Scott Adams is making desperately bad arguments now

I haven’t been able to read Dilbert for decades now without imagining the lunatic writing it. When he became a Trumpkin, that was the last shovel of dirt out of the grave for his brain. Now he’s in the advanced stages of cerebral decay, because his case against Biden is absurd.

Adams argued that if there was any proof to be had of the Biden campaign’s ties to satanism, small signs of proof would be “hiding in plain sight.” He pointed to Biden’s slogan, “Build back better.”

“Build back better—BBB. If you were going to imagine ‘666’ and you wanted to show it to people and disguise it at the same time, can you think of any letter that the numeral six would fit inside completely? Only capital B,” Adams said.

Even Joe Biden’s name, Adams said, has a satanic coincidence.

“Did you know if you took the capital letter J—just imagine the capital letter J in your mind—now think of the next letter in ‘Joe.’ It’s an O. Now just move with your mind the O to the left until it’s on top of the J. It’s a backward six,” Adams said. “Now suppose the next letter is the lowercase E. What does a lowercase E look like if you turn it upside down? Well, it looks like a six.”

He continued, “So you’ve got the J and O together. If you combine them it looks like a backward six. You’ve got this lowercase E that looks like an upside-down six, but that’s just two sixes. Six​, six wouldn’t mean anything, right? But the next letter is capital B for Biden, and capital B is where you hide your six. So even J-O-E-B is 666.”

He surmised that the letters I, D, E, and N left in Biden’s last name is short for “identity.”

“666 identity. That’s what Joe Biden’s name actually is,” Adams said.

He’s a total clownshow. Why do papers still publish his crappy cartoon? (Probably because once your cartoon is syndicated, it’s syndicated forever, and it doesn’t matter how unfunny and tiresome it becomes.)


  1. quotetheunquote says

    Wow, he’s really lost it, this one. I knew he was a right-wing wackaloon, but Revelations numerology? Yikes, I think he must have a prion on the brain…

  2. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Adams represents a particular type of Trump supporter–a fucking chucklehead who is willing to trash the country if it “triggers the libs”. I urge one of his relatives to try to have him declared non compos mentis and take control of his bank account.

  3. says

    Surely this argument would hold more water (or whatever) if it were in lowercase letters.
    I mean “bbb” is way more sinister!
    Or at least more sixy.

  4. ajbjasus says

    When I worked for a while in corporate nightmare world, I found Dilbert insightful and funny.and helped me deal with much of the absurdity I encountered.

    I find it hard to believe that the same person could produce this crap, so I wonder if there is some underlying illness.

  5. lotharloo says

    But wait, “Donald” has 6 letters, “J” obviously stands for “Judas” and “T” if you turn it around looks like an upside-down cross which is the satanic symbol. So I dunno Scott, I think I just uncovered more convincing evidence that Trump is the anti-christ or something.

  6. microraptor says

    ajbjasus @5: There was a definite progression in the comics. Dilbert was decent until the late 90s or so, then it started sliding. I think that, in part, the comic’s success was part of what did it in: once you hit syndication you can keep skating forever on inertia without ever having to put effort into being funny or insightful. Look at Garfield.

  7. lumipuna says

    He surmised that the letters I, D, E, and N left in Biden’s last name is short for “identity.”

    I have it on good word that Joe Biden’s full name is actually Josef Vissarionovits Bidenin and he was born in Georgia (not clear which one).

  8. John Hartung says

    the dream of capitalism is to one day be wealthy enough to let your mind completely go

  9. brucegee1962 says

    I used to read his strip regularly with my comics feed — I even bought a few Dilbert calendars and some of the books he wrote. So I know that for a while there he was into mind control. He was such a master at it that, in 2016, he mind controlled me out of being a paying customer and into actively avoiding the mention of his name!

  10. René says

    BBB in cyrillic is БББ.

    Nuff written. (Establishing the Biden!! connection to the Evil Empire as a side effect.)

  11. PaulBC says

    Scott Adams’s 2016 promise:

    If Trump gets elected, and he does anything that looks even slightly Hitler-ish in office, I will join the resistance movement and help kill him.

    I guess it all depends on the meaning of “slightly”. It’s a low bar, and firing those investigating or appearing as witnesses seems to meet it, along with less consequential personality ticks that are at least a little Hitlerish (but I guess there’s a little Adolf in all of us, who am I to cast the first stone?)

    Adams was making desperately bad arguments at the time. What PZ writes above isn’t even an attempt at an argument. I am not sure what he’s saying. Is the Better Business Bureau a front for Satanism? (That torch looks a little fascist to me.)

  12. Rob Grigjanis says

    Weak tea, Scott. John 14:30 refers to Satan as ‘prince of this world’. Know what ‘Donald‘ means?

    from Proto-Celtic *Dubnowalos (“prince/chief of the world”)

    Game, set and match.

