How to Help Someone Confront Their Prejudices

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Reader Comments (40)

Reassuring Scott(r) in panel four makes me feel better after reading the blasphemy in panel two.

March 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

Panel 4 made me laugh. A lot!

March 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Considering what an amazing philanthropist Bill Gates is, if he's a jerk, the rest of us must be evil.

Note from Scott: I actually agree. I'm referring to pre-retirement-it's your fault for trusting us-geesh poor people, get a real computer-Bill, not post retirement-stamp out malaria-Bill.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoto13

Second panel is absolutley brilliant!

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Linux for teh win!11!!!

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGnu

Good job outing Edison as a jerk. I can't stand the guy.

Tesla wasn't a jerk, just crazy. And a better inventor, to boot.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTJ

Great comic. I'm glad I wrote it, drew it, and will receive all of the royalties for it.

Glad to get that out of the way. Hey, I've still got time to zap a few schnauzers before my 3 o'clock!

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRutskarn

To be fair, Edison didn't invent much of what he took credit for. The jerk.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdrj.robson

As an engineer I applaud panel 4!

Great work.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOwen

That opening is beautiful. Well played.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBurn Unit

In the first panel, I thought this was a re-run. Has there been a previous strip about Gates being a jerk?

In the second panel, shouldn't it be "Jobs is just as big a jerk as Gates is", to match the tense in panel 1?

Note from Scott: I actually thought long and hard about whether to use "was" or "is." I figured that if I used "is" I'd hear from people telling me that Bill's retired and now saving the world from Malaria. If I used "was" I'd hear from people telling me Bill was still alive. Then I realized I'd hear both things anyway, so I used was, because Bill isn't such a jerk anymore, and is retired.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJL

Did you learn that Edison fact from playing Assassin´s Creed II? That must have been the weirdest place that I have encountered anti-Edison and pro-Tesla propaganda.

Note from Scott:I knew about it before Assassin's Creed II, but was surprised to find it in there as well. The hardest thing about writing this particular comic was not getting to use all the dirt I had on Edison.

Here are a couple of fun facts:

He tried to get the process of executing criminals by the use of Electricity officially called "Westinghous-ing."

When he hired Tesla, Edison told him he'd give him a fat bonus if he could increase the efficiency of Edison's generators by a certain percentage. When Tesla succeeded and asked for his bonus, Edison laughed and said "Nicola, you have to learn to understand the American sense of humor."

When Georges Méliès tried to release his silent film "A trip to the moon" (That one where the bullet-like space capsule hits the moon in the face) in the United States, he found that Edison had made copies of the film and released it in the States already without sharing any of the profits, or even asking permission.

The man accomplished a tremendous amount, and we all owe him much, but he was an ass.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrazilian_guy

Dammit. I'm going to have to stop using ... ... products.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLockeZ

Hehahae 100% agreed...
Hey guy, you need to modify your tweet button, it appears: "@YOUR TWITTER USERNAME".

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Wow, this comic was hilarious, but oddly I don't feel better after reading it..... :(

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSolak

"me either" .. ? or is this an elaborate joke I don't get?

Otherwise, all good!

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTitanicus

linus trovalds and RMS werent jerks. Well RMS is a bit....

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

Gates has given away a smaller percentage of his net worth than I have (or you have or pretty much anyone not uber-wealth has) I am not sure that his philanthropy gets him out of jerk jail.

And, wouldn't be complete without a grammar note: split infinitive in Panel's OK in Star Trek "to boldly go," but we shouldn't make it that jerks "seem to always get" rather than " seem always to get" (feels weird until you do it right a few times).

Note from Scott: Thanks for the note, but for the record, I write dialog the way I think people would naturally speak it, so yes, there will be split infinitives, sentences ending in prepositions and other issues like that.

Misspellings and missing/extra words are usually mistakes, and as long as you're polite about it, you're doing me a favor by pointing them out. This strip, for example, had such a typo, and the first commenter posted a quick message calling the problem to my attention and giving me permission to delete their comment rather than approving it. I am nothing but grateful to them for it.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergreymase

Anyways, great comic, Scott. Panel two was my favorite. My personal "jerks whose products and ideas have done us so many favors so it's really hard to hate them despite how jerkish they are" are Kary Mullis and James Watson, though I guess they're not too applicable in the real world, haha.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChare

GRAMMAR: So, as Churchill said to his speech editor who corrected his penchant for ending sentences with prepositions: "This is precisely the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put!"?

Fair enough...I love your strip...and by extension, I LOVE YOU, MAN! No offense intended.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergreymase

The idea that you shouldn't split infinitives is a rule that came from Victorian grammar prescriptivists who decided that proper English grammar should mimic proper Latin grammar -- and, since in Latin infinitives are a single word, you can't split them, and therefore English shouldn't. (Seriously. Does this make any sense at all?) Likewise the rule about prepositions on ends of sentences. And the whole reason for grammar prescriptivism of this sort? To distinguish "proper" grammar from what normal people actually spoke, so as to be able to easily distinguish uneducated people and feel superior to them.

