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The Adequacy Style Troll (AST): A Brief Refresher

By localroger in Meta
Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:38:13 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Recently a few brave souls have been observed trying to revive the nearly lost art form of the Adequacy Style Troll, or AST. Below, find a convenient guide to recognizing this rare and unusually entertaining form of troll, as well as guidelines for those who would join in the effort to keep the AST alive.


We all know about trolls. They leave insulting or profane messages in comment threads not because they believe in their own outrageous statements, but in order to observe the chaos as other users reply to them. But while anyone can leave a post questioning another user's sexual orientation or calling them a fucktard, a special breed of troll exists to distill chaos into its purest discernible form. Popularized and raised to a fine art by now-defunct website Adequacy, the Adequacy Style Troll, or AST, brings a blender to the ordinary practice of shit-stirring.

Components of an AST

The AST achieves its goal by a combination of proven techniques:

  • A tone of calmness and rationalism is maintained. This creates an enhanced contrast between the AST itself and the responses, which are likely to be emotional and less thoroughly considered.
  • The initial starting position for argument is unassailably sensible.
  • Each step of the argument is completely reasonable.
  • Substantial, even excessive, documentation is provided.
  • The final conclusion is outrageous and completely unacceptable to the target victim group.
The hard part of creating a successful AST is making the last item flow naturally from the preceeding ones. The successul AST leaves a typical victim, who is not versed in the minutae of logic, sputtering and flustered as he finds himself almost tempted, for however brief a moment, to believe in the unacceptably outrageous conclusion of the argument.

Subject

The AST is not bound to any particular political theory, as the amusingly contradictory mission statement for the now-defunct Adequacy site attested. An AST works toward a conclusion so outrageous that absolutely nobody anywhere in the world (except maybe for a few total kooks) would accept it. Some examples which either did or should have appeared on the now-defunct Adequacy site might be:

  • Paedophiles perform a public service by accelerating the rate of maturity of our kids
  • Jeffrey Dahmer was actually a swell guy who is routinely misunderstood
  • Mister Rogers was actually a criminal pervert who should have been locked up
  • England would greatly benefit from joining the USA as a new state
  • Vermont should secede from the USA
  • Senator Joe McCarthy was a great patriot who only had the USA's best interests at heart
  • The USA should invade Norway
  • The death penalty should apply to misdemeanors
I could go on, but I'm not really very good at this myself. You should get the idea.

Title

The title should be bland and reasonable, a bit mysterious, and should carry just a hint of challenge. For example, let us take the title of this piece, which I shamelessly ripped off from a currently practicing master of the form.

To the left of the colon we have the actual title, which is vague enough that if you don't already know what I'm talking about you don't know what it means. This is important. I spiced it up by adding a nonexistent acronym as if it is something you should be familiar with; again, if you don't get the joke immediately this subtly implies that you are ignorant right from the start.

To the right of the colon we have the real artwork. The first lie is the word Brief. I am actually going to carry on about this at nauseating length but the title implies that I could have really gone on for a lot longer if I wasn't just tossing this off the top of my incredibly well-educated head as a favor to you poor uneducated losers.

Then we have Refresher. Here is a brilliantly chosen word that accomplishes several things. First, it implies that I'm not telling you something new, I'm simply refreshing a knowledge I assume you had. Wait, you didn't know what an AST was? Well you must be some kind of real lunkhead then.

Refresher also implies that I'm not just going to drone on at you, I'm going to open the windows and let a little joy flow into your life. Like a breath of fresh air, I'm going to give you something interesting and useful to ponder.

Refresher also implies that what we will be discussing is breezy and uncontroversial, a low-level discussion that will be entertaining and easy on those hung-over brain cells.

Remember, a troll is a memetic assault. The title should be like the moment before the brawl where you pretend to be concerned, so concerned about a stain on your victim's shirt -- right before you sucker punch him.

Another good title example comes from history, from what is in fact both the first and greatest AST ever perpetrated: Yet Another Effort, Frenchmen, If We Would Be Republicans by that all-time champion troller the Marquis de Sade. This was such a brilliant troll I used it as a starting point the last time I indulged in a troll of my own.

Sade's title implies that, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, with such vast gains in liberty having already be made, that only another small push could realize his own perfect vision of liberty -- which turns out to be no laws at all, including those against theft, rape, incest, and murder.

There is a similar coyness in the title of that more familiar historic troll, A Modest Proposal in which Jonathan Swift advises the Irish to solve their famine problem by eating their children. While Modest Proposal is deservedly well known it doesn't really qualify as an AST, since it doesn't seem that Swift anticipated the large number of very stupid people who would think he was serious. Sade, by contrast, leveraged the chaos of revolution and his own reputation into a deliberately ambiguous statement that leaves people arguing about his intent more than 200 years in the future.

Opening Position

The AST must start with an assertion nobody reasonable can find disagreeable. Sade began Yet Another Effort with an assault on religion, which was well-tuned to the mood of post-Revolution France; I began my homage with the universal complaint that "there are too many damn laws."

This is the direct approach, and it has a flaw; somewhere in the AST you must commit logical violence to drive the argument over the line to insanity. If someone identifies this linchpin of illogic then your troll is ruined. A superior technique is to start by admitting to some small bad thing about your eventual argument (e.g. paedophiles are really bad people) and then gradually erase this assertion of badness through logic, say by over-generalizing between paedophiles and "average" people. In this technique your linchpin is off stage because it's the other bad stuff you could have said about paedophiles early on, but didn't; like stage magic, the successful AST is often about what isn't said.

Chain of Argument

Each argument in the chain must appear solid even if it isn't. One technique has already been mentioned for directing the argument into la-la land; a few others can be summarized readily:

  • Make use of the copious documentation available from biased action groups, corporate sources, and net.kooks to bolster your argument.
  • Blather on at long and ponderous length about things that aren't really important and bury the linchpin of illogic in a couple of sentences that most people will be too tired to read.
  • Make use of anecdotal or potentially biased evidence that supports you, but do not accept such evidence that does not.
  • To whitewash that which is repulsive:
    • over-generalize between subject and that which is normal.
    • mention and whitewash small flaws as cover
    • imply that large flaws are unbelievable or impossible
  • To demonize that which is well liked:
    • over-generalize between subject and that which is repulsive.
    • seize on every small flaw and complain that it is a sure sign of some much more important deep character deficiency
    • imply that virtues are unbelievable and unlikely
  • Use these techniques sparingly and in as few passages as possible, preferably before or after something else much more interesting and distracting.
Documentation

Within an AST, there are no rules of documentation. Now that we have the Internet you can simply overwhelm your victims with information. Some of the champion trollers at now-defunct website Adequacy would hyperlink every third or fourth word, sometimes to things that had nothing to do with their topic at hand.

When using biased sources, it is helpful to pick those whose biases aren't immediately obvious. Deep-link to pages that support your position without readily identifying the page's more obnoxious purpose in existing. On the other hand if you can bolster an argument with a real source that is widely respected, be sure to lean on that heavily. The linchpin of illogic should be as small as possible, a safety pin in a forest of I-beams.

Deployment

The correct venue for deploying an AST would be now-defunct website Adequacy, but obviously there is a problem with that vis-a-vis the now-defunct part.

If you choose to deploy on K5 you have a choice: Diary, Story, or Comment.

  • Diaries have the advantage that they can't be voted down or hidden. They have the disadvantage that only a few dedicated masochists read them.
  • Stories have the advantage of a wide and satisfying distribution. A well-constructed AST can usually survive at least for a while in the queue, since it takes a 20-vote preponderance to vote off. Only the most brilliant AST will make FP though, and it takes a really good one to make section.
  • Comments have the advantage that they can double as parasitic sucker-punches on the poor schlep whose story you've commented, especially if you leave a late, high-level, very very long comment. While comments can be hidden if they're offensive enough it's almost impossible to get a well-constructed AST downmodded below 1 because of the number of admiring co-trolls who will mod you up.
Post-Deployment Appreciation

If your AST is successful it will draw a shitstorm of outraged responses. The most skilled AST'ers leverage this by careful management of the reply threads; the really great ones get far enough to strain the Scoop engine's recursive threading ability.

Most of the guidelines for drawing out the comment stream are similar to those for creating the argument chain, since you'll be countering arguments. There are some subtle differences, though, since you have less control over the direction of things.

