Metafilter sighted on Worst Year Ever October 10, 2019 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Frequent MeFi favorite podcaster Robert Evans (Behind the Bastards, It Could Happen Here) recently kicked off a new podcast, Worst Year Ever, touching on the horrors of the upcoming US federal election. While opening Tuesday's episode on Biden, Evans' co-host Cody Johnston raised eyebrows about Jake Tapper's recent collaboration with MeFi unfavorite Scott Adams. To describe what sort of man Adams is, Evans cheerfully launched into a description of the 2011 incident in which Adams was caught using a sockpuppet to defend himself after the Blue responded poorly to one of his pieces. MeFi mentioned at 3:00.

Previous sightings of the Scott Adams incident: [1], [2], [3].
posted by sciatrix to MetaFilter-Related at 3:07 PM (38 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I wonder how many times that dude got away with it before the meddling Mefi kids busted him. And maybe he even kept doing it after getting outed and tightened up his troll game after learning from defeat.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:15 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I always know he's done some new dumb thing when I start seeing clusters of tweets show up from folks mentioning him stanning himself on MeFi. This happens pretty regularly.

Anyway, it's a weird bit of hindsight looking back at the kind of naive optimism that went into not literally banning his account at the time. MeFi, and the internet, were different places eight years ago, and in a very narrowly generous reading it's possible Adams was too, but these days I can look back at the "well if he wants to show back up and not behave in bad faith, technically that's okay" reasoning that went into that decision and just kind roll my eyes at myself. I didn't expect him to ever show up on the site again, and he didn't, so in practice it's a distinction without a difference, but, feh. Dude is terrible and I'm just gonna formally close up that account for good measure now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:44 PM on October 10 [44 favorites]


I will never tire of hearing Scott Adams name dragged for what he did on MetaFilter.

That being said, I just realized there's no entry for this on his Wikipedia page. Hmm, you'd think there would be, it feels like a big enough deal that it would be mentioned there. Then again I don't know the rules for how things like that are entered into public record.
posted by Fizz at 3:44 PM on October 10 [6 favorites]


Scott Adams’s main problem is that he thinks he’s a Dogbert when in actuality he’s a Boss Guy With Weird Pointy Hair.

I’ve never actually read Dilbert.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:45 PM on October 10 [8 favorites]


That being said, I just realized there's no entry for this on his Wikipedia page.

Looks like there was for a couple years, at least; there's chatter on a section of the Talk page about nixing a section on that, including someone talking about how his whole own-biggest-fan performance and the fallout wasn't reaaaaaaally notable and etc. and someone else responding with "Is that you, Scott?", so, heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:49 PM on October 10 [30 favorites]


Hmm, I think wiki-editors should maybe reconsider that decision. Nothing would make me happier than seeing that on his official wiki page.
posted by Fizz at 3:51 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


lol I was just explaining this nonsense to my partner this week; not even sure how Adams came up but I offered the "and he is so enormously oblivious to his own self-obsession that he tried to trick that janky* little website I love into buying his crap like a decade ago" story as proof of how long he's been completely unhinged. I had to tap out of keeping up with his absurdity during '16; "good" to know he's still out there collecting attention and respect in some corners.

That said, it's been a good long while since I jumped into a Wikipedia Talk page. Perhaps today is the day!

*MetaFilter: Only referred to as "janky" when useful in the context of a story insulting Scott Adams
posted by youarenothere at 3:54 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


I'm fairly sure Evans found out about it from reading his RationalWiki page, which does list the incident prominently.

Of course, RationalWiki has different standards for "notability"...
posted by sciatrix at 3:55 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


I will allow myself a positive comment toward RationalWiki and say that there is some absolutely stunning scorn sprinkled throughout Adams' page. Just lovely.
posted by youarenothere at 4:00 PM on October 10


Scott Adams isn’t a universal “unfavorite” even on Metafilter. Can we stop with the notion that everyone on here is a clone of every other participant? Thnx.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:01 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


OK. Raise your hand if you like Scott Adams.



No one? Huh...
posted by nightrecordings at 4:08 PM on October 10 [10 favorites]


Also, it's still possible for a community of people to remain diverse as individuals but, when viewed as a community, show indicators of specific cultural patterns that make that community unique. It's why we have cultural anthropology as a field of study.
posted by nightrecordings at 4:14 PM on October 10 [18 favorites]


Scott Adams was diagnosed with Spasmodic Dyphonia 13 years ago by now, the same thing that radio personality Diane Rehm had/has.