Or, in short: They were jerks.

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrooks

This time, panel 1 was almost all I needed for the day. I sometimes get all the way to two or three without an embarrassing guffaw. Well done and thanks!

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHinkle

Panel 2 is very true. And that sort of behavior frustrates me because I suffer from the irrationality that people will behave rational when presented with facts.

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeekoid

Kary Mullis is more of a douche than a jerk. At least, that's what his (own!) book makes him out to be.

Maybe it's true that assholes get the most work done.

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeric

I have to point out, Bill Gates isn't a jerk. He's doing that whole "saving the world" thing now, so you can't call him a jerk. How he got the money to save the world was rather cut throat, which qualifies him as many things, but "jerk" isn't really one of them. He's more of the ultimate machiavellian.

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

Excellent, as usual.

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Edison was a jerk. A jerky jerk.
For an awesome explanation on the Edison vs. Tesla "feud" (from a decidedly pro-Tesla stance), check out Drunk History:

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLime D. Zeze

What about President Andrew Jackson?! Biggest jerk evvvver. More like Andrew Jerkson.

March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrisky McFinnigan

I can't speak to what Gates is doing for malaria extinction; but the work he's doing for education in this country has been a mixed blessing so far. Like many of his background (i.e. computer geeks, not that there's anything wrong with that) he doesn't actually know very much about the field of education, which doesn't stop him from thinking he knows everything about the field of education. (Dunning-Kruger Effect, anyone?)

And rather than do research into the field, he (or perhaps his advisors?) has jumped straight to the conclusion, and is now using his boatloads of money to influence legislation, so that the public schools will be created in the model he thinks is most effective, whether it actually is effective or not. (No evidence says his model is effective.)

Money is nice, obviously. But Gates isn't *just* giving money. He's using his money like an axe, attempting to hew the country into a shape he thinks it ought to be: starting with its children.

March 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdelagar

There's no such thing as a jerk, only people who act like one to certain people or in certain situations.

March 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJuek

Edison electrocuted animals for propaganda purposes. the reason why he did so was to show gov't big-wigs that AC current (the now standing form of electric power to houses and businesses) is that AC current was dangerous.

"and now to show you how dangerous AC is, let's bring in Fido...ZAP!"

because he wanted gov't funding for his DC electricity grid. killing animals for profit. just like KFC, just not as tasty.

Also: Linux FTW!!

March 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterXzex

gates philanthropy isnt really philanthropy... at least, not in the way we think of the term.

a couple years ago he went to educate african farmers with "cutting edge" farming techniques. to him, cutting edge meant GM crops, in countries that had banned them. so is he helping people, os is he looking for loopholes to get GMOs in africa so african farmers can be even more colonized than they already are? see also gates and buffet in india, and the green revolution - that was "philanthropy" too, the type of philanthropy that bypassed india's elected reprentatives

if gates is actually fighting malaria in africa, well good for him, but there is, for example, a suspicous "africa fighting malaria" lobby group that's run by chemical corporations. their aim is to get every country to unban DDT because they claim its the only responsible and effective way to fight off malaria. and there are a lot of reasons why that isnt true, and obvious reasons why the company that makes DDT would like to cast the pressure they create on african governments with this lobby as philanthropy.

given gates track record, and his faith in big agribusiness, it would actually be weird if he was involved in fighting malaria for non-duplicitious humanitarian reasons. although i dont even know what exactly he's doing, its juts his MO so far suggests.. not to trust his surface claims

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjames

Friends, all of us are jerks, but we can all be better as well.

Gates.. moved past the jerk phase. I actually admire him for that.

July 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlaze Stryker

And now steve jobs is dead.

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick M

You know who didn't electrocute elephants?


He killed people. With manmade lightning.

Tesla kicks butt.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCRH

These comments remind me of the time a college professor who didn't know how to avoid comma splices took me to task for ending a sentence with a preposition... In a QUOTE from a NEWSPAPER ARTICLE! If I'd lost one more point to that idiot I'd have complained to the Dean.

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris Rivan

Apple sucks and Steve Jobs was evil incarnate

March 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDestructicon

For an interesting riff on Edison and Tesla's feud, you should check out Dark Horse Comics' Tarzan issues 13 and 14, which features Tesla as a hero, Edison as a villain, and even Frankenstein's Monster trying to prevent Edison from creating another monster. Weird but interesting.

October 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason Toddman

Yay. Something against Apple. I've hated them since kindergarten. It all started with their no right-click mouse. Then, the iPod beat the superior Zune (I never owned either one, but in the long run, a Zune would cost less). One of their co-founders (who is now dead) was such a jerk his own company fired him

Continued Ranting

January 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMoistRobot

Electricuting animals as a marketing gimmick is pretty bad, but still not as bad as Benjamin Franklin. He used to do his kite trick - with a chicken on the end of a metal wire - just to entertain his drunk friends.

September 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBetrayer
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