sometimes say it's an old idea that's already been done. Taken out of context, many of my blog posts and even my Wall Street Journal articles would look like the crazy rantings of a guy who thinks he has all the answers to fix the entire world.

In his own view, that is, what we'd call "trolling" from Adams is just playing devil's advocate, just as his sockpuppetry is actually a matter of Socratic inquiry. I think there's still something more to be said here, though I'm not sure exactly what, about the psychology of the ("sprezzatura"/Phil Cubeta-like) idea of Socratic sockpuppetry as a style of argument. It seems like adopting this stance, whatever its theoretical merits, is often an unacknowledged form of defensiveness — a deliberate way of refusing to expose one's own ideas and preconceptions to examination.

I think there's probably a good, intellectually productive, form of Socratic trolling somewhere out there, whose merits we shouldn't forget (though we might have to look to old Usenet culture for a model). But it seems like, in practice, the "Socratic" idea, the claim that there's a real rhetorical aim other than lulz in play, mostly just provides a thin veneer of deniability laid conveniently over plain old trolling and sockpuppetry and ugly defensiveness.
posted by RogerB at 12:14 PM on April 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


He just called Decani a bearded taint. Wow.
posted by longbaugh at 12:17 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm amused by the person posting as "StAlia" and using terms like "douchbaggedly" in the comments. I don't think that's the one of the bunnies.
posted by charred husk at 12:21 PM on April 18, 2011


"At least he's not fat."

ajr, you care to explain that one? Because I'm not getting where you're going with that...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:22 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


He just called Decani a bearded taint. Wow.

Where?
posted by StrikeTheViol at 12:22 PM on April 18, 2011


I don't have a lot to say about Adams that hasn't already been said more eloquently, except this: his habit of editing inside comments on his blog is supremely annoying, and I wish people would stop doing that.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:22 PM on April 18, 2011


He just called Decani a bearded taint. Wow.

Unless I missed a new twist, I'm pretty sure Scott was referring to PZ Myers with that. There's apparently some bad blood there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:25 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This taint is sounding increasingly disgusting.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:27 PM on April 18, 2011


his habit of editing inside comments on his blog is supremely annoying.

Fuck, do I agree with this.

(The one example that doesn't annoy me too much is Language Log, but only because they use a different color for the edits, so they are immediately obvious.)
posted by Dumsnill at 12:28 PM on April 18, 2011


"At least he's not fat."

ajr, you care to explain that one?


I'm not ajr, but I'm guessing it was meant to imply that fat people, like Adams in this conversation, frequently have disparaging remarks made about them and if he were fat these remarks would likely be far greater both in malice and number.
posted by ODiV at 12:28 PM on April 18, 2011


He's infected this place. Mentions of Scott Adams and ironic uses of his catchphrases are bleeding into threads left and right.

He's dug in deeper into his own bullshit, and we're all standing around swatting the flies. We'd do better to move on.

I felt pretty bad about this, especially when I saw that Matt post over there try to clear the air — only to be treated with contempt and derision, disingenuously, in a hedged-bet "this a joke that you don't get" manner.

Then I remembered that it's Scott Adams that we're talking about...

still.
posted by defenestration at 12:28 PM on April 18, 2011


> He's infected this place.

Yeah, it would be kind of neat to see all references to the dude kept in the two threads specifically about him. Otherwise, he's kind of a cancer.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:31 PM on April 18, 2011


Can we talk about Snooki instead? That would be more interesting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:33 PM on April 18, 2011


Like cortex, I assumed the "taint" was supposed to be PZ Meyers.
posted by brundlefly at 12:35 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can understand how he might need to lie to himself and his blog readers to justify his behavior after we sort of publicly pantsed him. What I want to know is how he manages to make short, pithy 4 panel cartoons, and yet spew out diarrheal blog posts like that.
posted by crunchland at 12:35 PM on April 18, 2011


And I wonder how many comments to his blog post were actually written by him.
posted by crunchland at 12:37 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure which one we are.
posted by The Whelk at 12:37 PM on April 18, 2011


Adams has pretty much demonstrated an object lesson in how not respond once your online interactions start going ass over tea-kettle. The best thing you can probably do is probably not respond, honestly. Every comment you post gives more and more material for people to attack you with in the future -- this isn't a battle you win.

My opinion went from "Scott Adams, the Dilbet guy? He's OK I guess. If I ever had to get a last minute gift for my dad I might buy one of his books." to, instead, "Scott Adams is a dick, sort of crazy, and won't ever see any of my money again. I'm also going to tell everyone I know about this in real life, because it's incredibly funny."

You've lost Scott. I'd rank this one up there with the Dilberito.
posted by codacorolla at 12:37 PM on April 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


SCOTT ADAMS = SCAT AT MODS
posted by Sys Rq at 12:38 PM on April 18, 2011 [24 favorites]


I still maintain it would have been exactly the same for Dave Sim if the web had been around for his meltdown.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on April 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well thank fuck for that. Decani has beard and may be an irascible but lovable bastard but he is not a taint.
posted by longbaugh at 12:40 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still maintain it would have been exactly the same for Dave Sim if the web had been around for his meltdown.

That probably is true. I hope at some point Adams can get some sort of perspective on his dumb ideas.
posted by codacorolla at 12:41 PM on April 18, 2011


Is Dilbert the one where her purse doesn't match her shoes and then the punchline is "Ack!"? Or is it the one about the lasagna-loving cat who hates Mondays?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:41 PM on April 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Don't hate the tool.

We're trying, but man, it's really hard when it keeps being such a tool.
posted by quin at 12:43 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


When you're a tool, the whole world looks like a thing that needs a tool.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:44 PM on April 18, 2011 [22 favorites]


A vagina?
posted by longbaugh at 12:45 PM on April 18, 2011


Yes. I too, am Scott Adams.
posted by longbaugh at 12:45 PM on April 18, 2011


When you're a taint every problem looks like a beard.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:46 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:46 PM on April 18, 2011


I have never paid all that much attention to Adams, good or bad, until the PlannedChaos fiasco, but over the past few days I've gone from kind of annoyed at the guy to seriously pissed off to feeling concerned about his current frame of mind. I hope some real-life friend of his can drop by his house for a "hey, dude, are things okay with you?" conversation. I'm pretty sure that if I were acting like that in public forums at least three people would have taken me out for lunch by now to try to help me see what an asshat I was being.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:47 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


By the by, Pater Aletheias, are you free for lunch soon?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:47 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


And did you get my MeMail about lunch on Friday?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:48 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to click on the link to his blog because I don't want to generate more traffic for him, but from the Gawker summary, it is troubling that the great internet hero he compares himself to is the lady who recently forwarded the racist chimp Obama e-mails.

"I'm misunderstood just like that lady who claims she is so out of touch with the history of racism in America that she claims she forwarded something racist by mistake" strikes me as an especially weak defense. Indeed, it sounds like a Mr. Boffo punchline.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:49 PM on April 18, 2011


May I eat you for lunch?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:49 PM on April 18, 2011


Joke about going to lunch with Pater Aletheias.
posted by defenestration at 12:50 PM on April 18, 2011


So is Decani bearded or not?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 PM on April 18, 2011


I love you guys so much right now. I am free for lunch all the time.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:50 PM on April 18, 2011


I am expensive for lunch. Very expensive.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:51 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man I am a social tornado, I have a lunch date every date this week!


What?
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on April 18, 2011


The Whelk is a certified social tornado, and that's hard to hide.
posted by almostmanda at 12:53 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Out of curiosity I began following Adams' blog backwards to as early as I could just to see if the whole, "I post stupid shit in order to be corrected in the comments" was actually what he does. Early on, after a asinine post about Iran being more democratic than the U.S. he added, "If you are new to The Dilbert Blog, I remind you that I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to world affairs. The point is for you to set me straight in the comments."

I really have to scratch my head. I understand the point of it, but the internet is open to anyone and if you don't leave this as a big disclaimer for the passers-by to see then it is just an invitation for trouble. It is like they're having a plainclothes Vampire LARP amidst a group of people who know nothing of RPGs.
posted by charred husk at 12:54 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]



He's infected this place. Mentions of Scott Adams and ironic uses of his catchphrases are bleeding into threads left and right.

Must have been exposed to Charlie Sheen at some point....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:54 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:54 PM on April 18, 2011


Metafilter: a plainclothes Vampire LARP amidst a group of people who know nothing of RPGs.
posted by The Whelk at 12:55 PM on April 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


*throws ping pong ball at The Whelk*

"Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt"
posted by longbaugh at 12:58 PM on April 18, 2011


Man I am a social tornado, I have a lunch date every date this week!

*peeks out from under chair*

can we ixnay the ornadotay alktay for a couple of days...
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:58 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, the Whelk is a social tsunami.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:01 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


My plan came off the rails when I learned the hard way that Metafilter doesn't have a privacy policy.

This is so anger-making. It's exactly the same kind of thing he did in college, abusing the system and hiding his corruption. All it would have taken at that time to stop his shit would have been for a college administrator to say "Hey, cut the fucking shit out." like a fucking adult. Scott knows there's a lack of adults in the world, and apparently wasn't aware that's who's in charge of Metafilter.
posted by odinsdream at 1:01 PM on April 18, 2011


Man I am a social tornado Dilbert creator, I have a lunch date every date this week!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on April 18, 2011


("sprezzatura"/Phil Cubeta-like) idea of Socratic sockpuppetry ...

Oh, my, I almost forgot about that windbag!
posted by ericb at 1:03 PM on April 18, 2011


[Celebrity physics is different. Once the conversation started about whether or not my identity would be revealed, it was only a matter of time, through one channel or another. They've said at least four of them were in the conversation, and I'm guessing at least one of them has a friend outside of work. -- Scott]

So, essentially, Scott Adams is saying that simply by knowing who he was you forced him to out himself. Because he is so famous. Awesome.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:05 PM on April 18, 2011


I've got a million hit points and maximum charisma.
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 PM on April 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is so anger-making.

No, not really. He's being a jackass and wanting attention.

There are better things to do and talk about.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:06 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ego is a helluva drug.
posted by iamabot at 1:09 PM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


He's being a jackass and wanting attention.

Which i guess is the answer to why he couldn't have just stopped posting and being an idiot.
posted by Artw at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2011


Guys, don't talk about The Whelk like that!
posted by defenestration at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2011


(Every MeTa eventually becomes about The Whelk, right?)
posted by defenestration at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2011


Just imagine how much more you'd have with the Recursive Ruff, Whelk!

p.s. using our "Everyone needs a hug" as a guideline, would it be funny to post a million [hug] comments on his stupid blog post? Well, it'd be funny to ME, but would it be funny in general?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:11 PM on April 18, 2011


[Celebrity physics is different. Once the conversation started about whether or not my identity would be revealed, it was only a matter of time, through one channel or another. They've said at least four of them were in the conversation, and I'm guessing at least one of them has a friend outside of work. -- Scott]

Wow, stuck on himself, much?

What makes him think our Fab Four would even care that much? Now if we were talking about Joss Whedon or Barack Obama he might have had a point.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:11 PM on April 18, 2011


The Whelk, unlike some people, is rather charming.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:12 PM on April 18, 2011


He's a celebrity? That bar just keeps getting lower, don't it.
posted by jamaro at 1:13 PM on April 18, 2011


The Whelk, unlike some people, is rather charming.

Jeez, rub it in why don'tcha.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:14 PM on April 18, 2011


Despite the fact that we want to boycott Trump for all of his Birther bullshit, the IRFH household has been held hostage of late to the on-air antics of Gary Busey on The Celebrity Apprentice. This drama feels very much the same, with the important difference that Adams isn't giving the proceeds to charity and Gary Busey makes more sense than Adams.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:15 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Special tomato?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:16 PM on April 18, 2011


Okay, there is some evidence that he's right about way smarter than the rest of us, or at least me: just how long I looked through the comments on his blog before realizing they are posted in reverse order.
posted by meese at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2011


He's a celebrity? That bar just keeps getting lower, don't it.

Based on the ad I saw the other day for "Dancing with the Stars," I am now almost completely incapable of telling who is famous and who isn't.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Jeez, rub it in why don'tcha.

That's what The Whelk said!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I still maintain it would have been exactly the same for Dave Sim if the web had been around for his meltdown.

Can someone explain this to me pls?
posted by Avenger50 at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2011


Special tomato
posted by The Whelk at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2011


What makes him think our Fab Four would even care that much? Now if we were talking about Joss Whedon or Barack Obama he might have had a point.

If Barack Obama was commenting here, I actually believe the mods would be able to keep it to themselves if they wanted to.
posted by odinsdream at 1:19 PM on April 18, 2011


Based on the ad I saw the other day for "Dancing with the Stars," I am now almost completely incapable of telling who is famous and who isn't.

My favorite part is when they get cast members from previous reality shows (on the basis that they are 'normal people') to be on new reality shows on the basis that they are celebrities.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:19 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I guess he did need a whole week.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2011


I am Barack Obama.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk is Barack Obama.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk is Pater Aletheias.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2011


I am Joe Beese.
posted by charred husk at 1:21 PM on April 18, 2011


I am Joe Beese's spleen.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:21 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can someone explain this to me pls?

It's not very fun to read.
posted by codacorolla at 1:21 PM on April 18, 2011


I am confused.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:21 PM on April 18, 2011


Today, we are all Confused.
posted by Dumsnill at 1:22 PM on April 18, 2011


Don;' you see, it wasn't me, it was the force living inside all of you. In your imaginations, your strength, your goodness. In a way, i am all of you.

One day I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.

(fading away) Goodbye! Goodbye. Goodbye Goodbye.
posted by The Whelk at 1:23 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're still here.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:25 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]



It's not very fun to read.
posted by codacorolla at 1:21 PM on April 18 [+] [!]


Well that was the understatement of the week.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:25 PM on April 18, 2011


^Great, now I'm picturing The Whelk saying that while floating out the glass of a 2nd story window. In a ruff, of course.
posted by jamaro at 1:25 PM on April 18, 2011

Can someone explain this to me pls?
Some metafilter posts: [1] [2] [3].

In a nutshell, Dave Sim is a very influential comic book artist who had a meltdown, mostly involving his issues with women. It started with some controversial essays in his books and eventually spilled over into the contents of his actual work.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:25 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's disappearing into the Void!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:27 PM on April 18, 2011


That's what your Mom said.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:27 PM on April 18, 2011


Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:28 PM on April 18, 2011


@bitter-girl.com, ODiV was on the right path. I haven't been a MeFi regular in 4 or 5 years and I made it to this thread after reading about it on Adams' blog. Historically, MeFi has had a problem discussing the obese (for example).

I made my offhand comment in response to East Manitoba's failure to address the substance of my reply. I recognize that we are 400+ into an MeTa thread, so it's asking a lot to quell the snark. I was trying to respond with my own and it was a poor attempt to call attention to the vitriol that I complained about in my earlier comments.
posted by ajr at 1:29 PM on April 18, 2011


The thing for Adams is that, you know, trolling's an art

Minor correction, trolling is a art.
posted by BeerFilter at 1:32 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Celebrity physics is different. Once the conversation started about whether or not my identity would be revealed, it was only a matter of time, through one channel or another. They've said at least four of them were in the conversation, and I'm guessing at least one of them has a friend outside of work. -- Scott]

Wow, stuck on himself, much?

What makes him think our Fab Four would even care that much? Now if we were talking about Joss Whedon or Barack Obama he might have had a point.


That jumped out at me, too.

Hey, you know all those anonymous AskMe questions? The ones where we pour out our darkest, innermost problems? Questions that, if linked to real identities, could in some cases cost the askers their homes, their marriages, their careers or even their lives? The mods can figure out who asked them. Sure, it's not immediately obvious, and I imagine it takes at least a couple of clicks, but they can do it. The mods of MetaFilter have access to information about us we literally wouldn't reveal to our own mothers. Information that could ruin us if it became public.

And yet they keep it all a secret. Nothing has leaked, ever. Even though some MeFites are, indeed, just as rich and/or famous as Scott Adams. You know why? Because Matt Haughey is a good, trustworthy person, and he's hired other good, trustworthy people to help him. There's not a single moderator on MetaFilter whom I wouldn't welcome into my home.

Mr. Adams, get over yourself. You think your confidence would be betrayed just because you're a syndicated cartoonist? Maybe ask some of the novelists, actors, musicians, politicians, scientists, and--yes--cartoonists here how trustworthy MetaFilter is.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:34 PM on April 18, 2011 [58 favorites]


Well, obviously I don't think The Whelk is a jackass or an idiot, and I'm really just jealous that he's constantly lauded and affirmed on here.

But really, it does feel like when he enters a conversation, the conversation often becomes about him. /irony-har-har-har. MeFi is Whelk-obsessed, I guess. Things could be worse.
posted by defenestration at 1:36 PM on April 18, 2011


It's all the drunk posting.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:38 PM on April 18, 2011


Hey, you know all those anonymous AskMe questions? The ones where we pour out our darkest, innermost problems?

Being Holy Week and all... do the mods offer confession?
posted by yeti at 1:41 PM on April 18, 2011


There's not a single moderator on MetaFilter whom I wouldn't welcome into my home.

I said the same thing about Julian Assange, and then he drank my OJ right from the carton. Gross.
posted by found missing at 1:41 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently I'm following the normal Adams arc: Liked him, forgot him, now sadly concerned for him.

But, wow, Metafilter has amazing mods.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:42 PM on April 18, 2011


If Barack Obama was commenting here, I actually believe the mods would be able to keep it to themselves if they wanted to.

Man, if Barack Obama signed up for mefi and started pulling sockpuppetry bullshit I would be writing such an email to his Presidential ass.

Him all like "klangklangston, I did not serve with Barack Obama, I don't know Barack Obama, Barack Obama totally is not me or a friend of mine or anything or whatever; klang, you're no Barack Obama."

Me and Matt and Jess being all "fuckin' this is what our taxes pay for?"

But yeah, the recurring idea that (a) this had something to do with celebrity and (b) that Scott Adams specifically is the problem is frustrating to see bubble up again and again from people who don't know us, don't understand our jobs, and are totally unfamiliar with Metafilter's actual community and history.

But, so goes chatter on the internet. It was annoying to have initial blog chatter oversell this whole thing as "mefi outs Scott Adams" rather than "mefi quietly tells Scott Adams to cut the shit"; it's annoying to have people wildly overestimate or otherwise misrepresent our investment in the personal fortunes of Scott Adams outside of the confines of how he behaves on Metafilter; and at the end of the day I get paid well in part for the work I'm willing to do and for which I apparently have a weird constitutional pre-disposition: looking at that annoyance, taking a deep breath, and getting back to worrying about keeping this one part of the internet working as well as I can.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:44 PM on April 18, 2011 [30 favorites]


But really, it does feel like when he enters a conversation, the conversation often becomes about him.

He can't help it. He's magic, like a Hypnotoad. Except better-looking and not as slimy.

(help! help! he's got me hypnotized and he made me write that!)

Also, thanks for the clarification, ajr.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:48 PM on April 18, 2011


...taking a deep breath, and getting back to worrying about keeping this one part of the internet working as well as I can.

Financial compensation aside, it does not go unappreciated.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:48 PM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay but really, asavage is Barack Obama, right?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:49 PM on April 18, 2011


Has there been any uptick in sign-ups or anything, the last few days? I'm curious what effect, if any, this is having on the Mefi community.
posted by meese at 1:51 PM on April 18, 2011


The Whelk: "or how is restaurant is doing."

From that article: Emma Lewis, the lunch manager, describes Mr. Adams as someone who should be shielded from tough decisions the way a crawling infant needs to be protected from household hazards. “We laugh and say we’re not going to let him watch the Food Channel,” she said. “He’ll think he can run a restaurant.”

They should keep him away from the keyboard as well. He thinks he's a funny genius.
posted by Splunge at 1:51 PM on April 18, 2011


"How dare you threaten to out me!" "Uh, we didn't." (snip)

I'm not arguing that the mods messed up here, but isn't that exactly what the email that Matt posted is doing?
posted by norm at 1:53 PM on April 18, 2011


I'm curious what effect, if any, this is having on the Mefi community.

Well, we're apparently spending way too much time talking about Scott Adams. So, uh, mission accomplished, UnplannedChaos?
posted by dersins at 1:53 PM on April 18, 2011


I thought we were talking about The Whelk?
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:55 PM on April 18, 2011


dersins: "So, uh, mission accomplished, UnplannedChaos?"

Adam Savage has nothing to do with this!
posted by charred husk at 1:56 PM on April 18, 2011


I agree that trolling is an art. But Scott Adams isn't very good at it.

Have our standards for trolls really slipped so far since Andy Kaufman passed away, and then trolled us posthumously into thinking he was alive?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:56 PM on April 18, 2011


but isn't that exactly what the email that Matt posted is doing?

Not really. I can see how you would read it that way, but it's explicitly saying "you don't get to astroturf for your own character and success on this site. Your choice: out yourself or walk away, because this is not cool, and there is no third option."
posted by middleclasstool at 1:57 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm way late to this party, but I posted a comment to Adams on his blog I wanted to share here, lest I commit the grievous Internet sin of leaving an opinion unshared.
Scott: I like you. I enjoy your comic strip and the unique views you offer in op-ed pieces.

But you're being a dork about MetaFilter. It's not a cesspool. The site's been around 13 years and has a well-deserved rep as a thoughtful place to share and discuss links and current events.

Instead of lashing out at Matt Haughey for running his website by his standards, you should admit that praising yourself on the Internet under a pseudonym is like starting a land war in Asia. It never turns out well.
posted by rcade at 1:58 PM on April 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm not arguing that the mods messed up here, but isn't that exactly what the email that Matt posted is doing?

Ahh, no.
Matt gave him three options; 1: Come Clean, 2: Step out of the discussion, or C: Address it publicly.
That Scott guy chose A.
posted by Floydd at 1:58 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has there been any uptick in sign-ups or anything, the last few days? I'm curious what effect, if any, this is having on the Mefi community.

Nothing notable in terms of sign-ups. Bloggy drama doesn't usually have a big effect—a stakeholder or two in the drama might sign up to say something, but beyond that I don't think a lot of people have $5 worth of investment in just being able to chatter in one more place about whatever's going on and so resign themselves to commenting on whatever blog linked here or tweeting about it or so on.

If there's been any significant general traffic increase, I'd be surprised. Our daily traffic is pretty beefy; I noticed a few thousand extra hits from reddit and gawker in the referrer logs a day or two ago that's still not a giant blast of traffic or anything. Matt or pb would have to answer to the general traffic question.

The biggest extra-signup events tend to be very specific, very glowing writeups that discuss membership rather than just things that are like "metafilter is a thing that is at the other end of this link". When Slate wrote a love letter to AskMe as a Q&A resource, that was probably the biggest spike in signups we've seen in years, probably an extra 100 or so over a period of a few days; Time's Best Blog stuff had a significantly smaller but still noticeable bump, probably an extra 25 for a day or two.

With about 15 or so signups a day normally, those were notable events but not really hugely influential as it played out.

This stuff mostly effects the mefi community by creating some injokes and some extra work for us for a week or so as mods, and then everybody gets back to whatever they were doing normally. A particularly protracted drama tends to be the same but with mods who are even more tired of it by the end, but, per above, that's part of the job.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:58 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


"There's not a single moderator on MetaFilter whom I wouldn't welcome into my home."