Before he had problems with his voice, he'd already developed tremors in his right hand bad enough to cause him to abandon drawing his strip by hand in favor of some "digital" method.

Adams 'got over' his SD by singing, chanting, and reciting poetry, but from what I know now, I think he probably succeeded in transferring his spoken language function to a less damaged region of his brain, much as some stroke victims are able to do by exactly the same means.

By the evidence of the tremor in his right hand, I think it's reasonable to guess he has some kind of deterioration going on in his left hemisphere — SD is generally a progressive illness — which could well be affecting his judgement.

I don't think brain syndromes ought to be carte blanche for bad behavior, but I do think we could temper our criticisms with that possibility in mind.
posted by jamjam at 6:02 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


That would be ironic considering he advocates treating women as if they were mentally ill. Whatever and whyever his deal is, he can go fuck himself right off.
posted by rodlymight at 7:04 PM on October 10 [35 favorites]


Let's have pie!
posted by clavdivs at 7:05 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


I've found it remarkable how bad the artwork for his comic strip had become. I hadn't known about his neurological problems until now, and I appreciate that he's trying to work through that difficulty.

But he is still not above criticism for his politics and personal behavior. They have nothing to do with his condition.
posted by at by at 7:11 PM on October 10 [10 favorites]


I don't think brain syndromes ought to be carte blanche for bad behavior, but I do think we could temper our criticisms with that possibility in mind.

I find it pretty offensive to equate Adams' bad judgement and shit-filled opinions with having a neurological disability. There's plenty of folks out there who have them, including me, and who can still learn to listen and not be deliberately and routinely aggressive and harmful to huge swathes of other people.

I appreciate that you want to keep people from punching down at someone who, you're implying, might have a medical excuse to explain his douchery. I appreciate that you're trying to be kind. But what that says to me is that you think people with neurological and cognitive disabilities are inherently potential threats to other people. You think that people with those disabilities cannot be responsible for their actions, or learn to adapt, or figure out how to be decent human beings on their own, so we just have to navigate around them like missing stairs, because they can't help what they are.

Personally speaking, I don't think that comes off as very kind.
posted by sciatrix at 8:20 PM on October 10 [45 favorites]


In the early days of the Internet I subscribed to Scott Adams’ Dilbert newsletter. The point of view was that he was intelligent and other people were idiots. That was then and still is an enormous red flag for me.

Years later I came across his blog, which still had the same point of view, and now he was arguing with people whether someone calling the holocaust a myth could be understood as referring to the holocaust as the foundational myth of Israel, and not that it didn’t happen.

He’s been a troll with bad ideas for a long, long time.
posted by Kattullus at 1:39 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


> Ideefixe: Scott Adams isn’t a universal “unfavorite” even on Metafilter. Can we stop with the notion that everyone on here is a clone of every other participant? Thnx.

Not All Dogberts
posted by Rock Steady at 6:45 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


I don't think brain syndromes ought to be carte blanche for bad behavior, but I do think we could temper our criticisms with that possibility in mind.

No.
posted by codacorolla at 7:10 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Let's have pie!

In the sky, Lord, in the sky....
posted by y2karl at 7:54 AM on October 11


OK. Raise your hand if you like Scott Adams.



No one? Huh...


I don't. But even if I did, I wouldn't raise my hand because who needs the grief? Pick yr fights, choose yr hills, Tyranny of the Majority and all that.
posted by philip-random at 8:20 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]




Robert Evans was on the Qanonanonymous podcast last week and it is so delightful. That is my favorite podcast but now I'm listening to Behind the Bastards and Worst Year Ever.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:30 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I keep forgetting that this Dollar Tree Elon Musk still exists until a nostalgic(?) reminder pops up on a Meta. Far more excited that it appears that Gary Larson is bringing back The Far Side. Perhaps.
posted by Wordshore at 1:25 PM on October 11 [8 favorites]


OK. Raise your hand if you like Scott Adams.



No one? Huh...


