How the Internet Age Has Bent Some People’s Minds
If I still needed an example of how the Internet made people stupid, even the smartest of them, today I was just served with one of the best examples. It doesn’t concern COVID-19, Trump, Biden, guns, China or Russia, but it involves Scott Adams.
What is narcissism?
My definition of narcissism is a broader one, but let’s look first in the Oxford Dictionary of English 2020:
narcissistic ▸ adjective having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance: a narcissistic actress. ▪ relating to narcissism: narcissistic personality disorder.
narcissistic personality disorder ▸ noun [Psychiatry] a personality disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for other people.
The Chambers Dictionary (13th Edition), succinct but charming, puts it bluntly:
▸Sensual gratification found in one’s own body, whether as a normal stage of development or a pathological condition
narcissist noun and adjective
Self-admiration is a key component. An exaggerated sense of self-importance tends to make it a disorder. A need for admiration is specific to large categories of people, including politicians, stage artists (especially stand-up comedians), YouTube podcasters (it might have started with the Green brothers, John and Hank), and various kinds of influencers. An added lack of empathy is so common in the Internet age that it shouldn’t even be mentioned.
To me, an “arrogant narcissist” is someone like Elon Musk or Greta Thunberg. A “professional narcissist” is much more common, and they’re characterized by the need to express themselves regularly and be “liked” and praised not just on blogs, Facebook, or microblogging networks such as Twitter, but on video platforms including YouTube, TikTok, and others. The typical such narcissist has one or more YouTube channels which, although always used for monetization, don’t feature videos that genuinely try to explain something (think of Tom Scott, Engineering Explained, Technology Connections, Nostalgia Nerd, various language-learning channels), but they are purely used as personal TV channels, often with minimal editing, so that the viewer is supposed to watch all the blabbering such a person can produce! Sometimes, such a video presents a few ideas that could have been written in a couple of paragraphs or spoken in two minutes, but the result is a 25-minute video. How is this not narcissism?
Who is Scott Adams?
First and foremost, he’s Dilbert’s father. If you don’t know who Dilbert is, please go away. (No, no, that one is Garfield.) His early jobs at a bank and as a software developer (I guess they were called computer programmers back then) helped him create the cruelly realistic corporate milieu hosting Dilbert, the Pointy-Haired Boss, Carol Cerberus, the CEO, Alice, Tina, Wally, Asok, Ned, Loud Howard, Dogbert, Catbert, Ratbert, the Garbageman, Mordac, and the others.
Beyond Dilbert, Scott Adams is the author of several non-fiction and fiction books that are all interesting. Yeah, this guy used to be über-smart. Did I tell you he’s also a hypnotist?
He might also be the first personality to have predicted Trump’s victory, probably as early as August 2015, if not earlier. What I know is that I too was betting on Trump, for various reasons, partially because of the persuasion techniques he was using, but also because I believed he was representative of the average American, and obviously a better choice than Hillary Clinton. More posts: Sept. 2015; January 2016; practically every blog post back then. The Six Principles are explained in WaPo, and also listed here. Or read Adams explain Trump’s persuasion technique.
Time passes. Trump wins. President Trump does things. People react mostly badly to what Trump says and does. I’m fed with the anti-Trump mania, and I stop watching John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Bill Mahler, Trevor Noah (Jon Stewart was out by then), Jimmy Fallon. A right-wing country with such socialist clowns!
Scott Adams undergoes subtle and less subtle transformations. From explaining Trump, to justifying Trump, to defending Trump, to aggressively defending Trump, to advocating and campaigning for Trump. It’s his prerogative, as Americans would say. (Lexical note: this is a typical American perversion of language to use this word e.g. “If you’d rather sell the tickets than use them, that’s your prerogative.” Outside America, prerogative designates a privilege, a special right, or a specific characteristic. It’s not used for a mere choice or preference.)
As a means of expression, his blog wasn’t good enough. Scott Adams started Coffee with Scott Adams: daily Periscope sessions of roughly one hour, in which his fans were supposed to watch (pom-pom-pom!) something that I’d call “the Scott Adams news agency” plus “the Big Explainer” plus “I’m not launching any conspiracy theory, I’m just asking a question or suggesting a scenario.” Clearly a narcissistic enterprise from the master manipulator-in-chief. These Periscope sessions later went to his YouTube channel.
At some point, we were introduced to his girlfriend: Kristina Basham, 31 years his junior. Gorgeous model (but frankly, looking like a whore), piano player, with a degree in financial economics, pastry shop owner, mother of two, divorcee, sexy, intelligent, with an OCD as a kid (obsessed with cleanliness), she married Scott Adams mid-2020.
