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Today I wrote two blog posts about events in the news. That writing is some of my best work. You won't see either post. And for that you can thank Jezebel.com, Gawker.com, and Salon.com.

Unfortunately, both of my posts have content that could too easily be taken out of context by the bottom-feeding parts of the media and special interest groups looking to bolster their causes. Even my standard disclaimer wouldn't be enough in these two cases. My opinions in the two posts aren't the least bit offensive, but out of context they would look so.

The law in my country allows free speech, but horrible people who live among us have learned to use the words of well-known folks out of context to weaponize the ignorant masses. It's a real limit on free discussion.

An individual can sue for slander when something is taken out of context, but you can't win unless you prove intent. For a writer at Jezebel or Salon, for example, stupidity is going to be an ironclad defense against slander. "Your honor, I thought the celebrity was saying he ate a baby for lunch. I didn't see the word carrot. It was an honest mistake."

In my defense, I'll bet half of the writers in this country censored themselves the same way this week. The other half will do it next week.

I just wanted you to know I put in the work. I didn't realize my writing wouldn't be safe for the public until I wrestled with it for a few hours. Then I ran out of time. Sorry about that.

---

Regarding yesterday's post, disturbingly motivated reader bubbaJones found a reference to the exact quote "You don't know what you don't know" that is documented about one year before I recall saying it for the first time. So I release on my claim of authorship. Based on the various sources bubbajones helpfully provided, the quote probably evolved from more than one author who said something similar and it got shortened to its best form over time.

----------------------------------------------------

Scott Adams

Co-founder of CalendarTree.com

Author of the best graduation gift ever.

 



 
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May 8, 2014
Put everything you say in quotes. If they quote you they have to do the: And Dilbert author said "...I eat babies...in salad." Then the full quote can be displayed and you can laugh and mock and laugh.

Or you could just come over to our side (conservatives, libertarians etc) and realize everything can be viewed negatively by salon.com and its best to let them lather themselves up and laugh at them falling over themselves to be outraged.

;)

Remember how we used to talk about not letting the terrorists win? Same thing here. WRITE ON BROTHER!!
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2014
Very interesting in this context:

http://xkcd.com/1357/

Quote:
"Public announcement: The right to free speech means the government can't arrest you for what you say. It doesn't mean anyone else has to listen to your BS. Or host you while you share it. The 1st amendment doesn't shield you from criticism or consequences...."

While it does not entirely fit your situation, it does make clear that you participate in the devaluation of the term "free speech".
 
 
May 3, 2014
Apologies Scott. I forget you're a public figure and don't have the choice to ignore attacks.

Full disclosure: I love the commenters on Gawker. They're cynical and hilarious.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2014
If people can make money by lying then they will. The only time they will tell the truth is when they can make even bigger money.
 
 
May 2, 2014
My post of "Sesame Seed Futures" was deleted? It was a reference to the show Silicon Valley, where a character makes money by seeing thing in the market that no one else sees. On one show he was inspired by the seeds he saw on Burger King buns and... never mind.

I thought for sure this crowd, and especially the moderator, would have seen the relevance to the post. Oh well.
 
 
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May 2, 2014


[Nah. Crime doesn't interest me. -- Scott]
Did you have an 'unpopular' reaction to his botched execution, but just not the topic you wrote about?

There is so much out there that could set off a firestorm of reaction, it's hard to pin one down. I'll guess Sterling was one.

How come news sites don't save copies of their homepages so we can go back to the 29th and see what they were touting as their top stories? I'll assume it's the same reason as other professional forecasters... Post enough opposite viewpoint stories, you can always have a story that appeared prescient after the fact.

 
 
May 1, 2014
Scott, assuming your spasmodic dysphonia is still cured or mostly so, why not just call in to an NPR talk show, like "On Point" or "Diane Rehm" whenever they do an hour on the topic you wrote about? You can call ahead to the show to ensure that your call gets through the regular horde of listener/callers, but use a pseudonym once you're actually on the air. That sort of thing happens all the time.

It's not quite as satisfying as getting your idea out there without the credit for it, but at least it'll be out there in the public domain, where people can hear and be influenced by it.

Hell, I've got plenty of friends at On Point. I'll shoot an email to dilbertcartoonist so you'll have mine; shoot me a PM if you want me to hook you up with the crew there. I don't think On Point airs in the Bay Area but it's still a national show. Tomorrow's the Friday roundup so they'll talk about anything, too.

[My voice does work. But I wouldn't trust my opinions outside this blog where most regulars know all thoughts presented are works in progress. -- Scott]
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2014
Wait. You care what Gawker thinks? Seriously?

[No, I care what they tell the gullible masses who then rain stupidity upon me. -- Scott]
 
 
May 1, 2014
Did anybody guess the second topic yet? Was it the government directing the closure of p orn stars' bank accounts?

