Sunday, April 17, 2011

So Long Dilbert, It Was Nice Knowing You

Last  year, there was a big dust up on the atheist blogosphere about someone who created a blog called "Your Not Helping" that basically was criticizing various other atheist bloggers claiming that their talking down on religion was not helping the atheist cause.  Or something to that affect.  He went after some of the bigger names with blog posts, and they responded to the criticisms with their own blogs.  As it turns out, what astute atheist blogger smelled something fishy, after doing a bit of digging around, discovered that the YNH blogger was using sockpuppets to support his positions in his comments section.  For those of you that don't know what sockpuppets are (and I'm not talking about real socks), here is a quick definition from Wikipedia.
A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks with or about himself or herself, pretending to be a different person,[1] like a ventriloquist manipulating a hand puppet.
The YNH blogger eventually fessed up and tried several very poor attempts at an apology.   He went so far as to completely delete his website to remove any future evidence.  Unfortunately for him, several other bloggers cached his entire blog offline.  Once it's on the Internet, it is hard to get rid of it.

So, what does this have to do with Dilbert?  Nothing directly, but it has to do with Dibert's creator, Scott Adams.  He was recently outed as having a sockpuppet on his own site pretending to be his biggest fan.  So, that very fact is deceptive and pretty much makes you a prick.  But this alone was not really enough to question my fondness for Dilbert.  I recall seeing a news article about Adams a few weeks earlier about some rant he posted.  As it turns out, it was a huge misogynist rant that he later deleted due to the firestorm it caused.  So, he is deceptive and a misogynist.  Doing a little more research, I find out he is a creationist apologist and defender of Intelligent Design with outstanding reasoning such as this (as quoted from an old Pharyngula blog)
I take the practical approach — that something is intelligent if it unambiguously performs tasks that require intelligence. Writing Moby Dick required intelligence. The Big Bang wrote Moby Dick. Therefore, the Big Bang is intelligent, and you and I are created by that same intelligence. Therefore, we are created by an intelligent entity.
Brilliant.  Also, he is apparently a former member of Mensa.  According to the Wikipedia article, which is usually pretty snark free, "and thus presumably a former genius."

I'm not sure I can view a Dilbert cartoon in the same light anymore.

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