Really?

But what if they see the shrines?
posted by klangklangston at 2:03 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am Joe Beese.

HEY! I just noticed that Joe Beese is gone. Where'd he go?!
posted by Melismata at 2:13 PM on April 18, 2011


This thing will blow over - as they all do in the end. I just hope it doesn't linger on too long, as I'm sure I'm not alone in already being at the "eye rolling at anything Scott Adams says" stage...
posted by gemmy at 2:14 PM on April 18, 2011


He joined the Obama administration.
posted by found missing at 2:14 PM on April 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


But what if they see the shrines?

Mine are in the dunge-uhhh basement. I said basement.
posted by yeti at 2:15 PM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just thought I'd let you guys know how much I like Andy Kaufman again.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:23 PM on April 18, 2011


Full disclosure: I am Andy Kaufman.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:24 PM on April 18, 2011


Are you here to save the day?
posted by Dumsnill at 2:25 PM on April 18, 2011


I am Tony Clifton.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:26 PM on April 18, 2011


If I was less polite, I'd post a second comment asking whether he's heard of David Icke.
posted by mippy at 2:32 PM on April 18, 2011


If nothing else, I've got to hand it to Adams for allowing all the negative (from his point of view) comments on his blog. Dude seems to enjoy being vilified.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:35 PM on April 18, 2011


He hasn't approved a new comment since you posted the last one, mippy.
posted by crunchland at 2:36 PM on April 18, 2011


Nah, they show up as last one first by default.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:37 PM on April 18, 2011


Oh, and is Snooki more famous than Scott Adams? I knew who he was, but only encountered Snooki in the course of my job. I guess, in modern celebrity, the questions you need to ask yourself are:

a) would their death get a mention on the rolling news network of your choice;
b) would they be deemed interesting enough to appear in Heat's 'circle of shame'.

Naom Chomsky isn't a celebrity, but he's undoubtedly famous. Kate Gosselin is a celebrity, but I have no idea who she is. Heck, even Amy Poehler gets paparazzi pictures in the Daily Mail, and nothing she's ever been in has been shown this side of the pond.

(Dear UK TV - please send us Community, Parks and Rec and Extreme Couponing.)
posted by mippy at 2:37 PM on April 18, 2011


Burhanistan, you caused me to go read some of those comments. One thing I learned there is that mathowie is an arrogant fascist. But, do we really need to label our fascists as arrogant? It just seems like piling on.
posted by found missing at 2:42 PM on April 18, 2011


It's entirely possible for a fascist to be humble.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:46 PM on April 18, 2011


Nah, they show up as last one first by default. --- Ah, well then, he's not accepting all comments then. I posted one asking how many comments on his blog were posted by his own sockpuppets, and apparently he thought it didn't add to the conversation.
posted by crunchland at 2:47 PM on April 18, 2011


I'm a fascist, but I'm not a big jerk about it.
posted by brundlefly at 2:48 PM on April 18, 2011


I only know who Snooki is because there was recently video of the primary cast of Doctor Who trying to read 'celebrity' tweets in their best American accent, and Snooki was one of the tweeters.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:49 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


> I posted one asking how many comments on his blog were posted by his own sockpuppets, and apparently he thought it didn't add to the conversation.

I see that one right now. Comments there don't seem to have permalinks, but if you sort by Date and Descending, it's currently about the 10th on the first page. It has 30 favorites!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:51 PM on April 18, 2011


Who is the really orange man in Jersey Shore?
posted by mippy at 2:52 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


John Boehner
posted by found missing at 2:53 PM on April 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


It has 30 favorites! --- How ironic. I get more validation on that guy's blog than I do here.
posted by crunchland at 2:57 PM on April 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why is Dilbert.com one of the highest rated sites in Chungbuk, according to Alexa? Is there a Korean version of the strip?

This story is only a tragedy if you think Scott Adams *matters* as an artist, as some people apparently do, or if you know him personally. To those folks, my sincere sympathies at the discovery that artists can be narcissistic assholes too. Or are very often likely to be, in fact. What he did was indefensible, although one can debate how much of a hill of beans the original offense amounted to. But he's the one who's taken it nuclear at every stage, from the very start. That's fucked up.

But I am unclear whether pointing and laughing at the fool or mounting rational defenses of the site based on what actually happened and what our actual policies are does more good than ignoring him utterly until he goes away and bothers someone else. Adams' discourse has a whiff of the bully about it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:58 PM on April 18, 2011


Or Eric Cartman.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:58 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way to link directly to comments, but I wanted to point out that I suspect MzSkeptica on this page is possibly another sock puppet of S. Adams. Unlike most of the other supporters in his comments section, this one just signed up today. It's also -- perhaps to his credit -- an example of how to make your sock puppet/supporter sound like a reasonable human being. (If I'm wrong, I guess she's just adopted some of his verbal tics through years of fandom.)
posted by nobody at 3:05 PM on April 18, 2011


there was recently video of the primary cast of Doctor Who trying to read 'celebrity' tweets in their best American accent

How is it that something so simple can make me smile so much?
posted by quin at 3:07 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who is the really orange man in Jersey Shore?

Mippy, I want you to know that you are my favorite person right now, just for this.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:09 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


rmd1023: "I only know who Snooki is because there was recently video of the primary cast of Doctor Who trying to read 'celebrity' tweets in their best American accent, and Snooki was one of the tweeters"

What the hell is that Palin tweet about? It's like she used this.
posted by brundlefly at 3:16 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked how most of them pronounced Palin's "national" abbreviation as "nattle". Also I had no idea what that was about either.
posted by sweetkid at 3:27 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


man the way adams responded to the mods's comments on his blog makes me want to slash his tires in a major fashion
posted by angrycat at 3:31 PM on April 18, 2011


Palin was weighing in on the cowboy poetry "controversy."
posted by RogerB at 3:33 PM on April 18, 2011


HEY! I just noticed that Joe Beese is gone. Where'd he go?!

To balloon-juice.com.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 3:40 PM on April 18, 2011


Thanks, RogerB. How did I miss that story? And, more importantly, how can I ensure that I miss these types of stories in the future?
posted by brundlefly at 3:46 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


In addition to Andy Kaufman Tony Clifton, Adams's behavior reminds me of this.
posted by TedW at 3:53 PM on April 18, 2011


For my turn, I pity Pierce Hawthorne.
posted by ooga_booga at 4:34 PM on April 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


angrycat: "man the way adams responded to the mods's comments on his blog makes me want to slash his tires in a major fashion"

Yeah. All of his self-serving crap here just annoyed me. The attacks on the mods there make me furious. To the point where I'm turning off the intertubes for the evening and playing a few games before bedtime. It's not healthy or rational for a nobody like Adams to piss me off so much.
posted by Splunge at 4:43 PM on April 18, 2011


Comment on gawker: "Dilbert is Cathy with glasses."

Adams is taking some real hits there.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:54 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


All of this is managing to make crazy Kindle book lady look good.
posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on April 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


I hate it when people I once admired turn into people I don't admire anymore.
posted by bondcliff at 5:20 PM on April 18, 2011


Me and Matt and Jess being all "fuckin' this is what our taxes pay for?"

What, pb doesn't pay taxes? Is he secretly Canadian or something?

It makes sense: he is just so darn nice.
posted by sarahnade at 5:24 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hate it when people I once admired turn into people I don't admire anymore.

I'm right here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:25 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I smelled.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:38 PM on April 18, 2011


You still do.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:53 PM on April 18, 2011


In my book, you're all Canadian. Especially The Whelk.
posted by arcticseal at 5:58 PM on April 18, 2011


For the record, we pay taxes up here.

(A lot.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:02 PM on April 18, 2011


(Except on lottery winnings.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:02 PM on April 18, 2011


I thought we were talking about The Whelk?
He seems to have disappeared. We need a Whelk Location Unit!
posted by aldurtregi at 6:23 PM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


       )_(                   
       | |       
     .-'-'-.      
    /-::_..-\   
    )_     _(   
    |;::    |    
    |;:KNOB |   
    |;CREEK |   
    |;::-.._|   
    `-.._..-'


The Whelk shall be attracted by the Knob Creek that is here
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:45 PM on April 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


how did I get here?
posted by The Whelk at 6:48 PM on April 18, 2011 [25 favorites]


I made this Dilbert comic for reddit, thought I'd share it here.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:53 PM on April 18, 2011 [26 favorites]


ha ha you forgot to draw a summoning grid, I can wander about as I please!

.

..

... so how's things with you? (swig)
posted by The Whelk at 6:58 PM on April 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


My plan went off the rails when I learned the hard way that my cupboard doesn't have a pickled jalapeños policy. What are nachos without pickled jalapeños? I'll tell you what: a conflict of interest.
posted by plannednachos at 7:47 PM on April 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Any food that has a conflict of interest is not worth my time as a man.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:51 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


No no no. Just treat that food like a woman, or a retard: tell it you are a genius. [My regular readers know what I mean.]
posted by plannednachos at 8:00 PM on April 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well that whole kerfuffle really spiraled out of control. On the bright side, I imagine the second episode the metafilter comics podcast is gonna be amazing.
posted by lilac girl at 8:13 PM on April 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


of the metafilter comics podcast. I can't even tell a joke properly.
posted by lilac girl at 8:23 PM on April 18, 2011


I think I accidentally solved a major plot problem by falling asleep watching Downton Abbey.

Oh PBS. You are useful.
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


PlannedChaos: Are you a fame whore?

BWA HA HA HA!!

gotcha, didn't i, scott?

yhbt. yhl. hand.
posted by pyramid termite at 9:00 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I just read his take on what happened here in his oh-so-hilarious self-interview:

PlannedChaos: Are you going to smugly claim that you orchestrated everything that happened, including getting caught, and it is all part of your oh-so-clever plan? You do that sometimes.

Scott: Not this time. My plan came off the rails when I learned the hard way that Metafilter doesn't have a privacy policy. I assumed, incorrectly, that the worst thing that would happen is that I'd correct some rumors online, amuse myself, and get discreetly booted off the system by the administrators. Instead, the moderators acted on a tip, probably because I left bread crumbs in my comments the size of tractors, snooped into my not-so-private sign-up information, and threatened to make my identity public unless I did so myself. On the scale of immoral behavior, I think everyone involved scored about the same that day...


Jesus. That's about as dishonest a presentation of what actually happened as Scott Adams could possibly make.

Fuck him. For fucking ever. End of story. Jesus.
posted by mediareport at 10:28 PM on April 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


That "Dance Monkey Dance" bullshit is infuriating. "Mwahahaha, you tried to earnestly engage with me as a reasonable human being! You Fools!"
posted by minifigs at 11:45 PM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders -- the most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" -- but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a certified genius when reputation is on the line!" Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha... *plonk*
posted by hades at 12:00 AM on April 19, 2011 [24 favorites]


Both the "Dance, monkey, dance," and "masturdebator" were in-jokes for my group of friends in high school, back in the mid '90s. Scott certainly didn't coin the latter; I doubt he coined the former.

So when I see them, it's like running into someone who is just laughing at jokes you made 15 years ago, or someone confusing a Monica Lewinsky riff with topical humor.

As a side note, his central premise justifying doing anything at all regarding people mocking his shitty WSJ op-ed was that it was necessary to preserve his "brand." But that runs counter to the all-press-is-good-press agent provocateur pose — if that were true, he wouldn't have had to intervene in the first place, as the mockery would have already been good for him.

This is where a hooded figure appears to Dilbert and says, "I'm William of Occam, and I cut a bitch!"

The parsimonious explanation is that he engaged in douchey behavior because he thought he could get away with it, and the resulting dust-up has done more harm to his "brand" than simply ignoring it (or posting under his real name) would have. Nixon thought he was above the law, Adams thought he was above the stupid.
posted by klangklangston at 12:45 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know, klangklangston - this whole thing is like ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife.
posted by mippy at 1:51 AM on April 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


On the positive side, at least he didn't kill an elephant.
posted by taz at 2:00 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


He will try and capitalize on this.
posted by clavdivs at 3:11 AM on April 19, 2011


fuck if i can figure out how, a caption will not work, perhaps spread some loose cash.
posted by clavdivs at 3:11 AM on April 19, 2011


You could just keep showing up in every thread about the guy to call him an "evolution denier" .
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:23 PM on April 17


"PREDICTION 63: The theory of evolution will be scientifically debunked in your lifetime" [My emphasis] - Scott Adams, The Dilbert Future.

Adams followed that very bald prediction with a chapter full of "gee-wow-there-are-more-things-in-heaven-and-earth bullshit and magical thinking, without once directly and in detail addressing the reasons for his prediction.

So yes, I think I probably will show up in every thread about him to inform people who don't know - and as we saw here, there are plenty of those people still around - that Adams is an evolution denier and a delusional, self-aggrandising woo-head. Snort all you like.
posted by Decani at 4:07 AM on April 19, 2011


Oh my, oh golly. I just read Adams's self-justifying spin-fest. The quantity of distortion, back-pedaling and goalpost-shifting in that article would be shocking if I didn't know that Scott Adams wrote it. To turd-pick just a few:

- Gotta love how he suggests that the recent cartoon of Obama as a chimp is exactly the same thing as all the cartoons of Bush as a chimp. And this, right after he's been banging on for paragraphs about the importance of context! Genius!

- "There's no sheriff on the internet. It's like the Wild West."

Wow! What a startlingly fresh observation! I guess it's not only his cartoons that stopped being original in the early nineties!

- "Some time ago I learned the hard way that posting messages with my own identity turns any discussion into an orgy of name-calling."

Thank goodness your decision to hide your identity on this occasion didn't lead to any name-calling, eh Scott?

- "I've also famously predicted that the theory of evolution will be debunked in my lifetime... the context for that prediction is that some future Einstein might someday demonstrate that our common sense understanding of the passage of time is flawed. if that happens, every part of our observed reality will be debunked.... [blah blah, waffle and spin].... I could have predicted that the history of your daily commute to work will be debunked. It's the same point but less catchy [my emphasis].

Yuh! And hey Scott... what if, like... our entire universe was, like... one cell in some giant being! Or... hey, get this, Scott.... what if every cell in our universe was, like.... A WHOLE OTHER UNIVERSE! Why... that would, like, totally debunk the theory of evolution, wouldn't it? Oops... I mean "Your daily commute to work"! Cripes, that was close! Wouldn't want people to get the idea I'm one of those crazy evolution deniers!

- "My contrarian prediction about evolution being debunked in my lifetime was the same sort of bet. It's unlikely that I'll be right. But if I get lucky, I'll be the one person who predicted it."

You're the only person who's predicted the demise or invalidity of the theory of evolution? Now that's what I call solipsism!

What a plonker.
posted by Decani at 4:38 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


You're the only person who's predicted the demise or invalidity of the theory of evolution? Now that's what I call solipsism!

Yep. He's just doing what every other creationist does every day. Only he's painted it with a thin coating of pseudo-science. What a fucking genius. He's certified alright.
posted by Splunge at 4:44 AM on April 19, 2011


- "There's no sheriff on the internet. It's like the Wild West."

Wow! What a startlingly fresh observation!


Wrapped in an ass-backwards metaphor. From all the Westerns I've ever watched, the place was fucking crawling with sheriffs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:52 AM on April 19, 2011 [22 favorites]


He just called Decani a bearded taint. Wow.
posted by longbaugh at 8:17 PM on April 18


Oh, I wish I had a fraction of Adams's vanity so that I could believe he was referring to me with that. But I rather suspect it more likely it's his pet name for PZ.
posted by Decani at 4:59 AM on April 19, 2011


Well thank fuck for that. Decani has beard and may be an irascible but lovable bastard but he is not a taint.
posted by longbaugh at 8:40 PM on April 18


Ah hell, now I'm tearing up.
posted by Decani at 5:03 AM on April 19, 2011


Well-played, plannednachos, but I think the best option for a joke username based on this would be "plannedchoad."
posted by COBRA! at 5:20 AM on April 19, 2011


Due to the Write You Name In Japanese thread now on the blue, I was looking into hanko. The stamps used in Japan instead of hand written signature. I found this:

Q: I'm a Martial Artist Sensei. I want to put my title with my name on my hanko.

As a general rule, putting one's title on a hanko is a bad idea. In America, titles, such as PhD or Sensei or whatever, are something people proudly tell other people (Sure, it's a sign of accomplishment; why shouldn't you be proud of it?). However in Japan, if you are advertising that you are a PhD or Sensei or anything, it is taken as a sign of insecurity (Since you are not a Japanese person, people in Japan would take it as a sign of cultural ignorance). Confident and accomplished people, they believe, do not need to tell others that they are confident and accomplished. Other people will judge that.


From here.

Seems appropriate.
posted by Splunge at 5:20 AM on April 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


The weird thing is that Adams is acting like he's a Socratic devil's advocate for any crazy view that pops in his head, even when he knows in his heart of hearts he is probably wrong. And yet when he gets a little flack for saying something that doesn't go over well with some communities, he goes around trying to defend his reputation and what he said, in a particularly disingenuous way.

That seems to imply that he thinks the views are valid, even though he tries to act cool and detached from those statements. For example, the whole "I think evolution will be debunked in my lifetime" think is claimed to be a "publicity stunt that probably won't come true." I mean, if he really is just all about defending random ideas that pop in his head for fun, you'd think he'd just say "I wasn't serious, I just thought it'd be fun to try defending such a weird view."

And it'd all blow over pretty quickly.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:29 AM on April 19, 2011


Isn't a taint what USians (sorry) call the man's perenium? As a heterosexual woman who finds male genitaila attractive, I cannot possibly understand why this is insulting...
posted by mippy at 6:42 AM on April 19, 2011


"There's no sheriff on the internet."

Ha! Clearly we have one here.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:46 AM on April 19, 2011


Isn't a taint what USians (sorry) call the man's perenium? As a heterosexual woman who finds male genitaila attractive, I cannot possibly understand why this is insulting...

It's actually a fairly clever epithet in context. If I were to say, for example, "Scott Adams is a taint," I would be implying, "Scott Adams is something halfway between a dick and an asshole." That's a pretty good insult.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:54 AM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


...said Faint of Butt.
posted by crunchland at 6:56 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's actually a fairly clever epithet in context. If I were to say, for example, "Scott Adams is a taint," I would be implying, "Scott Adams is something halfway between a dick and an asshole." That's a pretty good insult.

Funny, after reading about Scott Adams these last few days I was reminded how I once was arguing with someone and managed to pull this one off: "Jesus Christ, [redacted], you're not just an asshole, you're a fucking pussy. You're an asshole and a pussy.

You're a fucking cloaca."


I remain quite proud of this.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:01 AM on April 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


...said Faint of Butt.

Yeah, I kind of regret my handle now. It was funny at the time, and it's still funny, but it limits my ability to make butt-related jokes without becoming the butt of the joke myself.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:05 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by marimeko at 7:20 AM on April 19, 2011


Splunge writes "Due to the Write You Name In Japanese thread now on the blue, I was looking into hanko"

Ah, that's what that mystery meat was.
posted by Mitheral at 7:28 AM on April 19, 2011


I liked the part where Gawker called him a tumescent ego balloon.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:35 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:38 AM on April 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


Heh.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:44 AM on April 19, 2011


This thread is getting pretty long. Can we open up a new one? (I kid!)
posted by cjorgensen at 7:44 AM on April 19, 2011


Guys, I think it's time we step back and look at who the real monsters are.

Wolfmen.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on April 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Adams on his blog:
The same thing is happening today with a Republican official who emailed some friends a humorous photo of President Obama's face on a chimp and a punch line about his birth certificate. If your only context is what the Internet says about this story, you assume it's a typical racist act by a Republican who is already guilty by association. But if I add the context that Googling "George Bush monkey" gives you over 3 million hits, and most of them are jokes where President Bush's face is transposed on a monkey, you see what's really going on.
Well, since we're loving context so much here, maybe we need to add in the fact that this particular politician also defended an email that went around implying Obama would plant watermelons on the White House lawn, and she defended some asshat who said that adding grassy patches to the beach would only attract Mexicans. You might also mention the first people calling for her resignation were Republicans.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:54 AM on April 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


All of this is managing to make crazy Kindle book lady look good.

No lie, just last night, I went to an arts and crafts store to buy some vinyl letter stencils; I had been kicking around the idea of etching one of my pint glasses with the phrase "Just look at your ball all of you....look at you."

Now, though, I think I might make one that says, "he has a certified genius I.Q., and that's hard to hide."

Although really, I guess I could do both. Maybe make a whole set of arrogant internet statement pint glasses.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:05 AM on April 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


pereniums are the flowers that come back year after year, right?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:07 AM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Maybe make a whole set of arrogant internet statement pint glasses.

I KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS LAGER THAN YOU COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE.
posted by elizardbits at 8:09 AM on April 19, 2011 [21 favorites]


If the end result if this thread is Greg setting up a humorous Internet- related pint glass company then my faith in the universe will be restored.
posted by The Whelk at 8:13 AM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


If the end result if this thread is Greg setting up a humorous Internet- related pint glass company then my faith in the universe will be restored.

Until he becomes a zillionaire and starts writing books and going on speaking tours telling everyone that they are stupid for not also becoming zillionaires and then one day someone starts a thread about what a douche that evolution-denying, racist Greg Nog has become and someone named Nreg Gog starts posting and telling everyone that Greg Nog has a certified genius IQ and then it's discovered that Nreg Gog is actually Greg Nog and then everyone hates Greg Nog.

So I'm kind of hoping the pint glass thing doesn't take off. I don't want to hate Greg Nog.
posted by bondcliff at 8:18 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I offer my services as a life guide, fully trained in the ancient art of the Humility Stick.
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that the day I discovered Greg Nog's Twitter account and then went back and read everything on it was one of the best days my Internets have ever had.
posted by miskatonic at 8:28 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Isn't a taint what USians (sorry) call the man's perenium? As a heterosexual woman who finds male genitaila attractive, I cannot possibly understand why this is insulting..."

It's not just men's — the taint is variably described as perineum for both sexes (under the theory that "it ain't" contracts to "taint," and it's neither genital nor anus), as well as the discolored area around the anus, "tainted" by the color of excrement.

However, the latter usage has become deprecated as anal bleaching has become the norm.

No, it hasn't.
posted by klangklangston at 8:45 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scott Adams, Dilbert Creator, Compares Himself to Marilyn Davenport.
posted by ericb at 8:47 AM on April 19, 2011


GOP Official Marilyn Davenport Apologizes for Obama Chimp Email.
posted by ericb at 8:50 AM on April 19, 2011


Salon.com: Dilbert creator's ever-worsening PR crisis.

BTW -- I wonder if Scott Adams knows anything about the 'Streisand Effect?'
posted by ericb at 8:51 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


PZ Myers (aka the 'Beard Taint'): Feeding The Fame Whore A Little More.
posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on April 19, 2011


But if I add the context that Googling "George Bush monkey" gives you over 3 million hits

Hm, I get only 2,770, 000.
posted by Miko at 9:06 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just one question regarding something Cortex said over on Reddit:
Let's be super-duper clear here: we didn't out Scott. We told him he need to decide between disclosing his identity on mefi or cutting it out with the Vehemently Defending Scott Adams as a purported third party. He chose to identify himself on the site; if he'd chosen to walk away, that'd have been fine too.
If Adams had instead chosen to walk away, the community would never have been made aware of the fraud perpetrated on it - am I understanding that correctly? I'm not suggesting this alternative would have been "wrong," but we'd just never have known.