  • Never accept documentation that disagrees with you. All 'net documentation is suspect, unless it supports you of course.
  • Seize on every small error by any critic and use it to hound them mercilessly. After all, anyone who can't spell "the" must really be a moron.
  • Casually dismiss such criticisms of yourself, even when it is proven by multiple documentary sources that you really fucked up and your linchpin of illogic is hanging out in the breeze.
  • Always have the last word, unless your critic has done something really stupid that makes them look bad.
The Life: Pros and Cons

For every prostitute there is a first time you have sex for money, and for every troll there is a first time you just cut the hell up for the purity of the chaos instead of any real belief in the topic at hand.

On the Pro side it is always safer to ridicule passion than to surrender to it. Although reading AST's from the victim side is only amusing the first four or five times, perpetrating them can remain amusing for many years as the now-defunct website Adequacy demonstrated. The world is inhabited by an unending procession of marks who will fall for a well-constructed troll, and as not just a troll but an AST you will own them. You will own one of the loftiest perches in the idea-space of humanity, a position unassailable because of its very mutability.

On the other hand once you acquire a reputation as an AST'er you will never be able to claim any passions you might develop. Sade's troll was marvelously effective but he still spent half his life in jail and mental institutions, a price Internet trolls fortunately do not face.

An ordinary troll can always start a new account but one price you pay for AST'ing is that your style will identify you. The AST is like a short story or informative nonfiction work; done well you must put enough of yourself into it that you may not be able to leave it behind.

The AST also poisons the well of discourse, that really being its reason for existence; and too much poison can kill any well. If you doubt this, all I can do is ask, why is the now-defunct website Adequacy, in fact, defunct?

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The Adequacy Style Troll (AST): A Brief Refresher | 199 comments (185 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
Bad move. (4.37 / 8) (#2)
by Mr Hogan on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:11:13 PM EST

The adequacks are more childish than they can know or dare contemplate - I think you made a big mistake inviting them to DOS you - and with you the novel - off the Internet - Jesus they practically bankrupted AMD so I don't hardly think a 6502 programmer will fare even a little better do you?

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

Attempting to DOS me would be counterproductive (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:20:45 PM EST

Take a look at the novel's URL. It's hosted by K5. In fact, K5 has several times imploded in spectacular flames while the /prime-intellect directory remained blissfully untouched.

Also, if they don't sense the tip of my hat in this then they aren't half the people I think they are. The thing is, you do have to be very smart to do what they do, and I acknowledge that. The character flaw is poisoning the well of discourse, which is something they may be smart enough to figure out eventually, being smart people and all that.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

maybe they just don't care... (5.00 / 3) (#9)
by rmg on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:31:52 PM EST

if they're nihilists like me, maybe they don't care about poisoning the well. that's why i gave up on trying to draw from turmeric's style. i don't care about anything, but his style absolutely requires passion (or so i think). these adequacy style trolls sound amusing.... but too much trouble... interesting though.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

How is that poisoning the well? (5.00 / 5) (#39)
by la princesa on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:12:33 AM EST

Your description of a purported adequacy-style-troll sounds like a perfectly normal mode of productive discourse in more classic (offline) forms of literature.  Surely you're not seriously arguing that being able to calmly devil's advocate is a bad thing.  In point of fact, if more people would calmly and civilly look at the outlandish or unusual or outrageous viewpoint, the overall level of discourse might well rise to a high level.  

Take your example of pedophilia accelerating a child's maturity.  This is actually an interesting viewpoint with some non-silly aspects worth looking into.  Taking into account the dynamics of child marriages,  or the jesting way people sometimes will say a small child has an adult wrapped round their finger, one could easily delve into some of the strange undercurrents that inform child-adult relationships.  Does the presence of these radiant aspects mean pedophilia is being advocated?  Not really-- it's just being used as a wedge to open up a broader ranging discussion of child-adult relations in all their diverseness.  

The 'devil's advocate' viewpoint isn't always devilish.  It is far more dangerous to forbid those dissonant views than to incorporate them into a civil and vigorous discussion.  

___
<qpt> Disprove people? <qpt> What happens when you disprove them? Do they disappear in a flash of logic?
[ Parent ]

Hiding the linchpin (5.00 / 2) (#53)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 08:45:27 AM EST

The difference between an AST and an honest argument is that, since the writer doesn't honestly believe in the ridiculous conclusion, he consciously obscures the linchpin of illogic which is used to bring it forth from otherwise reasonable axioms.

It is possible to write honestly about AST style topics; this is what NAMBLA and Ann Coulter do. But they are not AST'ing and the result is markedly different.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Forgot One: (3.33 / 3) (#4)
by michaelp on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:21:33 PM EST

Joe McCarthy was sincerely trying to save America from evildoers.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

Good one, added (nt) (none / 0) (#6)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:24:26 PM EST



What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Don't forget... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:58:11 PM EST

...Duchamp and his ready-mades. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant!

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Cool link, thanks (none / 0) (#21)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 10:01:59 PM EST

GF is much more conversant on art than I am, but this was fascinating and I've bookmarked it.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Duchamp was a dadaist. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by mcgrew on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:35:59 AM EST

Dada was anti-art art. His "ready mades" were offered to illustrate the idiocy of the art establishment. My favorite one was the urinal he had hung on the wall to illustrate the statement "piss on it," and the critics hailed it for its form and beauty.

One dada exhibit was busted by the local constables (some time in the 1920s). It was an empty room with a lady wearing nothing but a hat, reading poetry.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by cr8dle2grave on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 01:23:10 PM EST

A well crafted troll if ever there was one.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Nonsense. (5.00 / 3) (#83)
by lyingflamebot on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 01:58:53 PM EST

Duchamp, togther with his dada cohort, made important contributions both to art and its attendant discourse (for those inclined to separate the two, anyway). Anyone who knows anything about art will tell you as much.

The Adequacy-Style Troll, on the other hand, as localroger so has so patiently and astutely pointed out, does nothing but poison the well of our cherished discourse.

Keep that in mind, please. There's an enormous difference between art and poison, and we're lucky we have intelligent people like localroger around to point it out for us.

[ Parent ]

Dada WAS poison (none / 0) (#191)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 23, 2003 at 01:08:14 PM EST

It was anti-art art, it was for the disestablishment of art. Its main premise was "art is shit. Have some art."

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

ann coulter (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by DavisImp on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:50:41 PM EST

Isn't that the thesis of ann coulter's latest treatise? I seem to vaguely recall her saying something about it....

[ Parent ]
Ann Coulter (5.00 / 2) (#22)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 10:11:28 PM EST

Ann Coulter is an attempted AST'er, and a lot of people think she is AST'ing, but the truth is she is a pathetic imitation of an AST'er. For one thing she owns her passion, which is the first thing you must never do when you are a troll. Next, she does not bury her linchpins of illogic at all and depends totally on denial and bellicosity to maintain her position. If Coulter had spent some time on Adequacy during its short existence she might be a much more dangerous creature, but as it is she is just a bimbo with an obnoxious attitude and her enemies laugh at her more than they worry.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Typical. (5.00 / 5) (#41)
by Ann Coulter on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:33:11 AM EST

This is typical of the sort of leftist-Liberal trash that infests anti-American weblogs like this one. You don't like the message so you attack the messenger.

Senator McCarthy was truly a great American, a patriot who had the best interests of his country at heart. His crusade to ferret out the Communists that had infiltrated our government at the highest levels was vindicated by the decoded Venona intercepts. Only leftist-Liberal scum like you can deny the truth.

As for your novel, localroger, if that is indeed your real name, I find it fitting that you're unable to find a real publisher and have to rely on a medium that is infested with pederasts and left-leaning perverts and subversives.

May God have mercy on your soul, for I certainly do not.

AC

[ Parent ]

local could easily get published by Regnery (none / 0) (#45)
by michaelp on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 03:05:43 AM EST

if only he would claim to have once been a leftist who saw the error of his ways after being groped by a Clinton.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
adequacy style (4.66 / 3) (#5)
by demi on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:21:47 PM EST

You don't seriously think this 'style' was pioneered by any of them, do you? There have certainly been some hilarious and very inventive trolls here on k5, but as far as I know, very few of them were associated with the aq bunch.