After the censorship on social networks started to become a real thing, and Scott Adams got his Episode 1213 canceled, he considered other social networks for his video, and you can now find him on Locals. This means you’d have to pay to watch him. Episode 1387 is the most recent one as I’m writing this. How is this not narcissism? Scott Adams’ paid TV channel!
With time, Scott Adams became more and more of a hardcore conservative. There’s nothing wrong to fight the BLM, the woke Cancel Culture, the climate change hysteria, etc., but you don’t behave like Tucker Carlson when you have twice his IQ! You’re probably right to oppose the hysteria regarding the Jan. 6 riot against the Congress, but there are some limits.
Also, he would be able to launch a world war, given the opportunity:
Punishing countries and foreign individuals outside America’s jurisdiction and without even proof, even less a trial, is a defining element of American fascism.
Maybe he cannot stand failure:
He also was as unfair as Trump with Dr. Fauci, to the point of even denying that COVID-19 really is as severe a situation as it was and still is. The same way he got rabid against the dealers of fentanyl (the usual “let’s kill them all” style) after his 18-year-old stepson died of a fentanyl overdose, maybe he would have had a more mature attitude about the pandemic, should someone in his family have died of COVID-19. Instead, sheer arrogance (combined with the typical American clichés “it cannot happen to me” and “if I mentalize it can’t happen, then it won’t happen”):
He also had a number of provocative tweets, sometimes as if he were conducting an experiment in social sciences and asking the most extremist or stupid people to support his ideas, claims, or suggestions:
Recently, he got an obsession with other people’s narcissism (or what he considers to be narcissism in others) and trolling (coming from a master in trolling!):
This should help explain what followed.
It all started with this:
To which I replied with this:
Hey, old genius, results change if quotes are added, like so: “worse than watergate guy” pic.twitter.com/ZDUv5aBGMh
— Ludditus ex-Béranger (@ludditus) May 26, 2021
Then the hell broke loose!
Let’s explain what is it all about in tiny steps, in the hope that even the most retarded would understand:
- Scott Adams believes that Google is censoring him.
- Google does indeed demote some results deemed “unfit for the general public” as part of this censorship initiative (whatever might be considered fake news, extremism, racism, climate change denialism, etc. etc.).
- In this case, it was about something from 2018, so hardly “hot news” or “top headline.”
- Scott Adams has compared a search made with DuckDuckGo with a search made with Google.
- In both engines, he used the search string worse than watergate guy without quotation marks.
- DuckDuckGo gave the results concerning Scott Adams at the top of the first page; Google did not.
- However, when using quotes (“worse than watergate guy“), Google gives a first page full of Scott Adams!
- I therefore concluded there’s no censorship in this particular case.
- In their youth, all search engines used to give radically different results between using a search string in quotes and using a search string without quotes, simply because without quotes the words are treated separately, and any of them could be a match anywhere on a page; an aggregate score was made, and paged were ranked accordingly. In recent times though, facing an increased number of retards using the internet, most search engines started to implement “AI features” meant to guess what the user wanted to search, not what they entered in the search field. One such feature is the semantic meaning, so even if I enter “météo” or “weather”, I’d be given search results for “Wetter” while in Germany. Another “smart” feature would be to first consider the string as if it were between quotes, and only then search for the words as separate entities. This would hopefully give a more relevant result set.
- DuckDuckGo seems to have implemented this last feature with a higher prioritization of “let’s pretend it was a phrase, not a set of words” than Google. It’s each engine’s choice of how to design its ranking mechanisms.
- The fact that the intended result was from more than two years ago might have played a role too.
- Some people are so stupid as to believe that SEO is magic. First, SEO is a fraud. Proper content structuring concepts are not SEO, they are common sense. SEO is when people try to cheat and manipulate Google (or any other search engine for that matter). Google periodically changes its algorithms in an almost futile attempt to beat the cheaters, but it usually fails. Either way, this case has nothing to do with SEO, despite me being accused I don’t understand it.
I’ll put below a selection of the replies to my tweet, without embedding any tweet anymore, for space reasons. I hope you’ll enjoy them more than I did (not):
Scott Adams: You probably thought you were making a point
94 people liked the above tweet.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: The number of likes to this reply (“You probably thought you were making a point”) suggest that such people are as arrogant and sufficient as you are. You must have the “Elon Musk” syndrome, aka the God syndrome. You must be right even if evidence shows you’re wrong.
YNKS_5: He’s comparing apples to apples, not quotation marks to no quotation marks. How’s that? Genius!
