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Today's lack of a blog post is brought to you by Gawker.com, Jezebel.com, and Huffingtonpost.com. I wrote a long and fascinating post this morning but realized it was too easy to take it out of context, and I didn't want to spend my entire week dealing with the Internet fallout.

So you won't ever see that post. But I have to say, it was some of my best work. That's what made it dangerous.

As a case in point, see what the Huffington Post had to say about my recent post on stock market manipulation. Their headline is "Dilbert Creator Scott Adams Is On To You, Massive Telepathic Stock Market Conspiracy." In this case the commenters shredded the asshole who wrote it because it was such a pathetic hit piece. I made some comments of my own just for fun. This time it worked out well for me, but normally this sort of thing goes the other way.

This is what censorship looks like in 2013. I actually had something useful to say today but I can't be bothered with the blowback. It's not that I mind a good dust-up, because I normally enjoy the attention. But I choose to put my energy someplace else at the moment for purely practical reasons. The effect is similar to censorship.

It probably isn't a good thing.










 
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Apr 3, 2013
This post is a hundred times dumber than whatever you were going to say. Am I censoring you by calling your post stupid? NO. Being afraid of getting your feelings hurt is not censorship.
 
 
Mar 17, 2013
Most of us are "censored" because no one cares what we have to say. You have a voice, and the government protects your freedom to say whatever you like. Just because idiots on the internet try to make fun of you doesn't mean you are "censored." Speaking up can never be consequence free. Speak if you have the courage to do so.
 
 
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Mar 15, 2013
Just do it anonymously like the rest of us.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 13, 2013
I've done that. Put together lovely, well-written, pithy and spot on commentary - only to not post it because I didn't want to ride the outcome. The energy involved is quite real. Although, since relative to Scott I am not even nobody from nowhere, the 'blowback' is more like a barely perceptible yawn.
 
 
Mar 13, 2013
Thanks a lot, you bastard. In other news, that hot girl at that club when I was 22 totally would have slept with me, if I'd asked her. So I've got THAT to think about, too.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 13, 2013
[Given how generally secure your position in life must be, your choice to not stir the pot for "purely practical reasons" makes me wonder if you have something fairly big coming out soon, and you don't want a controversy hanging over it. Is it a Dilbert movie?!? Probably not, because that would only benefit from the publicity. Maybe it is something in an area that you aren't generally known for, that you are doing for your own reasons and don't want it sullied. Your first novel? - Delius 1967]

[You are smart. -- Scott]

Ooooh, it must be that internet idea that coulda/woulda/shoulda change the world! I can't wait...
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
I think you over-estimate the fingerprint thing. It sounds like you could easily argue the fallibility of it. Not that it actually IS fallible (hey, I don't know)... just that people would generally believe you if you said that the software made a mistake.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 12, 2013
I am an entirely non-famous person but have this same problem. I am a deep thinker and I think I have interesting views to share on politics, religion, sex and such topics. Yet on the internet I don't bother, because it is taken out of context in almost all cases, it is simply not worth it. Such topics divide people, even your close ones.

It is a sad conclusion to make that we cannot freely get harmless points across, but it's not going away soon.
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
Scott's exactly correct. This form of forced self-censorship isn't limited to his normal variety of subject matter either, it extends to fully more controversial and hot-button topics such as issues concerning minority groups (race, gender, etc.). If you dare say anything on such matters, you will be deluged until you wish you hadn't. Sometimes it doesn't work as well as hoped, for instance the Sandra Fluke thing didn't take down Rush Limbaugh in the end despite great efforts in the direction. However the entire republican party these days is pretty much afraid to stand up for their party's traditional fiscal values because of what their political opponents and the press says about them.
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
I know this isn't your style, but perhaps if you occassionally wrote posts that were satire, you could make them stop and think "Is he serious?".

Then again, maybe not.
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
Melvin1: [ Too often, rational voices decide not to contribute their un-PC views (for very legitimate reasons - many people have lost their jobs for it). ]

Careful with that martyrdom badge. Being un-PC doesn't necessarily make you rational, any more than being PC makes you irrational.

Personally, I don't like mucking up the dirt just for the sake of it; there's enough idiocy and randomness in the world already without adding to it. Not that I think you do that intentionally, Scott, but in the past you have taken an unusual amount of glee at how misrepresented your writings sometimes are, to the extent that reading this post makes me want to do some misquoting of my own: "The cartoonist doth protest too much, methinks."

Given how generally secure your position in life must be, your choice to not stir the pot for "purely practical reasons" makes me wonder if you have something fairly big coming out soon, and you don't want a controversy hanging over it. Is it a Dilbert movie?!? Probably not, because that would only benefit from the publicity. Maybe it is something in an area that you aren't generally known for, that you are doing for your own reasons and don't want it sullied. Your first novel?

[You are smart. -- Scott]
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
Maybe if you replaced all mention of the hypersensitive characters with hypothetical robots you could post it?
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 12, 2013
While it's technically not censorship per se, I agree with your main point: the PC police provide a very strong motivation to self-censor. Too often, rational voices decide not to contribute their un-PC views (for very legitimate reasons - many people have lost their jobs for it). This limits the participants in the debate to the PC side and the extremists on the un-PC side - which only magnifies the problem, making moderates who disagree with the PC view even more afraid to speak up.
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
Can your blog readers register somewhere to get an unsigned copy in e-mail? It's a shame to miss because of those ssa holes.
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
resistence by people who wilfully misrepresent you is not censorship. its an irritation, it creates resistance against speech, but its not censorship. its free speech in action. i sympathize, but i think that true censorship is a dangerous enough thing that we shouldn't blur its definition.
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
[I don't care about the negative opinions. I only care that they have an impact on business. In 2013 people say, "I didn't like that joke so I will not buy anything that guy is associated with." -- Scott]

...Really...this could be my poor reading comprehension kicking in again but I could have sworn I saw a blog post from you at one time saying you didnt care about impact on your business anymore. And another one saying you got a kick out of dealing with a bunch of internet idiots, which is why I interpretted your post here as meaning you werent ready to deal with it Right Now, but might be sometime in the future. Has something happened to change that?
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
You big tease. I bet you just had nothing and thought you'd get us monkeys dancing with a little experiment? (Sorry, got to try to make you spill somehow)
 
 
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Mar 12, 2013
What? Even with the warning of taking it out of context at the top? Hmmm, it must be quite something!

How about you send it only to your faithful readers in an e-mail?
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
It seems an odd claim you are making that your free speech has been limited because others might exercise their right to free speech and respond.

I would think the more controversial you are the more traffic you will drive to your site. If it's truly your best work that could only be a good thing. My $.02.
 
 
Mar 12, 2013
Methinks you fear too much.

Save the post you've written and post it later when you do not have other more important things to do.
 
 
 
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