According to the article... (3.50 / 2) (#7)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:26:03 PM EST

...I say the style was pioneered by the Marquis de Sade. I generously credit Adequacy with raising it to an art form and, at least temporarily, providing a forum where the AST could be brought to a standard of consistent perfection.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Shaksper by way of Horace; Swift by way of Juvenal (5.00 / 3) (#13)
by demi on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:37:12 PM EST

I don't think it should be called an Adequacy style troll. That's like calling a steadicam shot a p. t. anderson style shot. I simply refuse to hear of it. They're all fakers, bedwetters, and louts.

[ Parent ]
Well, you have a point, but... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:51:45 PM EST

...I am already known to attribute lyric quotes to the most famous person who sang them rather than the original artist. It's just how I interact with the world. (And one reason I reclaimed my old usenet .sig, to stop the complaints.) Other than the Divine Marquis, Adequacy is the only place I have ever seen this kind of argument so fluidly, so expertly, and so relentlessly pursued. So if you'd rather call it something else all I can say is the queue is open, and you're free to write your own story.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Note: trolling != satire (5.00 / 2) (#68)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:32:45 AM EST

Also, using "!=" to mean "is not" IS TEH DUMB!!!!1!!!!! lolzorz i suck

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

yes it is (none / 0) (#117)
by demi on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 01:37:22 AM EST

OED definition of satire:
1. A poem, or in modern use sometimes a prose composition, in which prevailing vices or follies are held up to ridicule. Sometimes, less correctly, applied to a composition in verse or prose intended to ridicule a particular person or class of persons, a lampoon.
b. transf. A satirical utterance; a speech or saying in ridicule of some person or thing. Obs.
c. fig. A thing, fact, or circumstance that has the effect of making some person or thing ridiculous.

2. a. The species of literature constituted by satires; satirical composition.
b. The employment, in speaking or writing, of sarcasm, irony, ridicule, etc. in exposing, denouncing, deriding, or ridiculing vice, folly, indecorum, abuses, or evils of any kind.
c. fig. Effect in making ridiculous. (Cf. 1c.)

I hate to resort to the 'dictionary definition' demurring tactic, but a troll is indeed a form of satire. Please, try to prove otherwise.

[ Parent ]
Reductio ad absurdum (none / 0) (#120)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:03:47 AM EST

Your dictionary definition allows for a teenager shouting "OH YOUR SO FAIR... NOT!" to be classed as satire.

Therefore, your dictionary is shit. Get a proper one without lazy, catch-all definitions.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

whoa (none / 0) (#122)
by demi on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 10:58:27 AM EST

I meant for that to come across much more cordially, sorry. Anyway, I don't think this would meet the OED definition of satire:
a teenager shouting "OH YOUR SO FAIR... NOT!"
but I think this would:
a fully grown, well-educated adult shouting "OH YOUR SO FAIR... NOT!"
Wouldn't you agree?

[ Parent ]
I'm afraid I disagree. (none / 0) (#125)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 12:29:20 PM EST

'a teenager shouting "OH YOUR SO FAIR... NOT!"'...

1. b. transf. A satirical utterance; a speech or saying in ridicule of some person or thing. Obs.
2. b. The employment, in speaking or writing, of sarcasm, irony, ridicule, etc. in exposing, denouncing, deriding, or ridiculing vice, folly, indecorum, abuses, or evils of any kind.

That is to say, the teenager considers whatever "unfair" decision has been made to be abusive and evil, and clearly made to antagonise the teen rather than for any sensible reason. I doubt a fully grown adult would use the phrase, except to parody the speech of teenagers.

My main point that trolling != satire would be trolling can employ satirical devices in its work, but its main purpose is not to expose the folly of an individual or group or human nature in general, as satire is. That is often a "get out clause". A troll's purpose is to elicit response by any means necessary. Imagine satire that only ever attacked its audience -- not a very popular form of satire. For example, jsm's "Why The Bombings Mean We Must Support My Politics" is honest satire, attacking ESR. But Spiralx's "Not just harmless fun" is simply there to bait dim-witted anime fans by making all the usual mistakes, deliberately. It's no more a satire on the popular misconception of anime than the Nazis were simply satiring bigotry.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

re: anime (none / 0) (#132)
by Battle Troll on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:53:06 PM EST

The satire might lie in uncovering self-styled otaku as sad, ignorant nerds, rather than people with progressive interests, as one so often hears claimed.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Indeed. (none / 0) (#135)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 05:24:56 PM EST

That would indeed be satire, but that is not what spiralx wrote. He wrote a "geek trap". If his article were considered as a satire, it would be deriding right-wing "fundies" for ranting about the immorality of something they know very little about.

No, it was a geek trap, enticing angry little geeks to lash out in return at the person decrying their favourite hobby, while also feeling enormous pride in correcting the "mistakes". It's much more a successful psychology experiment than it is satire. The sadness of the participants could already be observed plainly at the sites where teasers for the article were posted -- the article is far more about about tricking insecure young people who behave in predictable ways than it is to satirise RWNs.

The general "uneducated speaker" can be used both for satirical effect and for entrapment. Both can succeed at either. For example, Frankie Truman's World Cup Soccer Football coverage got a lot of mail from people who thought Frankie Truman was real, even though his authors had no intention of "exposing" their audience as foolish.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

I read it that way. (none / 0) (#141)
by gzt on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 07:19:47 PM EST

If his article were considered as a satire, it would be deriding right-wing "fundies" for ranting about the immorality of something they know very little about.

I viewed it as saying that and what Battle Trool said. Of course, my interpretation is skewed by the biases and traditions I surrounded myself with [namely, anime-geeks and fundamentalist rhetoric]. Is it so hard to imagine that the author had [oh gravy!] three intentions in writing the piece, two of them explicitly satirical? And besides, what does author's intention have to do with interpretation? It is quite reasonable to view the piece as satirical, in some sense, even if one of the primary intentions was not satirical.

[ Parent ]

I'm torn. (none / 0) (#146)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 08:55:11 PM EST

On the one hand, I think geek-baiting is a nasty little past-time, like making fun of the disabled or pushing grannies down stairs. If the text has to work in geek-bait, it loses something. I wonder how well well the AQ crew could do if they did mostly straight-up comedy. Shoeboy, eSolutions, elenchos and jsm -- to name a few -- have occasionally done non-trolling comedy that's really funny.

On the other hand, if it keeps the AQ crew off the streets and we can all get a few laughs out of it, it can't be that bad. They're doing it all in their own time, I can just look for their non-troll stuff if that's all I like and I can just turn a blind eye when they start picking on kids.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

depends how broad your net is (5.00 / 2) (#159)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 08:54:27 AM EST

I think geek-baiting is a nasty little past-time, like making fun of the disabled or pushing grannies down stairs.

G**k-baiting made me change my life. There are a lot of proud, contumacious g**ks out there who think they're greatly superior to everyone else, and I think it's a noble goal (volunteer freelance social work, in B. Watterson's phrase) to remind 'em that Tolkien isn't the greatest writer ever; that religion is not irrational crap fit only for sheeple; that there's more to ethics than Ayn Rand.

Speaking as a computer professional, can you tell me honestly that your g**k colleagues aren't occasionally a little too damn smug? I would agree with mockery of other smug groups, like GROLIES, but they tend to be immune to satire and not liable to read websites without the Communist Party (or, over here, Capitalist Party) seal of approval.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Speaking as a computer professional, (none / 0) (#161)
by it certainly is on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 09:13:52 AM EST

I can honestly say that my g**k colleagues aren't really all that smug, but then they're all adults and have been through that phase of smugness already.

It's the precocious teenagers on web-boards that let The Matrix define their life. But then, they get beaten up enough at school. Adults taunting them and their cliquey brethren is just a sadistic pleasure trip. The more mentally unstable kids snap, go out and buy guns and trenchcoats, and shoot lots of people. It's not nice.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Addendum: (5.00 / 1) (#166)
by it certainly is on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 12:11:06 PM EST

there was this one *really* geeky colleague, but we more laid-back geeks generally just laughed at him, when he wasn't listening. In a mature kind of way.

He was very odd. Used to "power-walk" everywhere (that's "almost but not quite running", or "mincing" as we called it). And he always carried an umbrella, even in summer. I didn't talk to him much, but when I did I usually wound him up something rotten about his favourite software. I'm so evil.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

I don't agree at all (none / 0) (#168)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 04:43:58 PM EST

But then, they get beaten up enough at school.