Which makes Adams' choice so puzzling. Cortex said the options were reveal and you can stay, or walk away and you can never come back. Adams chose a weird "third option," which was "reveal and walk away." It's not like he said, "Sorry, guys, this is a cool community, I apologize for violating your norms, but I'd like to stick around." He chose to out himself for no gain, because he clearly hates us and has no intention of coming back here and using his account again.

So either he did it because he's a moron (very possible), or because he wanted the publicity.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:07 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cortex said the options were reveal and you can stay, or walk away and you can never come back.

I don't even think he was saying anything about "never come back." Presumably, if he had just moved to other threads and stopped talking about how great Scott Adams was, that would have been an OK outcome too.
posted by Miko at 9:09 AM on April 19, 2011


NEVER FUCK WITH PEOPLE WHO SAVE RUSSIAN CHICKS FROM SEX SLAVERY.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:11 AM on April 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


Salon's take on the matter.
posted by orange swan at 9:15 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry about opening a new thread. I didn't know about this one.
posted by orange swan at 9:16 AM on April 19, 2011


He chose to out himself for no gain ...

Attention whores always seek attention.
posted by ericb at 9:17 AM on April 19, 2011


I think the fact that he deleted his misogynist post shows that he is actually alarmed when large numbers of people are mad at him, and he is not simply relishing the act of trolling.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:19 AM on April 19, 2011


If Adams had instead chosen to walk away, the community would never have been made aware of the fraud perpetrated on it - am I understanding that correctly? I'm not suggesting this alternative would have been "wrong," but we'd just never have known.

Yep, it would have just been a quiet departure by a mysterious aggro newb. Which is frustrating in some respects, but that's how it goes. It wouldn't have been the first time that we gave someone a chance to stop digging, though thankfully these things don't happen often at all.

At the end of the day, the important thing is that someone who is fucking with this community stops fucking with it. Whether that happens because they quietly reverse a bad course or because they decide to go public with it is up to them; it's the fucking-with that I care about, mostly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:20 AM on April 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


If Adams had instead chosen to walk away, the community would never have been made aware of the fraud perpetrated on it - am I understanding that correctly? I'm not suggesting this alternative would have been "wrong," but we'd just never have known.

It's not a good policy to out people who want to comment anonymously. And clearly, some people recognized Adams' writing style the the mefi comments, and plannedchaos had paid $5 specifically to argue in this one thread. Not too hard to piece together who it was. As long as the problem behavior did not continue, I don't think not knowing would have harmed anyone. Maybe Adams could have even learned something instead of frantically trying to save face by slamming Matt and the community.
posted by zennie at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2011


If the end result if this thread is Greg setting up a humorous Internet- related pint glass company then my faith in the universe will be restored.

Also I won't have to go THIRSTY ALL MY LIFE.
posted by mintcake! at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Reddit discussion on whether plannedchaos counts as a true sockpuppet because there was no second "Scott Adams" account is kind of bizarre, given that what Adams was doing was along the lines of the John Lott / Mary Rosh thing, which is about as canonical an example of upbiggitude by sockpuppetry as you can find.

Props to cortex and the moderati on this one.
posted by holgate at 9:24 AM on April 19, 2011


Scott: My plan came off the rails when I learned the hard way that Metafilter doesn't have a privacy policy...

I don't think Scott actually knows what a privacy policy is. What it is, is a policy that defines what information will be private, from whom, and under what circumstances.

So, for example, "Administrators get to know who you really are" is, in fact, a perfectly sensible part of a privacy policy. Wise, even.
posted by lodurr at 9:25 AM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: it's the fucking-with that I care about, mostly.
posted by Melismata at 9:25 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


orange swan: "Salon's take on the matter"

"My tie! It's curving upward in astonishment!" Nice.
posted by brundlefly at 9:29 AM on April 19, 2011


That Reddit discussion on whether plannedchaos counts as a true sockpuppet because there was no second "Scott Adams" account is kind of bizarre

God, yeah. Ten foot pole on parsing that angle to the various objectors on reddit; people can argue to death whether it's sockpuppetry if there's only one account (puppet vs. puppet show, monologue vs. dialogue?), or if being a material subject in a conversation counts as an extra person or not (if Scott Adams hasn't shown up in the thread but is the established subject of the thread, is incognito Scott Adams really the only voice in the room?), and so on.

The "how do you define sockpuppet" debate is an interesting thing in terms of unpacking an overloaded piece of internet jargon—like "troll", it means so many different specific things to so many people that a short conversation about it can't lead to any kind of consensus understanding, but actually trying to corral those various meanings and find where they overlap and where they differ could be a really interesting bit of field linguistics.

But functionally speaking, a reductive use of "sockpuppet" for "using a bullshit identity to run interference" seems mostly to make sense to people, and so okay.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:30 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also I won't have to go THIRSTY ALL MY LIFE.

Greg I'm just saying THIRSTY ALL MY LIFE would also be a good saying on a pint glass.

I am still in favor of putting the [+] on everything.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the privacy policy, in addition, it's not like there was some bait-and-switch after the fact. Presumably he signed up and read the same documentation all newbies get. If you're concerned about privacy, you would probably want to read that to see whether it's mentioned and what it entailed. He made an assumption, but apparently doesn't want to see himself as at fault for making that assumption.
posted by Miko at 9:32 AM on April 19, 2011


For a guy who whips out that certified genius phrase, you'd think he would have been a bit smarter in obscuring his identity during signup. Perhaps a different prose style during commenting, as well. I guess he couldn't hide his light under a barrel any longer. He's like this guy I knew, whose latest glossy Mensa-sent publication never failed to sort itself, as if by magic, to the top of his cluttered desk.

He spins like Hero of Alexandria had discovered an aeolipile powered by bloviation, its only purpose is to make sure the blogosphere rotates around him. The fairest (and cruelest, they so often coincide) thing to do would be to create a timeline, with nice little pop-ups, of who emailed what to whom, what was commented, by such and such party.

Punch enough holes in the aeolipile and it just whistles hot air.
posted by adipocere at 9:33 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Reddit discussion on whether plannedchaos counts as a true sockpuppet because there was no second "Scott Adams" account is kind of bizarre

There are two competing ideas of what a sock puppet is, and they're very close. In one, a sock puppet is really only a secondary account that you use for some sort of nefarious means. On MeFi it means an account that you use basically to obscure your identity for whatever reason. We have jokey sock puppets and "I don't want to use my real name" sock puppets.

In most cases you can't have one account and have it be a sock puppet, sure. But in the case where you are a Very Famous Person Being Dicussed in a thread, signing up with an account that has no connection to your real identity and then talking about yourself in the third person seems to be a clear case of "obscuring your identity through not saying who you are"

I don't want to act like I'm quibbling here, just that the arbitrariness of the term sock-puppet is sort of a known thing and I don't think its meaning is mission critical to whether or not this was some bullshit.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:33 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


ajr: I'm simply saying that Adams writing is more complex and nuanced than it appears at first glance--hence my comment that you have to read him for a while before you really get what's he's trying to do.

Either that, or he's throwing a hundred handfulls of bullshit at the wall and people are making a picture out of it after the fact. Gosh, where have I heard that before?
posted by lodurr at 9:37 AM on April 19, 2011


If I ever need to create a sockpuppet account, I'm calling it "an aeolipile powered by bloviation."
posted by KathrynT at 9:37 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Salon's take on the matter.

That was a pretty fair assessment. I was happy to see that they picked up on the distinction between anonymous posting to hide one's identity and anonymous posting while pretending to be your super-best friend. The first one is okay, the second one is bad. I think, too, that there is an actual moral distinction between the two that isn't simply a matter of a community standards. The first instance is whitholding information that not everyone is rightly privy to. The second one implicitly says, I am not the person I am endorsing. Otherwise, the jig wouldn't work.

Communication assumes a certain level of truth-telling for it to work right, otherwise it's a power move by the other person to get something that they want. A manipulation like this that is grounded in a seemingly-benign deception (per Scott) is not just dishonest, but it has the potential to wreck trust in that party for future discussion. On his site, people joked, "How do we know that all of these good comments about you aren't sockpuppets?" It was said in jest (if I recall correctly), but indeed, how does one know if there's an established history? This potential damage to communication in relationships tips the scale away from pragmatic concerns about needing to lie about one's identity. The real irony is that he said that he lied about his identity as the only true way to defend it, while in the process he did more damage to the public perception of his character than was there in the first place.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:38 AM on April 19, 2011


If his account was not 100% cotton, MeFites are fascists. Maybe he is a genius?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:38 AM on April 19, 2011


My sock puppet would be Jane Austen.
posted by lodurr at 9:38 AM on April 19, 2011


Miko: "I don't even think he was saying anything about "never come back." Presumably, if he had just moved to other threads and stopped talking about how great Scott Adams was, that would have been an OK outcome too."

Hmm. That wasn't the sense I got from what Cortex said. I'd rather let Cortex speak for himself, but I just didn't think that "Okay, you can stay on MetaFilter without revealing who you are, but you have to avoid threads about yourself" was an alternative. I could be wrong.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:39 AM on April 19, 2011


christ, you people are going to shit bricks when you figure out who i really am.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:40 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon: "christ, you people are going to shit bricks when you figure out who i really am"

Dammit, I just recovered from a ruptured hemorrhoid, too.
posted by charred husk at 9:41 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMG QUONSAR IS CHARLIE SHEEN
posted by KathrynT at 9:42 AM on April 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I have been saving up these bricks to build a temple. Of fun.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:43 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Salon's take on the matter.

They capitalized cortex's name.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:45 AM on April 19, 2011


Wow, for those of us concerned about Adams' mental health, he responds in a comment:

Interesting observation. I've been doing more weight training than usual at the same time my total weight is down. I also added fish to my diet after years of being a vegetarian. In theory, those lifestyle changes would increase my testosterone levels and explain a change in my level of aggressiveness and risk taking. Free will is just superstition, so if the change is real, it's probably chemical or medical. -- Scott
posted by Miko at 9:46 AM on April 19, 2011


ROLL OUT THE TEMPLE

ROLL OUT THE TEMPLE OF FUN.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which makes Adams' choice so puzzling.

My guess (and I really am just guessing, given what he's said, etc) is that he misread the e-mail mathowie sent him and thought the choices were out himself or have mathowie out him.
posted by meese at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scott Adams: "Free will is just superstition..."

"... so I'm not responsible for anything that I do."

I'm confused. That's not how I thought Libertarianism worked....
posted by lodurr at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2011


Actually, Cortex has already answered this question. As he noted above, he posted the full email to Adams, and he explicitly said that Adams had to disclose or stop using the account altogether.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2011


meese: "My guess (and I really am just guessing, given what he's said, etc) is that he misread the e-mail mathowie sent him and thought the choices were out himself or have mathowie out him."

I've gotten that impression as well, but he's not willing to admit a mistake even about that. That would call into question the genius of his response.
posted by brundlefly at 9:52 AM on April 19, 2011


meese: "My guess (and I really am just guessing, given what he's said, etc) is that he misread the e-mail mathowie sent him and thought the choices were out himself or have mathowie out him."

Adams does have a genius-level IQ, of course, but even someone that brilliant should be able to understand this sentence:

"We need you to promptly either disclose your identity in that conversation or stop using the account."

Though hmm, now I'm back-tracking on my comment of a moment ago, because Cortex also said that Adams had to "com[e] clean or step[] out of the discussion." So maybe Cortex can clarify if it would have been acceptable for Adams to just stop commenting in that thread, never reveal his identity, but continue to his account elsewhere on MeFi.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:52 AM on April 19, 2011


Wow. Somebody over on the Scott Adams blog name-checked Pot and Kettle. Do any of you people realize how much self-control it is taking to not post as Pot and Kettle over there - in a fight about sockpuppets?! MY HEAD! MY HEAD IS HURTING! MUST. NOT. TROLL...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:55 AM on April 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'd rather let Cortex speak for himself, but I just didn't think that "Okay, you can stay on MetaFilter without revealing who you are, but you have to avoid threads about yourself" was an alternative. I could be wrong.

What it is is a really unlikely outcome. In the very unlikely case that Scott Adams went from weirdo sockpuppet bullshit transgressions on his first day or so on the site to deciding he really genuinely wanted to be a good faith member of the Metafilter community, yeah, it'd be an option but it'd come with a very short leash as far as any further identity references or Adams-related discussions went, and I'd have recommended that he just get a new account entirely at that point just to decrease the likelihood of it being an ongoing dramarama thing.

But, again, unlikely outcome and so not something we've put a lot of words into in the discussions about it so far. It seemed far more likely that either (a) he would just not have any reason to want to stick around or (b) he would come clean. I kind of expected in the latter case that he'd be acknowledging the fuckup and maybe trying to make it right somehow if only through frank conversation about the whole thing or something, but I have guessed wrong about plenty of things before as well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 AM on April 19, 2011


If he backed off, then and there, stepped out of the thread and didn't show up again on MeFi as someone basically pretending to be "anyone BUT Scott Adams" that would have been okay. Not great, but acceptable. People make blindingly stupid mistakes which is a charitable interpretation of what went down. So yeah abusing the community trust is a shitty thing to do, but it's something we could forgive.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:58 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I name-checked the Pot and Kettle accounts on mefi specifically in the big reddit thread, too, though I don't know if it's related; there was a branch of conversation along the lines of "mefi sux, on reddit we have funny sockpuppet accounts" and I was like, uh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 AM on April 19, 2011


I should come to MeTa more often. You come to catch up on the back channel, and you get three pages of running ruff riffs. Where else?!
posted by lodurr at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2011


who is scott adams?
posted by 29 at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anywhere there are geeks who enjoy ruffs, lodurr?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2011


who is scott adams?

I'm sorry, that is wrong. Let's see how much you wagered. /Trebek
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:12 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't see any problem with this entire fiasco since nearly every person with an account here has a stupid sock-puppet account (aside from myself, since I do all my trolling via my only account). This is not a new problem, nor is it an issue we should debate. Alternate account discovered, alternate account banned. Move on.
posted by 29 at 10:15 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh lord, he's using the "It can't be racist because I don't even SEE color" defense regarding the Obama-as-chimpanzee e-mail kerfuffle. In response to someone who points out the long history of comparing non-whites to apes, he writes:

[If you see Obama as "a black man," I can see why you'd feel that way. That seems a bit racist to me. If you see him as a Harvard educated leader of the most powerful country in the history of civilization, it's a bit easier to embrace the post-racism mindset. -- Scott]

What's next? The "black friend" defense?
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:16 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Boy, they're really liberal with the thumbs up/down over there. My comment where I name-checked my friends Pot and Kettle has a +58 rating. I figure that'd be a 3, maybe 4 favorites comment here.
posted by hades at 10:16 AM on April 19, 2011


It occurred to me that if time isn't linear, Scott Adams could have visited us this weekend from 1993 Compuserve, where he is 15 years old and just read The Fountainhead.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:17 AM on April 19, 2011 [39 favorites]


I have never had a MeFi sock puppet account. Never really did much with them at all. Once upon a time I created a Yahoo sock puppet (BarcaRaptor, most deadly of the Loungesaurs) that used to get passed around for comic effect on Dr. Toot's. But never on MeFi.
  1. Always seemed like too much work. I used to know a woman who claimed to have some ungodly number of fake dating profiles (ranging from teenage riot grrls to middle-aged male professors), and I never figured out how she had the time or kept them all straight.
  2. for a long time, I literally didn't know my MeFi password, so if I'd logged out to use a sockpuppet it would have been a crap shoot whether I could get back in.
  3. and after the $5 watershed, I just couldn't justify the cost.
If I were well-known enough to show up as a post, I think I'd probably retire 'lodurr' and register as myself.
posted by lodurr at 10:22 AM on April 19, 2011


I'm simply saying that Adams writing is more complex and nuanced than it appears at first glance--hence my comment that you have to read him for a while before you really get what's he's trying to do.

That does not sound like nuance. That sounds like poor writing.
posted by maryr at 10:22 AM on April 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


That whole discussion about whether or not the PlannedChaos counts as a sockpuppet or not is irrelevant anyway. We don't have a "no sockpuppets allowed" rule. What we have is more a "don't be a dick" guideline, and sockpuppets are only disallowed to the extent that people are using them in a dickish manner.

The good thing about this guideline is that it requires some human judgement to apply it in any situation. So people do not get thrown out of here on technicalities, but they also don't get to stick around, after behaving badly, just because of some technicality either.

I also don't understand why he says this...
"Usually I do it for reasons of safety or economics, but sometimes it's just because I don't like sadists and bullies."
... and in the same blog post also says ...
"With that said, I have to confess that giving verbal wedgies to people who desperately deserve them, in a public forum, is a lot more fun than you imagine."
... which seems like pretty much the textbook definition of sadism, to me.

Until this all happened, I actually used to enjoy Dilbert cartoons. I knew about some of the odd blog entries and other stuff he'd written that I didn't agree with. But there are plenty of artists in various fields whose work I like, even if I don't like some of their words or actions.

However, this incident feels personal, especially how nasty he was to the moderators here, who are really very nice people. So now I can't even think about Dilbert any more without being reminded of what a dick Adams was to them, and as a result the cartoon has been ruined for me by its own creator. Boo!
posted by FishBike at 10:23 AM on April 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I can't help but feel that Scott Adams is secretly getting off on all of this attention, and the more we ponder it here, the more off he's getting.
posted by crunchland at 10:23 AM on April 19, 2011


just that the arbitrariness of the term sock-puppet is sort of a known thing and I don't think its meaning is mission critical to whether or not this was some bullshit.

True, but like "troll", there's a trajectory to it, and it depends a lot on whether you're taking a very self-contained view of a site or a broader perspective, with the Mary Rosh / sprezzatura cases preceding the definition that some of those Reddit commenters want to run with. You shall know them by their actions, and Adams' resemblance to Lee Siegel here makes it a less-than-hard case for the mods.
posted by holgate at 10:25 AM on April 19, 2011


That makes a lot of sense to me, thirteenkiller. He basically wanted one last trip before Skynet becomes self-aware a little less than ten hours from now (April 19th, 2011, 8:11 p.m., Pacific). After that, the timeline gets pretty sketchy. All those semi-autonomous quadrocopters will be flashed with killware as fab-labs and RepRaps start spitting out killer droids ready to explode on anything with a hominid visage, courtesy of that latest Predator software. After this, he'll have lost so much face he will be unidentifiable to the machines and ready to rebuild in the rubble.

A plan of which only a genius could conceive.
posted by adipocere at 10:29 AM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


[If you see Obama as "a black man," I can see why you'd feel that way. That seems a bit racist to me. If you see him as a Harvard educated leader of the most powerful country in the history of civilization, it's a bit easier to embrace the post-racism mindset. -- Scott]

So what he's saying is that the post-racism mindset makes you incapable of perceiving not only race, but racism? Like when someone makes a racist comment, Scott Adams gets all bewildered and is like 'What is it about the target of this comment that would set off such a pronouncement? Egads, it must be a satire of political nature!'
posted by shakespeherian at 10:32 AM on April 19, 2011 [17 favorites]


Celebrity physics is different. Once the conversation started about whether or not my identity would be revealed, it was only a matter of time, through one channel or another. They've said at least four of them were in the conversation, and I'm guessing at least one of them has a friend outside of work.

He's implying that the mods don't have many friends. Or rather, "at least one of them has a friend outside of work. Wow, the Huge Celebrity had to out himself or Cortex would run to The Enquirer with the Deets!

Negging the mods ain't Ever a good idea.
posted by ldthomps at 10:32 AM on April 19, 2011


crunchland: I can't help but feel that Scott Adams is secretly getting off on all of this attention...

What would be the secret about it, again?

If we keep talking about this, we keep talking about it for our own reasons -- if we do so with any agenda of getting Scott to atone for his dickishness, we're destined to be disappointed. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you haven't already thought of in that regard.
posted by lodurr at 10:36 AM on April 19, 2011


Has there been a Book of Mormon thread yet? I'm thinking that'd be fun.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:39 AM on April 19, 2011


You know what's funny? When Obama's MetaFilter sockpuppet account fights it out with Gandhi's MetaFilter sockpuppet account, and they don't even know it! The Cabal is all, like: "HI. LARRRY. OUS!!!"*

*there is no cabal
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:39 AM on April 19, 2011


Skynet becomes self-aware a little less than ten hours from now (April 19th, 2011, 8:11 p.m., Pacific)

Seeing this a lot today. I guess it comes from some tv show? Judgement Day is August 29, 1997.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:41 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:46 AM on April 19, 2011


who is scott adams?

I think he's the guy who used to make text adventure games.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:48 AM on April 19, 2011


I think he's the guy who used to make text adventure games.

Actually, I shouldn't pull that Scott into this discussion. He's a very decent chap. Sorry.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:49 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


What timeline are YOU in, BeerFilter? 'cause mine is over here.

Anyone want to code something up for Outlook where it moves your Judgment Day scheduled appointment around? This is getting mighty inconvenient. Maybe something for Microsoft Project, too. Basecamp. C'mon, if Skynet is going to exterminate the whole human race you know there has to be a Gantt chart in there somewhere. Also, how are we measuring deliverables on this?
posted by adipocere at 10:53 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


BeerFilter: 4/19/11 is Judgement Day in the Sarah Connor Chronicles.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:53 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which is my point exactly (I'm doing that thing where the ones I don't like never happened).
posted by BeerFilter at 10:58 AM on April 19, 2011


The problem with all these Judgement Day timelines is that *eventually* the damned robots are going to get it right.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, BeerFilter will soon send a rubber-skinned Fox executive with the processing power of an old D-Link hub (almost indistinguishable from regular Fox executives) back in time to cancel the Sarah Connor Chronicles before they even shot a pilot. It will have never happened.

Time travel makes for interesting verb tenses.
posted by adipocere at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


And he would've gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for that MEDDLING DOG.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:02 AM on April 19, 2011


I'm glad we finally got this conversation to where we all knew it would end up eventually - Terminator timelines.

As far as I am concerned we can accept the T:SCC as the true timeline, because it ignores the two shitty movies, like we all should.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:03 AM on April 19, 2011


Keith Olbermann just tweeted about it. This isn't going away.
posted by minifigs at 11:04 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't 1997 also the year that Khaaaaaaaan is emperor of the earth or something?
posted by epersonae at 11:05 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, somehow I think we've willun uphaved this conversation before.
posted by BeerFilter at 11:06 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Keith Olbermann just tweeted about Terminator timeline retcons?
posted by lodurr at 11:11 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Keith Olbermann just tweeted about it. This isn't going away.

Finally, the premier symbol of rational and sane discourse has weighed in. Our long national nightmare is over.
posted by muddgirl at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Colbert Report in 3... 2... 1...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:14 AM on April 19, 2011


Maybe we can finally get FAMOUS MONSTER to come clean about being Stephen Colbert.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:17 AM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fascinating...soon, the number of comments will have surpassed palin or even, more rightly, the earthquakes.

