Skepchick Quickies, 3.28


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. I’m not so sure Scott Adams is an idiot.

    He’s a Libertarian, I know that’s splitting hairs but..

    Man I miss Berkeley Breathed, Bill Watterson, and Gary Larson.

  2. Some colic remedies can be downright dangerous.

    A friend of mine had a colicy 6-month-old and called me (luckily) to ask for advice, I told her that if it was really colic that there was nothing that could be done.

    She said that her sister had told her to give the baby some honey so she would try that.

    I told her that it was very important to not give her infant honey.

    She said that sounded like a bullshit story until I explained to her about how honey can contain botulism spores and even baking may not kill them.

    Sometimes helpful hints just aren’t helpful at all.

  3. My daughter and I liked the kittens in outer space. I needed that after the Scott Adams story. As for the colicky baby story. I feel for moms that have colicky babies. I had one and the doctor said she checked out healthy. It can be hard to sort through all the mumbo jumbo while baby is crying.

  4. I don’t read Scott Adams blog much any more because too frequently his opinions seems to be chosen for their provocativeness rather than their insight. However there are usually one or two idea gems in each one. For instance I particularly like this:

    If he’s smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of the time, which involves considering the emotional realities of other people.

    This is some very sound relationship advice.

  5. I remember many years ago, when Dilbert was at the height of its popularity, reading an essay Scott Adams about how computer programmers were becoming the most important/powerful people in the world, and therefore society was evolving in such a way that computer programmers were favored and big strong men were not, so that eventually women were going to be attracted to computer programmers rather than big strong men, who would become the outcasts.
    It completely ignored the existence, or even possibility, of female computer programmers. Women in this world existed only to mate with or refuse to mate with. I was disgusted and disappointed, and it kind of ruined Dilbert for me.

  6. “Scott Adams is an idiot.”
    I’ve known that since I read his book The Dilbert Future and found he expected the Theory of Evolution to be disproved within the next 10 years. (I quote from memory since I gave my copy away–for obvious reasons.) It must be about 10 years since the book was published. I’m still waiting.
    His cartoons are scarily apt though.

  7. The kitten video was cute. However, as a skeptic, I have to point out that kitten probably wasn’t actually dreaming of space. I suspect the video was some kind of sophisticated hoax.

  8. That first article is relevant to something recent in my life. I decided to be nicer to people and give more people the benefit of the doubt, and I found that I was defending even people of questionable character. I think that’s good, but I also have to be wary.

    There was a recent dramatic kerfuffle between a blogger and a YouTube parodist. The first time I read what the blogger had to say about this guy, I instantly felt like she was right and he was a jerk. What made it complicated was that I recently messaged the parodist (before the drama) and complimented his work ethic, and he even replied a few days later. So I had that, and then I saw the vitriol that was aimed at the parodist, so I paid more attention to her scathing remarks, and started thinking maybe he was innocent, and if he wasn’t it would be worth defending him anyway; it seemed like the reaction didn’t fit the crime.

    I analyzed her post, made counterpoints, and figured what I thought was just as likely as what the blogger was suggesting. I wanted to publicly support the guy because I felt sorry for him. I emailed Skepchick to try to get it online as a reader rant. Rebecca herself replied and told me not to bother basically. At first I didn’t want to hear this, but I did say in my response that I would take her input and look at it again. So I did, including rereading hundreds of Reddit posts.

    I don’t like admitting this but the blogger is probably in the right. I have to remember that even if I don’t like going after certain people, it doesn’t mean that they are more worthy of credibility or trust. When I first looked at things, it did honestly seem that the two were evenly matched. I was wrong.

  9. So he is a clueless idiot? What does anyone expect? He makes his living drawing cartoons about a smart but emotionally clueless guy who doesn’t have a girlfriend, has never had a girlfriend, and will likely never have a girlfriend because he doesn’t know how to have a girlfriend. None of the characters that Scott Adams draws have any realistic depth to them.

    Dilbert is a guy who is the boss of nothing, not even his dog. That is the demographic Scott Adams represents. A demographic that is way far down in the social power hierarchy, so far down that the only way he is able to have a positive effect on that social power hierarchy is by ignoring stuff. Ignoring stuff so he doesn’t get moved farther down the social power hierarchy. He is like the Sad Sack


    The guy at the bottom who can’t do anything right and everyone picks on.

    I think that is why he took it down. He thought he was saying something that would be interpreted positively (or at least neutrally) and it wasn’t. His response is to run away and hide.

    He is an entertainer, he draws cartoons. Why would anyone expect him to have a well thought out and nuanced conceptualization of anything? He has a post up now where he tries to explain what he was doing and has reposted the blog that was taken down. Is what he has up now disingenuous spin? I don’t know. I haven’t read enough of his stuff to know (or care).

    I think he was trying to tweak the MRAs in his original post and was not very artful in doing so. How much should we hold that against him, that he is not a good enough anti-MRA? Sort of like the not good enough atheists or not good enough skeptics?

    @smoakes: Of course he is an idiot. It isn’t a surprise that he thinks the wave of the future is computer programmers, and of course that does make him an idiot. We all know the wave of the future is nitric oxide. ;)

    One of the comments in the linked to post had it right.

    “The kyriarchy hurts everyone, including men.”

    It is the existence of the kyriarchy itself that is harmful, more so then where anyone is on it.

  10. @mrmisconception: “Man I miss Berkeley Breathed, Bill Watterson, and Gary Larson.”

    No one has come close to filling their shoes, or emptying them out for that matter.

  11. Jen,

    I just read that article you posted on what he said. You’re right, Scott Adams does sound like an idiot.

  12. @BeardofPants: yes, but saying he was just a cartoonist was to cut him some slack. It is not a lack of intelligence that leads to the kind of mishap he is in now. It is about emotional clued-in-ness, which can be very hard for some people (believe me, I know and have often demonstrated).

    It also wasn’t just that he is a cartoonist, he is a cartoonist that draws Dilbert. I have to assume that he channels Dilbert, and so I cut him the slack that I would cut Dilbert.

  13. Jeepers!!!…..Turns out even the skeptic community has a PC do not cross line…

    …(Takes big step over)…

    (For the record I think Adams’ has a long track record of being off the sanity radar.)

    Breaking up an opinion piece and bracketing it with personal summations, while throwing in garbage like , “Bitches” or “Masculinists” or “…On behalf of all…”,
    Is just….wow…
    I wouldn’t hire you at any pay rate

  14. In case anyone is interested, Scott Adams wrote a pretty intellectually lazy follow up to that blog post, which includes the full text of the post at the end: http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/im_a_what/

    tl;dr: The purpose of his blog isn’t to be informative or make a statement, and besides, people get emotional over this stuff, and you can’t argue with emotional people, so he doesn’t have to explain anything to you.

    I don’t know what the rules are about self-linking here, so if this is a no-no, feel free to delete my comment, but I wrote a longer piece on Adams and Men’s Rights activism at my blog: http://skepticalmom.com/?p=153

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