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Over at The Bearded Taint's blog, the citizens have lit torches, grabbed pitchforks and come after me (again). I don't think I have seen more concentrated hate in one place. It's actually quite fascinating from a mental health perspective.

I left my own comments on the Bearded Taint's blog if you want to follow along.

The interesting thing is that I'm reasonably sure my haters and I have exactly the same opinions on the topics they are getting worked up about. But once the Internet decides you are a holocaust-denying, creationist, science-hating, sexist, sock puppet, all evidence seems to support that view. And in this case, these science-loving folks are basing their views on rumors, stuff taken out of context, misinterpretations, faulty memory of stuff they once read but don't fully remember, and that sort of thing.

I'll say it again because it is so interesting: The people who are hating me because of my opinions have exactly the same opinions. They just don't realize it because of the fog of confirmation bias.

I'm totally guilty of blogging in a way that was guaranteed to get this sort of reaction. I'll own that. I think there is an audience for people who are willing to play with ideas and not take any of it too seriously. The problem is that I become a target for advocates who need well-known enemies, manufactured or real. But I do understand that is part of my chosen profession. It's more fascinating than annoying. I love watching normally rational people get spun out of their minds by The Bearded Taint and his type.







 
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+17 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 21, 2013
dil-doh,
You used "academics" as an indicator of intelligence.
My life experience has been that academics range from idiots to brilliant.

The only true test of intelligence is whether or not a person agrees with what I believe.
 
 
Jun 21, 2013
I think you're mistaken Phantom, BTG is not saying that Scott's arguments are bad because he's an @$$hole, they're saying he's an @$$hole for his bad arguments/statements. They're fairly intelligent over there and have quite a few academics responding in the comments so you'll have some difficulty catching them in true logical fallacies. The main issue is they are not accepting of Scott's concept of "playing" with ideas. They frequently engage in interchanges with real jerks who are adamant in stating related ideas they (and many here) find reprehensible and so have little tolerance for refuting the same tired arguments yet again. As far as they're concerned it's settled and anyone who persists in stating differently is being an obtuse jerk. As Scott has been saying over and over again, it's context.
 
 
Jun 21, 2013
Scott, I don't post nearly enough on your site though I've read all of your posts for years. I just wasted an hour catching up on the Bearded Taint. Thank you for creating so much entertainment. I really don't get why so many people get so worked up. And I really like how you ask provocative questions. Keep it up. I hope you keep blogging for many years.
 
 
Jun 21, 2013
Wow!

And I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

Only kidding, Scott. Seriously. Only kidding.

As usual, I haven't read the other posts prior to creating my own, so if I repeat something that was already said here, my apologies.

From reading the TBT's (The Bearded Taint's) blog, one thing stands out: ad hominem attacks. For anyone not familiar with that Latin phrase, it means "to the man." And no, I'm not being sexist.

Ad hominem attacks are a form of false syllogism. If you are able to convince people that they should ignore an argument simply because of who is making it, then you never have to defend your own position. If I were to, say, convince you that Scott Adams is an XYZ, and I knew you thought XYZ's were horrible people, then if Scott Adams said that the Earth is round, you could ignore his proposition simply because you have become convinced that Scott is an XYZ.

Those of you who follow my responses to Scott's often inane posts realize that I think that roughly 95% of his positions are either unsupportable or total hooey. That's not the same thing as saying, "Scott Adams is a total loon, so you should ignore anything he has to say." Which is what the TBT has done.

Anyone who believes there is no bias against white males in today's society, for example, is simply kidding themselves. There most certainly is. Anyone who thinks that, as the Reverend Jackson has said, that blacks can't be racist, is similarly erroneous.

But that doesn't mean that people holding those opinions are horrible, evil people. They're just trying to state a position and open it up for comment. As does Scott. Who thinks that's a bad thing? Not me. Hopefully, not you, either.

I am truly sorry when anyone is subjected to ad hominem attacks. More than any other tactic, ad hominem attacks stifle the free exchange of ideas. I may believe that Scott is full of hooey in many of his opinions, but that doesn't make him evil or a person who should be ignored.

If my responses to him don't convince you that I'm right and he's wrong, then so be it. But I would never want to 'win' an argument by belittling his right to have his opinion.

One time, I was on a flight, and was seated next to a retired Stanford physics professor. He made the most outrageous statement that contradicted the scientific method.

When I called him on it, asking why the classic method of 'observation, theorem, proof' was something he seemed to have discarded, he became extremely hostile. He told me that since I was so ignorant, he would no longer continue speaking with me. His wife, sitting on the other side of him, gave me a look as if to say, "I'm sorry. That's just the way he is."

Yes, that was 'just the way he was.' And that's the way it appears to be with TBT. TBT's mind is like a steel trap - closed, and impermeable.