Catbert must have had a hand in this little PR frenzy...
posted by infini at 11:18 AM on April 19, 2011


April 19th, aside from my mom's birthday, is also the day the first shots of the American Revolution were fired. Right wing extremist groups are fond of the day. It's also the day Timothy McVeigh did his attack on the Oklahoma City Building (Inspired by the Waco Siege which ended on this day).

Not trying to get anyone scared or worried. Just noting that today is significant for reasons aside from Portal 2 and Terminator.

Also, today is Bicycle Day, the first day that LSD was taken intentionally.

Clearly, there must be a connection.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:21 AM on April 19, 2011


Now that all of this is (maybe) calming down, I would like to chime in to say that there are a few things that completely irritate me.

1. People who boast about being a genius or having a high IQ.
2. People who act like complete tools to get attention.
3. Dilbert cartoons.

Years ago someone (probably someone from Fark or Something Awful) redid several Dilbert cartoons to add in offensive humor, and I remember showing them to a friend and saying, "Wow, they actually made Dilbert funny!" Then from what I recall Scott Adams got those cartoons taken offline. I remember watching them get mirrored and moved and reposted and being amused by it. Yes, he had a right to object. But I don't like Dilbert and I never cared much for the man behind it, so the mean side of me got a real kick out of it. I've resisted commenting, resisted adding even my whisper-volume lurker's voice to any of this, as I don't think someone like Scott Adams deserves any attention. But what's impressed me about all of this is how well the mods handled it, and how much it's reaffirmed my positive impression of mefites in general. Yes, there was some piling on, and yes, it got more attention than perhaps it should have, but today I'm really quite happy to say I'm a member of this cesspool.

(Oh, and Astro Zombie, this comment made my day.)
posted by routergirl at 11:21 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Damn, I forgot to throw in a token reference to current comments to show I'm still following along. Um. Hmm.

I will be Googling in a moment, but what on earth did the first intentional use of LSD have to do with bicycles?
posted by routergirl at 11:25 AM on April 19, 2011


fish
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:26 AM on April 19, 2011


> 3. Dilbert cartoons

I'll admit to being irritated more by people posting Dilbert cartoons than the cartoons themselves. If wallpapering your cubicle or surreptitiously posting a Dilbert cartoon on the breakroom bulletin board is your idea of dissent, then you deserve that shitty dead end job.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:26 AM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


> but what on earth did the first intentional use of LSD have to do with bicycles?

Abbie Hoffman rode his bike home after feeling loopy after accidentally ingesting a dose.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:27 AM on April 19, 2011


Albert, rather. Much cooler than Abbie could ever be.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:28 AM on April 19, 2011


I will be Googling in a moment, but what on earth did the first intentional use of LSD have to do with bicycles?

A woman is a man like a fish is a bicycle.
posted by Errant at 11:28 AM on April 19, 2011


It was Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized LSD. Bicycle incident.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:32 AM on April 19, 2011


Wow. You guys are better than Google. I got distracted by a shiny thing before I could search, and now I don't have to.
posted by routergirl at 11:34 AM on April 19, 2011


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit with the DMT lunch breaks.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:39 AM on April 19, 2011


Years ago someone (probably someone from Fark or Something Awful) redid several Dilbert cartoons to add in offensive humor
Pepperidge Farms The Internet remembers!
posted by Wolfdog at 11:44 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


my favorite dilbert comic
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:48 AM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I should feel bad for laughing at most of those, but this one sums up the entire thrust of Dilbert far better than any actual Dilbert comic could.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:49 AM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know a lot of Mefites are getting tired of this story propagating out to the mainstream media. It can seem a little like flogging a dead horse, from our perspective.

But I'm over here cheering on the spread. I mean, not everyone in the world reads Metafilter, or even skims it.

We're getting pretty close to the point when my dad will learn that Scott Adams is a dick and kind of crazy. The point where my dad hears about something is my personal marker for when a story has been effectively distributed to the larger culture.

Go forth, little story, and explain to everyone else what I've been trying to say for years!
posted by ErikaB at 11:58 AM on April 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I say that he's definitely certified.

Genius, not so much.
posted by Skeptic at 12:03 PM on April 19, 2011


Scott Adams is a misunderstood genius. Teach the controversy.

/messin' with ErikaB's dad
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:04 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


"[If you see Obama as "a black man," I can see why you'd feel that way. That seems a bit racist to me. If you see him as a Harvard educated leader of the most powerful country in the history of civilization, it's a bit easier to embrace the post-racism mindset. -- Scott]"

Dude, Colbert is being sarcastic when he says this.

But I do like, "Post-racism allows us to once again target minorities with racist tropes, but then it's their fault if they get offended because they're still caught up in the racism thing."

DAS RACIST!
posted by klangklangston at 12:10 PM on April 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


we shall dine on this for weeks.
posted by clavdivs at 12:12 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Personally, I'm enjoying how many first-time posters are signing up to Salon to defend him in that article's comments, then trying to establish a larger comment history as quickly as possible. That's some impressive WPM right there.

[comment thread placeholder!]
posted by stagewhisper at 12:16 PM on April 19, 2011


DAS RACIST!

We're not racist, we love white people
Ford trucks, apple pies, bald eagles
posted by shakespeherian at 12:20 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


then trying to establish a larger comment history as quickly as possible

wait, what? is your comment visibility based on the number of comments you've made or soemthing?
posted by lodurr at 12:31 PM on April 19, 2011


I think it's more so they don't seem like they just came onboard to defend their hero.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:47 PM on April 19, 2011


Ford was no hero.
posted by clavdivs at 12:52 PM on April 19, 2011


Either that, or Scott is furiously typing.
posted by crunchland at 12:52 PM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


not a bad race driver.
posted by clavdivs at 12:52 PM on April 19, 2011


I knew the wife was up to something. She's in Seattle visiting family. I'm scheduled to fly out there on the 21st. While ARMAGEDDON IS GOING ON!
posted by Splunge at 12:54 PM on April 19, 2011


10 years to the day crunch.
I'm celebrating with Lead and Mercuricum.
posted by clavdivs at 12:54 PM on April 19, 2011


I wonder if you could use mechanical turk for astroturfing. i assume amazon forbids comment spamming as a use but I wonder if you could set up the hits in such a way that it evaded their notice.
posted by lodurr at 1:02 PM on April 19, 2011


HOLY FUCK! I just went to login to my yahoo email account (don't judge me) and a pic of Adams and a headline about this whole meltdown was on the front page of yahoo.
posted by stagewhisper at 1:08 PM on April 19, 2011


which doesn't mean this whole thing has blown way up, but that yahoo stalks me. :(
posted by stagewhisper at 1:09 PM on April 19, 2011


So fish is detrimental?
posted by futz at 1:11 PM on April 19, 2011


364 depressingly typical comments on the Yahoo story and counting. Cortex, you know what you have to do...
posted by minifigs at 1:14 PM on April 19, 2011


routergirl: Then from what I recall Scott Adams got those cartoons taken offline.

i have a souvenir of that campaign.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:16 PM on April 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


April 19th, aside from my mom's birthday, is also the day the first shots of the American Revolution were fired. Right wing extremist groups are fond of the day. It's also the day Timothy McVeigh did his attack on the Oklahoma City Building (Inspired by the Waco Siege which ended on this day).

Don't forget the Columbine shooting and Hitler's birthday for April 20! I always hold my breath a little around 4/19 and 4/20.
posted by Mid at 1:25 PM on April 19, 2011


"Should we just leak this to some other blogs"

This thought, voiced by jessamyn, surprised me the most. I can understand the frustration and anger and follow the thought process that led to it, but is this something the mods here would do? Or, for that matter, have ever done?

I'm curious, especially now that so many agencies are picking up on this Scott Adams thing. Do we ever actively "leak" something from Metafilter?

I'm not talking about actual members writing blog posts on their own sites about threads they actually participated in, or mods doing the same; that happens all the time. Or about things showing up on Reddit because members here post there and vice versa.

I'm talking about surreptitiously alerting influential bloggers that something significant is going down. Like the Russian slave trade thing, or a celebrity being dickish, etc.

Does that happen?
posted by misha at 1:32 PM on April 19, 2011


364 depressingly typical comments on the Yahoo story and counting. Cortex, you know what you have to do...

There are some waters even I know better than to wade into.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:33 PM on April 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Now, the ride of Paul Revere
Set the nation on its ear,
And the shot at Lexington heard 'round the world,
When the British fired in the early dawn
The War of Independence had begun"

Schoolhouse rock

now that was a cartoon.
posted by clavdivs at 1:33 PM on April 19, 2011


*sigh* Such the polar opposite of Adam Savage...
posted by Melismata at 1:33 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


he rocks
posted by clavdivs at 1:34 PM on April 19, 2011


This thought, voiced by jessamyn, surprised me the most. I can understand the frustration and anger and follow the thought process that led to it, but is this something the mods here would do? Or, for that matter, have ever done?

No, see above; it's something that we'd grumble about over email, because email is a good place to grumble about shit we know isn't actually to be done. It's not something we would do or have done.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:36 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am reminded of my first webpage, back on Geocities. It was just a single long-ass page about things I liked. One of those was Dilbert. God knows why; being twelve I had no conception of cubicle life. I had some pictures up, probably took them from the United Media site. After some time I got a letter from their lawyers. I don't really remember what they threatened; I think it was just fines. I wished I'd saved those.

I don't remember where I was going here. I suck at telling stories.
posted by ego at 1:37 PM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I shall brave the fierce waters of Yahoo Comments and defend the honor of MetaFilter! Now all I have to do is come up with a suitable sockpuppet name...

AscottAdamscray?
pissChaos?
The Dogborne Ultimatum?
The Dilweed Principle?
BertBert?
Pointy Haired Chaos?

Oh, what the Hell... maybe I'll register all of them...

Oops! I forgot. I'm too lazy for that. Never mind.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:45 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Don't forget the Columbine shooting and Hitler's birthday for April 20! I always hold my breath a little around 4/19 and 4/20."

4/20 is also National Stoner Day and my dad's birthday.
posted by klangklangston at 1:48 PM on April 19, 2011


"No, see above; it's something that we'd grumble about over email, because email is a good place to grumble about shit we know isn't actually to be done. It's not something we would do or have done."

You leaked it to all the other blogs that I was a certified genius (the certificate, for CPR, has now expired).
posted by klangklangston at 1:49 PM on April 19, 2011


Adams talks a lot about context in his latest post, as he did before with the feminists sites. The thing is, that goes both ways. Why don't you take some time to get to know Metafilter, get to know the context of the community you are joining, before jumping in to join an argument and calling the place a cesspool because the community thinks you're acting like a jerk.

You were, in the thread, without doubt. As for the article in the WSJ, opinions will vary. If someone doesn't like it, they don't like it. You don't have to personally defend your honor. You put something in a widely read newspaper, you made an argument that is controversial. You have made other similar controversial statements. Some people won't like it, some people will. Get a thicker skin.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:58 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Link to the Yahoo story? Not seeing it.
posted by Mid at 2:01 PM on April 19, 2011


There are some waters even I know better than to wade into. --- Gimme a url. Crunchland goes where Cortex fears to tread.
posted by crunchland at 2:04 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yahoo article. Nothing wrong with the writeup, per se; I'm just not going to wade into that firehose of comments.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:07 PM on April 19, 2011


Yahoo story
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:07 PM on April 19, 2011


Of which there are e.g. 200 or so more than there were a half hour ago.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:08 PM on April 19, 2011


I am mostly terrified to discover that that many people get their information from Yahoo! News.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:11 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's like that bad tv show you just can't stay away from. You want to see how it ends, hoping the conclusion will make some sense of it all, but deep down, you know it won't.

But still, you hope....
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:14 PM on April 19, 2011


I just commented in the Yahoo thread: "corpex R sux."
posted by Mid at 2:17 PM on April 19, 2011


If you google "Scott Adams" and "metafilter", it's turning up all over. USA Today, Hollywood Reporter, Snopes, CNET.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:18 PM on April 19, 2011


Apparently, Yahoo News is an irony free zone. It's the only way I can comprehend a commenter on a Yahoo news story saying the following:

people have too much time on their hands.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:18 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm reading these Yahoo comments, and I've come (again) to a grim realization, that if Metafilter were to go away, I'd probably have virtually no continued web presence.

I just hate the level of discourse I find in nearly every other online community. There is no reasoning, no research, just people being loud and doing their absolute best to ignore any voice other than their own.
posted by quin at 2:23 PM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yahoo News comments have probably been unreadable for years but in the past two years I've noticed they have become Teabagger Central.
posted by jamaro at 2:23 PM on April 19, 2011


Shit. Now everybody is going to hate me too. DAMN YOUR ADAMSSSSSSS!!!!!
posted by eriko's sockpuppet at 2:31 PM on April 19, 2011


Scott Adams: "Free will is just superstition..."

"... so I'm not responsible for anything that I do."

I'm confused. That's not how I thought Libertarianism worked....


I believe that was an example of professional sarcasm.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:34 PM on April 19, 2011


When I am a sucessful cartoonist with millions of dollars, I think I'll spend my spare time trolling strangers.
posted by mecran01 at 2:38 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does that happen?

Again, no. It makes good complain-y talk on the mod list, but probably something best not joked about in liable-to-be-taken-out-of-context public.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:39 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I always hold my breath a little around . . . 4/20."

I see what you've done there
posted by chaff at 2:40 PM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Have you guys ever seen that photo of Dick Cheney? You know the one I mean. That guy is hung like a horse! It's no wonder liberals resent him so much.
posted by the Cabal at 2:42 PM on April 19, 2011


I heard he shot a man in the face.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:43 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, if you pay attention to context, maybe some future Einstein will prove that time is non-linear, meaning that the man's face shot pellet's into Cheney's shotgun. Have you ever considered that, or are you too stupid to grasp quantum physics?
posted by the Cabal at 2:45 PM on April 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


Actually, I'm pretty sure he doesn't believe in free will. In The Dilbert Principle and The Dilbert Future, he makes fun of the idea, and cites a hypnosis class he took that said humans act first and then rationalize, always.

He also cites that study where people do random actions, and then the pre-frontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with rational thought and planning the most) shows activity after the action. Showing that people didn't plan those actions rationally, even though they thought they did.

Of course, free will is a very complicated philosophical issue. You can believe that your decision making is electo-chemically based, but still feel responsible to make good decisions that also agree with your morality. You can still think and plan, even if you aren't some detached being that can act on truly random whims without regard for the universe's laws.

tl;dr: There's a lot of evidence against free will. That doesn't mean you can't help being a dick.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:46 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, everyone needs to watch this clip before they can be on Scott Adams' level.

Otherwise, how can you even say evolution and/or your commute to work will not be debunked?
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:49 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, those comments suck.
The metafilter people are tools who dislike Scott because he calls out dumb people as being dumb and deserving of being told they are dumb. They are whiny self-righteous babies. I applaud Scott for messing with them.
Which one of you did this?
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:52 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I always hold my breath a little around 4/19 and 4/20.

So, what you're saying is that you are Bill Clinton?

As a smrt one, I knew it all along.
I mean s-m-a-r-t one
posted by nomisxid at 2:53 PM on April 19, 2011


That's what I was supposed to post, isn't it?
posted by crunchland at 2:53 PM on April 19, 2011


I understand non-linear Q-physics all too well. The pellets, you see, simultaneously exist as part of the face, as part of the shot, as part of Cheney's hand, and as the lead that Cheney originally mined out of the paint from his children's toys. There is no before and after, no cause and effect. Only the eternal circle of Cheney. Which, as all geniuses know, is the 666th circle of Hell.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:55 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]



annihilations with Z-bosons produce few hard leptons.
posted by clavdivs at 3:02 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am mostly terrified to discover that that many people get their information from Yahoo! News.

Many people get their information from WBFK Eyewitness News 7, live and with even more helicopters.

But I think it's difficult for MeFites to grok people who habitually toss their two cents into the Grand Canyons of high-traffic, mass-participation, no-real-investment comments sections -- it's not really a conversational space, more like shouting at a TV, perhaps engaging the half-dozen comments posted either side, but with no coherent thread. I remember the point at which Slashdot went that way, and though it happened gradually there, it's in place from the outset at big media sites. Even the cesspits that are often found at local newspaper sites have some shape to them -- they're like really bad bars.

The kind of commenters who comment exclusively at Yahoo News, AOL, the BBC's Have Your Say etc. aren't going to think of this in terms of online community guidelines, because they don't consider online commenting as particapation in a community space.
posted by holgate at 3:03 PM on April 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


clearly a dark matter
posted by clavdivs at 3:04 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Either that, or Scott is furiously typing.

I'm pretty sure you're joking, but this illustrates a problem that will occur now that it's known he does this kind of thing. Every time someone writes a comment defending or supporting him, people are going to wonder if it's actually him writing it. He's just made it harder for anyone legitimately on his side to be taken seriously when they comment.
posted by FishBike at 3:11 PM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


because they don't consider online commenting as particapation in a community space.

Perhaps commenting ala news slaking is not perceived as participatory in a on-line community but a reaction in association with their own community.

or something else.
posted by clavdivs at 3:12 PM on April 19, 2011


He's just made it harder for anyone legitimately on his side to be taken seriously when they comment.

Good point, cortex.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:14 PM on April 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I see what you did there.
posted by zennie at 3:22 PM on April 19, 2011


Good point, cortex.

Don't make me get fuckin' reasonable on your ass.
posted by FishBike at 3:22 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good point me.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:23 PM on April 19, 2011


malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:23 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


He's just made it harder for anyone legitimately on his side to be taken seriously when they comment.

Especially since, looking at how heavily he intervenes in the comments in his own blog, I wouldn't be surprised if he had one or even several sock puppets at least there. In his place, I should consider spending a few weeks somewhere remote and without an Internet connection. The withdrawal will be brutal, though...
posted by Skeptic at 3:24 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, the story has made it to Yahoo? In that case, my dad will probably hear about it by the end of the day. (He's on AOL.) I'm so excited!

Regarding Adams' standpoint on free will, in his books (Dilbert Principle et al) he essentially espouses the belief that "humans have no free will, because I can make you do things without your conscious knowledge."

Most people draw the free will line at God and/or Fate. Scott Adams draws that line at... himself.
posted by ErikaB at 3:26 PM on April 19, 2011


If you google "Scott Adams" and "metafilter", it's turning up all over. USA Today, Hollywood Reporter, Snopes, CNET.

Testing this, I typed this seach into my phone and came up with the suggestions "scott adams men's rights... mensa... misogyny"; with those suggestions, if I was him, I'd want MetaFiter to replce it. But I'm not him. Seriously.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:29 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's so breathtakingly dumb is that the story would have probably been mostly stillborn despite Gawker if Scott Adams hadn't thoroughly revived it with his blog post. He could have jocularly referred to it very briefly and gone on with business as usual, and I doubt much of anyone would have been very intrigued, outside of our own communities (and even there, really, not so very much). But there was a whole series of choices he could have made along the way to bypass, sidestep, mitigate, or repair... and he punched every one of them in the dick.

He was offered Chance #1: the opportunity to just cut it out and walk away, keeping it strictly quiet, which he chose not to take... but Chance #2, he could have admitted and engaged in (relatively) good faith, and recovered a great deal of fallen dignity by being a bit smart and humble and maybe a little fun. But no. Still, luckily, Chance #3 was that he sockpuppeted and was found out on a Friday and could have just let it just die a natural death of weekend attrition, with pretty much a minimum of attention when it had almost no legs. But no, he decided to address it on his site later in the week ... which offered Chance #4 not to sound like a creep and a loon, and to say, briefly, "okay, silly fun and games and a goofy internet culture clash, but no hard feelings and no big deal." Not very reportable stuff there, really. But this was also handily disposed of when he dragged it all out and spurned Chance #5 not to come off as an entitled, peevish 14-year-old incredibly unsophisticated flame warrior (DMD? really, Scott? Really?), and zoomed right by Chance #6 not to sound like a racist skidmark on top of everything else by associating himself with vile racist propaganda as some bizarre part of his "defense."

It almost makes me dizzy. I think I read recently that he had let his P.R. people go? I don't know... it could have been an older article about the one restaurant that failed, but I remember he said something like, "now I'm unleashed" or something. All I can think is Good Lord, those poor people must have earned their money and then some while they were still onboard the Good Ship Dilbert.
posted by taz at 3:32 PM on April 19, 2011 [36 favorites]


I didn't see this kerfuffle while it was happening, and I neither know or care about Scott Adams.

I did want to say that I'm mightily impressed and heartened by cortex's handling of the situation. It seems like he struck the difficult balance between respecting a user's privacy and not allowing people to misrepresent themselves superbly.

Interesting to hear of Reddit debates on whether the term sock-puppetry applies here. That seems like a level of overthinking worthy of Mefi itself.
posted by philipy at 3:39 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think he's one of those people who doesn't understand how to be truly self-deprecating and confuses it with, like, the pick-up artist version of it, where you're negging yourself to demonstrate irony value or some such.

Of course, it's hard to be genuinely self-deprecating when you don't apparently respect anyone who disagrees with you, or have to do some elaborate dance of self-involvement by making their disagreement come through sycophants gently guiding you back from the cliff.

It reminds me of what people said about Michael Jackson and Saddam Hussein, and makes me wonder if Adams has just surrounded himself with so many people that tell him he's brilliant all the time that he doesn't have a good external check on when he's actually being a tremendous dumbass.
posted by klangklangston at 3:43 PM on April 19, 2011


wonder if Adams has just surrounded himself with so many people that tell him he's brilliant all the time that he doesn't have a good external check

Pretty hard when all of those people... are YOU.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:45 PM on April 19, 2011 [11 favorites]

cringey.
Nothing personal, but can we please stop adding 'y' to words to create new adjectives. It makes us sound stupid.
Sorry, but I'm going to have to get all noey on that.
posted by Flunkie at 3:46 PM on April 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


Faily
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:47 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


...it's turning up all over. USA Today, Hollywood Reporter, Snopes, CNET.

I remember Matt saying in the past that when Metafilter was mentioned in the NYT or something like The Russian Incident occurs there is an uptick in new members. Have you noticed any increase in signups since this Scott Adams deal (I don't think we have a name for it yet)?
posted by marxchivist at 3:51 PM on April 19, 2011


marxchivist, see above.
posted by ericost at 3:57 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someday, Kevin Smith is going to show up here. Y'all know that, right?
posted by Gator at 3:58 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Again?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:59 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This thread is like a great vacation from the typical grar.

If this is plannedchaos, I would like some more. Perhaps MetaFilter was a stuffy institution of civil discourse that needed a certified genius who doesn't play by the rules to break us out of our doldrums.

Or maybe this isn't a Robin Williams movie. Come to think of it, Robin Williams' characters are usually supposed to be likable, unlike a guy who calls our clubhouse a cesspool and makes himself look like a certified idiot in the process. :-/
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:02 PM on April 19, 2011


Someone on twitter also posted that Scott Adams is like a PUA, and I think that's an appropriate comparison. I think he's entrenched in the idea of "social engineering" for his own personal gain, especially after what ErikaB said about his ideas about free will. That implies to me that he has some deep-seated self-loathing and is trying anything to get some attention to make himself feel better.

I think we are all so frustrated because we can see that his intentions will only get him superficial praise. He puts forth all these so-called "thought experiments" so people will interact with him, but when he's called on his trolly bullshit, he demures and attempts a bunch of hand-waving to either dismiss it or imply that his critics are dumb, and oh i pwned you all anyway so I am still the king of this shit pile! I guess he feels like that's the best he can hope for from this crazy internet cesspool.

