Because Flowcharts Make Everything Clearer

Apropos of nothing in particular, here is a handy-dandy flowchart to detail just who does — and who does not — get to be a dick around these here parts:

I do hope this clears up any lingering confusion anyone might have on this subject.

65 Comments on “Because Flowcharts Make Everything Clearer”

  1. Surely there’s a certain Kristine who could exercise the privilege if she ever felt it truly called for? ;)

  2. Nentuaby:

    I think in the entire time I’d had this site, Krissy has shown up in the comments maybe twice. She has almost no interest in being on the site at all, actually.

  3. was there an incident of dickishness that i missed?

    ’cause those are my favorite incidents of all

  4. I suppose there’s also something else to think about: John Scalzi may be allowed to be a dick here, but if he makes a habit of it people go elsewhere because they get an ample supply of fresh dick closer to home. At least, I think that’s how it works.

  5. Does this just apply to metaphorical dicks, or do people who have been turned into giant sentient penises who walk on their testicles and type on giant penis-accessible keyboards still get to comment?

  6. BC Woods:

    Theoretically, someone who has been turned into a giant penis, but who was still generally polite and considerate of others when he responded in comments, would be welcome. As a practical matter, people are turned into ambulatory, sentient schlongs so infrequently that the issue really hasn’t presented itself to date.

  7. That you _know_ of, John. And now maybe your insensitive attitude has driven your Ambulatory-Sentient-Schlong-American fans away, sobbing quietly onto those special keyboards. Said keyboards are now ruined by their tears, so their one social outlet, the internet, is lost to them forever. Way to go. Dick…

  8. Your flow chart tricked me. Just after the first two boxes, I was ready to change my name to John Scalzi. But then you slipped in the thing about owning the site. *rats*

    ah well, being a dick wasn’t that important to me

  9. Scalzi: So I was aware, actually. Hence the clause about “if she ever felt it truly called for.” Nonetheless, the slim chance exists, no? One must account not discount slim possibilities as non-possibilities, if one is to be an irritating pedant. ;)

  10. GOD DAMN IT. I hate when someone is a huge dick, so huge that it warrants a post by the Scalzi himself, and I miss it. By the time I catch up, the dickish posts have been thoroughly moderated and I never know what happened. The curiosity just kills me.

  11. Your flowchart needs clarification. Does it only apply to dick or does it extend to other exemplars of the “ick” class as well? Does it allow you to be a prick or a brick, for instance?

  12. Scalzi, if the occasion ever warrants, would you toss out a “be a dick” thread like you do with your “self pimp” threads?

    You know some people say/do things so dickishly you have to let them know what a dick they are by speaking to them in their own dickish language.

  13. And what if Dick Lupoff or Dick Cheney, for instance, were to show up. Wouldn’t they, especially in the latter case, be allowed a certain amount of Dickishness?

  14. Your flowchart omits a working definition of “dick.” I apologize if that observation meets the unspoken definition. :-)

  15. You’ve been out of a corporate office setting for too long.

    The “Not Allowed” bubble needs to be red. Also, you missed a perfect opportunity to present that flowchart in slide form, with cheesy transitions.

    With presentation skills like that, you’ll never be an overworked corporate drone for a generic global corporation, working eighty hours a week as a mid-level manager to fill a house you can’t afford with junk you don’t need.

  16. Rodney Graves @19: Thanks for that. I was wondering what triggered this, though I might have guessed it would be the Ethical Puzzler thread. I had stopped following that thread shortly after the average word count of the comments exceeded a paragraph or two. Maybe it’s my short attention span, but I find that when I have to work the scroll bar to read a single comment, my eyes glaze over and I must move on to something else.

    I don’t mind when Scalzi gets verbose. I mean, I could read whole books written by that guy. To the rest, I can only say: Less is more. Or, from Strunk & White: Omit needless words!

  17. As a public service to those who feel restricted by John’s ban on “being a dick” by anyone other than himself, there’s a new site just for you.

    Dicks Anonymous

    An Equal Opportunity Dickish Community!

  18. Rodney:

    Hey, now. Some of my best friends are named Richard.

    And while indeed some of the comments in the “Ethical Puzzler” thread were an immediate precipitant, it’s been happening elsewhere too. It was time to remind people generally.

  19. Nathan @27: The site you link to is fraudulent, or at least seriously flawed. There is apparently no way to post anonymously, something key to being a dick in a comment thread.

  20. Just a minor point, in the interests of political correctness:

    There is no reason to assume that just because a person happens to have been turned into a giant sentient penis, there is no reason to assume that they are male. I think we can all agree that being transformed into a giant sentient penis happens to both genders with the same frequency.

  21. BC @ 33,

    Thank you for that. Everybody thinks that being turned into a giant sentient penis is just a “man’s issue.” But it’s an equal opportunity issue, and I appreciate your willingness to treat it as such.