If I ever attack Scott, rather than his ideas, please call me on it. And for Scott: screw 'em all if they can't take a reasoned debate.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2013
Only in America do people spit nails over the opinions displayed by a semi-famous cartoonist while happily taking it up the Hershey highway by their lawmakers. Scott, you're Kool & the Gang. File 13 these Realiy TV watching idiots!
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2013
I could not believe the comments on that blog. It's just confirms Scott's philosophy that "people are idiots!"
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2013
All I see is a lot or arrogance. Possibly a little bit of Scott's habitual stirring-the-pot being misunderstood. (I suspect I don't quite get it either.) Between taint's "I'm best", Scott's "No, I'm bestest and you all agree with me you just don't know it" and Scott's disturbing practice of psychoanalyzing people he has not met, I vote flush. The implied request for Scott's fanboy minions to go do battle with taint's fanboy minions seemed tawdry as well. Flush and repeat, as needed.
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2013
anothermick,
Evidently there was a typo on the Wikipedia entry, probably due to spell check.
Its been corrected to say he has a hemorrhoid named after him.

anothermick noted:
"wikipedia says this guy has an asteroid named after him."

 
 
Jun 19, 2013
So... I just scanned through the taint's comments. Overall, I'd say you landed a few solid points, but they called you out pretty well a few times, too. I think you'd have been better off just admitting that you like to troll your regular blog readers a bit. It's not as ugly an admission as it may seem, and it makes it far easier to say that your message/context was lost by repeating it to another audience. Your regular readers are accustomed to reading you defend a viewpoint you don't actually have to spur debate... trying to PR-weasel your way out of that just made you sound a little disingenuous.
 
 
Jun 19, 2013
Boring - move on (or else be as boring as them)!
 
 
Jun 19, 2013
dude, wikipedia says this guy has an asteroid named after him. this potential future cartoon just keeps getting better...
 
 
Jun 19, 2013
I went to the trouble of registering an account over there, and posted something that was, all-in-all, a pretty tame rib at them. The responses I got back:
- One person called me a f###wit. (There, I did censoring for you, you stupid !$%*!$% filter. Whoops.)
- Two people took my joke to a logical extreme in an attempt to show how it WASN'T LITERALLY TRUE that they were, as I put it, "in every sense of the word, hysterical".
- Another one accused ME of getting worked up over them.

In other words:
- Argumentum ad hominem
- Dicto simpliciter
- Tu quoque

I'm sure there were more but I got bored and stopped reading them. After a while it was just sad.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2013
Scott, you're awesome... I love the way you keep challenging the rational mind with thought provoking experiments sprinkled with humor... keep it up.

As for the !$%*!$%*! over at the bearded taint... Holy crap.. what idiots. Whomever that PZ guy is, has some serious anger issues at not being as successful as say, you, and is taking their frustrations out on you by demeaning and demonizing you.

Keep up the good work, Scott!
 
 
Jun 19, 2013
Scott, I almost never cease to be amazed at how opinionated people can be on the internet. Maybe a lot of people are really like that in real life too and I just miss it. It is not just that people are opinionated - it seems that they are violently so.

No wonder humans go to war so easily - if ppl flare up monstrously at trivial things or things that should be open to discussion and debate and "thought experiments" - then it follows that they would go even further when questions of religion, property ownership, politics, race, gender etc are at issue.

Ironically, it seems that "rational atheists" can be just as dogmatic and bigoted as religious zealots. Maybe we are just moist robots after all...
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2013
A hilarious nickname for your antagonist, "The Bearded Taint".

Can that be added to the bearded taint's bio on Wikipedia?
I'd love to be able to Google "bearded taint" and have a picture of that guy show up.

 
 
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 18, 2013
Scott:

I want the 5 minutes of my life back that you wasted by pointing me to that worthless link.
Staring at my dog's recent bowel excretions would have been a better use of my time.
 
 
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 18, 2013
This would all make a funny Dilbert comic sequence. I can picture the bearded taint now.
 
 
Jun 18, 2013
10 for linking "bearded taint", you got him the link result for such search. Now post a pic of the guy at crawl friendly spot and name it "bearded_taint.jpg" so we can get a photo result on that bearded taint search.
 
 
Jun 18, 2013
When debating/arguing on the internet, I feel the most satisfaction when I hit the "Submit" button for my own comments. Any supporting or collaborating replies don't measure up; the thing that makes me happy is (a) getting my opinion out there, and (b) imagining how I will influence the other readers or participants. But the reality of the discussion has never lived up to my earlier imagined outcomes.

I'm curious whether other writers feel this way, and what it says about us and our perspectives.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 18, 2013
I wondered who the "Bearded Taint" was, and found out it's that Pharyngula guy. What a massive douche.

If you want to experience waves of nausea, read the comments where his minions are trying to console him with comments like: 'You are sooo much smarter than Scott!'

I always love it when people feel compelled to point out what SHOULD be self-evident.
 
 
 
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