I just mostly feel sorry for him. If your goal is to con a bunch of strangers, all of whom you consider essentially dumb, blind cave-dwellers, then your inner life must be pretty insidious. The sad part is, he could have found a real and good community to interact with in MetaFilter, but he shit on that privilege by being an ignorant jerkwad.
posted by sarahnade at 4:05 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Today in history, The first FORTRAN program (other than internal IBM testing) runs at Westinghouse, producing a missing comma diagnostic.
posted by bleary at 4:06 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know what specifically Cromwell was beseeching the Church of Scotland to think it possible that they might be mistaken about?
posted by Flunkie at 4:06 PM on April 19, 2011


Famous troll is still troll.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:06 PM on April 19, 2011


Nothing personal, but can we please stop adding 'y' to words

Tell it to my great-nephews Hugh, Dew & Lou.

I'm going to go swim in some money now.
posted by mintcake! at 4:10 PM on April 19, 2011


Old joke is old.
posted by mintcake! at 4:11 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


don't you mean you're going to go swim in some mone now?
posted by taz at 4:12 PM on April 19, 2011


Narcissists always think they've taken the cake, even when they're holding crumbs.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:14 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never remember what 'PUA' stands for, then look it up, then get annoyed.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 4:24 PM on April 19, 2011


Does anyone know what specifically Cromwell was beseeching the Church of Scotland to think it possible that they might be mistaken about?

Being Scottish.


(It was about Scotland accepting the younger Charles Stuart as king.)
posted by Jehan at 4:29 PM on April 19, 2011


Heh. Just had someone get shirty over AskMe advice I gave 'em, send a handful of poorly-written messages calling me an asshole and threatening to report me, then when I explained how they could block MeMail, sent one final missive about how they were the ones who were really yanking my chain, and I thought, "Scott? Back so soon?"
posted by klangklangston at 4:36 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh for fuck's sake. People aren't allowed to call people assholes over MeMail, even you klang. Feel free to let them know that if they haven't blocked you already. This isn't the person you called a yutz, is it?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:39 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Covenanted King Chuck.
posted by clavdivs at 4:40 PM on April 19, 2011


"shirty?" Hadn't heard that one.

People aren't allowed to call people assholes over MeMail

Really? Not even when I'm being an asshole? Sweeeet!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:44 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shirty

You have to read a lot of Wodehouse.
posted by The Whelk at 4:58 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


You are acting like an asshole is the more polite term.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:58 PM on April 19, 2011


Alez Shirty- Internet maker-shaker.
posted by clavdivs at 4:58 PM on April 19, 2011


Christ this thread was a slog. Glad I finally got to the end. So he's still here, right? I didn't miss the pile on?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 5:00 PM on April 19, 2011


Roderick Spode and Tuppy Glossop- The cops in the DC and Marvel comics.
posted by clavdivs at 5:01 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Colbert Report in 3... 2... 1...

Hey Steven I live not far away and can bring my own lunch, just FYI.
posted by The Whelk at 5:06 PM on April 19, 2011


a summary so far
posted by The Whelk at 5:13 PM on April 19, 2011 [18 favorites]


And.... scene.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:15 PM on April 19, 2011


People aren't allowed to call people assholes over MeMail, even you klang.

That's an odd rule, it's a private conversation.

And I thought it was ok to call klang anything. He's a hippie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:17 PM on April 19, 2011


shake it out everyone, cry and hug.
posted by The Whelk at 5:17 PM on April 19, 2011


If Dilbert turned his starchy tie around, he could be classified as a lampshade.
posted by clavdivs at 5:18 PM on April 19, 2011


I read the comments on Adams' tl;dr post on his blog, and was personally offended on behalf of the mods. He was incredibly rude to Mathowie and Jessamyn, who (unsurprisingly) behaved with grace and class throughout.

I don't think I'll ever look at Dilbert the same way again.

Not that I looked at Dilbert much to start with, however. But still.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:25 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's an odd rule, it's a private conversation.

We set up MeMail so that people can connect with one another. It's turned on by default when you get a MetaFilter account. We want people to find it useful. We'd like them to use it. We make a general promise, as TeamMod that people will not use MeMail to hassle you, or if they do, they won't be allowed to be a community member here. This comes with a big IF. That IF is "IF you want to make a thing out of it."

I'm sure people call each other assholes over MeMail all the time actually. But we want to make sure that people don't use MeMail to harass other people.. So at the point at which you tell people to stop harassing you over MeMail and they don't, we'll step in if you want us to. Of course, it's easier to just block them on MeMail and forget about it, which is probably a better option. But this is one of those things where there's a strong, bright line rule in place that is only brought into play if someone asks us. But the rule is: you can't harass people over MeMail without risking getting yourself banned. Period.

This doesn't really apply if you're taunting or being an asshole to someone to begin with, and most of the time people complain to us about other people being jerks to them over MeMail it's because some normal insult-exchanging got out of hand and we usually advise them to just cool down instead of making a thing out of it. Hope that clarifies things.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:29 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Judging by the Memails I'm getting something was clarified.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:40 PM on April 19, 2011


I can't believe it's not butter!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:42 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


hmmm Josh Reads hasn't covered Dilbert or this. scandal?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:47 PM on April 19, 2011


People aren't allowed to call people assholes over MeMail, even you klang

Not even klang can get called an asshole? What is this world coming to?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:49 PM on April 19, 2011


Good God. Josh Reads is yet another Scott Adams sockpuppet. A scottpuppet, if you will.

How deep does this go?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:50 PM on April 19, 2011


dude he will fuck you up with his arm blaster it is truth
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on April 19, 2011


Cheney?
posted by Splunge at 5:56 PM on April 19, 2011


No thanks. Not hungry. I hate already.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:57 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


He was talking to the cigarette.
posted by fleacircus at 6:06 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


At least try the taters.
posted by Splunge at 6:08 PM on April 19, 2011


bird-shot in the face taters.
posted by clavdivs at 6:09 PM on April 19, 2011


Taint bad.
posted by Splunge at 6:09 PM on April 19, 2011


Does Dilbert have a penis?
posted by Skygazer at 6:11 PM on April 19, 2011


Yes. It's his tie.
posted by Floydd at 6:15 PM on April 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Showing you that I have been following Dilbert and Adams for a while, there was actually a series of Dilbert comics where it turned out that Dilbert got laid. It was allegedly proven because in the comic "post coitus", his tie was not curled up. it was flat, I guess signalling that, for that day, he was sated. I suppose.

I am not proud of this knowledge. But I have been a fan and I followed Adams blog way back when. Thus any disillusionment (or lately, outright anger) is not a new thing. I have seen his quality and his discourse crumble.

Just saying.
posted by Splunge at 6:21 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Splunge, that is disturbingly awesome.

The tie has been a symbol of sexual frustration.

We never suspected it. It's like how nobody knew Garfield was starving to death while talking to hallucinations.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:23 PM on April 19, 2011


Yeah - I remember hearing that, too, although I have no idea how accurate it is.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:25 PM on April 19, 2011


I'm pretty sure I remember that comic. His girlfriend, Liz (girl with a huge poofy ponytail) told him she didn't believe in sex before marriage. Dogbert talks to her saying he thought Dilbert would be upset about this, but he's calm, cool, relaxed...Could Dilbert have found religion? And, with a straightened tie, Dilbert remarks, "I think I'm a Unitarian." So dude was just tending to his own needs.
posted by Gator at 6:27 PM on April 19, 2011


Some philosoraptor on reddit was wondering why Garfield hates Monday if he has no job?
posted by BeerFilter at 6:27 PM on April 19, 2011


There is this.
posted by Splunge at 6:28 PM on April 19, 2011


So I guess the answer to the penis question is, yes but he just wanks. Sort of like his creator.
posted by Splunge at 6:30 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty impressed that pissing off MeFi now makes for newspaper headlines.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:31 PM on April 19, 2011


Some philosoraptor on reddit was wondering why Garfield hates Monday if he has no job?

Jon's fucking alarm clock is too loud. Duh! Some of us are trying to sleep!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:33 PM on April 19, 2011


Jon's fucking alarm clock is too loud. Duh! Some of us are trying to sleep!

Jon is a cartoonist, and doesn't work outside the house, so I'm afraid that theory doesn't hold.

And hey, it's my favorite Dilbert strip!
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:43 PM on April 19, 2011


You know, the Association has been trying to keep this kind of stuff out of the media. What with keeping the timestream clean and all that. We use MeFi or Mf as it's called in the future, as a clean base of operations. One of us, and I won't mention names, thought that Adams crazy quantum timestream evolution shit would be a good smoke screen.

Then this happens, or happened... Will happen?

Anyway. Now this is not just all over this timestream but it's bleeding into several other ones.

Do you people have any idea what a pain in the ass it is to keep making temporal copies of yourself that you actually have to meet with in otherwhere? They are so damn annoying!

I'm the real me! No I'M the real me! Fuck them, I'm the real me and I have to keep herd on a load of self-centered, drunk assholes that hardly work and spend their time on MetaFilter! And the features of each of us change all the time. Because we have to make sure we don't look exactly alike when we meet.

So one of us in the past decides to become wealthy. He uses all the shit Adams did. Becomes a cartoonist. Makes loads of... money...

Oh crap. Why didn't I realize?

One of ME is fucking Scott Adams!

I'm going to be so in trouble.
posted by Splunge at 6:48 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dang do I like Unitarian jokes.
posted by NoraReed at 6:52 PM on April 19, 2011


People can call me an asshole over memail if they want. If you have an unfulfilled need that this will fulfill knock yourself out. Also, I never knew you could block someone. Cool.

This thread has now used the word "asshole" 26 times. That has to be a record, right?

Fishbike?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:56 PM on April 19, 2011


What the fuck is wrong with Scott Adams? I mean Look at this shit
I'll begin by stipulating that any field of study is helpful in training a student's mind to become more of a learning machine. Two hundred years ago, when life itself was simple (feed the horse, plant the corn) you needed to make school artificially complicated to stretch a student's mind.

Really??
posted by kuatto at 6:56 PM on April 19, 2011


No one has called me an asshole via memail.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:57 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


As it happens, nobody has called Pablo Picasso an asshole vie memail, either.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:00 PM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


This thread has now used the word "asshole" 26 times. That has to be a record, right?

Fishbike?


Although post and comment text is not in the Infodump (so I can't run a query to find this out), and it's such a common word that trying to download and parse the search results for it would really beat up the server, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that 26 is nowhere near a record.
posted by FishBike at 7:08 PM on April 19, 2011


hippie johnny call me
posted by The Whelk at 7:08 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


True Joey Michaels, though the clever ones did so at table.
posted by clavdivs at 7:21 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


when life itself was simple

Oh, yeah! I know when that was! Never.
posted by Miko at 7:21 PM on April 19, 2011


Really??

I haven't commented on this mess yet (just found out about it), but Scott Adams strikes me as the kid of above average intelligence who works at a menial job and ends up thinking they're the smartest person in the room.

The insufferable one you run into over Thanksgiving at a neighborhood bar who has the whole world figured out and will tell you why their crazy ideas are great. They arrive at these great suppositions and feel the need to tell you because certainly you're smart and you'll understand where these morons won't!

There's a certain Holden Caufield complex about it, and you're worried that if you try to point out the're wrong, you'll end up like John Lennon and instead politely sip your beer, waiting for them to go to the bathroom so you can slip off and try to hit on the one girl you briefly dated in high school only to find out she has a family, 3 kids, doesn't work and you sort of want to tease her that the whole, "Going to Paris to write," thing didn't work out, but she seems genuinely happy so you keep it to yourself and when you tell them what you do you quickly realize that it is not fitting into the doctor/lawyer paradigm and they don't know whether to be impressed or not and that seems to genuinely confuse them, and a little of you dies inside and you wish you could just point and say, "That's my Ferrari!" instead of having to drive your mom's car for the weekend you're in town, what with the pillow and kleenex box in the front seat ...
posted by geoff. at 7:21 PM on April 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


26 times in what's becoming a megathread?

This seems like a rather low concentration of the phrase "asshole." Maybe not the lowest ever, but certainly something we should keep an eye on.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:21 PM on April 19, 2011


Yahoo News comments have probably been unreadable for years but in the past two years I've noticed they have become Teabagger Central.

Of late I've noticed a considerable number of new users may as well be posting from a bulleted list of Comments to Use Against 'Liberals'. It amuses me, because most of them do it so badly. I've started hovering to see the user number when I see a particularly ham-handedly propagandized comment, and thus far it has not failed me.

So they're here, too, but the nature of the discourse shuts the mechanism down a bit.
posted by winna at 7:23 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Clearly, the true course is to devolve into tight phrased Dilbertesque repartee.
posted by clavdivs at 7:37 PM on April 19, 2011


raparette repetitious
posted by clavdivs at 7:37 PM on April 19, 2011


This has been a little surprising to me. Virtually everyone participates using a pseudonym here. I signed up a long time ago before I understood that norm but I don't see it as dishonest for anyone to obscure their identity by using a pseudonym. I didn't know for a long time that cortex was Josh Millard. But I also didn't care. I certainly didn't think any less of him. As long as profile names are legitimately optional it seems odd to get bent out of shape by the use of pseudonyms at Metafilter, no matter who you are. Scott Adams was under no obligation to sign up as Scott Adams. The press coverage focusing on attempted anonymity as a transgression seems bizarre.

I'm trying to form some sort of rationale about why the circumstances should matter regarding the use of a pseudonyms when they're already common at Metafilter. But I can't. As far as I can tell the position seems to be that Scott Adams could have signed up as plannedchaos and participated pseudonymously on the site until the end of time. All the while tacitly stating that he was not Scott Adams and building that unspoken identity with every comment or post. But the instant he began participating in a way that made the tacit assumption ("He is not Scott Adams") carry significance in the thread, it became a violation. We even have a name for it. The practical upshot seems to be that any thread in which your pseudonymity allows you to benefit socially is off limits if that benefit is greater than what you would normally gain from the use of a pseudonym. If you're a celebrity. Unless you can participate without being a jerk. But only then because you can fly under the radar. That's pretty byzantine, and defeats the point of the pseudonym.

I don't particularly care about Scott Adams or Dilbert, but the reaction on the part of the mods strikes me as unsupportable.
posted by Jeff Howard at 7:45 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I guess the answer to the penis question is, yes but he just wanks. Sort of like his creator.

And he hits it!! And it's over the fence!! METAFILTER WINS THE PENNANT!! MEATFILTER WINS THE PENNANT!! METAFILTER WINS THE PENNANT!!

I have no idea if Adams is even still doing his market oriented and optimized bazillion-dollar generating pap for "unfree idiots" in cubicles anymore, but if he is, I have a feeling Dilbert's going to be kicking Dogbert in the face soon (or trying to fuck it with his tie). Thanks to the Metafilter: Cesspool of the internets. Destroyer of Geniuses, Deep and broad vein of get bent, to von mises assholes.

#27
posted by Skygazer at 7:48 PM on April 19, 2011


I don't have much to add, other than this whole debacle passed me by and I just found it today. Also, Scott Adams seems like a real prick.
posted by zardoz at 7:49 PM on April 19, 2011


"That's my Ferrari!" instead of having to drive your mom's car for the weekend you're in town, what with the pillow and kleenex box in the front seat ... and the I LUV GRANDMA sigh with the suction cup, that was the first to go and the tacklebox. Normally the Audi would be serviced this time around but hey, the folks a Tummys Roadhouse won't know, Hell, they wont even suspect and even if they do, I have parity to fall back on. The Foghat helps but I need to crack the window, Mom knows dank weed man. See, my system is crack DF window about 2 inches and compensate for wind direction and vechile speed. Always ash in a capped bottle. DO NOT drink it in the dark by accident, nicotine and fresca will produce interesting results and if swallowed, the arrhythmia might serve as a warning.
posted by clavdivs at 7:52 PM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


the reaction on the part of the mods strikes me as unsupportable.

Pseudonymity is just a smokescreen for the general "please do not abuse the community's trust" edict which is a heading that covers spamming, trolling, astroturfing and a whole lot of other things that we trust you not to do here. Scott Adams signing up to MetaFilter was no problem. Scott Adams commenting in a thread about himself where he pretended not to be himself was a problem. It's got pretty much nothing to do with pseudonymity except that if he had signed up as ScottAdams everyone would have had more of a tip-off into what was going on.

Sometimes people ask anonymous questions on AskMe. Sometimes, rarely, they then show up in those questions to defend the question asker. Since no one but the mods even knows who asked the question (and we only know if we go look it up, same as in this case) we can see someone misrepresenting themselves where no one else can. And, similar to the Scott Adams situation, we'll give people the option to knock it off or come clean or we'll knock it off for them (i.e. delete their responses from the thread, give them some time off if they won't stop of their own accord).

I think the press is spinning this the wrong way, but we've been pretty clear how things worked on our end. Pseudonyms are not a problem here. Pretending to be something you're not can be.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:56 PM on April 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


Jeff Howard writes "As long as profile names are legitimately optional it seems odd to get bent out of shape by the use of pseudonyms at Metafilter, no matter who you are. Scott Adams was under no obligation to sign up as Scott Adams. The press coverage focusing on attempted anonymity as a transgression seems bizarre. "

It's not the use of a handle that is the problem. Anonymity is fine and accepted. It's shilling for yourself (or I'd imagine your employer) via an anonymous account that is the problem and basically has been for as long as I can remember. It's in a similar vein to the dhoyt fiasco and has been verboten at least that long. If Larry signed up as BigBoatLover to shill for oracle in the recent Orcle thread that would have been just as bad if he didn't disclose his vested interest. And if BigBoatLover either refrains from speaking about himself in the third person or comes clean there would be no issue.

See also the case of a user pretending to not be their handle at a meetup.
posted by Mitheral at 8:00 PM on April 19, 2011


I didn't know for a long time that cortex was Josh Millard.

On the other hand, it was never a secret that I was Josh Millard. I don't particularly expect people to care what my real name is, but it's been there in the profile since day one. The degree to which people are pseudonymous on Metafilter or anywhere else because they are (a) trying to be anonymous vs. (b) just like using a handle for a username, and all the various issues related to that general subject, is a rich and complicated topic, certainly.

Scott Adams was under no obligation to sign up as Scott Adams. The press coverage focusing on attempted anonymity as a transgression seems bizarre.

I agree on both points.

On the first, though, our objection was not to his anonymity; it was to him using anonymity to dissemble and fuck with the metafilter community. That's why we sent him the "cut it out" message; the important thing was that that not continue to occur.

On the second point, how stuff that happens on metafilter gets reported outside of metafilter is almost always sort of bizarre. It gets weirder and more off-point the farther it gets from us—as annoying as some of the commenters on reddit were, for example, they at least mostly got that this was a thing happening on a web community and had a reasonable idea waht that meant; get out to reporting on places that are more news site than blog and it just gets more and more abstract.

Which is fine insofar as those news entities are talking about Scott Adams a lot more than they are about Metafilter, but when that wraps back around to Metafilter talking about the coverage it gets to being a source of real whiplash.

So, yes: anonymity is fine. Abusing anonymity is not so fine. Reporting "famous person goes anonymous" as in itself problematic is missing the point. I get the impression from Scott's writeup that that is a point he is very glad for news entities to miss, because it belies the very straightforward way in which what he did was ethically fucked.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:02 PM on April 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's not the name, it's the identity.
posted by crunchland at 8:08 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


The press coverage focusing on attempted anonymity as a transgression seems bizarre.

Using my "never mistake for malice what can be explained by incompetence" theory (though I confess, at some level the two become indistinguishable), I'm of the opinion that this is because of lazy "telephone" style reporting, where by the time it gets to the Yahoo! reporter, they're basing their report on the Slate report, which is base don the Reddit post, which is based on Gawker, which is based on...

You get my drift. If they'd bothered to do the research, their stories would be more accurate.

If Adams pulls a "win" out of this one, it will be because of lazy reporting.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:13 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know several renowned MeFites use their own names, but, out of curiosity, have any mods ever noticed/guessed the identity of a famous(ish) person who interacts with the community as a regular old anonymous user?

(Obviously, I'm not looking for names or usernames!)
posted by lesli212 at 8:14 PM on April 19, 2011


Fair enough, jessamyn and cortex. I've been trying to sort through the rationalization and one point still seems interesting. Would you have cared if his comments hadn't been disruptive? He almost immediately derailed that thread, and his comments were fairly transparent as to their authorship but I can imagine that it might have been possible to contribute to that thread less divisively as plannedchaos while maintaining anonymity.
posted by Jeff Howard at 8:16 PM on April 19, 2011


have any mods ever noticed/guessed the identity of a famous(ish) person who interacts with the community as a regular old anonymous user?

Sure. Having people's PayPal email addresses like we do now makes this sort of thing a lot less guesswork and a lot more just knowing. I don't think anyone's like totally in disguise [i.e. if you followed their lives/careers closely you'd probably know they were here] but they're definitely not out under their regular name.

Would you have cared if his comments hadn't been disruptive?

Sort of a counterfactual but really if he wasn't pretending to not be Scott Adams by talking about himself in the third person, I would have minded significantly less. We sort of talked about how he could have not made straight out "I am not Scott Adams" types of implications and still gotten a lot of the same content across and we might not have cared as much, but it's tough to tell after th fact.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:21 PM on April 19, 2011


If Adams pulls a "win" out of this one, it will be because of lazy reporting

Do we really care?
posted by francesca too at 8:27 PM on April 19, 2011


Would you have cared if his comments hadn't been disruptive?

If he had been playing a weird game but not being disruptive, he'd probably have gotten gentle email from me saying "hey, uh, you need to not play weird games" in any case; if it's was really, really mild it might have instead just been a situation where he went on our watchlist to keep an eye on in case it got less mild or continued being a weirdness.

We keep half an eye on a lot of new users; mostly this is to try and head off spam at the pass, but it also applies to folks who seem to be not getting mefi right away and who might need a little help or, in the worst case, a talking to and a timeout. You don't have to be famous to get that kind of mod attention, you just have to be new and maybe not getting metafilter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:34 PM on April 19, 2011


Repeated for emphasis: I have no idea how I missed this train-wreck the first go-around. What a dipshit.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:45 PM on April 19, 2011


have any mods ever noticed/guessed the identity of a famous(ish) person who interacts with the community as a regular old anonymous user?

It is time for me to reveal the truth. I am, in fact, a member of the Hohenlohe-Uffenheim-Speckfeld family. Although Wikipedia will tell you that my line became extinct with the death of Johann von Hohenlohe in 1412 at the battle of Battle of Kremmer Damm, in fact he had married in secret and the son, fearing persecution from those members of his family who had benefited from the dispersal of our estates, fled to Denmark to the court of Margaret I. My family lived there peacefully there until the upheaval of the Count's Feud, whereupon they fled to England. We lived in England as silversmiths until the throne was occupied by the Elector George. Since his family had refused to uphold our periodic claims to our rightful place, we left in a huff and went to America, where we still live today.

While I am by rights the heir to a town of seven thousand souls and 23 square miles of Bavaria, I am a very modest person, although I, too, am a certified genius.