That's not usually true; and to back this up with fresh evidence, I consulted my two sisters who are in high school. They agree that jocks, if they beat anyone up, tend to do it to each other. (Heh, heh.) Anyhow, precocity in teenagers isn't such a burden, and I was much pretty much in that camp: no upper-body, didn't know how to dress, accelerated one year across the board (up to six in some subjects,) virgin, liked Piers Anthony, computer hobbyist (although that was before Lunix,) whatever you like.

No one beat me up for these offenses, even though I did things like read books while walking between classes; people generally stuck up for me. In high school, I got into a total of one scuffle and was backed up by my friends. And I went to the biggest jock school in my city. The year I graduated they won the city (American-)football championship and were in their twenty-third consecutive year of winning the city track championships.

Adults taunting them and their cliquey brethren is just a sadistic pleasure trip.

You're talking about kids who are more than socially inept. They're also stroppy and hostile. Kids who don't look for trouble generally don't get any. These are kids who wish they could beat up the football players; well, that makes them incapable of effective violence, not disinclined to it. No one was forcing them to come to adequacy.org, so I guess you feel that the whole internet ought to tiptoe around the feelings of angry, belligerent, acned otakus.

While I agree that the anime article was ultimately kind of cruel and juvenile, I think your shades of Columbine is unwarranted and leans j0nkatzward. Why should trench-coat types be treated like delicate widdle flowers instead of mocked and argued with? I didn't see you complaining when it was the Wiccans getting it where it hurt.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Hmm. (none / 0) (#173)
by it certainly is on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 07:02:54 PM EST

Well, it seems your school life wasn't as violent as mine. Perhaps the Americans are weaker than Scots, cowardly relying on weapons to fight their battles for them.

You're talking about kids who are more than socially inept.

Yeah, but these kind of kids have existed since time began. Now we have the internet, and they all hang out in chatrooms and message boards. The fact some of these chatrooms will be available for digging up well into their middle age should be punishment enough. I'm not saying that teenage kids and their hobbies are an off-limits comedy topic or subject for derision (heaven forbid!), but there's a big difference between making fun of the stuff kids do, and actively being a bastard to immature kids and trying to excuse your behaviour as "satirical" or "teaching them a lesson they needed teaching".

No one was forcing them to come to adequacy.org

Ah, but this is where it gets interesting. AQ minions posted links to their anime article all over anime bulletin boards in the style of the people they were mocking (e.g. "hey guys, i found this link, what an idiot! he doesn't even know that anime != hentai! lol!"). It's playing on their psychology. Likewise, no-one forced them to post -- except this glaringly factually wrong article slighting their favouritest thing in the whole world. Can they hold back from temptation? No, they're kids. Kids are easy to fool.

I didn't see you complaining when it was the Wiccans getting it where it hurt.

I use the anime article as the most obvious example of going after kids. The other famous one would be Reggie's popular missive, which I could barely read because the site was so bogged down. I'm not quite sure of the demographics of the Mandrake message boards, but quite a few of them might be kids as Mandrake has colourful graphics.

The older and supposedly more wise the target group, the less of a problem I have with it. If you're 30 and you haven't learnt to deal with people trying to provoke you, well, it's about time you did learn. Besides, how many Wiccans got trolled? It was mostly liberalists leaping to the defense of a minority religion under attack from evil Xian bigots. Wiccans are pretty much used to being mocked. Actually, there are some evil Wiccans trying to recruit impressionable kids -- have you read anything by Silver Ravenwolf? It's freaky stuff like "a spell for me and my familiar to go down to the mall and kill that bitch who called me 'Morticia' last week in front of Brad".

Have a look at em's Evolutionary Theory article. This was one of my favourites. em did an impeccable on hiding the logic flaws to anyone less than an educated biologist, and asked the talk.origins people to comment on it. Absolutely none of them fell for it. The only heat the article generated was a generic God debate with people like nathan and myself. Then, finally, months later, one professor bloke comes along, praises em for his deviousness, and calmly corrects every key error, without at any time suggesting that em didn't know this already. He gives useful links to references and essays, the works. You've got to love that.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Yes, but: (3.00 / 2) (#170)
by RobotSlave on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 05:41:26 PM EST

Localroger is pushing forty. Is winding him up fair game, then?

And what about the not insignificant number of other K5 users well beyond their teenage years who don't exactly act "laid back" when someone even inadvertently pushes their buttons?

The problem here is the same one you trip over when you posit "sincerity" as a criterion for determining "trolling;" to wit, you have chosen subjective measures as your criteria; when you say you are differentiating based on sincerity or age, you are in fact relying on your own beliefs, and not on any objectively observable property of the person under assessment.

It has already been pointed out that there is no way to know whether a person who gets a lot of angry replies is simply an insincere person out to make people angry, or a sincere person stating honestly held beliefs in ways that, deliberately or not, rile people up.

Similarly, there is no way, on the internet, to distinguish between an angry teen with an ego problem, and an immature forty-year-old.

[ Parent ]

OMG I find myself having to agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#172)
by localroger on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 06:32:07 PM EST

Similarly, there is no way, on the internet, to distinguish between an angry teen with an ego problem, and an immature forty-year-old.

Exactly. Let me tell you something about my "immaturity." I got a couple of letters from people who had actually been through WWASP "schools." I was a bit worried about that and even apologized in advance in the story header. But what they wanted to know was how I got it so right -- how I was able to portray what went on in the head of a kid in that situation.

The reason I could do that is that I practice empathy. And I practice empathy. I do not think you can be a really good writer without the ability, even the habit, of putting yourself in someone else's position. It also means that the kid in the red jacket still lives a little inside of me.

Most people find the image of someone slipping on a banana peel funny. Most of us can imagine -- may have even committed -- the little sin of leaving a banana peel around so we could watch for the fun. And it is funny, until someone breaks a bone. How often does that happen? What are the criteria for determining that someone is an OK banana peel victim? What about someone who goes to the mall and litters the place with caseloads of banana peels?

I'll give you a little insight into me: I cannot watch physical humor, like the Three Stooges. It literally makes me feel ill. This is also why I reacted the way I did to the Observer piece on WWASPS. It offends me deeply that these places exist. It makes me ashamed to be human. I could have probably written a much better story, and I might even do that one day. But the whole subject pisses me off so much that I start to shake if I think about it too much. What I wrote was what I had to write, and I was surprised it was good enough to go FP. The thing is, you can't fake passion. You can fake intellectualism, you can fake credentials, you can fake belief. But passion tells. And people react to it, not because it passes some arbitrary set of guidelines but because they feel it in their very bones.

There are people who think this kind of thing is a sign of weakness, but the older I get the more I realize how important these passions are, because as you get older they naturally tend to fade. And passion is what gives life its color. Get thee to Blockbuster, grab a popcorn and rent Pleasantville sometime.

Yes, I see the humor in AST's. But I also see the time when they pass from humor to cruelty. I've committed a few trolls, but it's a guilty sport I indulge only occasionally, usually at someone who royally deserves it for some reason, and I never troll the same person twice. Because you also can't tell the difference between an immature forty year old and a thirty year old who is on the edge of shooting up his workplace because he is an undiagnosed and untreated psychotic. Anyone who can't take an occasional troll shouldn't be online, but to relentlessly hound people is stupid and irresponsible.

Adequacy was great to have around because when you were in a trolly mood you could go there, as someone said nobody forced anybody to go to Adequacy, and it didn't contaminate the waters at sites whose purpose isn't being trolly.

Yes I can be wound up, even though age has made my spring a little stiffer. So be it. I'd rather have WIND ME UP printed on my forehead than live a life so gray I've forgotten how to feel things myself. I'd rather own my own pain than find myself incapable of wondering how much I was causing someone else.

If I had to choose, once and for all, whether to be the Troll King or the eternal Troll Meat, I'd choose the victim role in an instant. But I wouldn't always have. The person who taught me the importance of feeling was Caroline Frances Hubert.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Jesus H Christ (3.00 / 1) (#177)
by RobotSlave on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 01:11:25 AM EST

How long have you been waiting for me to post something to your little article, localroger? How long have you been muttering little bits of that rant to yourself?

Let's start with your banana peels. If you'd seen the implications of your example as applied to the phenomenon called pedal error, you would have realized by now that my article was perfectly sincere. I really do believe it's both a very real phenomenon and an unfortunate accident, just like slipping on a banana peel is a very real phenomenon and an unfortunate accident.

No amount of training or practice in the discipline of walking can remove a statistically minute chance of slipping on a banana peel or other unanticipated bit of slick ground, just as no amount of training or practice will erase the statistically tiny chance of a driver stepping on the wrong pedal.