  13. PaulBC says

    I would have gone with “Trouble… with a capital T and that rhymes with B and that stands for Biden!”

    (I ought be careful not to give them ideas.)

  14. Snarki, child of Loki says

    I TRIED to get the vanity license plate DCLXVI but found out that somebody had already taken it.

    Damned rat-weasels, spoiling my fun.

  15. dstatton says

    Just when I woke up this morning, the radio played The Lunatics Have Taken over the Asylum, I suppose in response to the RNC.

  16. blf says

    Scott Adams is “SA”. SA is the abbreviation for Sturmabteilung, the real nazi’s “original paramilitary wing. It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Its primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, […], and intimidating Romani, trade unionists, and, especially, Jews […]. The SA were colloquially called ‘Brownshirts’ […]”. Ergo, Scott Adams is a brownshirt, a literal nazi, a criminal goon, and an extreme bigot — “proven” by his own form of “argument”.

  17. says

    At least “Garfield” can be ignored. “BC” is the original example of a cartoonist handing his brain over to racist and cultist nonsense.

    Why do papers still publish his crappy cartoon? (Probably because once your cartoon is syndicated, it’s syndicated forever, and it doesn’t matter how unfunny and tiresome it becomes.)

  18. Snidely W says

    And then there is the current state of scholarship that shows that the original “number of the beast” was 616, not 666.

    From Wikipedia (and any number of other sources, Google “616 number of the beast”)”

    Papyrus 115 (which is the oldest preserved manuscript of the Revelation as of 2017), as well as other ancient sources like Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, give the number of the beast as χιϛ or χιϲ (transliterable in Arabic numerals as 616.

    So not just nutty, but also wrong.
    In so many ways.

  19. Mobius says

    Well, “a” looks like a backwards “6”, as does “d”. So Adams, or adams, is “666ms”, or 666 message. Thus Adams is the devil. QED

  20. LeftSidePositive says

    I mean, yeah, but “now”?

    Also, TIL that the Better Business Bureau is apparently Satanic…

  21. woozy says

    Wow. I realize a bad and pointless satire meter is fairly different than a mundane satire meter and requires an entirely different calibration, but, sheesh, get yours checked.

    (The trick of a bad satire meter is you have to ignore why the subject is making satire. I have no idea why Scott Addams thinks numerology is significant enough to satirize or why he thinks putting it in terms Presidential election is relevant, but missing the point is par to bad satire.)

    On the face of this I’d assume this was a satire about republicans calling Biden the anti-christ or a force for Satan (although none of the republicans are arguing that; they are arguing he is a socialist communist left of Lenin). But this being Scott Addams I doubt that and have no idea what his point is. But it’s clearly not a serious argument.

  22. ColeYote says

    I dunno, I think he might have a poi– wait, if you move the ‘c’ in Scott over to the bottom part of the ‘S’, it’s a six! But I’m sure that’s just a coinci- oh no, if you put the ‘c’ on top of the ‘o’ it’s another six! Well, surely there isn’t a third one in the- oh my god, turn the ‘d’ in Adams around and it’s a six! SCOTT ADAMS IS A SATANIST!

  23. says

    @#26, Intransitive:

    I seem to recall that there are older examples than those. I remember reading an article with examples of an early-20th-century political cartoonist who, making allowances for changes to the standards of cartoon publication, was basically a proto-Mallard Fillmore. And, of course, the English humor magazine Punch was rabidly anti-Lincoln, anti-north, and anti-black-people during the American civil war, with plenty of cartoons on the subject. (They famously capitulated after Lincoln was assassinated, but it’s famous precisely because they had been so evil beforehand.) Everything old is new again.

  24. says

    Oh, also: whether you like Dilbert or not, Scott Adams actually comes up with very little of the actual office humor. Most of the absurd real-life-parallel situations are actually submitted by readers, who are neither named in the strip nor reimbursed. Long long ago, like back in the late 1990s, Bill Amend’s Foxtrot was already mocking Scott Adams for that. (There was a week of strips where Jason made prototype homepages for other strips. Dilbert was one of them.) He was never a creative person; I still hold that you can pinpoint the moment where he suddenly decided that using other people’s ideas made him some kind of genius, which led to the brainworms later — it was while he was writing The Dilbert Future; if you go look at that one, the last few chapters are basically massive red flags that Adams had gone from “posing as a condescending self-proclaimed genius” to “self-proclaimed genius who has lost touch with reality in critical ways”.