It was very kind of cortex and jessamyn to conceal my lofty birth for so long, but blood will out in the end.
posted by winna at 9:34 PM on April 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am Naomi Wildman.
posted by clavdivs at 9:36 PM on April 19, 2011


I am Bil Keane AND Bill Watterson.
posted by maxwelton at 9:45 PM on April 19, 2011


I am actually the Norse God of Molybdenum, which is kind of embarassing, since Molybdenum is a Greek word. Being the Norse God of Molybdenum is of no use whatsoever.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:14 PM on April 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I am the Annoyed Librarian.
posted by unknowncommand at 10:16 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all Scott Adams. Goo goo goo joob.
posted by mintcake! at 10:18 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am impressed by the amount of difficulty some people have understanding that using multiple personalities to form a posse in support of one's own argument is (a) dick behavior and (b) damn weird.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am not the walrus. I am not the eggman. But I may be dead.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:31 PM on April 19, 2011


I just wanted to chime in and say that I agree strongly with what Trochanter said earlier.
posted by Trochanter at 10:34 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can say that again.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:36 PM on April 19, 2011


My actual name is Richard Romano. I won't get a hanko until I can find one that doesn't say King of Spoiled Milk.
posted by Splunge at 10:41 PM on April 19, 2011


So, most people here know me as Errant. I haven't been especially secretive about my identity -- my names in my profile -- but let's say I was the subject of an FPP in my guise as Alok Desai. It would be incredibly disingenuous of me to show up in that thread and talk about how awesome Alok Desai is. It would be especially disingenuous if I had every reason to believe that no one knew I was Alok Desai, so that I could convince the community that I was a third party just smitten with the incredible awesomeness that is some nobody in Seattle.

If Scott Adams wants to fire up another account and contribute to this community, I for one welcome him. As far as I'm concerned, he could even do it with that account. What he doesn't get to do is pretend that he's not himself, in a discussion about him. That's fucking with this community, and I care too much about this place to let that slide.
posted by Errant at 10:48 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm Lynn Johnston.

Sorry.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:58 PM on April 19, 2011


You killed Farley, you bastard!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:03 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well as far as internet identity goes, I used to own a few domains. Not only was my name there but my home address as well. At least for anyone who knew how to do a Whois. I was a bit worried about it for a while. Ultimately I let them run out. But anyone who wanted to do me evil could still find it. I don't really care.

But OTOH David Mabuse is still out there and he is a crazy fuck. So people should be aware of what they allow to be out on the intertubes, no doubt.

Ultimately, if you think about it, nobody is really "safe" in the world.

Me, I have a few tools that I keep handy, but not for internet assholes. I'm more worried about the folks that keep trying to break into my car. So I put up a surveillance system that watches my driveway and the front of my house.

Paranoid? No. The car was broken into. Lately, when the light goes on and records people, all I see is drunks pissing on the house across the driveway and then looking all surprised.

I could make a Tumblr blog with pictures.

Anyway I could care less about my identity being known really. I have used Splunge since it was my name on the original Asheron's Call, my first MMO on dial up.

Y'all want me? Come and get me. My Shi-Tzu barks at me when I move around. And my system is pretty good, computer wise.

I am paranoid. And I am careful because of that.
posted by Splunge at 11:04 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree with Splunge. Now he has to stop sharpening his shotgun and go to bed.

Did I do that right?
posted by Splunge at 11:08 PM on April 19, 2011


I'm trying to form some sort of rationale about why the circumstances should matter regarding the use of a pseudonyms when they're already common at Metafilter.

Once upon a time I opined that if if a guy who worked at, oh, say Pfizer, came on and spent a lot of time shilling Viagra or Celebrex while all the while pretending to, uh, sell cars for a living, I would hope that the powers that be would kick me him squarely in the groin.

I dare say I got my wish.

I had put "the smartest guy I ever met" with strike tags before the "I" in the first bit there, and even though it was blatantly obvious satire, it felt super wankerish. Tha'ts the issue.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:18 PM on April 19, 2011


"I'm Lynn Johnston."

I thought you looked younger lately!
posted by klangklangston at 11:20 PM on April 19, 2011


Bed time for me. After all, I have to fly through Armageddon on Thursday.
posted by Splunge at 11:36 PM on April 19, 2011


Whelk - You can have Hippie Johnny, I got a crush on that new bank teller!
posted by yellowbinder at 11:45 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am the Easter Bunny.

AKA Peter Cotton Tail.

And Metafilter is my peeps.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a bunny trail to attend too.
posted by Skygazer at 11:50 PM on April 19, 2011


Peak!, absolutely salty with vim.
posted by clavdivs at 1:15 AM on April 20, 2011


Okay, so here's my question -- and please forgive me if it's been asked already.

Reading mathowie's email to Scott, he basically gave him the choice of (A) quit it or (B) "we will have to address it publicly." Now I'm not going to assume that "we will have to address it publicly" would necessarily mean exposing Scott's identity, but why was (B) even an option to begin with? Why wasn't it just a choice between (A) quit it or (B) be banned? There's nothing wrong with banning people -- as someone who runs this site, mathowie is well within his rights to do that -- and it avoids the sticky issue of whether or not it's okay to expose someone's identity.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:40 AM on April 20, 2011


Well, it was a weird situation and a difficult call. I think it was probably better to keep the "address it publicly" option. What if "plannedchaos" had then started posting all over that Metafilter is banning anyone who defends Scott Adams? What if Scott Adams made a blog post about how his fans are banned at Metafilter? (that would be crazy, but hey, this is Scott we're talking about.) It's wiser to have the option to be able to say, "no, we don't allow sockpuppets to pimp themselves/their products on our site, and this was a sockpuppet account for that purpose." I think it's better not to paint yourself into a corner with regard to protecting people who love lying and cheating like it was their profession.

At any rate, he wasn't bullied. He could have just stopped, and nothing would have happened. He could have stopped, but continued posting on topics other than Scott Adams (yeah, I know – how boring, right?). He could have said he was Scott and actually tried to communicate, instead of all this YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT ME! I WIN! silliness. The only thing he couldn't do was continue posting about how great Scott Adams is as a fake third party without being banned and probably outed (even if not by mods, the banning would have told the tale). I think that's fair and reasonable.
posted by taz at 2:33 AM on April 20, 2011


If only he'd studied some history or literature, this all could have been avoided :(
posted by batmonkey at 2:48 AM on April 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


He could've been Raskolnikov, but Mother Nature ripped him off.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:14 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


If only he'd studied some history or literature, this all could have been avoided :(


Side note: Adams was rejected from art school.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:32 AM on April 20, 2011


......no, too easy.
posted by The Whelk at 4:26 AM on April 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


Seattle Weekly's The Daily Weekly Blog:
​A whole lot of people think that former Seattleite and "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams is a horrible prick. Even more of these people sprang up when he wrote a sexist rant comparing women to "the mentally handicapped." Then he was caught commenting on message boards pretending to be his own biggest fan. Now, in a weird attempt to move past the controversy, he's taken to comparing himself to Marilyn Davenport, the Orange County Tea Partier who sent the now-mildly-famous e-mail depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee.

It's the last two developments that have contributed to the cartoonist's public relations woes most recently.

posted by zarq at 4:26 AM on April 20, 2011


Damn, The Whelk, at least you could have made the joke. Now you've preemted it for anyone else too...
posted by Skeptic at 4:27 AM on April 20, 2011


Ok, ok. You know who else preempted jokes?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:33 AM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I, for one, welcome our new joke-pre-empting overlord.
posted by lodurr at 4:46 AM on April 20, 2011


You may begin pryamid construction now.
posted by The Whelk at 4:54 AM on April 20, 2011


Is a pryamid some sort of colossal panopticon?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:59 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scott Adams was born in Windham, New York in 1957. He grew up a big fan of the Peanuts comics, and started drawing his own comics at the age of six.

He's been drawing for over forty years, and Dilbert still looks the way it does? That is just sad. I know Adams is all proud of himself for managing to get to the top with minimal effort, but goddamn it chafes me that his comics are so stiff and expressionless after years of doing that shit as his day job. Most artists get better with time even if they don't try. Either he doesn't realize his art is terrible or he doesn't care, and after this kerfuffle I'm thinking it's somehow both.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:04 AM on April 20, 2011


What's more worrying is that he's apparently 54 years old & still trying to pull "dance, monkey, dance" shenanigans on the internet; explicitly & unashamedly, too.

That's gotta be triple the age at which that kind of juvenile shit ceases to appeal to any normal person, leading me to conclude that he has an IQ of 33.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:11 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Either he doesn't realize his art is terrible or he doesn't care, and after this kerfuffle I'm thinking it's somehow both.

Or that what many think is terrible art doesn't matter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:13 AM on April 20, 2011


The 'crappy artist' criticism bugs me. Many of the greatest cartoons had "crappy" art. Schultz was heavily criticized in his early days, and Larson happily admits that his cartooning is not high art. (Watterson work, OTOH, was/is brilliant. It's like minimalist poetry.) The best of the bad make their deficiencies a virtue (Kliban?). But even if you start out bad, you have to preserve a core style in order to stay recognizable. Adams has done that.

Maybe he sucks at art, maybe he doesn't. "Art" really isn't the key point of cartooning.
posted by lodurr at 5:16 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The cartoonist over here disagrees.
posted by The Whelk at 5:18 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Craft-wise, for the record, I think Adams isn't bad at what he does. It's just that I've come to see what he does as quite cynical and mean-spirited. He's analogous to the best of the bullying mockery comics: he could be the best at what he does, but at the end of the day he'd still be making his living selling ideas that are detrimental to the people who consume them.
posted by lodurr at 5:19 AM on April 20, 2011


Or that what many think is terrible art doesn't matter.

That's badly phrased and constructed before coffee. Let's try again: I think when people refer to Adam's art as bad, they're glossing over a couple of points. One is that art is subjective. Two is that Dilbert is a comic and saying "the art is bad" is completely missing that point that is only one component. There's the writing and pacing and themes and the combination of all of that with the art that makes a comic popular or not. Adam's stilted and sparse art, which almost looks computer try is a style that fits in perfectly with Dilbert's general themes and writing and made it work for a lot of people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:21 AM on April 20, 2011


OK, art isn't the key point for all cartoonists, or for most consumers of cartoons. Some focus on the ideas, others try to get the best of both.

I'm not saying I don't respect fine cartoon art when I see it. Just saying that it's not a requirement for drawing a good cartoon.

Unless you're disagreeing with me about Watterson. Then we're figthin'!
posted by lodurr at 5:22 AM on April 20, 2011


just to clarify, i was responding to The Whelk on assumption he was responding to me. I suppose the response does work for either me or BB.
posted by lodurr at 5:23 AM on April 20, 2011


I can't look at the postage-stamp sized Dilbert without thinking:

"In a 1988 interview, Bloom County cartoonist Berke Breathed bitterly described what he thought newspaper comic-strip syndicates really wanted: a sitcom strip drawn by a disaffected office worker whose work was simplistic enough to be legible no matter how small comics pages became. The following year, as if on cue, Scott Adams' comic strip Dilbert made its debut. "



Not that newspapers would be around much longer anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 AM on April 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


OK, art isn't the key point for all cartoonists, or for most consumers of cartoons.

I don't if it's THE key point, but it's A key point obviously.

Looking over some Dilbert strips, I think it's obvious that art isn't Adam's strong point, it's more the writing and the fact that a lot can relate to the situations, either specifically or generally. The visuals just help the writing. I don't think it's a bad thing, it's just differently from the visual wizardry of (hused tone now please) Calvin and Hobbes or Berke Breathed or even 9 Chickweed Lane (the only mainstream strip I can recall that strives to make the art important to telling the story).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 AM on April 20, 2011


I think it's obvious that art isn't Adam's strong point, it's more the writing and the fact that a lot can relate to the situations, either specifically or generally.

That's probably because he supposedly hasn't had to actually write a comic in years.

Once he attained a certain level of popularity amongst office workers, they'd simply inundate him with anecdotes about the latest stupid thing the HR department / consultant / manager / co-worker did, leaving him with little to do other than adapt the stories to his comic format.

I can't find a citation for this, but I believe that this came from the horse's mouth; apologies if incorrect.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:41 AM on April 20, 2011


Once he attained a certain level of popularity amongst office workers, they'd simply inundate him with anecdotes about the latest stupid thing the HR department / consultant / manager / co-worker did, leaving him with little to do other than adapt the stories to his comic format.

That's actually brilliant and a good idea.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:42 AM on April 20, 2011


Why is everyone eviscerating some syndicated hack when it's Hitler's birthday?
posted by Burhanistan at 5:46 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree -- from someone else, you could think of it as participation in the process, and the fact that he doesn't talk about it, if that's how it works, would be interesting. "Cutting edge" marketing theory would be to not just do that, but make it a virtue.

Also, I'd say it's still writing. You can't just take an idea and make it into a strip without reframing it.
posted by lodurr at 5:47 AM on April 20, 2011


Now "Nancy", THERE was a great comic strip.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:00 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know of a few artists who do that sort of thing, taking reader submissions and making them into comics. At the low-effort end, they're one-liners from blogs like "Not always right" popped into a word balloon over some generic art. On the other end, you get cute little short-form stories with pacing and accents added by the art. It's not inherently a bad technique.

I do vaguely recall reading something of the sort (that Scott pulls a lot of his content straight from reader submissions) in the DNRC e-newsletter years ago, back when I got it. I think there was something about how, as a cartoonist, he no longer worked in a soul-destroying cubicle environment, so he relied on those who do to keep him current.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:00 AM on April 20, 2011


Nancy



I know of a few artists who do that sort of thing, taking reader submissions and making them into comics. At the low-effort end, they're one-liners from blogs like "Not always right" popped into a word balloon over some generic art. On the other end, you get cute little short-form stories with pacing and accents added by the art. It's not inherently a bad technique



For better or worse, the entire Cheezburger Empire relies on reader submissions.
posted by The Whelk at 6:02 AM on April 20, 2011


That's "worse", you don't have equivocate.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:13 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once he attained a certain level of popularity amongst office workers, they'd simply inundate him with anecdotes about the latest stupid thing the HR department / consultant / manager / co-worker did, leaving him with little to do other than adapt the stories to his comic format.

Isn't this how UserFriendly works?
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:13 AM on April 20, 2011


Why is everyone eviscerating some syndicated hack when it's Hitler's birthday?

I already said "happy birthday" to him on Facebook, what more do you want??
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:16 AM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Once he attained a certain level of popularity amongst office workers, they'd simply inundate him with anecdotes about the latest stupid thing the HR department / consultant / manager / co-worker did, leaving him with little to do other than adapt the stories to his comic format.

That's what striking me as funny about this whole mess. I remember when Adams started listing his email address in the comic, how cool it was that this artist was embracing this new email thing. Where would Dilbert have gone if not for readers submitting ideas? It probably would have vanished into obscurity once he ran out of ideas of his own.

So in a sense, the internet made Adams. And now he goes and talks about what a cesspool it is, how communities like Metafilter are horrible, horrible places filled with losers. It reminds me of Metallica cracking down on Napster after it was the tapers who pretty much got them to where they were.

Congrats, Mr. Adams, you are Lars Ulrich but without the rhythm and groupies.
posted by bondcliff at 6:22 AM on April 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Congrats, Mr. Adams, you are Lars Ulrich but without the rhythm and groupies.

Well... maybe Adams plays tennis?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:45 AM on April 20, 2011


Reading mathowie's email to Scott, he basically gave him the choice of (A) quit it or (B) "we will have to address it publicly." Now I'm not going to assume that "we will have to address it publicly" would necessarily mean exposing Scott's identity, but why was (B) even an option to begin with? Why wasn't it just a choice between (A) quit it or (B) be banned? There's nothing wrong with banning people -- as someone who runs this site, mathowie is well within his rights to do that -- and it avoids the sticky issue of whether or not it's okay to expose someone's identity.

I talked about this some over at reddit; the answer is on the long side and written more for a general audience than how I'd write it for Metatalk, but I am not up to restating the whole thing right now.

The short version is that "stop it or else we'll...be very put out!" is not a negotiating position—something had to give, and we wanted that something to be either Scott cutting it out or Scott coming clean—and that if he didn't fess up or bug off, we'd have to close his account at minimum which in context would be close to outing him by implication given how weird a ban for just being sort of an obnoxious new person on mefi would look to savvy mefites.

If I had a time machine I'd redraft about three words of Matt's email to make it 100% unambiguous in intent. As it is, we never heard back from Scott to clarify the situation if he was in fact confused or concerned about our intent.

We're basically going to do everything we can to avoid disclosing someone's identity over their head. We did a lot in this case. But it's not bulletproof, and even trying to minimize the situation can lead circumstantially to outing-by-implication.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:51 AM on April 20, 2011


> It is time for me to reveal the truth. I am, in fact, a member of the Hohenlohe-Uffenheim-Speckfeld family. Although Wikipedia will tell you that my line became extinct with the death of Johann von Hohenlohe in 1412 at the battle of Battle of Kremmer Damm, in fact he had married in secret and the son, fearing persecution from those members of his family who had benefited from the dispersal of our estates, fled to Denmark to the court of Margaret I. My family lived there peacefully there until the upheaval of the Count's Feud, whereupon they fled to England. We lived in England as silversmiths until the throne was occupied by the Elector George. Since his family had refused to uphold our periodic claims to our rightful place, we left in a huff and went to America, where we still live today.

Man, I was sure that was going to end with a request for our bank information.
posted by languagehat at 7:01 AM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


If I had a time machine...

Memail me. It doesn't matter when.

We're basically going to do everything we can to avoid disclosing someone's identity over their head.

When I had closed this account and was off under another account, I never, ever got a single word about the mods telling anyone, to the point were evidently a certain number of people were asking about the closed account. Even though mods knew who I was, they never said a word, nor in any way made noises to me needing to come clean or some such. Even when I got fighty and grary with cortex for no good reason in public, there was never one word even slightly in that neighborhood.

When I come back under this account and closed the other way, they mentioned they were unhappy with having to repeatedly field questions about where I was/what happened to me etc and they'd prefer that not happen again, but again, there never a trace of "we'll have to disclose your identity"

This probably has to do with me not going into threads containing comments from the original account and saying how awesome Brandon Blatcher was and defending his intelligent and devilishly handsome comments.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:06 AM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hey, Brandon's got rhythm and groupies and a lotta spouses.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:08 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's certifiable, and that's hard to hide. [NOT BLATCHER-IST]
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:12 AM on April 20, 2011


This probably has to do with me not going into threads containing comments from the original account and saying how awesome Brandon Blatcher was and defending his intelligent and devilishly handsome comments.

That would have been an issue, yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 AM on April 20, 2011


This is more about Adams' troubles with the "women are cripples" thing but, I've been thinking about Carl Sagan's axiom:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

And I think there should be one like:

Extraordinarily dicey analogies require extraordinarily deft writing.
posted by Trochanter at 7:16 AM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


How do you make a handsome comment?
posted by Karmakaze at 7:19 AM on April 20, 2011


I just wanted to take this moment to say how awesome Brandon Blatcher is and would like to defend his intelligent and devilishly handsome comments.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:21 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]



How do you make a handsome comment?


Sign him up yourself with the bar with your smartphone.
posted by The Whelk at 7:22 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do you make a handsome comment?

Link to a photograph of Brandon Blatcher.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:22 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Side note: Adams was rejected from art school.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:32 AM on April 20

......no, too easy.
posted by The Whelk at 4:26 AM on April 20


Damn, The Whelk, at least you could have made the joke. Now you've preemted it for anyone else too...
posted by Skeptic at 4:27 AM on April 20


Ok, ok. You know who else preempted jokes?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:33 AM on April 20


Somebody should make a Downfall video. Just sayin'
posted by Skeptic at 7:30 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was actually serious with the note about Adams being rejected from art school and didn't get the memo about Hitler's birthday.

Had Adams gone to school, I wonder if he'd feel the same about getting a liberal art education. Would he have developed his practical/marketing & business skills or not? Oh, the mind boggles.

That would have been an issue, yes.

For the internets, ya'll are shockingly reasonable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 AM on April 20, 2011


If there is one thing I'm thankful for from all of this, it's that now I no longer have to say "Scott Adams, the guy who created the Adventure games, not Dilbert."

Now I can just say "the sane Scott Adams."
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:38 AM on April 20, 2011


Somebody should make a Downfall video. Just sayin'

About Hitler's birthday?

"Ze bar crawl vill start here und move to here...und here...und here. Ve vill finish up at Dave Und Buster's."

"Mein Fuhrer, zey..."

"Zhey haff closed D und B's fur remodeling."

*glasses come off*

"Zose who cannot beat Drehbeschleunigung Drehbeschleunigung Zucker on expert difficulty, leave ze room."
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:52 AM on April 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


Oh, man, I had no idea SA was that old. That just multiplies how pathetic his stunts are. I'm beginning to feel sorry for the guy—age fifty four and his best friend is a goddamn sockpuppet. That's just not right in the head.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:54 AM on April 20, 2011


That's nothing. Alan Moore is fifty-seven, and his god is a sockpuppet.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:57 AM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


My socks are only a couple of years old, and... something.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:00 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would pay good money to see a buddy movie with Scott Adams (by the book) and Alan Moore (loose cannon).

They could solve crimes!
posted by klangklangston at 8:00 AM on April 20, 2011


I'm pretty sure it ends in a showdown inside Alan's Magic Cave (Not a metaphor)
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on April 20, 2011


(It is a euphemism, though)
posted by shakespeherian at 8:04 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


(You're a euphemism)
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I'll euph your mism)
posted by shakespeherian at 8:06 AM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


(Why are we using parentheses?)
posted by cashman at 8:07 AM on April 20, 2011


Oh god, you called him SA and I thought you meant Something Awful.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:07 AM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


HEY OH!
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Newest blog entry at dilbert.com : "It has come to my attention that there are still a few people in the world that I have not offended. I'd like to fix that by endorsing Donald Trump for president."
posted by crunchland at 8:26 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: “I would pay good money to see a buddy movie with Scott Adams (by the book) and Alan Moore (loose cannon).”

I wouldn't. They'd probably steal all my popcorn and argue the whole time, and I'd miss the movie.
posted by koeselitz at 8:30 AM on April 20, 2011


From his latest blog entry:

"For example, if you have a coworker who likes to whistle little tunes in his cubicle, his blind spot is that he imagines other people are impressed and delighted by his whistling prowess."


No, Scott, his blind spot is that he has no fucking clue what an annoying asshat he's being.
posted by bondcliff at 8:37 AM on April 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


From that blog entry about Trump:

Brains are not wired for that sort of 180 turn. In the history of humankind, no one has ever said, "I thought I was a brilliant observer of politics but this new information proves that my brain is the size of a tiny mouse turd."

Hrm. Wonder who that reminds me of.
posted by gaspode at 8:38 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


no one has ever said, "I thought I was a brilliant observer of politics but this new information proves that my brain is the size of a tiny mouse turd."

What no one ever took entry level college classes?
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM on April 20, 2011


You have not offended me, Scott. Although I feel bad for all the headaches this has caused for the mods here, you haven't made me laugh this much in... ever. Not for the reasons you suppose, but hey - silver linings are worth a lot in recycling centers these days.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:46 AM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


From his newest post:

"Back to Trump. He's a graduate of the Wharton School, which means his intelligence is in the genius range."

