Dilbert creator Scott Adams was caught last week using a sockpuppet account to praise himself and slag off his critics on Internet message boards, like a chump. Today he published a 3,000-word explanation of why you idiots on the Internet made him do it.
The post is a marvel of sophistry, attempting to turn the very straightforward fact that Adams acts like a petulant man-child on the Internet into an illustration of why everyone on the Internet is stupid and unworthy of Adams' brilliance. His main point is that he was driven to praise himself as a "certified genius" and bash his detractors as "idiots" under the handle PlannedChaos on message boards because no one would believe him if he wrote under his name.
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.
Ah! Very smart, to let people objectively determine that whoever wrote PlannedChaos' comments was a tumescent ego balloon.
Adams goes on to explain that the reason he has to keep bashing his critics anonymously on message boards is that lazy internet media like "Gawker, Metafilter, and any other cesspool with an IP address" take his words out of context, and various "advocates for one cause or another use me as a whipping boy to promote their agendas."
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. Democrats and advocates of civil rights are using the media to further an agenda at the expense of a woman who was probably so non-racist that the photo in question didn't set off her alarms as being a career-ending risk.
We actually agree with Adams on this. You should feel exactly as bad for making fun of Scott Adams as you should about this Republican official's situation. Keep digging, Adams.
[Photo via AP]