Mailvox: a run-in with McRapey

Agathis’s initial experience with John Scalzi’s self-vaunted debate skills was quite similar to my own back in 2005:

Way back when, I had a blog and posted about Scalzi. He had made some
ridiculous argument about those that were all “het up” about
homosexuality–that they were, probably, homosexuals themselves. I asked
a rhetorical question–“Is Scalzi a bigot?” I answered no, then,
because I didn’t know him well. Anyway, he came by the blog and argued
with me. Now, at the time, I had quite a bit of respect for him. I liked
Old Man’s War, as a fan of Heinlein, and though it didn’t reach that
level of quality, it was entertaining.

What resulted was a long
conversation where he insulted me over and over again, never read a
single post I’d made, argued against strawmen, and showed a disturbing
ignorance of what people actually believe. And yes, I do believe he
threw around his education credentials. I didn’t bother telling him
that I have an MA in a philosophical field as well, because it wouldn’t
have mattered to him.

He tried to argue that it wasn’t insulting
to call people gay because he didn’t think there was anything wrong
with being gay. So I say, what if I went around saying that all Jews
were greedy money-grubbers. He got really offended by that and started
insulting me again. I said, hey, I don’t think there’s anything wrong
with being a greedy money-grubber. I’m a capitalist. I think that’s when
he gave up and went away.

But after that exchange, I never bought another of his books. I’ve read a few, but I’m not giving this guy money. He’s an idiot.

got an ego that’s a few times too large for his actual talent. Like
those A students who get to college and realize they aren’t actually as
good as everyone says, or those singers who go on American Idol and make
fools of themselves all the while thinking they’re great. It’s a sad,
sad, thing. But after my exchange with him, nothing that’s happened in
SFWA since he became president as been any surprise to me.

Agathis picked up on something that a surprising number of people don’t realize about McRapey.  The man is less intelligent than most people assume.  He is considerably less intelligent than most of the people with whom I habitually engage.  He’s not as smart as PZ Myers, Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins, and you are all familiar with how easily I have dismantled their arguments.  The difficulty in dealing with McRapey is that he seldom presents any actual arguments, he usually just presents assertions sans any logical or evidential support.  Then, when pressed, he makes a credentialist appeal to his college degree.  Not even a PhD or a Masters, just a simple liberal arts BA, as if that’s supposed to impress people who have more advanced or more difficult degrees. And then he flees from public debate while openly banning dissent and criticism from his blog, all to the thunderous foot-thumping approval of his fellow rabbits.

For those who find it hard to believe that Scalzi isn’t highly intelligent, I suggest asking him for evidence of his National Merit scholarship or his qualification for Mensa.  It seems a little odd that someone who doesn’t hesitate to trumpet his credentials would fail to mention such achievements, and surely someone who asserts a “Scalzi family tradition of blowing the doors off standardized tests” would have qualified for both, right?

McRapey’s heavy reliance on his minor academic credential tells us another important thing about him: he is from an environment where going to university was not considered par for the course, so he places a ludicrous amount of importance on it. Once I finish On Sophistical Refutations, I will show that to the extent McRapey learned anything while majoring in philosophy, it was to resort to sophistry rather than genuinely refuting an argument.

His behavior is fairly typical of men who are raised by women. If such men don’t turn entirely feral, they are taught to believe that the winner of a dispute is the one who comes off as looking better to the crowd rather than the one whose arguments are more closely in line with facts, logic, and reality. 

Also, since he appears to have run out of ideas, I’ve created a template that should save Phoenician a little time in commenting on these regularly scheduled McRapey posts.

“______ mancrush ______ obsession _______ laughing at _______ Dipshit ______ your father_______ jealous ________ self-made ______ lawn ______”

Speaking of which, does anyone have a reference count?  Have we hit 200 yet?