Jesus, Adams is really obsessed with the whole genius thing, isn't he? At some point I hope he learns that people are more than the score of their IQ test, and placing intelligence as the highest thing to value is missing out on a lot.
posted by quin at 9:20 AM on April 20, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm simply saying that Adams writing is more complex and nuanced than it appears at first glance--hence my comment that you have to read him for a while before you really get what's he's trying to do.

Huh. My job - and by extension, several thousand pounds worth of marketing budgets - is very much dependent on reading comprehension. I read an awful lot of different articles, data sets and other texts each day because I have to know if what they're telling me is true, or a little bit fabricated, or the information isn't there at all. If someone who is, to all intents and purposes, a professional reading comprehender, can't understand your writing then perhaps (as with those who claim sarcasm doesn't carry in print) your writing is just not very easy to comprehend. Not because it's too clever, or too nuanced. Because it's just muddy.

The IQ thing reminds me of debates between mildly gifted high school kids on Bolt. 'So you're clever, are you? So why isn't your IQ on your profile?' The cleverest people I know let their intelligence speak for themselves.

I've never had mine tested, because dyspraxia means it would be a pretty poor reading, but I was classed as gifted from a very early age when I started reading adult books and newspapers by the time I was three. This does not make me any better at debating, or physics, or baking cakes, or maintaining relationships, or managing finances, or writing poetry than anybody else. What it does mean is that I probably spent more time in books than I did with people, and even if people did believe me when I told them that I could read my way through a Telegraph before starting reception class, it doesn't seem a great big deal to boast about. It's just a thing.
posted by mippy at 9:32 AM on April 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


OMG! I'm totally a genius too!
I'm sure everyone talks about it when they me-mail each other about me.

This has been one of the saddest things I've seen in a good long while. I mean dude, come on. Woefully, there might very well be more people who see his side of things than ours/ this one.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:38 AM on April 20, 2011


Oh, and any one who defends that racist fucking postcard is a jackass. Even more so than those who agree but know enough to shut up about it.
Seriously, for that alone I know identify him not quite as chaotic evil, but more like chaotic stupid.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:46 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


uh, I'm not talking about mippy, whatsoever
posted by From Bklyn at 9:48 AM on April 20, 2011


Oh, no, I'm very much Chaotic Good.
posted by mippy at 9:49 AM on April 20, 2011


Jesus, Adams is really obsessed with the whole genius thing, isn't he?

it's pretty pathetic. In my life experience, without exception, people who might legitimately be called geniuses never call themselves geniuses. Those who use the term for themselves are using it as basically a security blanket. There's no agreed-upon definition of what "genius" is, and no certifying body, so anyone at all is welcome to pull that mantle over themselves. More power to you. You're all genuises!

If I felt like engaging him I would probe who it is, exactly, that certified his genius, and on what basis. It's certainly not Mensa, which doesn't certify genius - they only require a specific performance on a specific set of tests, and membership just says you met that standard, not that you're a genius. It's really the funniest part of the whole event that someone would call himself a genius in all sincerity.
posted by Miko at 9:56 AM on April 20, 2011


I don't see what's so funny about it. I am a genius


God, the jokes just write themselves!
posted by From Bklyn at 9:59 AM on April 20, 2011


In the history of humankind, no one has ever said, "I thought I was a brilliant observer of politics but this new information proves that my brain is the size of a tiny mouse turd."

But they have quite often said "This information makes it clear to me that I was wrong about x, so I shall now construct new theories." That is, in fact, how science and technology advance.
posted by lodurr at 10:02 AM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


What's all this about racist postcards? I don't get it.
posted by koeselitz at 10:03 AM on April 20, 2011


"Back to Trump. He's a graduate of the Wharton School, which means his intelligence is in the genius range."

Jesus, Adams is really obsessed with the whole genius thing, isn't he?


To be fair (as much as it pains me to be fair to a guy who acts like such a fucking tool), it seems pretty clear to me that none of the post about Trump is intended to be taken seriously.
posted by dersins at 10:05 AM on April 20, 2011


What's all this about racist postcards? I don't get it.

Take off your knapsack, jeez!

In my life experience, without exception, people who might legitimately be called geniuses never call themselves geniuses.

I am not a genius (the test bores me to the point of making paper airplanes), but I'm smart enough not to act like a jackass too much.

If anything, Adams sounds bored. He's rich, well liked, a bestselling author, yadda yadda. It sounds like he's bored and needs to mess around with people to entertain himself. Like a kid on an endless summer afternoon, he finds ant mounds to poke and stir up, 'cause at least it's something to do.

Drawing Dilbert for years would bore the hell out of a lot of people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:14 AM on April 20, 2011

What's all this about racist postcards? I don't get it.
I think they're referring to the chimp image forwarded around by Marylin Davenport - its the sort of image that also gets passed around in postcard form.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:17 AM on April 20, 2011


Oh, yeah, parts of it are meant to be taken seriously. It's the old 'half in jest, all in earnest' crap. The parts that are serious are the parts where he expresses his admiration for Trump and extolls his intelligence and business acumen. Which is kind of insane, on one level -- how many times as Trump been bailed out financially by cronies and municipalities, again?

But at another level, it's simply exposing what Scott values: Deviousness. Clearly what he respects about Trump is the fact that he's such a fantastic liar, and I'm coming to realize that to Scott, being a really fantastic liar is more or less equivalent to being a "genius."

But Adams also appears to be a great adherent of the "it's only not sarcasm when I say it's not" school: He writes in such an intentionally unclear way that you can't tell what's supposed to be sarcastic and what's not, and that's his cover. If you take something seriously, he can mock you for it; if he's clearly in the wrong about something, he can fall back on the sarcasm defense. So if we highlight the "Trump graduated from Wharton therefore he's a genius" line, he gets to mock us for it, because clearly that was sarcasm. (Clearly. Clearly that, and not a cheap, sleazy way to set up your audience for a fall.)

It's essentially the same thing that Anne Coulter does when she complains that liberals have no sense of humor after a screedfull of 'ugly liberal chick' "jokes."
posted by lodurr at 10:18 AM on April 20, 2011 [19 favorites]


Hey, Brandon's got rhythm and groupies and a lotta spouses.

He's got rhythm
He's got groupies
He's got spouses
Who could ask for anything more?

Old man Blatcher
We don't mind him
You won't find him
Nommin' a dick ink...
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:28 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I suppose you guys don't really care, but personally I'm removing these two threads (MeTa and MeFi) from my recent activity. I'm so fucking done with Adams. The guy is a tool, and I'm tired of devoting brain-power calories to thinking about him. I keep seeing these things pop up in recent, and feel the need to respond to whatever new ridiculous thing he's spouted, but I just have zero shits left to give. See ya'll later.
posted by codacorolla at 10:58 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


MENSA can leave that residue of over confidence.
posted by clavdivs at 11:03 AM on April 20, 2011


Hey, cortex, if you're still reading this thread, I wondered if you could sort of compare and contrast why this whole thing played out differently than that jakeelala situation a while back. I understand that in the earlier case it was somebody else doing the outing, which is never OK, and there may not have been as clear-cut a real-world ID from the mod's perspective, but it seemed like in that case, outside a few verbal warnings, he was sort of given a free pass to keep doing what he was doing without needing to make his identity or relationship to the topic clear.
posted by anazgnos at 11:03 AM on April 20, 2011


Man oh man, I remember that being a mess. It's been a couple years so the specific details were hazy, but I think I remember exchanging a lot of email with that dude to try and make it clear why this really, really needed to be a put-up-or-shut-up situation and that us deleting some of the explicitly identifying comments in the thread was more of a policy situation than a condoning-his-behavior thing.

My comment from that thread seems like it's in about that territory. A little more a few minutes later in Metatalk.

It felt like the whole thing was badly exacerbated by his inability for a while to just back the hell off either way. Once he finally figured out that continuing to mix it up was having precisely the opposite of a cooling effect on people's speculation about his identity and motives, he cut it out. The email conversation I had going with him eventually led to him asking to just have everything gone, and that was a pretty straightforward "not a chance" thing.

Man. Yeah, that was a thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:25 AM on April 20, 2011


But yeah, on review part of it is that I think we just didn't realize initially how weird that situation was; if we'd understood immediately that it was a real sort of having-it-both-ways identity game going on we'd have stepped in a lot sooner to tell him to just walk away pronto. By the time it hit Metatalk there'd just been a lot of back and forth that made it hard to practically put the cat back in the bag, and people were understandably upset about the fuckery involved and so weren't super happy about us even making the attempt, policy or not.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on April 20, 2011


I can't believe I'm just hearing about it now. MetaFilter has officially outgrown me! I read headlines about Scot Adams defending himself on an "online forum" and even read part of the thread, but did not put two and two together until today.

The response he posted on his blog is... horrible. He conflates Gawker and Metafilter and kind of says that Metafilter will eventually kill people.

I used to have no real opinion on Scot Adams. Now I know he actually is as bad some some have said!
posted by cell divide at 11:59 AM on April 20, 2011


The jakeelala situation if I'm remembering it correctly [and we can see the deleted comments in the thread which I know you can't] includes a lot of MeFites putting 2 and 2 together and saying "Hey you're THIS GUY" in the thread based on a bunch of other information before we figured it out. So we were in a situation where as mods we didn't know what was going on before the general userbase did. Similar situation but our position in what went down when was a little different.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:01 PM on April 20, 2011


He conflates Gawker and Metafilter and kind of says that Metafilter will eventually kill people.

Yeah, but Metafilter knows what to do with the bodies.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:13 PM on April 20, 2011 [27 favorites]


Yeah, askme is just full of recipes...
posted by quin at 12:19 PM on April 20, 2011


oh, i read his blog just now, Oh. I have something to say. Oh, but can I use exerpts from his blog here? I won't if it will be precieved as kicking dust. But here is a taste.

Fatty Arbuckle- your prediction is refuted, by decades, baby, it can't get much worse then this, Try to keep myself away from me/ baby.

what do you about conspiracy Mr. Dilbert?

and mister...
Theres a skeleton in every mans house.

posted by clavdivs at 12:29 PM on April 20, 2011


Re: "shirty," "You have to read a lot of Wodehouse. (--The Whelk), I would add "or watch Buffy, even season 7."

Hell, at this point, I'd watch Season 3 of Veronica Mars (shudder) instead of any more Dilbert. And S3 is pretty much a good reason to gouge out your eyeballs and wail...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:56 PM on April 20, 2011


Ah, the jakeelala affair.

Memories and the coining of the now (in)famous phrase:
"I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine."
posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on April 20, 2011


Metafilter will eventually kill people.

I have this sudden urge to dip this comment in bronze and set it up over the fireplace.
posted by infini at 1:09 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


That will be eventually used against you in a court of law.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:12 PM on April 20, 2011


Metafilter will eventually kill people.

Eventually? Somebody hasn't been keeping up.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:12 PM on April 20, 2011


Well, hello, IRFH! Been a while. How's tricks?

I'm another one who found out about this mess on Twitter. I've seen worse take downs, and been in a couple of 'outing' threads. I can't say I enjoy them much. But then I don't enjoy scrubbing the toilet. It is something that needs to be done, though.

That will be eventually used against you in a court of law.

I'd be more worried about it being used against my head in the drawing room.
posted by lysdexic at 1:22 PM on April 20, 2011


That will be eventually used against you in a court of law.

Its poisoned fruit.


I'd be more worried about it being used against my head in the drawing room.
you read my mind
posted by infini at 1:23 PM on April 20, 2011


One problem with "genius" is that it's become such a debased term. I'm technically a genius, in as much as I'm a genius at taking IQ tests, but... really? An IQ above a particular point? I've spent the bulk of my adult life trying to make sure people can actually do their banking, get paid, pay for their groceries, that kind of thing. Not as a quant or an ecnomist or whatever, but one of those guys that grubs around horribly broken software and tries to make it work better. Does that sound like genius? Not to me.

Genius is the guy who invents some new medical proceedure or the gal who opens up a whole new branch of mathematics or something.

But, no, what we end up with is a bunch of socially maladapted twonks waving some damn-fool certificate from a bunch of socially maladapted under-achievers saying, "look at me, I'm a genius!" Hell, apparently working in tech support for Apple makes you a "genius".
posted by rodgerd at 1:31 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just yesterday someone yelled at me "is that really where you're parking, genius?!"
posted by found missing at 1:53 PM on April 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


>So, your genius is easily recognized by casual observers?
posted by rmd1023 at 1:54 PM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I believe that is my point.
posted by found missing at 1:55 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


did they offer you a certificate?
posted by rmd1023 at 1:56 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Extending the middle finger is the Genius Club gang sign, right?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:59 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


But, no, what we end up with is a bunch of socially maladapted twonks waving some damn-fool certificate from a bunch of socially maladapted under-achievers saying, "look at me, I'm a genius!"

What you are doing is called mensa-baiting.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:59 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have you guys ever seen that photo of Dick Cheney? You know the one I mean.

You mean the one where somebody photoshopped Bill Clinton's penis into Cheney's pants?
posted by Aquaman at 2:02 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


AKA, "Rubbing the Genius Bottle."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:02 PM on April 20, 2011


I thought it was Monica Lewinsky who did that.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:04 PM on April 20, 2011


Past the 'double dog dare' is the infamous catch all, the clincher and the deal breaker, it it is not yelling "Demogorgon" while fumbling St. Cuthberts, no.
I type these words now as i said aloud when i was 10.

"Aquaman"
posted by clavdivs at 2:09 PM on April 20, 2011


Easily your best yet.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:09 PM on April 20, 2011


I think my secret decoder ring is broken.
posted by hades at 2:11 PM on April 20, 2011


Yes?
posted by Aquaman at 2:13 PM on April 20, 2011


Demogorgon!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:14 PM on April 20, 2011


Shit. Fail.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:14 PM on April 20, 2011


I just read the blog entry on Trump by Adams, and in essence, reading between the sentences, it's one massive analogy. In that: Trump is to Birtherism as a Presidential candidate, as Adams is to Metafilter as a commenter.

See, it was all just a "prank," (ongoing too, wink nudge shhh....) and the whole "genius" thing was his way of yanking (and continuing to yank) Metafilter's chain, and there's no downside for him on this, just as there is on downside on Trump acting like a birtherism clown because he's not really running for the presidency, and well, Adams wasn't really defending himself cos both he and the DOnald are marketing geniuses and this is just one big win in getting eyeballs and getting people to think about you so as to all go towards the goal of making $$$$$bank$$$$$ .

See, his handle was plannedchaos, and he made all this happen.

Libertarian anarchists who worship Von Mises must be magical geniuses!! Every bit of BS that they take part in and spout off is as if Midas has broken wind and sprinkled gold dust upon the poor cubicle fools and masses who's minds cannot perform acrobatic turns of thought, and that gust of gold dust turns into a hurricane wind of pungent genius whipping itself up into a gale force onslaught of...profit and win and prosperity for EVERYONE.


I do believe next time SA, decides to sockpuppet his way back, as I'm sure he will at some point as that Trump entry in his blog belies he's pissed and smarting still, he should use the handle Planned Overcooked Douchery,.
posted by Skygazer at 2:15 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is the official longboat certification at 1000 comments? This has been interesting. It's a nice lesson that douchebaggery of all sorts will cause you trouble. There are people on MeFi who could stand to be reminded, too. Scott may be back, but I doubt he'd stay long; he likes to be the big fish in his own pond.
posted by theora55 at 2:29 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I actually kind of like Scott Adams, when all is said and done. Curmudgeons-in-arms, and all that.
posted by koeselitz at 2:32 PM on April 20, 2011


It's the old 'half in jest, all in earnest' crap ... He writes in such an intentionally unclear way that you can't tell what's supposed to be sarcastic and what's not, and that's his cover.

I think what you're circling is that he argues like a comic strip. All exchanges end with a gotcha or a zinger. It's not about constructing or learning anything, it's about winning points in little bite-sized attacks where the other guy's viewpoint is distorted to absurdity. Nothing carries over from moment to moment except the need to exact lulz from the situation.
posted by fleacircus at 2:53 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


The jakeelala situation if I'm remembering it correctly includes a lot of MeFites putting 2 and 2 together and saying "Hey you're THIS GUY" in the thread based on a bunch of other information before we figured it out.

The surprising part for me was the lady from the Wiley Watch page suggesting that it might not be her son, but her husband who had apparently coopted their son's user ID previously. That part put me deep into "tasting bile" territory.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:58 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Koeselitz: Curmudgeons-in-arms, and all that.

Sir, you do yourself a disservice. I know curmudgeons, I like curmudgeons. I curmudgeon like crazy in real life and have the scars to show for it. Adams is just an unethical, sneaky little prick.
posted by Skygazer at 3:11 PM on April 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Question: Do you really have to be a genius to work at Apple's 'Genius Bar?'
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on April 20, 2011


No, but you have to be a genius to drink there.
posted by koeselitz at 3:15 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think my secret decoder ring is broken.

Hold on. No, it's not. Just one more teeny twist. The message reads:
"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!"
posted by ericb at 3:16 PM on April 20, 2011


" ... he likes to be the big fish in his own pond cesspool."

FTFY.
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I will PayPal $25 to the first person that posts video of them bellying up to the counter at the Apple Store, sitting down at a stool, and then putting a 40oz malt liquor on the counter and taking long pulls from it while asking for help for their broken Apple product.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:19 PM on April 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Wish you'd told me that 40 OZ ago.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:35 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


twony fi dollar buys alot of bacon.
posted by clavdivs at 3:44 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Two words, Scott: Anne Rice.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:45 PM on April 20, 2011


I hates Von Mises to pieces.
posted by Splunge at 3:59 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Did Condi & Coulter finally tie the knot?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:02 PM on April 20, 2011

"You think he's a genius?" she said, raising her eyebrows....

"I don't know him quite well enough, yet. But I suspect so, a part of the time."

"Can you be a genius part of the time?"

"All the geniuses I ever met were so just part of the time. To qualify, you only have to be great once, you know. Once when it matters."
Lois McMaster Bujold, Komarr
posted by Lexica at 4:15 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


who buys apple products? I mean seriously...
posted by 29 at 4:28 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The same people who favorite their own comments?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:34 PM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


oh, snap
posted by found missing at 4:43 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this an argument? I came for a mental breakdown.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on April 20, 2011


I've got one you can have for next to nothing.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:10 PM on April 20, 2011


I've been paying high prices with "the other guys'" so I'm glad to have this discount!
posted by The Whelk at 5:12 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


While we're at it, Steve Jobs called the iPad "magical."

Then the media did investigative reports on the factory where they make this "magical" artifact. Turns out instead of hiring wizards, they'd been hiring a bunch of low-wage workers and working them in poor conditions relative to American standards.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:22 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


while the plight of the international wizard community goes unnoticed.
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


HE NEVER SAID IT WAS GOOD MAGIC!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:25 PM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's getting so a decent wizard can't make ends meet in this cut-throat man-eat-minotaur world.
posted by The Whelk at 5:28 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah crap, I just remembered how much I love Douglas Adams. Can we talk about him for a bit?
posted by localhuman at 5:53 PM on April 20, 2011


Turns out instead of hiring wizards, they'd been hiring a bunch of low-wage workers and working them in poor conditions relative to American standards.

Sounds like you slept through Sunday magic school as a kid. The wizards in the factory need the pain, suffering, and sometimes lives of the workers to make the ipads work. Sheez, everyone knows that! Sometimes when you break a magic artifact the soul smoke leaks out into the air. What more proof do you need, skeptic?! I know this is true because Scott Adams wrote a "thought experiment" about it in last week's WSJ. He's a genius and a scientist. Kinda like an emasculated middle-aged Batman who's always fighting villians like evolutionary biologists and the IPCC.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:16 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Inspector Gadget guy was great. But when he faked a Dr. Claw account he went too far.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:17 PM on April 20, 2011


IT"LL GET YOU NEXT TIME, ADAMS!
posted by The Whelk at 6:20 PM on April 20, 2011


"This blog will self-destruct in ten seconds."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:23 PM on April 20, 2011


Likes all watch Matthew Broderick embarrass himself
posted by The Whelk at 6:26 PM on April 20, 2011


On the subjects of pseudonyms and conflicts of interest: I have a Metafilter handle that is not my name. I could be using it right now to defend my profession in an open thread that takes a dim view of my line of work. But like Mister Adams, I have a CONFLICT of INTEREST. UNLIKE Mister Adams, rather than pretending to be someone else to pump my own tires, I follow my standard internet policy by staying out of that thread altogether. Have at it, I'll be over here. Same thing on an industry message board where I occasionally post but mostly lurk -- I never post in discussions pertaining to my specific workplace or company.
posted by evilcolonel at 6:40 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I honestly think that the anonymity and obfuscation are more problematic than the conflict of interest. We've had subjects of FPP appear and be like, "Hi, I'm that person, and I'm responding." I think it would be within the community's standards if you wanted to jump into a journalism post and discuss your viewpoint, if you were honest about the fact that you are actually a journalist (though of course you're not obligated to say a damned thing).

Lying about it changes things, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:48 PM on April 20, 2011


Hey, MetaFilter. I made you a shirt.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:14 PM on April 20, 2011 [12 favorites]


I lost the Internet, and all I got was this crappy AWESOME shirt.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:19 PM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Would be funnier if you could get him to sue you.
posted by Mid at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2011


Would be funnier if you could get him to sue you.

Oh just you wait.
posted by Floydd at 7:32 PM on April 20, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, the Internet Tossed Salad!
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 PM on April 20, 2011


I remember when Adams started listing his email address in the comic, how cool it was that this artist was embracing this new email thing. Where would Dilbert have gone if not for readers submitting ideas? It probably would have vanished into obscurity once he ran out of ideas of his own.

I uh don't think you are understanding how newspaper comics work good sir.

This is all kinda depressing from my perspective, but me and the evil imp on my left shoulder kinda hope it shows up in a Dilbert storyline one month hence. There might not be chuckles but there would be lulz.
posted by furiousthought at 7:52 PM on April 20, 2011


6 months. Newspaper comics have a 6 month lead time.
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 PM on April 20, 2011


6 months? That seems long unless it's changed... or if that's just for the Sunday strips? I am pretty sure that the Boondocks strips around 2000 were within at least 2 months, and quite sure the lead time wasn't that long for Bloom County, C & H etc. in the '80s. And also there weren't 6 months of new strips after Schulz died...
posted by furiousthought at 8:33 PM on April 20, 2011


I'd heard six weeks as a typical lead on delivery for newspaper dailies.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:37 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I forget who posted this but it turns out it's already a Dilbert storyline.
posted by polyhedron at 8:38 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but time isn't linear. He actually wrote that comic after he tried to troll Metafilter.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:59 PM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


If time is not linear then I never threw up in your boots, impel facto sir.
posted by The Whelk at 10:00 PM on April 20, 2011


Time is not linear is chronological cannot be erased.
posted by clavdivs at 10:04 PM on April 20, 2011


hence moral action of vomit boots never occurred, amerikan.
posted by clavdivs at 10:07 PM on April 20, 2011


Thanks for the explanation, cortex.

Yeah, I get what you're saying. I mean, if he were suddenly banned, I'm sure someone would post a MeTa to the effect of, "Hey, what happened here" and then you'd eventually have to explain.