  22. Dude.

    Nice use of gradients. The web designer at work would be impressed. Rounded corners, too! That’s a very Web 2.0 flowchart ya got going there…

  23. @Heather

    You’re welcome, but really it’s my pleasure to speak up in defense of women afflicted with giant sentient penisism.

  24. Hmm. Now I just have to filter am I being a dick or an ass. The flow chart seems to indicate that I am free to be a complete and utter ass.

  25. Patrick M:

    Just because the flow chart only specifies who is able to be a dick DOES NOT imply it’s okay to be an ass, or a jerk, or a douche, and so on.

  26. This is disappointing. Its fun when people say “but Scalzi, YOU were a dick, why can’t I be one?” This explains it so clearly that they might stop doing that. And you say amusing things in those circumstances!

    Like I say, very disappointing.

  27. I rather suspect that people determined to be dicks here will still be determined after seeing the flowchart. That’s part of what makes them dicks.

  28. Craig 7: …people go elsewhere because they get an ample supply of fresh dick closer to home.

    Speak fah yeseff, dahlin’.

    Oh wait, you meant…never mind.

    Steven 23: Dick Cheney is a full-time open throttle dick. He couldn’t stop being a dick long enough to comment acceptably on this site, is my bet.

    BC 33: There was a guy in my hometown whose nickname among my friends was “Carl, the human penis.” While he had a certain physical resemblance to the referenced bit of anatomy (when he wore a tan turtleneck it was impossible not to laugh), it was his behavior that got him the nick…and eventually landed him in jail IIRC.

    Oh, but you were talking about sentient penises. Not sure he qualified on that score.

  29. So in a way, those who are dicks here and not JS are simply trying to obtain dickdom. But in this case imitation is not viewed as flattery it seems.

    All this talk of dick makes one wonder, are we talking helmet heads or ant eaters?

  30. Oh, right!

    So, who gets to be the ass? It seems only fair if you get to be the dick, someone else gets to be the ass.

  31. Yes, Patrick, the two go together like hands joined, like the end and the way.

  32. The two “No” arrows don’t line up nicely on the vertical, on the upper right hand side of the chart. The two “Yes” words are also touching the descending lines (and lack symmetrical placement) and look rather unprofessional.


    Peter Dickington

  33. Yes, Patrick they certainly go together, more so for some people, not so much for others.

  34. John,

    What about those bitter, sarcastic clones of yours? You may need another loop.

  35. Okay, I just had to explain the term “douche” to an Italian friend of mine. It was very, very awkward. And yes, I felt like a dick.

    Damn Anglos messing up French words.

  36. Nargel @21: I think Google is “Don’t be evil.” WilW is definitely “Don’t be a dick.”

    It should be on a t-shirt.

  37. When dicks are outlawed on the Internet, only outlaws.. .no, wait. That COMPLETELY doesn’t work.

  38. This clearly implies that if Scalzi changes his name he is no longer allowed to be a dick (on this site). Therefore, I believe we should found a “John Scalzi should change his name to Scalvi” movement.

  39. Good move there, John. You can never win a pissing contest with a dick unless you’re an even bigger dick.

  40. re: Sentient Schlongs. Weren’t they playing in Seattle back in the early 90s?

  41. Wow. Read a few of your posts on privi- sorry, difficulty settings. :P You’re remarkably well-adjusted and chill, with a sense of humour. And I hope that doesn’t sound like sarcasm, because it isn’t. Good show.

  42. I couldn’t leave a comment on the article about diff. setting – so I’m going to do that here, if you don’t mind:) I loved it and that is exactly what have been trying to show/prove to my morons here.

    The thing is, because everyone else has become more of a struggler in order to succeed, they are justifying their own unsuccessfulness by complaining how women are more protected than a polar bear here, that women – being oh-so-protected – are misusing that ‘protection’ and trampling over men (bla bla yadda yadda), so poor-little-they cannot find their spot under the sun. Makes me wanna puke, especially since it is a fact that women here are still underpaid in comparison to the SWM on the same position. (ok, people in general are underpaid here, but women still must either work MUCH harder to get the same job – and keep it – as a SWM or, a lot worse, they have to… well, ‘pay’ for the job with certain services. Of course they can always refuse and maybe go to court for molesting, mobing or whatsnot but… no job afterwards. probably anywhere)

    Women still get beaten, and when someone mentions that, they start with ‘there are also cases of domestic violence where men are at the receiving end’. Yeah, there are, but proportionally – still a great minority. And it pains me because in such moments when I try to debate on this, I remember the sayings ‘never argue with an idiot – they will put you down on their level and beat you with experience’ and ‘trying to prove to an idiot that he is an idiot is a futile task’.

    But how to raise common sense or anything else to a higher level if the majority of people in a society are idiots and simply choose to stay blind to reality and the facts?:(
    Thank you for this article, because it is a rare ‘beacon of hope’ for me, in regard to men and humans in general. I just wish I’d hear more opinions similar to yours, from more of my people. Sorry for the long post and take care.

    Best regards :)

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