Dilbert’s Rules for Internet Debate

Scott Adams provides a too-real-to-life guide to debating on the Internet.

1. Turn someone̢۪s generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)


6. Hallucinate entirely different points. For example, if someone says apples grow on trees, accuse him of saying snakes have arms and then point out how stupid that is.

7. Use the intellectual laziness card. For example, if someone says that ice is cold, recommend that he take graduate courses in chemistry and meteorology before jumping to stupid conclusions that display a complete ignorance of the complexity of ice.

Anyone familiar with the comments sections on most larger blogs has seen these in action.

Hat tip to Jack Grant. I didn’t even know Adams had a blog.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Humor,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bithead says:

    I didn’t even know Adams had a blog

    It’s OK. Until a week or so back, he didn’t.

  2. DL says:

    Dilbert probably forgot the accusative, but self-serving superfluous question, such as,

    What were your true motives for presenting this article in the manner in which you did?