It was abundantly clear from the many personal anecdotes in the comments to that article that plenty of people have, in fact, stepped on the wrong pedal without realizing it, and that just as with stepping on banana peels, the results almost never caused damage or injury. It's also worth noting that many of the people who had committed harmless pedal error thought it was funny, just as many people who have slipped and fallen harmlessly think it's funny afterwards. George R. Weller's pedal error looks to me like the slip on a banana peel that broke a leg, and a few other legs, not the maliciously stupid act of a man too incompetent to be allowed to walk while eating bananas on our nation's sidewalks.

You've yammered on and on about "lynchpins of illogic," but the only "lynchpin" in the pedal error article is not one of "illogic," but one of belief; you do not believe, i.e., want to accept, that it is possible for pedal error to happen to good drivers, despite the substantial evidence to the contrary; it also appears that you may subscribe to a philosophy that rejects, a priori, any possibility of accident at all where cars are concerned.

You were predisposed to reject the phenomenon, and your "passion" then told you to do so, and label the whole thing a "troll," because the summary was written by a person who had angered you only a few days prior with an unkind review of your writing, and of your outlook as a writer. Let's talk about those some more, shall we?

Let's talk about your vaunted empathy, localroger. Tell us, in your letters from kids who attended torture-camp, or character trolls pretending to be such, were there any indications that you were right about anything other than the sullen, put-upon attitude one might expect to find in such a teen? Were you right about the reasons the parents sent those children to the camp, you know, just for being antisocial computer nerds? Were you right about their ubermenchen capacity to resist torture? Was your empathy right on the money when you predicted a subsequent life of petty crime, and of video-game-like slaughter on torture-camp island? Did your empathy tell you that they speak Spanish in Jamaica?

In short, did those letters have any bearing whatsoever on the substantive flaws in character development and believability that I pointed out in my review? Or did they just applaud your own pissed-off, resentful, emotional state?

You tell us that you understand that as people get older, their passions "tend to fade," but you suggest that's a bad thing. Do you really want to live in a world where adults are ruled by their passions, localroger? Should world leaders make war on foreign nations out of personal pique? Should we lower the age at which a person can become president of the United States from 35 to fourteen, that we might have the benefit of greater passion in our public life? Would you rather see the effort to prevent terrorism conducted sensibly, or passionately? Is the problem with the Bush administration's approach a deficit of passion, or do they perhaps have a surfeit of the stuff, instead? Hmm? Or does your empathy shut down when it comes time to apply it to people you've decided you don't like?

In other words, is that empathy you're bragging about actually sympathy, instead?

I'm not knocking feelings, mind you, and believe it or not, those older people you mention, those with the the grey, lesser lives that you so despise, those with the tragically faded passions, do, indeed, have feelings, even strong ones, Mr. "Empathy." Those grey grown-up folk tend, however, to use feelings to inform their judgment, rather than allow them to overwhelm it— and that's a very good thing, indeed.

Finally, what on earth was up with that comparison between an "immature forty year old" and an "undiagnosed psychotic?" Was it supposed to be another threat, localroger? Did it occur to you that there is, in fact, a way to tell the two apart, and that moreover, you mentioned the very method by which such a distinction might be made? It's called diagnosis. After that weird comparison, you immediately tell us that "anyone who can't take an occasional troll shouldn't be online." What was that, localroger? A cry for help, for Pete's sake?

This "AST" article of yours, penned in response to an utterly sincere piece about pedal error, (yes, I actually believe everything in it, and due to my capacity for empathy, I feel sorry for poor Mr. Weller, too) sure looks to me like the work of a man who at the very least can't take criticism, and probably "can't take an occasional troll," either, despite all of his professed appreciation for the milder, declawed varieties of trolling.

[ Parent ]

I pity you (none / 0) (#180)
by localroger on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 08:13:42 AM EST

I really doubt you have the capacity to feel anything except a smug sense of superiority. I suppose it would be cruel to deny you that. Enjoy your life as much as you can, Ed.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Nice response. (none / 0) (#182)
by RobotSlave on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 02:23:08 PM EST

What a wonderfully bitchy, blinkered reply to my arguments, localroger.

I will treasure it, truly, for it shows all too clearly that all of my criticisms were absolutely on the mark, particularly the ones regarding that supposed "empathy" you're so proud of.

[ Parent ]

yuo r teh winnar! (none / 0) (#183)
by it certainly is on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 02:42:25 PM EST

Well done, RobotSlave! You've soundly whipped localroger and shown him up for the dreadful fool he is, in your inimitably smug and condescending style.

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your magnificent victory.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

you got it wrong (none / 0) (#185)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 03:43:37 PM EST

The phrase is "A winner is you!"

Anyway, while I am personally going to lay off localroger for a long while - his house got smashed and stuff - his views aren't entirely above reproach. RS may be smug, but that doesn't make everyone he's disagreed with into a victim.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

You haven't understood a word I've written. (none / 0) (#186)
by localroger on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 09:50:46 PM EST

Or you're pretending not to, which is just as bad.

In the interesting thread that developed about brainwashing under Elevator, someone said "if you can make someone say it, you can make them believe it." This is the occupational hazard of AST'ing as a hobby. Maybe you AST compulsively because you were a heartless creep to start with, or maybe you have frozen your heart in a block of ice because it interferes with your AST'ing. End result is the same.

What you don't understand -- what you consistently ridicule and insist isn't possible -- is that almost everything I write online is true. I write from the heart. I did not spend four days planning that response to your post; I was planning to ignore you, which is the response you surely deserve. But every time you construct another of these ridiculous trolls you amaze me again.

That little voice keeps insisting that somewhere beneath your crap there must be a human being. I have noted that a few people here who obviously know you in real life don't seem to think much of you as a human being. And then again, maybe your nick isn't [Czech for slave]slave; maybe it's Robot[ironic Czech translation].

Since it obviously pisses you off so much I wonder if you've given any consideration to why people keep voting my stuff up, even bits of fluff like Letter to the Delta and Elevator which even I never expected to see FP? I think that it's mostly because I write with feeling. I mostly write because I get the urge, and usually that urge is emotional. People sense that. You can't fake it. And there is nothing quite like reading something that transports you into another person's experience so well that you can share their feelings.

Now you're a very competent writer, and your feelings shine through in your own writing. The only problem is that the main feeling one gets is smugness, with a whiff of poorly concealed malice. And it's the same in everything you write. People sense that and they react to it, too.

Take Pedal Error for example. You claim to be all sincere and that it is a total coincidence that you have just happened to choose a stance guaranteed to piss off nearly everyone, from the libertarians who want to string the driver up by his 86-year-old balls to the liberals who want everyone tested for competence as a condition for driving.

It's just a total coincidence that you are so unable to see the linchpin of illogic, which is the pretense that "pedal error" is a random thing like being hit by lightning that is equally likely to happen to anyone. When this was mentioned you produced a study showing that anyone might have to live four lifetimes to have a chance of being affected by pedal error -- again ignoring the skill factor. It's as if you are arguing that someone who is dumb enough to hit hard 19 and stand on eleven faces the same odds at Blackjack as someone who knows perfect Basic Strategy. It's not just ignorant; it's so deliberately ignorant that it betrays your troll for what it is.

You have several set reactions that you have now used enough that they are sounding like broken records, such as any variation on "if you keep pissing people off you will face negative consequences" is a "threat."

Go ahead and declare yourself the "winner" on points; it's an easy game because I'm not playing for points. Your biggest problem with me is projection; you don't look at my writing and see me, you look at my writing and see what you would have had to do to write it. And oh yes that would be ugly.

Fortunately I'm not you. And I wouldn't want to be you. You may have great strength, but what you don't realize is that I do to. And I can understand your strength, but you either can't or have to pretend to not understand mine.

Meanwhile, have a point or six on me. You'll need them one day.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Here, have a present, localroger. (none / 0) (#187)
by RobotSlave on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 10:45:00 PM EST

"almost everything I write online is true. I write from the heart."

The disconnect in there ought to be readily apparent to pretty much everyone, especially after my little essay about the problem with "passion."

I note that you still, predictably, fail to understand that your treasured "lynchpin of illogic" is, in fact, a "lynchpin of belief," Mr. "from the heart." But you're arguing against yourself fairly effectively there, so I won't add anything.