I'm not really offended by the idea of someone defending themselves as a sockpuppet, because I generally try not to associate a username with a personality until I meet them in person. However, what Scott did was clearly against the rules, and so yeah, he shouldn't be allowed to partake in the community. Social contract and all that.

Ultimately, this was an interesting look at the inner workings of two entities, Metafilter and Scott Adams, and it's pretty obvious now that Adams is a ridiculous person. He clearly tangled with the wrong community.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:17 PM on April 20, 2011


Perhaps a Call for Papers.

Unplannedchaos: Username and public personae; motivational business paradigm in digital discourse.

I ask the peers to take into evidence this Barron’s 1996, Dictionary of computer and Internet terms. Exhibit A : No entry for “web log” nor “message board”. Thus, internets are chronological not linear.
But the most important, we are all special Koch snowflakes.

The man is not stupid, he had a motive and that what interests.
posted by clavdivs at 10:30 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The thing that puzzles me...if this is such a great community, how come I'm a member?
posted by maxwelton at 1:54 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're just a first degree initiate maxwelton. Those of us at the thirty-third degree mock you whilst we rest in piles of filthy lucre (why I am holding Scott Adams' $5 in my hand as we speak). As time goes by you shall become open to the mysteries and the CABAL shall welcome you into the inner circle.
posted by longbaugh at 2:37 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, please send $10,000 and we will enrol you in the first level audit program.
posted by the Cabal at 2:45 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


why I am holding Scott Adams' $5 in my hand as we speak

Please tell me "$5" isn't a euphemism.
posted by maxwelton at 2:47 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Though it would explain quite a bit if "$20" (e.g. "same as in town") is average.
posted by maxwelton at 2:50 AM on April 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's not a euphemism but it is a metaphor.

the circle is complete
posted by longbaugh at 3:13 AM on April 21, 2011


Yeah, I remember when I got my first "Adams Fiver."
posted by Trochanter at 5:58 AM on April 21, 2011


It's not a euphemism but it is a metaphor.

it's neither - it's a trope

as in "please grope my trope"
posted by pyramid termite at 7:48 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


More of a trompe l'oeil, in Adams' case.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:24 AM on April 21, 2011


Faint'o'Butt, the tshirt, it's, well, it's beautiful. You, my compatriot, are a genius.
posted by theora55 at 12:44 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aw, I was hoping It's Raining Florence Henderson's comment would be the last. Poor Coyote: thinks there's a highway, runs face first into a canyon wall.
posted by nobody at 1:01 PM on April 21, 2011


"meep-meep"
posted by clavdivs at 6:33 PM on April 21, 2011


Hello. How have you been? Good. Let us begin testing.
posted by The Whelk at 6:44 PM on April 21, 2011


Comics Alliance: Scott Adams Poses as His Own Fan on Message Boards to Defend Himself
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:43 PM on April 21, 2011


Y'know who's a celebrity who has every reason to be 10x more fuckedup than SA, yet instead became a real nice guy with a groovy life, lots of love, and lots of fun? (or seems to)

Wil Wheaton. Certified good human.

Scott Adams should aspire to be half the man as Wil.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:52 PM on April 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Hi, Wil!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:17 AM on April 22, 2011 [12 favorites]


Anyone have an idea why the Metafilter quotes in that CA write up are screen shots while the SA blog quotes are text? Seems weird considering Metafilter is so easy to link to.
posted by Mitheral at 4:30 AM on April 22, 2011


ooh, from the ComicsAlliance article -- they at least seem to get it:

Using a sockpuppet is this strange mixture of cowardice -- an unwillingness to own the words you say and accept the consequences that come with them -- and the sort of raging insecurity that makes it emotionally necessary for a "certified genius" and professional cartoonist to spend this much of his time defending himself against anonymous commenters he repeatedly identifies as "idiots."
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:16 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah the ComicsAlliance story is the only one I have seen so far that really gets the story right.
posted by idiopath at 8:11 AM on April 22, 2011


Note the wikipedia link in the Comics Alliance article - notable sockpuppets, in which Adams is now enshrined.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:31 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting that all those examples seem to be using the Metafilter "bad-sock puppet even if it's your only account" definition rather than the more restrictive "two accounts arguing with each other" definition put forth by some of the Reddit commentators which they call a straw man sock puppet. I pretty well don't spend much time in the comment sections of other sites so it's nice to see some validation in a way of our perspective.
posted by Mitheral at 9:23 AM on April 22, 2011


> Note the wikipedia link in the Comics Alliance article - notable sockpuppets, in which Adams is now enshrined.

Heh:

15:44, 19 April 2011 NVSBL (talk | contribs) (18,915 bytes) (→Notable public examples: fixed broken citation regarding Scott Adams' douchebaggery-- erm, I mean sock puppetry) (undo)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:25 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Several of me were sad that I wasn't mentioned in that Wikipedia article.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2011


There was also apparently a short edit war on Adams' page, with some anonymous IP account dutifully erasing the note about the sockpuppetry stuff every couple minutes. Seems to have settled down again, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2011


Hmm. I wonder who that could be.
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on April 22, 2011


Sockbert.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:40 AM on April 22, 2011 [11 favorites]


Asok
posted by cnelson at 10:07 AM on April 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Artw writes "Hmm. I wonder who that could be."

Sockpuppetry sure does knock down one's credibility. One could probably start a rumour that someone known to engage in sock puppetry was the second shooter on the grassy knoll and if the sock puppeteer was foolish enough to dispute it, by noon Tuesday the story would be accepted fact.
posted by Mitheral at 10:22 AM on April 22, 2011


I wasn't even a month old. Even I'm not that good.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:24 AM on April 22, 2011


That's exactly what a sock puppeteer would say.
posted by Mitheral at 10:25 AM on April 22, 2011


I've ben thinking of this since the whole kerfuffle started
posted by jtron at 11:40 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude just can't catch a break and/or can't give up that sweet, sweet spotlight.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:24 PM on April 22, 2011

"This guy is like if every College Republican chapter president in the world and the most insufferable students in your undergraduate philosophy class, plus fifty-thousand copies of Atlas Shrugged, combined into a voltron and started a blog."
posted by idiopath at 12:34 PM on April 22, 2011 [11 favorites]


Wow.

He's starting to make Glenn Beck seem reasonable by comparison.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:44 PM on April 22, 2011


"Wow, I never thought I'd feel sorry for Gwyneth Paltrow, who I have always viewed as marginally talented and one of the most unattractive "beautiful" people in the world. (Seriously, I don't get it, she is one of plainest looking women ever to be in the movies; granted you're working with a weirdly skewed dataset at that point, but still.) She also frankly doesn't seem that intelligent. Pile on that my distate for parents who give their kids unusual names because, clearly, have a common, ordinary name will make you common and ordinary, right?"

His readers are so very joyless. Also, I'm amused that because Gwyneth isn't common in the US it must be some kind of wacky hippy name.

I'm less amused by the point that this Kelli lady's attractiveness apparently gives her an advantage as a journalist. OK, being hot has it's own priviledges, but one would never say this about a male writer.
posted by mippy at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2011


I think he was refering to Gwyneth naming her daughter "Apple." A point I have a hard time disagreeing with.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:17 PM on April 22, 2011


Especially everytime I hear her huband sing the line, "Shoot an apple off my head."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:18 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Gwyneth is too posh to pronounce the "s" in "husband," so I left it out.)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:19 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uh. This is an unattractive woman? Maybe I should be a cartoonist, if they're pulling hotter babes than this.*

* Note to my wife: I can't draw worth a crap, anyway. What? A lawyer? On the phone? Whose suitcase is that? Why can't I log into the online banking? Hello?
posted by maxwelton at 2:36 PM on April 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


"This guy is like if every College Republican chapter president in the world and the most insufferable students in your undergraduate philosophy class, plus fifty-thousand copies of Atlas Shrugged, combined into a voltron and started a blog."

Ok, let's wrap up here. Nothing more to be said.
posted by brundlefly at 2:54 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey everyone, cortex may be too polite to post it here, but he got interviewed in NPR's On The Media about Adams. Nice job, cortex.
posted by GuyZero at 3:57 PM on April 22, 2011 [16 favorites]


Wow . . . mil-LARD and not MIL-erd; I had no idea! Thanks, Brooke Gladstone.

Also - she said douche-nozzle, are they really going to run that on air?
posted by Mid at 5:44 PM on April 22, 2011


Nice interview, man.
posted by COBRA! at 6:09 PM on April 22, 2011

"she said douche-nozzle, are they really going to run that on air?"
Yeah, what kind of faux-frenchy bullshit is that? the word is "showerhead".
posted by idiopath at 6:11 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mil-LARD

Great Cortex is now and forever a talking duck in my mind.
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great job representing the cesspool.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:39 PM on April 22, 2011


That's Mal-LARD.
posted by maryr at 6:39 PM on April 22, 2011


Duck fat is an excellent cooking medium.
posted by The Whelk at 6:41 PM on April 22, 2011


I was thinking, Damn, cortex's voice sounds totally familiar... then I remembered that I have Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom on my playlist.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:06 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy cow - On the Media? That's a big deal. Can't wait to listen!
posted by Miko at 7:48 PM on April 22, 2011


All this time I thought it was Meh-lard. Like in Meh-Fih.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 PM on April 22, 2011


I was thinking, Damn, cortex's voice sounds totally familiar...

You should listen to the podcast more often.
posted by hippybear at 8:32 PM on April 22, 2011


Josh 'cortex' Millard, Internet Sherriff
posted by carsonb at 8:41 PM on April 22, 2011


That was a really very fine interview. You couldn't have come off sounding more calm, knowledgeable, and sane. Way to represent!
posted by Miko at 9:26 PM on April 22, 2011


Just heard the interview this morning. Great piece. Anyone watching to see if MeFi registrations now experience a "cortex-bump"?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:40 AM on April 23, 2011


I just listened to the interview, and it was really good. I encourage anyone who hasn't already clicked on GuyZero's link above to do so now. It's only 6 minutes long.
posted by FishBike at 6:13 AM on April 23, 2011


Hey everyone, cortex may be too polite to post it here, but he got interviewed in NPR's On The Media about Adams.

Aw, heck, I'm not even that humble, I was just busy with some afternoon stuff by the time the show got posted.

It was fun doing the interview, total trip to end up on public radio when I grew up listening to it. I'm really impressed with the ninja job they did of editing fifteen minutes of me rambling into a coherent six minute segment like that. Brooke's super nice.

It's interesting how familiar it felt in some respects just because of the mefi podcast; I tried to remember to maybe skip the more, uh, colorfully emphatic stuff that might come out talking with Matt and Jess, mostly with success.

Wow . . . mil-LARD and not MIL-erd; I had no idea! Thanks, Brooke Gladstone.

Basically no one gets it right, yeah. Lifelong curse.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:18 AM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Huh. I assumed that's how it was pronounced. Because, you know, it's an A not an E.

And, yeah, you came off sounding all kinds of sane and reasonable and such. Good interview!
posted by rmd1023 at 7:25 AM on April 23, 2011


It's a problem of local context, I think. In the US there are an awful lot of Millers and one dead president named Millard Filmore whose name is popularly pronounced "MILL-erd", and so the "mil-LARD" thing just doesn't seem to be most people's initial apprehension. I shouldn't say no one gets it right, but it's probably something like 5:1 in practice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:24 AM on April 23, 2011


We were surprised at the name pronunciation (and will try to remember it, sorry, cortex), but the bit that really caught us was the part about Adams joining and not understanding community norms. There was a stereo chorus of LURK MOAR NOOB about two seconds after we heard cortex say that.
posted by immlass at 8:26 AM on April 23, 2011


That was a really very fine interview. You couldn't have come off sounding more calm, knowledgeable, and sane.

You had them totally fooled.

Seriously, though -- great interview. Somebody at NPR must be a regular mefi reader because it seems like I keep hearing things that I'd first encountered on mefi showing up on NPR a couple days later.
posted by selfmedicating at 8:50 AM on April 23, 2011


It was always millARD in my head.

BTW, great voice for radio!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:27 AM on April 23, 2011


Great interview! And as I was listening, I thought, why isn't more of the web like Metafilter?
posted by bluesky43 at 10:35 AM on April 23, 2011


BTW, great voice for radio!

Yeah, whatever recording equipment and audio processing they were using really gave cortex's voice a depth and resonance which isn't usually there in the podcasts. Came out sounding great.
posted by hippybear at 10:38 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder, do you all Skype in for the podcast? I always notice the sound quality is pretty warbly when I listen to Judge John Hodgman, where they Skype in the guests. I agree, the studio sound is pretty awesome.
posted by Miko at 10:45 AM on April 23, 2011


We use skype for the podcast, yeah. I actually used that exact same setup for this—skyped into On The Media with the Rode mic and headphones I always use for the podcast. But having professional sound engineers and nice studio equipment on the other end definitely makes a difference compared to our armchair garagebandery.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:48 AM on April 23, 2011


Ah, I see. THat's amazing they can make it sound so good.
posted by Miko at 10:49 AM on April 23, 2011


Classic OTM segment about how NPR makes their interviewees sound better.
posted by octothorpe at 10:56 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great job on the interview, cortex. You're good at this.
posted by Nelson at 12:56 PM on April 23, 2011


Should be able to pick up some of that gear cheap when NPR is no more by next year or so!
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:56 PM on April 23, 2011


I'm really impressed with the ninja job they did of editing fifteen minutes of me rambling into a coherent six minute segment like that.

Whatever software they're using that removes all of the spaces and pauses in your speech totally gave me a headache, though. It's okay, NPR, you can make your 6-minute interview 8 minutes long, it won't break the bank.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:21 PM on April 23, 2011


Millard Fillmore was one of our greatest presidents. It was he who pushed through antitrust legislation, over the petulant cries of the machine bosses who had expected him to be their patsy. It's funny to me how little-remembered he is today.
posted by koeselitz at 3:35 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice voice.
posted by francesca too at 4:49 PM on April 23, 2011


To be fair, Millard Fillmore also signed into law the Fugitive Slave Act and ran for President a second time representing the nativist, anti-Catholic American Party, which may be reasons why he is relatively little-remembered. Not taking away from his achievements - I'm not boycotting Heroes because of Never Let Me Down, but he might be a bit of a tough sell compared to e.g Lincoln.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:54 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fillmore was not one of our greatest presidents. If he deserves to be anywhere, it's in the lower middle.

He ran on an Anti-Masonic platform, supported the Great Compromise of 1850 (which included The Fugitive Slave Act), and only seems to have deplored slavery enough to be elected on a national Whig ticket. His plan for avoiding domestic conflict on the slavery question was to colonize Africa.

Anti-trust legislation, as I've been able to find, was first signed by Benjamin Harrison, some forty years later. Fillmore's only economic legislation was his authorship of the Tariff of 1842, "The Black Tariff," a wildly protectionist piece of work repealed in 1846.

After he left office, he blamed Republicans for the secession (though he was anti-secession) and so joined the nativist Know-Nothing Party and ran for office again.
posted by klangklangston at 5:59 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yet not in the chorus
posted by The Whelk at 6:11 PM on April 23, 2011


Wow, great job on the interview!
posted by odinsdream at 6:24 PM on April 23, 2011


I heard the rerun on my way home from work! I tuned in a minute or so in, and this was my brain:

"Hey, that guy sounds like Cortex. ...Ha, they're talking about Scott Adams, that's funn...wait wait no, they're actually talking about MeFi! On NPR! Cortex is on the radio in REAL LIFE!"
posted by kitarra at 7:06 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


And... I was completely wrong about Millard Fillmore. Thanks, klang. Heh.
posted by koeselitz at 7:53 PM on April 23, 2011


And here I was just taking koeselitz's word for it. That'll teach me.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


We could talk about Polk. I know Polk. And I like him. He was a good president.
posted by koeselitz at 7:58 PM on April 23, 2011


> I know Polk.

You're old.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:13 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


And you sir are no James Polk.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:32 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


And you sir are no James Polk.

I was waiting for that!

How you been, fourcheese?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:33 PM on April 23, 2011


Good work cortex. As Miko says, you sound knowledgeable, how did they edit that in?
posted by arcticseal at 9:45 PM on April 23, 2011


...you sound knowledgeable, how did they edit that in?

I think it was the new Knowledge plug-in for GarageBand. But, safe to say, cortex knew enough about what he was talking about, in the first place, so that they didn't have to use this one.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:09 PM on April 23, 2011


He ran on an Anti-Masonic platform

Omigod klang is Jack the Ripper.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:38 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


That was cool - I was coming back from Lowes with stuff to make my Weapon of Mass Fly Destruction and there was ol' Cortex on the car radio. Well spoken and well done all around!

Actually, they got a few nuances not-quite-right, in my opinion, but overall it was pretty close to accurate. Yay NPR!

And I used to live on Millard Ave in Binghamton NY, and it was pronounced like yours. But they pronounced Goethe Street like Cindy Brady saying "go see".
posted by dirtdirt at 11:07 AM on April 24, 2011


I believe that Cindy was actually saying "Goatse".
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:11 AM on April 24, 2011


Ah - Goethe St. in Chicago is "Go-eeth-ee." You need to know this if you want to take a cab to Goethe St.
posted by Mid at 1:55 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate kerfuffles like this because I cannot drag myself away from them until every comment and source has been read. Now I finally get to the end of this MeTa, turn the radio back on & there's cortex talking aout it. GAH!

Since I'm here whining about things anyway, may I just say that the past tense of "lead" (as in "a horse to water", not as in the element Pb, which has no past tense-- yet) is spelled "led" (as in Led Zeppelin!)? And the opening graph of a news story is a "lede". This concludes this public service announcement; thank you for your time.

ok feel better now
posted by obloquy at 4:04 PM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


A black tariff?!?!
posted by maryr at 7:38 AM on April 25, 2011


But they pronounced Goethe Street like Cindy Brady saying "go see".

when i lived in Bingo in the '80s it was "go-eeeth-eee", just like Mid says in Chi. And Beethoven St. was "Beethe-ovven".
posted by lodurr at 12:13 PM on April 25, 2011


The worst is Cairo, Tennessee. Pronounced 'Kay-row.'
posted by shakespeherian at 12:26 PM on April 25, 2011


No,'the worst is Arab, Alabama, pronounced with a long "A" as in "hay" in the first syllable. Really. For real. That's how it's pronounced.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:30 PM on April 25, 2011


Upstate New York has a bunch:

Java = Jay-va
Cairo = Kay-ro
Delhi = Dell-High
Versailles = Versaylz (really!)

Though I can't believe that's going to last much longer, since so many people know the correct pronunciations for those words.
posted by empath at 12:38 PM on April 25, 2011


Just so you know Arkansas routinely throws British people.
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on April 25, 2011


At you?
posted by The Whelk at 12:40 PM on April 25, 2011


I've seen the trebuchets in Little Rock. It's grisly stuff!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Umm, google has plenty of suggestive taters just waiting for the captioning. We could imortalize the The Great Taters Mystery on memegenerator.net & co. ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 12:54 PM on April 25, 2011


Versailles = Versaylz (really!)

I've always heard it pronounced ver-SAIL-eeze.
Also in Western New York: Lima, pronounced like the bean, Java, pronounce JAY-va, & Castile, pronounced CASS-tile.
posted by obloquy at 3:14 PM on April 25, 2011


The worst is Cairo, Tennessee. Pronounced 'Kay-row.'

Versailles = Versaylz (really!)


New Orleans = 'Or-leans' (really?!??)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:45 PM on April 25, 2011


My hometown: Birming-HAM, not "Birmingum"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:52 PM on April 25, 2011


UbuRoivas: “New Orleans = 'Or-leans' (really?!??)”

There are several different accents in New Orleans, but the predominant ones are... very different from what you'd expect.

And, yeah, I've been told it's everything from "Naw-lins" (which is how most of us outsiders think it's pronounced all the time) to "New Or-lee-ans." In fact, I have a good friend from NOLA who insists it's the latter.

And now a native will probably come along and correct me.
posted by koeselitz at 5:51 PM on April 25, 2011


I like saying Baton Rouge.
posted by clavdivs at 6:46 PM on April 25, 2011


Gesundheit.
posted by Skygazer at 6:57 PM on April 25, 2011


comes off loose.
posted by The Whelk at 6:59 PM on April 25, 2011


I've seen the trebuchets in Little Rock. It's grisly stuff!

That may be worth noting and using as the first line of my NaNoWriMo.
posted by hippybear at 7:08 PM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey guys!

I gave up MetaFilter for Lent and just came back - what did I miss?
posted by naoko at 7:43 PM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


My hometown: Birming-HAM, not "Birmingum"

I save the confusion and say "Brum".
posted by arcticseal at 8:22 PM on April 25, 2011


And now a native will probably come along and correct me.

AINANOF, but the pronunciation of Orléans is ɔʁleɑ̃ (roughly, "ohrrlAohn") - notably, without the pig-ignorant 's' on the end.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:48 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


IANANOF
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:49 AM on April 26, 2011


Here in the Rochester NY area (western/west-central NY) alone we have Avon (stress on 'A' like 'Aa-von', and short as in 'back'), Charlotte (CharLOT), Riga (Rye-ga) and Chili (yup: Chai-lie).

When I was a kid my dad bought some land outside of Dallas, near a town called Rio Vista. Without fail, everyone in the area that we heard pronounce the name said it with a long 'i' ("Rye-o"). We pulled up to this hispanic-looking rancher to ask directions to the bank in Rio Vista, and (of course in a thick Texas accent) he proceeded to pronounce it just like everyone else had.
posted by lodurr at 8:07 AM on April 26, 2011


lodurr, I didn't know you're from Rochester!
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:12 AM on April 26, 2011


pushin' 20 years, now.
posted by lodurr at 9:03 AM on April 26, 2011


PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO ME, IT'S LIKE CRACK.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:07 AM on April 27, 2011


Now that Adams and Gawker are in a full-blown feud, it's best to just step back and allow the feedback machine to do its work.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:11 AM on April 27, 2011


Yeah, I feel like sometime around when those two players started feeding off one another's hyperbole like sassy vampires it was probably better to just keep a safe distance.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vamp off Vouge off.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 AM on April 27, 2011


Vamp on douche-off?
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:52 AM on April 27, 2011


I never want to be on that gameshow
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just to add to the name mangling, if you know how to pronounce French, be careful going by the Gros Ventre River in Jackson Hole. Pronounced "gravant", and make sure you make those 'a's as flat as Eastern Nebraska.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:43 AM on April 27, 2011


Now that Adams and Gawker are in a full-blown feud, it's best to just step back and allow the feedback machine to do its work.

This is going exactly as I, planned it. Two deeply douchamatic Web entities neutralizing one another. BWAH HA HA HAH HA HA.


Shhh.
posted by Skygazer at 8:44 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of this.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:06 AM on April 27, 2011


I was thinking of this
posted by lysdexic at 12:20 PM on April 27, 2011


Scott Adams and his overinflated ego, the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by Splunge at 12:27 PM on April 27, 2011


Y'all see this from Salon?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:06 PM on April 27, 2011


Well, now that we're in a new era of accountability, can we please see Scott Adams' long form Genius Certification?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:24 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mods, please replace the above with a tasteful Bin Laden joke. Thanks!
posted by nobody at 4:49 PM on May 13, 2011


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