I'm not a Dilbert reader, but I think Scott Adams is OK. His explanation of how Trump's rhetoric was effective in 2016 was really insightful. I wasn't on the site when Adams was. And I can't keep up with the long list of people I'm supposed to dislike in order to participate on Metafilter. I have laundry and bills.
posted by riruro at 7:37 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Oh right! I've seen multiple Scott Adams books at thrift stores recently and was trying to remember why he was a persona non grata again. I knew there was some reason why I didn't want to buy his books. I'm glad y'all reminded me.
posted by limeonaire at 7:17 PM on October 13


I can't keep up with the long list of people I'm supposed to dislike in order to participate on Metafilter. I have laundry and bills.

"The long list of people I'm supposed to dislike in order to participate on Metafilter" is an extremely dismissive way of describing the way that people with shared experiences may form similar opinions about those experiences.

Nobody is going around forcing other people to dislike Scott Adams or anyone else. You seem to be mistaking the "christ, what an asshole that guy is!" conversation for some kind of enforced groupthink. You might try giving the other people in the discussion the benefit of the doubt and try assuming they have reasons for what they do, instead of implying that people are only saying what they're saying due to social pressure or brainwashing.
posted by Lexica at 9:41 AM on October 14 [15 favorites]


Weirdly I was just thinking Mefi's Own Scott Adams due to this comment in the thread in cranks, because I remember first encountering the "there is no gravity, everything is GROWING" crank theory when Adams endorsed it in The Dilbert Future, back when I read it as a teenager, and it was my first hint that maybe this guy wasn't as smart as he clearly thought he was.

Anyway, it's a weird bit of hindsight looking back at the kind of naive optimism that went into not literally banning his account at the time.

On the plus side, that thread makes for great reading now precisely because Scott was allowed to stay and continue making an ass of himself for as long as he did. I almost wish you'd leave his account open just in the off chance that he did try to post from it again so you could delete his comment and then ban him. But that's my petty streak showing.
posted by biogeo at 10:42 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


Someone once said on MetaTalk that activity from disabled accounts does not show up in Google searches.

If that's the case, I'd imagine having his account here banned is a consummation devoutly to be wished from Adams' point of view.
posted by jamjam at 1:18 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


Someone once said on MetaTalk that activity from disabled accounts does not show up in Google searches.

Whoever that was was mistaken. Account status has zero effect on the visibility of threads and comments.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:32 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


Thank you for that clarification, cortex.
posted by jamjam at 8:12 PM on October 14


Raise your hand if you like Scott Adams

If he wasn't who he is, I wouldn't find the Dilbert strips as funny as I do.
posted by flabdablet at 10:45 AM on October 16


the "there is no gravity, everything is GROWING" crank theory

Yeah, that's clearly wrong. Gravity is all over the place, and is caused by the future sucking.
posted by flabdablet at 10:47 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]

Scott Adams’s main problem is that he thinks he’s a Dogbert when in actuality he’s a Boss Guy With Weird Pointy Hair.
I think he's more a combination of the two: The inherent decency of Dogbert together with the smarts of Boss Guy with Weird Pointy Hair.
posted by Flunkie at 10:43 AM on October 18


I'm not a Dilbert reader, but I think Scott Adams is OK. His explanation of how Trump's rhetoric was effective in 2016 was really insightful. I wasn't on the site when Adams was. And I can't keep up with the long list of people I'm supposed to dislike in order to participate on Metafilter. I have laundry and bills.

Here's a helpful hint: if someone writes a screed saying that women are biologically inferior, and routinely supports white supremacists, maybe you can just cross them off the list and you don't even have to maintain an Excel spreadsheet based on your misconceptions of this community. Have fun washing your clothes with all this extra time.
posted by codacorolla at 11:45 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]


But I just got my pivot tables and lookups nailed down!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:59 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


if someone writes a screed saying that women are biologically inferior, and routinely supports white supremacists, maybe you can just cross them off the list

It's often been said that the best corrective for bad speech is more speech.

A point frequently overlooked by proponents of this view is that in cases where the source of the bad speech is a notorious liar and serial fabulist, "more speech" doesn't at all need to consist of an equally lengthy screed fact-checking the original errors one by one by one. Quite often, it suffices for large numbers of people to decide independently to speak the words "fuck off".
posted by flabdablet at 2:23 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


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