"you don't look at my writing and see me"

Oh, but I do. And that's precisely what's got you so upset.

"I was planning to ignore you, which is the response you surely deserve"

But you didn't ignore me, did you? No, you decided to make a complete ass of yourself instead. Ignoring my little comments is one of the easiest, and probably the best way to deal with me, at least when I'm criticising your writing. I've even said as much, many times, yet you consistently fail to simply let the criticism lie, and allow others to make up their own minds. If I'm really nothing more than a smug, malicious bastard (and I suppose I may well be), then bright, perceptive people will just dismiss my cranky criticism and move on, won't they?

If you absolutely must respond, however, there is a technique you might want to try, one that will render all of my points completely harmless, and leave me absolutely no room for response. The technique is as brief as it is devastating, and I will share it with you in its shortest form:

"Yes, I suppose you may be right about all that, but so what?"

Consider it a gift, localroger. From me to you.

[ Parent ]

Yes, I suppose you may be right about all that... (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by localroger on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 10:55:25 PM EST

...but so what?

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
teh! (none / 0) (#174)
by it certainly is on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 07:54:36 PM EST

Is winding him up fair game, then?

Fine by me. Of course, if you do nothing but attack other people, you leave yourself open to the accusation of having no principles of your own. It's for much the same reason that agnostics are universally condemned as fence-sitters.

And what about the not insignificant number of other K5 users well beyond their teenage years who don't exactly act "laid back" when someone even inadvertently pushes their buttons?

While many people do get caught out on trolls and are rightly embarrassed by it, 90% of the angry responses here are people just using an article they didn't even read as an excuse for a rant they've been bottling up. They don't know or care if the author is trolling. As Nathan once said, "Usenet is full of compulsive biters".

objectively observable property

There is one single "objective" property. It is the phrase "YHBT. YHL. HAND." Everything else is open to interpretation.

Similarly, there is no way, on the internet, to distinguish between an angry teen with an ego problem, and an immature forty-year-old.

There's a saying on the internet -- "It's on the internet, it must be true". As this saying is on the internet, it must itself be true.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Most .siggable quote EVER (none / 0) (#175)
by localroger on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 08:41:06 PM EST

There's a saying on the internet -- "It's on the internet, it must be true". As this saying is on the internet, it must itself be true.

If I didn't already have a satisfactory .sig your IP would seriously be getting ripped off right now.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

drugs drugs drugs (none / 0) (#158)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 08:47:51 AM EST

I have an idea that spiralx did indeed intend his anime article as a satire against fundies. Unless he was too addled by ketamine to notice.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#165)
by spiralx on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 11:46:51 AM EST

The entire character of Jon Erikson is a satire of rabid fundamentalists. But I wrote the article to wind up anime-loving geeks.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#167)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 04:26:01 PM EST

I wrote the article to wind up anime-loving geeks.

I was too addled by ketamine to notice...
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Perfection? (5.00 / 2) (#42)
by greenrd on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:51:17 AM EST

I generously credit Adequacy with raising it to an art form and, at least temporarily, providing a forum where the AST could be brought to a standard of consistent perfection.

I wouldn't call AQ consistently perfect. You could look at the homepage and think "Uh, that's just dumb."

A really brilliant troll makes you struggle over whether the troll really believes in what he's trolling. But they're few and far between.

But perhaps you meant instead that there were some individuals on AQ who got so good that they were consistently perfect, when they posted. I still say, bollocks.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Interesting: +1 fp (none / 0) (#8)
by jnana on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:30:10 PM EST

Very interesting (and informative) read! Thanks. I'll keep this bookmarked if it makes it to front page or section.

I sorely miss adequacy.org, and reading through your 'refresher' brought back many happy memories. Is there any place like adequacy online now?

Not really. (none / 0) (#10)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:32:24 PM EST

Is there any place like adequacy online now?

Unfortunately, there isn't. It was pretty one-of-a-kind.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Everywhere.. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by Kax on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:31:23 AM EST

.. there's a cackling dork with a pathetic need to reconfirm his intelligence with his 'shit stirring'... who laughably picks at the little crumbs of power this affords him ... a little bit of Adequacy lives on ... sniff

[ Parent ]
et tu? (none / 0) (#119)
by jnana on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 02:56:54 AM EST

and do you include your own post in this category?

[ Parent ]
No. (n/t) (none / 0) (#121)
by Kax on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 08:42:43 AM EST



[ Parent ]
A minor correction (4.11 / 18) (#12)
by shoeboy on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:36:56 PM EST

We all know about trolls. They leave insulting or profane messages in comment threads not because they believe in their own outrageous statements, but in order to observe the chaos as other users reply to them.

That's not entirely accurate. I genuinely believe that you're a talentless hack who wouldn't know character development if it walked into a bar with 2 rabbis and a lawyer. I post messages to this effect because I want you to apologize for sharing your writing with others and never do it again.

In conclusion, you are a fucktard.

Your Daddy,
--PJ
No more trolls!

Thanks, this is a good example (5.00 / 3) (#15)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:48:43 PM EST

...of a non-AST troll.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
See, that's what I meant (5.00 / 4) (#18)
by shoeboy on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:52:57 PM EST

You need to update your definition to allow for completely sincere insulting and profane posts.

--PJ
No more trolls!
[ Parent ]

If it's sincere, it isn't a troll (nt) (5.00 / 2) (#19)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 09:58:09 PM EST



What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
So you were wrong? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by shoeboy on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 10:20:26 PM EST

It's not a perfect example of a non-AST troll? You lied to me!

--PJ
No more trolls!
[ Parent ]

I fucked up. (5.00 / 3) (#24)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 10:22:42 PM EST

So there. I admit it. If you were sincere, then it wasn't a troll, it was just the kind of thing a troll woudl make up to try and make me feel bad.

Does this clear things up?

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Something a troll would make up? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by Trollificus on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 10:27:11 PM EST

" If you were sincere, then it wasn't a troll, it was just the kind of thing a troll woudl make up to try and make me feel bad."

No, I think he really hates you. ;p

"The separation of church and state is a fiction. The nation is the kingdom of God, period."
--Bishop Harold Calvin Ray of West Palm Beach, FL
[ Parent ]

Oh, I sense that (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 10:36:48 PM EST

I know the idea wasn't just to make me feel bad, the point was that in his genuine attempt to make me feel bad, he happened to do the same kind of thing a troll would do trying to make me feel bad -- because the troll would be aping him.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
You know (5.00 / 2) (#26)
by shoeboy on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 10:29:04 PM EST

You could just try, just a little bit, to improve your characterization and dialogue. Then I'd like you a whole bunch and we could be bosom companions.

Yours,
--PJ
No more trolls!
[ Parent ]

You know, I am doing that. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
by localroger on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 11:02:51 PM EST

In the sequel to MOPI there will be a lot more small-time character moments. It will address a lot of these criticisms -- and if nobody had ever criticized, then it wouldn't. I really do listen, even to "trolls" if I think they are being honest.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
sequel: when? (none / 0) (#35)
by jnana on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 11:16:24 PM EST

When will this sequel be done? I must have it.

[ Parent ]
Later this year (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 10:37:48 AM EST

I have a complete plot and it's just a matter of writing it, but I've been distracted a bit what with the tree and all.

I will probably send Rusty an update for the novel site soon since the Dead Tree page in particular is so ridiculously out of date. Plans are afoot, but not yet finalized.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

You better not pull a Lucas on us! (none / 0) (#82)
by Netsnipe on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 01:43:53 PM EST

You'll have to prove to us that the fame hasn't gone to your head.

--
Andrew 'Netsnipe' Lau
Debian GNU/Linux Maintainer & Computer Science, UNSW
[ Parent ]
jolly good... (none / 0) (#118)
by jnana on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 02:48:55 AM EST

Keep up the good work!

[ Parent ]
So, (none / 0) (#66)
by mcgrew on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:27:19 AM EST

How can you tell a troll from a sincere idiot?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You are wrong. (none / 0) (#103)
by xigxag on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 07:57:36 PM EST

Someone can be quite sincere and still (be a) troll.  Surely you can see that someone might sincerely and honestly refer to you as an idiot, while simultaneously trying to get a rise out of you.

And further, that anyone who calls anyone else online a "fucktard" is automatically trolling, whether sincere or not.


[ Parent ]

Good point (none / 0) (#107)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:14:26 PM EST

Surely you can see that someone might sincerely and honestly refer to you as an idiot, while simultaneously trying to get a rise out of you.