Scott Adams: I usually like to be on the same topic before debating.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: The topic being? “Unlike DDG, Google dared NOT to show me in results if the relevant fragment was not in quotes?” You know that w/o quotes, it means separate words that can be anywhere on the page, and the ranking is based on heuristic?
Ludditus ex-Béranger: And you, what was your point? That DDG and Google are not identical, right? Because if you thought of censorship, YOU WERE NOT CENSORED. Search engines gave different results with and w/o quotes since day 0.
Scott Adams: If you come up with something useful to say that isn’t also obvious, please alert me.
39 people liked the above tweet.
EdwardoStickyFingers: Alert: Pretending to not know how search engines work in order to rile up your dumb fans is pathetic.
JustBrowsing: You are dumber than rocks. Way over your head.
Michael Paul: Sadly true. How does someone who doesn’t know the difference between “” on a tweet and “” not found on a picture even able to use twitter?
Ludditus ex-Béranger: Michael Paul is even dumber: it’s precisely BECAUSE I SAY SCOTT DIDN’T USE QUOTES ON GOOGLE (“on the picture”) that I said: just use quotes to find something of relevance, instead of crying censorship.
Michael Paul: Great job missing the point 2 times. If something is the top story it shouldn’t need to be “special searched” Your insult is clearly self projection.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: How the fuck is this “the top story” when it’s old shit?! Google was right to NOT favor the “in quotes” search versus “separate words” search in such a case. The Church of Scott Adams lacks any logic.
Michael Paul: Just keep talking and proving my point thanks.
Scott Adams: Narcissist play. Always projection.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: Says the narcissist-in-chief.
Scott Adams: Before I learned to spot narcissists online, it puzzled me why they kept accusing me of their crimes. I didn’t realize it is a real thing.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: The next big thing would be to see Elon Musk accusing everyone else of narcissism. Scott knows that narcissists cannot recognize they’re having this condition, but he failed to consider that he might be one.
Scott Adams: Mind reading. I know I’m one. But the benign version.
Michael Paul: Took me some time to figure it out as well, also deployed as a deliberate tactic by some, politicians ect., so they can then fain next a false equal footing when they get found out.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: In which way something from 22/08/2018 is hot enough to be “the top story”? Nobody explains that, and they couldn’t. But enjoy your popularity on Reddit.
Michael Paul: Don’t use redit so really horrible attempt to belittle, Top story isn’t top news story like I said the more you talk the more you prove you don’t know anything about SEO. DDG uses algo close to pengiun 5 since it doesn’t track PUD it has to rely on most clicked from search words
Michael Paul: DDG meaning duckduckgo and PUD meaning personalize user data, also to point out it is the person the link is about google tracking who you are if they weren’t hiding it you would think a link about yourself would be number 1 link.
Resident Biden: Some of the lefties really don’t like the idea that Google isn’t a perfect reflection of reality. Scares ’em.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: Who’s a lefty here? Scott, because he wanted Google to be a perfect reflection of reality, and also to show identical results with and without quotes.
Resident Biden: It’s hard to respond to the statement, because it’s obvious your brain is mush and there isn’t much that can be done to make a useful impression. For others though: NORMAL people don’t search with quotes every time. Google is manipulating the results with NORMAL syntax.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: You are definitely dishonest. You should have known that FOR MANY YEARS, NORMAL people were using quotes. It’s only in the latest decade that things changed.
Michael Paul: You Clearly don’t know sht about how SEO works so maybe the wise thing would be to duck out of this conversation.
Ludditus ex-Béranger: You, Michael, are clearly a douche.
Michael Paul: I’m a complete arsehole but very rarely ever wrong so the annoying arse you have no choice but to deal with.
Karl Jong Un: Boolean search would catch your descriptors if Google wasn’t rigging the game. Information “fondling”.
Sugarrabbit: ROFL ROFL ROFL if you don’t know Google is biased and suppresses the right then you aren’t very bright
Travis Blue: Young moron. Your compression skills are nil.
It’s practically impossible to list the tweets in the right order without displaying somehow the tree of replies to replies, for which Twitter doesn’t provide any help, but I hope you got the idea. Also, most tweets in which I was diminished received a good deal of likes.
I won’t brag about the level of hacking in IT I was able, and I still am able to do, nor with my data mining techniques or with the ways in which I’m able to circumvent various limits and to find the information I wasn’t supposed to find, to download things I wasn’t supposed to be able to download, to see some of the web contents in ways I wasn’t supposed to see. I know what I can do and (even more important!) what I cannot do. It’s nonetheless heartbreaking to see all those halfwits persuaded that they’re infallible geniuses and I’m a moron.
But Scott Adams deserves a category on its own. I suppose “narcissistically arrogant God complex-affected persecution maniac” would do.