If I decide to put a sign on your property indicating that you're incompetent and nobody should hire you, would you feel a first amendment duty to leave that sign there? That isn't remotely my interpretation of free speech.
Just wanted to say that if I were Scott (notice, Scott, I used 'were') that I wouldn't ban someone from this blog for stating something in the way that drazen did. He didn't come off as either pedantic or cruel, in the way that the Bearded Taint did. There was no meanness in what he wrote.
I have looked for reviews that followed what drazen said, and I couldn't find any. At the same time, I don't think censorship is the right way to go here.
This is your blog, and you can do whatever you want with it. You can ban whomever you want. But do you really advance your cause when you deny others the right to express themselves?
Our nation's founders realized that the biggest opponent of free speech was censorship. That's why the first amendment covers freedom of speech.
You're bigger than that, Scott. You should be able to take criticism, and challenge those who gave it, and not just arbitrarily ban them from the site. If someone says something foolish, the rest of those who read it will respond appropriately. If not, we'll agree with them, even if that hurts your feelings.
One of the great gifts the founders gave us was the ability to speak freely without fear of legal action against us. There are limits, of course. But this is not one of them.
If you give into the critics by banning them, you strenghten their argument. Let people debate freely what you, or they, say, or consign yourself to a cocoon of insular accolades.
You are bigger than your critics, until you let them destroy your ability to engage in productive debate.
@drazen, In the grand scheme of things, celebrities have blogs and communicate or interact with their fans for a pretty small variety of reasons. To strengthen their brand, to communicate their products, or whatever. Scott says it's part of his "system" to develop writing skills and stay in touch with his fans. Scott takes a fair amount of abuse on here, and I'm one of the jerks dishing it out sometimes. I'd say he takes it in good humor, 99% of the time.
But in the end, we (not me specifically, I never had an issue with it) almost ended his blog "system" with our backlash against "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!" Here's his second major product based on blogging, and you're anti-advertising it in the one environment he controls to deliver his brand. And you haven't even read it, apparently. And you're basing your negativity on a small minority of opinions. Seems like Scott has every reason to be swinging his ban-hammer, regardless of how honest and/or innocent you felt you were being.
@gnick, I'd guess it's an opportunity-cost thing. You have a sunk cost in a paperback, that a publisher may want to recoup. There's little or nothing to recoup in an electronic book.
i.e. if you printed 10,000 copies of a book that sells 6,000 copies during its most-marketable period, maybe you're now sitting on an inventory of 4,000 books and sales are at a trickle. You might be willing to take a smaller margin (or even loss) on the printed books to recover the cost of making them and free up warehouse space (both useful for another book which is newer & more marketable). You have no similar incentive to discount electronic books. They can sell at a trickle forever with no per-unit investment to recover and only trivial warehousing (some disk space) to pay for.
A little off-topic, but I'll go there any way. I dug 'God's Debris' - Haven't read the new book as yet. But, as long as you're bagging on econ majors, can you sum up why the paperback version costs considerably less than the Kindle or even the CD version? I was racking my mind trying to come up with some clever smart-ass explanation, but I'm failing even at that. Is mailing paper really cheaper than electronic transmission now?
I thought you were going to play a "... on the other hand" at the end, but the way you played it is much better.
BTW Got the book as a present and loved it. Got teenager #1 to read it and I believe it has set some good seeds in her mind. Planning on paying teenager #2 to read it too (I'm sure I'm not the only one with money-driven kids).
and yes, if teenager #1 does succeed in life, I do plan to take credit for it.
[Well-played. And thank you for your repeat confidence. -- Scott]
You make it awful tough to criticize you for shameless advertising when you point it out in the article, darn it! The article cracked me up though, especially the gift card paragraph.
Unrelated, from reading the comments, I wonder, does the site send notifications when you, Scott Adams, insert a comment into one of the comments? Or does the person just have to check back to see if you responded to a comment? I am speaking of the comment to drazen about not being welcome to comment anymore. He may not know.
[I'm referring to online reviews I've read. The ones I've seen trend to the book being mediocre and not Scott's best work]
Can you provide links? To the ones that say the book is overly repetitive, pedantic, and padded? Thats the part I took issue with; I read that book and fail to see how it could be called any of those things.
The sole review on Amazon for the Swarofski Crystalline USB memory stick says,
"I was looking for one that was pretty, and one that I would be proud to use in the office not like the ones you can buy in office supply stores. [â€¦] Would be a nice gift for someone who is hard to buy for." By this I assume she means "a nice gift for someone like a product reviewer who wants to be able to take pride in having something projecting from their computer that most resembles a rhinestone dil_do".
I believe the customary formula for this type of situation is "Stay classy, lady!"
-- Bulky decorative items or housewares for someone who's probably a decade away from a home with more than two rooms. Think Pier One for the former, any yuppie supplier for the second. Extra points for patio furniture and pool supplies.
-- Books that you credit with inspiring and shaping your own life, especially if you drive a car with a cassette deck and 40% duct tape upholstery.
-- A "Dummies" book related to their major.
-- THEMED toiletries/cologne sets. Ideally with lame or non sequitur licensed names, such as losing sports franchises, bad movies or once-hot celebrities.
-- Gift card from a no-frills supermarket. A subtle expression of your confidence in their immediate future.
-- Necktie. Or tie clip & cuff link sets if you can find them.
-- Audio books by or about discredited role models. I'll always regret not grabbing the one that promised Ken Lay's secrets of success.
-- Matching stapler, tape dispenser and pencil holder; extra points for Dilbert theme.
[Unfortunately for you, from what I've seen, your book's been consistently reviewed as overly repetitive, pedantic, and padded]
???...reviewed as such by who? I dont recall that being mentioned in the blog back when we were talking about the book. I dont recall thinking any of those things when I read it. The worst I can say about it is that, unlike most other books I like, its reread value is minimal.
[You're coming off like a nagging spouse with that book.]
Knew it was ultimately yet another tiresome book commercial.
Unfortunately for you, from what I've seen, your book's been consistently reviewed as overly repetitive, pedantic, and padded; while I don't necessarily have a better idea for you to increase sales, advertising of the carpet-bombing variety is more likely to breed contempt and ill will than anything else. Pushiness is off-putting. And it just seems inexplicably desperate on your part, based on the information I know about you. You're also pushing it to the same audience repeatedly (your "advertorial comedy" at least reached different people, so good job there).
You're coming off like a nagging spouse with that book. Whether I have any interest in it or not, your harping on it definitely isn't making me any more enthusiastic about it.
My blunt current impression of your latest book is "Guy with writing style I liked (in Dilbert Principle, et al.) writes thesis that I, and others, have major reservations about, and comes off more sanctimonious than savvy while doing it." Meanwhile, I've got a backlog of other reading (that I got for free!) and plenty of other things going on which chew up time. I'm also a naturally risk-averse person; from what I've gleaned of your system on the blog, large elements of it would likely not be for me.
I did chuckle at a few of the items. One nitpick: smartphone cameras aren't quite as good as digital. They're harder to keep steady (at least mine is) to get a clear picture, especially with text in it. Also they don't have a lens cap, so dust can get in the lens more easily. While I don't use it regularly, if I intend to take a lot of pictures, I do have a small digital camera for such a task.
[It's the highest-reviewed book I've written. The few bad reviews are the "revenge" types from people who clearly didn't read it. I get those with every project, usually because someone is mad at something form this blog. They are easy to identify because they are not "Amazon verified" and they don't mention any actual content that is objectionable. When you see a "nothing new here" opinion you know it's fake. Ask anyone who read the book and they might laugh at the notion that there's nothing new. -- Scott]