I have to admit you're right. On the other hand you can't be a very effective troll if your belief is sincere compared to someone who has no emotional investment; beliefs constrain what you can do and say. At least if you're honest and ethical, which is a whole 'nother class of exceptions.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Of course (4.50 / 8) (#36)
by Estanislao Martínez on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 11:25:50 PM EST

If shoeboy's disagreeing with you, it must be that he's trolling. No other reason could be found for disagreeing with you, except perhaps insanity; and as you point out with de Sade, some of those "insane" people are actually trolls! And of course, it's not like shoeboy's opinions about the Adequacy are in any way relevant to the topic.

--em
[ Parent ]

Actually it's a troll (5.00 / 2) (#47)
by michaelp on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 03:44:02 AM EST

because of it's nasty tone (note the subtle use of "talentless hack", not to mention the silly insult tacked on at the end) which is designed to elict a stupid emotional response (like the bite of a bass on plastic lure) rather than the sort of 'hmm, you may have a point' or 'hey I never thought of it that way' response a simple, polite, non-assaultive, disagreeing statement is designed to elicit.

Once you've been around the web for a while, you'll learn to recognize these things for yourself, but while you gain experience in this medium the New hacker's dictionary is gOOd place to check Before using the lingo.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
I'll hand it to you... (5.00 / 3) (#81)
by CodeWright on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 01:35:41 PM EST

...advising EM on trolling is funny.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#200)
by Armada on Mon Dec 22, 2003 at 01:25:10 AM EST

He got a huge number of comments out of it. Most of them from you. So it was nearly AST.

[ Parent ]
I miss Adequacy... (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by Psycho Dave on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 11:01:20 PM EST

In fact, it was Adequacy that brought me to the world of Kur5hin in the first place. After the page went defunct, it redirected you to K5, and I'm glad it did.

-1, author is biter, plagiarism, resection (2.71 / 7) (#34)
by Troll Laureate on Fri Jul 18, 2003 at 11:10:30 PM EST

to fiction.

("trolls" is a myth to keep users complacent out of fear of being labeled as such.)

What I must protest against (4.26 / 23) (#38)
by joto on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:05:21 AM EST

While I have nothing against trolling, per se, what I must protest against is your obvious use of left-wing marxist propaganda to defend your political beliefs.

As a god-fearing young christian, I can't help but notice that you advocate using a tone of calmness and rationalism in a good AST troll. But isn't calmness and rationalism the work of the devil himself? God wants us to be passionate creatures. We must fight the scientists and scholars that denounce creationism as the only holy and biblical belief regarding our origins.

Must we not view with skepticism, the use of logic to explain our holy existence. Mathematicians themselves admit that math and logic is inherently beautiful. But this beauty is not from the words of the holy scripture, and thus, can only be the work of Satan himself.

No, good sir, I must protest passionately against your attempt at luring these impressionable young souls we find here at k5 into the hands of Satan. A good recipe for trolls, must emphasize the qualities of speaking truthfully, with conviction, and only on subjects that can be based on the holy scripture.

My favorite link in this post (4.00 / 2) (#62)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 10:47:32 AM EST

Without a doubt, the K5 link leading to slashdot.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
I love these. (4.00 / 1) (#163)
by bunsen on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 11:27:26 AM EST

Just reading the link URLs is hilarious. (favorite: truthfully) The post itself is quite thin, but serves passably as a vehicle for the links.

---
Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n)
[ Parent ]
Yup...It came out much worse than intended... (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by joto on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 11:37:59 AM EST

As it stands, it is mostly a parody of how to write an adequacy-style troll, using rogerborgs "refresher", while never really bothering to make a reasonable sounding argument.

Too bad. I really enjoyed adequacy, but more for the clever writing, logical pitfalls, unreasonable conclusions, than that some poor souls were fooled by it.

[ Parent ]

Adequacy.org - sharp contrasts (4.77 / 9) (#40)
by mfk on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:20:37 AM EST

I loved Adequacy. Even though I wasn't very active on it, I sometimes posted, both as mfk and as the Anonymous Reader. The editors were clever and had a sense of humor which was lost on those trolled.

What distinguished Adequacy, though, was its stark contrast with the liberalness of Kuro5hin.

Consider:

  • Kuro5hin posts an article about Otherkin, and how we should accept them; meanwhile, Adequacy trolled the Wiccans by calling it a religion created solely for teenagers to shock their parents. (I remember an editor mocking the Law of Three by saying that for every inflammatory message posted by a Wiccan, he would randomly delete three messages posted by Wiccans
  • K5 posts an article suggesting that marijuana isn't all that bad, Adequacy, on the other  hand, posts an article entitled "Why Marijuana is the Worst Drug". Stoners come from everywhere to defend their drug of choice, but since they're stoned, they can't think straight, they're ridiculously easy to troll.

My favorite part of Adequacy was, by far, LINUX ZEALOT. Em, elenchos, someone, please bring back Linux Zealot. There's so much potential with him and his buddy, the ever-lovable Mac Bigot.

I appeal to anyone who managed to snag a copy of the Adequacy archives when they were still up to please post them so that I may burn them to CD and revel in the idiocy I participated in.

Linux Zealot ruled (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by lazloToth on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:09:57 AM EST

Even as a Linux fan, I loved those cartoons. There was so much attention to detail that went into them, down to 'these fonts look crappy because we did this with the Gimp'.

Someone should revive that or at least put a collection of the old LZ strips out there somewhere.

[ Parent ]

The next best thing: (4.80 / 5) (#85)
by mfk on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 03:03:49 PM EST

Linux Zealot rips off Adequacy.org

[ Parent ]
subversive tutorials (3.16 / 6) (#44)
by semaphore on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 02:45:13 AM EST

like this must be suppressed. the content of k5 is already severely affected by a signal to troll ratio way under the statutory limit.

there is no need to increase this by posting stuff like this. there is more than enough reference out there for aspiring trollers_with_a_clue, and the clueless ones around here really don't need encouraging. not good.

actually the article was ok but has a waffley flavour to it, like the writer is having a go or something. then i had the good fortune to encounter the word "memetic".

this will be the first word on my list of cancel triggers. on k5 it wins the writer an automatic -1. so i don't need to decide whose leg localroger is pulling.

i have great hopes for this reflex response and expect it to save me reading a lot of verbose shit . this should in no way reflect on the present article which is probably unfortunate collateral damage.


-
"you want enlightenment? stare into the sun."


What's wrong with "memetic"? (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by mcgrew on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:21:22 AM EST

OTOH, I have trouble with HAND.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

any excuse works when you're wading (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by semaphore on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:00:55 PM EST

through a lot of guff that seems, well like crap.

my premise goes that the m word is used by people in --verbose mode for the sake of being wordy (aka pretentious.)

it's appearance is a signal that the rest of the article isn't worth finishing.

i have nothing against the word itself. in fact i think i'll come to like it if i see it often enough.


-
"you want enlightenment? stare into the sun."


[ Parent ]

I have serious issues with... (none / 0) (#190)
by mcgrew on Wed Jul 23, 2003 at 01:05:21 PM EST

"Enumerate". Now THERE'S a pretentious word that has no use whatever except to pathetically attempt to make the reader think you're not a complete and utter moron. What's worse is seeing the word "enumerate" three times in one paragraph without ONCE using the word "count".

Science bozos are bad about that one.

Another is "utilize". Do these people get paid by the square inch of paper?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Not another goddamn localroger article. (4.19 / 21) (#46)
by Michael Moore on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 03:19:27 AM EST

Looks like localroger is getting more confident with his trolling abilities. Now he's actually trolling us with stories about trolling, and apparently (according to the votes at this time) succeeding. He's actually growing so powerful here that he's dropping his facade of humility with quotes like: "Only the most brilliant AST will make FP though, and it takes a really good one to make section.". Guess that means you're brilliant, right localroger? You've FP-trolled K5 yet again.

I think localroger's greatest trolling power is his ability to target the K5 audience. This piece perfectly exploits K5's love for meta navel-gazing as well as the age-old trick of writing a story 4 pages long so that nobody can actually be bothered reading it. For those of us who actually bother reading it all, we're assaulted with nonsense language like "linchpin of illogic", clear marks of a troll which doesn't even bother to make sense at its core. At least he's changing his game a little, though, with articles like this.