  25. consciousness razor says

    woozy, he’s a racist pro-Trump goon. It doesn’t matter whether he is a troll/bullshitter, who just flings shit because he gets something out of it, or an unhinged crackpot, who is a true believer. Either way, it isn’t done in the service of satirizing, criticizing or mocking Republicans who sincerely think this way. It is just about feeding them the kind of slop they will happily gobble up, whether or not he partakes of it himself. (cf. Glenn Beck, who also never has a “serious argument.”)

  26. PaulBC says

    woozy@30 I’m not that interested in analyzing his motivations. I suspect he was having a slow day and thought this was funny. Sometimes you just need to write some BS and numerology provides an easy starting point.

    He also may have been trolling intentionally. I agree it’s doubtful that he thinks this is a significant observation, let alone a serious argument. If he does, that would be a sign of mental illness. Even crackpots have produce compelling and internally consistent logic.

    Old Dilbert comics were funny before they got entirely self-referential. But I mean, the guy was never a great genius, nor was he delivering a meaningful critique of corporate culture, though some may have mistaken it for one.

  27. says

    Who do you all think would win in a fight? Scott Adams or Randall Munroe? Or even better, Dilbert Vs. Black Hat. My money’s on Black Hat.

  28. dianne says

    Joe B. Hmmm….JoeB. JöB. Yeah, I think a case can be made for Biden being the sincere follower of God who God lets suffer to win a bet with Satan.

  29. PaulBC says

    I have heard serious Biden supporters call him “Uncle Joe”, seemingly oblivious to the Stalin reference. You’d think that would be an easy win for Trumpies making up nicknames, but maybe their audience doesn’t know enough history to get it.

  30. says

    woozy @30: I’ll let Kurt Vonnegut do the honors for me:

    We are what we pretend to be, so we must be very careful what we pretend to be.

    ‘Nuff Said?

  31. DanDare says

    Imagine if Scott Adams had a middle name.
    Now imagine the first letter of his middle, first and last name was 6.

  32. wzrd1 says

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
    Oh noes, Jesus was raised by Satan or something!
    Seriously, election season has brought out the zanies in force!

    @microraptor, somehow, that event entirely escaped my view. Probably, given the observation that human males, under said theory, were intelligently designed, but have a design flaw where there are two anatomical places commonly referred to as a “head”, but only enough blood to operate one at a time.
    I’ll not even go into procreation center’s external os being located right next door to two sewage plants, which commonly void during birth. Don’t get me started on the disaster in the making of the pharynx.
    If the human body was a manufactured consumer device, it’d have been recalled long ago.

  33. says

    There is no God but Trump, and Q is His Prophet. If He wills it the Universe itself changes to His word. That is where we are now. I wish it weren’t, but wishes don’t count for much.

  34. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @45″

    There is no God but Trump, and Qanon is His Prophet.

    I had to strikeout that Satanic name and the Trekkie in me added the bold part, to distinguish that conspiracy group from Picard’s mischievous nemesis, who is infatuated with Jean Luc and not in the least bit evil

  35. Owlmirror says

    DONALD = 6
    JOHNNY = 6
    DRUMPF = 6

    You may well ask, is it legitimate to use the diminutive of John? Given that (a) Drumpf is well-known for having a diminutive mind, heart, and soul and (b) all’s fair in love, war, and numerology, absolutely.

  36. Jado says

    “In Nineteen Diggety Six, we wore onions on our belts cause that was the fashion at the time. Joe Biden had stolen our word for Ninety, so we had to say Diggety. I chased Joe Biden for Diggety-eight miles, but he got away…”
    Scott Adams, any day now.

  37. says

    @#49, Formless Spawn:

    He was never actually very good, but you can read his own writing — not the comics, but actual text — and he wasn’t always utterly batshit insane. As I said above, if you go and read it, The Dilbert Future really seems to be the point where he started getting unhinged. (That was the second of his text-mixed-with-cartoons books, the first one being the much more famous The Dilbert Principle.) At first the crazy was mostly just I’m-smarter-than-the-so-called-experts kinds of stuff (must have rubbed off from the engineers he admires so much) but it developed from there into his current reality-ignoring right-wing worldview. Google tells me that the strip started running in 1989 and the book with the first noticeably crazy bits was published in 1997.

  38. says

    I think it was in The Dilbert Future where he started going in on the Deepak Chopra-style “quantum mechanics says that universe has a purpose and that purpose is to make me rich” tripe. There was, I vaguely recall, a “prediction in that book that scientists would discover the theory of evolution to be wrong (something something consciousness teleology?). He went further in that direction around 2006–07. But it wasn’t until 2011 that he made up a sockpuppet to praise his own “certified genius I.Q.” in a Metafilter thread.

  39. says

    Scott Adams is just like Jordan Peterson. Whenever I hear mention of his name, my first thought is “what the {expletive} has he done this time?”.