 
 
May 1, 2014
You might enjoy this story of a fellow groupthink victim:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/04/28/hugo-awards-science-fiction-reading-politics-larry-correia-column/8282843/?fb_action_ids=10152355678281690&fb_action_types=og.comments

[Yup. I'll give him the benefit of a doubt that his conservative beliefs are the well-thought variety and not the nut-job variety. Otherwise the story gets more ambiguous. -- Scott]

 
 
May 1, 2014
[I often wonder if there is just one guy, using different aliases, who goes to every discussion of free speech on the Internet to "explain" how freedom of speech is different from freedom of consequences when that was never anyone's confusion. -- Scott]

Haha... That's pretty awesome. The problem with the modern world is that idiots are so well organized and connected. Once upon a time, it took some competence to get the masses upset about something, so it was always done for money. Now people frequently get upset about semi-random and largely stupid topics.
 
 
May 1, 2014
The perfect example of what Scott is talking about is the recent Kerfuffle over the one Stephen Colbert joke from not too long ago even though it was meant to lampoon the concept, one person with a blog and an agenda was using it to attempt to get him fired by rabble rousing their readers.
 
 
May 1, 2014
@G33V3s

[Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it!

:)

How can you pique our curiosity like that and then leave us high and dry???]

Dont you get it?

This isnt about what Scott was about to post, its about Jezebel.com, Gawker.com, Salon.com and the writers Scott is complaining about. He wants to get us mad at them for denying us the chance to talk about this post. You didnt really beleive it was some of his best work do you? Thats just Scotts word magic in setting us against the bad guys.

[Actually it was some of my best work. Otherwise I wouldn't have cared too much. -- Scott]
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2014


The lesson to be learned here is that you no longer have the expectation of privacy in your own home.

You do not have freedom of speech in the town square.
You do not have freedom of speech in your own blog.
You do not have freedom of speech in your own home.

1988 Jimmy 'The Greek' Is Fired by CBS for speaking (a scientifically testable) opinion on the air. 2004 Sterling loses his business for being a bigot (and stupid) in a private conversation.

While I agree that all people are created equal, and must be treated equally under the law, we must be careful and we must protect the liberty of those with whom we disagree.

 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2014


The second topic was Lockett?
In August 2000, a jury in Oklahoma found Lockett guilty of first-degree murder, rape, forcible oral sodomy, kidnapping and a bevy of other charges -- 19 in all. They stemmed from a robbery-gone-wrong in which victims were tied up at gunpoint; one young woman was raped multiple times, and another, who had just graduated from high school, was shot and buried alive in a ditch.

Maybe executions should mirror the pain and suffering of the crimes?

[Nah. Crime doesn't interest me. -- Scott]


 
 
May 1, 2014
Here is how you do it. Create a different blog under a fake name. Have that blog "leak" the offending blog post with some crazy out of context headline like Scot Adams eats Babies or something. The more outrageous and unbelievable the better. This will then allow you to re-print the information here as a rebuttal and anyone who takes the information out of context at that point is agreeing with the fake bloggers outrageous claims and therefore is unbelievable.
Easy peasy.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2014
The opening paragraph of this article reminds me of the words that Fermat wrote in the margin of the book in which his theorem appeared: "Demonstrationem mirabilem hanc marginis exigiutas non capered" - that is, "I have a miraculous proof which this margin is too small to contain".

I have no idea what your actual article is about. I have no idea what the article you wrote but didn't publish was about. You appear to know little of the laws of defamation. You might as well have left your blog a blank.

[Tell me what I got wrong about the defamation laws. I will cue the cricket noises. -- Scott]
 
 
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2014
Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it! Post it!

:)

How can you pique our curiosity like that and then leave us high and dry???
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2014
I say, publish your pieces and let the ensuing commentary unfold as it will. Just be sure your facts, arguments and the connecting logic are sound. (Cite your sources if necessary.)

The public debate surrounding controversial subjects often spurs a change in attitudes (and also the perceptions of at least some voters). In a society that claims to be democratic, we _need_ to be exposed to a diversity of opinions, even if not everybody in the audience wants, or knows how, to conduct a civilized discussion.

The description in your post about what exactly happened with your articles is somewhat unclear, but I'm assuming that Jezebel.com, Gawker.com and Salon.com did not _refuse_ to publish your pieces; instead, you seem to imply that you were _anxious_ about publishing them in those venues because you feared having your personal dignity or integrity smeared by their readers.

If I interpreted that correctly, then I have three observations to make:

1) Fair-minded readers will resist being misled by ignorant, histrionic or wilfully fact-twisting commenters.

2) Some of those fair-minded readers will come to your defence against unreasonable attacks.

3) Some of those who disagree with you may still have some valid points to make. And not everyone who disagrees with your views will necessarily be disagreeable about it.

Finally, a question: what were you referring to when you said that you 'ran out of time'? The news cycle had marched on too far, or you had missed a publication deadline, or what?
 
 
Apr 30, 2014
Drink 100 milliliters of liqueur and post the blogs.
 
 
 
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