The best example of localroger's targeted trolling is, of course, his fiction. He's got K5 marked here, he knows this bunch of nerds won't vote up anything that doesn't give them the warm, motherly feelings of Star Trek (or worse, Star Wars) nostalgia. So he pumps out these allegories of trolling and deception masked as pulp sci-fi and claims he just "writes what he enjoys reading", while he's clearly analysed what K5 will and will not vote up.

To make matters worse, localroger continues his K5 monopoly by refusing to vote up any fiction stories that aren't written by him or one of his multiple accounts. Usually he'll even post some banal editorial complaining that the characters are too complex or it's not set in the future, probably because he hopes to sway the voting by using pure "localroger appeal".

Anyway, this is all just another sign of how K5 is becoming more and more of a slashdotesque homogenous community. Whenever garbage like this (and every other localroger article) gets posted, part of what makes K5 a good place to be dies.


--
"My life was more improved by a single use of [ecstasy] than someone's life is made worse by becoming a heroin addict." -- aphrael

Is this better or worse... (5.00 / 4) (#58)
by skyknight on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 10:01:41 AM EST

than what I do, which is to always post articles of which I can be assured of a hasty smack down? I think a real issue on this site is a tendency to vote -1 when really an abstain vote would have been more appropriate. There's this mentality of either "I disagree with the author, so I can't bear that this piece see the light of day" or "I didn't enjoy the subject matter of this piece, and I want to make sure nobody else will either", both linked to "and thus I shall vote -1."

I think that another big problem is that of requiring an overwhelmingly positive score to allow a post. Why does a story have to please everyone to be posted? If, say, a third of all voters were to absolutely love a piece, why not post it? As in government, so too on K5, tyranny of the majority sucks, unless you are in the majority. When a story gets hidden after receiving a huge number of votes, all that means is that there were twenty more people who disliked it than liked it. Is that so horrible a thing? Is that really so much more significant than having ninety five more people liking it than not? That seems like the lynch pin of illogic to me. ;-)



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
On localroger's writing habits (5.00 / 4) (#70)
by forager on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:41:29 AM EST

"[localroger's] got K5 marked here, he knows this bunch of nerds won't vote up anything that doesn't give them the warm, motherly feelings of Star Trek (or worse, Star Wars) nostalgia. So he pumps out these allegories of trolling and deception masked as pulp sci-fi and claims he just "writes what he enjoys reading", while he's clearly analysed what K5 will and will not vote up."

While I don't want to sound like an apologist for localroger, your comment is currently reigning at the top of the article as a 5, so rather than voting you down for being a hypocrite (more on that in a minute) I just want to ask you to consider exactly what you're accusing him of.

You're accusing localroger of writing articles specifically and exclusively for the purpose of getting them posted to the front page, as though this was the highest goal he could hope to achieve in life (clever responses of "yes, it is" will be ignored). Now, ignoring the fact that k5 is designed so that the people will see the articles that they like to see (thus meaning that the majourity of people actually LIKE what localroger is writing), you believe that, because localroger's articles/fiction often do make the front page, localroger's catering to a certain crowd is a bad thing (as if to suggest that anything successful and popular is inherently an bad thing). Also ignoring the fact that your own comment is pandering to the crowd opposite that which you accuse localroger's articles of targeting (constituting your own cute little hypocrisy), you believe that k5 would be better off without articles such as localroger's; that is, you believe that articles that the k5ers enjoy reading should not be considered for publication BECAUSE k5ers enjoy reading them. ("Whenever garbage like this (and every other localroger article) gets posted, part of what makes K5 a good place to be dies.")

I suppose an appropriate countermeasure to people such as localroger would be to reverse the voting process and only allow articles to be posted that people have voted against, right? After all, knowing your audience and tailoring your writing for them is the worst thing a writer can do!

Again, I do not want to come off as an apologist for localroger. I don't like everything he writes -- indeed, I thought The Elevator to Hell was masturbatory writing: quick, sloppy, and gratifying, but with little value beyond a quick fix. But Passages in the Void and The Passage Home were quite well written, decently original, and had a spark to them that none of the other fiction on k5 can quite match. They weren't perfect, but they were interesting enough and contained some concepts and ideas that made enough k5ers (including me) stop and say "woah, cool" that they made their way to the front.

My opinion on his writing aside, localroger's articles have made the front page because the readers have voted them there. If localroger is targeting the k5 crowd specifically because he wants to see his articles on the front page (which I sincerely doubt) then so be it; if the people want to see that stuff, that's what they'll vote to see. If localroger publishes the things he does to k5 because the majority of people here have views and reading preferences in line with what localroger likes to write (that is, if he found an audience for his writing here) then so be it; the people have voted, and localroger's writing is what they want to see. If it's a mixture of both -- if localroger is predisposed to this kind of writing and needs only make minor adjustments to tailor it to the k5 crowd -- then so be it; the people voted, and this article (and others) made the front page.

Myself, I believe localroger has found an audience here, rather than made an audience for himself, or made himself for an audience. But that's just my opinion. Feel free to vote me down if you disagree.

Peace,
-A.

[ Parent ]

Nice try (3.00 / 2) (#87)
by p3d0 on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 04:16:15 PM EST

You are not yet a master AST.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
So... (none / 0) (#193)
by GRiNGO on Thu Jul 24, 2003 at 11:44:33 AM EST

...why did ya zero my shittin the bed comment? Wasnt exactly spam or offensive was it?

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


[ Parent ]
Flaming as an art form (4.33 / 6) (#49)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 05:48:00 AM EST

The AST form of trolling is something that I've always aspired to, but sadly have never been able to pull off. I have, however, had more success with flaming.

I'm not the sort who believes that one shouldn't flame on the net. Nor do I just randomly curse people. Instead, I feel that one should work hard to craft flames, so they represent the very best of your ability to write.

I am proudest of Some of Us Work for a Living, a letter critical of Be's business management. It was my last post to the list before I was unsubscribed by the moderator:

That is not an appropriate response. I could understand a response like that from a hobbyist or student only interested in writing code for fun and academic interest on a platform fully intended to be no more than a curiousity, but coming from a Be employee, it is inexcusable.

Let me suggest a more appropriate response:

"I'm sorry that you have been so frustrated by Be's repeated failures to execute on its business model or to abide by its publicly stated commitments to the developer community. What can those of us within Be who subscribe to BeDevTalk do to communicate your concerns with senior management in order to ensure that your substantial existing investment in money, time and sweat developing BeOS products results in the payoff that you were promised by Be's senior management?"

Somewhat less testy but I feel ultimately more effective is my later piece, Freeing the Developer from OS Vendor Shackles.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


IHBT. (3.33 / 3) (#51)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 07:45:58 AM EST

currently practicing master of the form.

You can't call Ed Slocomb a master of anything. If he were, he'd wouldn't be called [Czech for "slave"]Slave. He's a lowly janitor whose logorrhea is often mistaken for writing of merit.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

dear sir (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by Battle Troll on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:21:34 PM EST

Somewhere, nathan is waiting for partial royalties.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Sir, (none / 0) (#75)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:27:42 PM EST

that would only be the case if I said "RobotSlave vs RobotSlav". Damn.

In other matters, I refer you to this.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

sir, (none / 0) (#77)
by Battle Troll on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:34:09 PM EST

Whatever happened to Karel Jenczek, or whatever his name is? Is he still carrying on his mad crusade?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I have no idea. Let's find out: (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 01:07:18 PM EST

I'll let you know if I get a reply.

From: Stuart Caie
To: Mad Scientist
Subject: Hello Mr Mad Scientist

Do you still exist?

Regards
Stuart


kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Update: Mr Mad Scientist is alive and well. (none / 0) (#124)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 11:47:02 AM EST

> [...] the question
> "what happened to Karel Jenczek?" popped up. I just thought I'd check you're
> still with us.

Yep. Quite missing the discussions. [...]

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Please... (none / 0) (#178)
by RobotSlave on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 01:26:25 AM EST

Oh, please, could you ask him to post something? Anything, really. A proposal to improve air-conditioning efficiency, a plan to build a dirty bomb using radioactive potassium extracted from bananas, anything.

I do so dearly miss arguing with the Man Who Couldn't Read Faces, Except For On The Bus While Talking On His Cell Phone.

[ Parent ]

Yeah. NFW. (none / 0) (#112)
by SPYvSPY on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:51:43 PM EST

I have to assume the compliment to robotslave was slanted. The pedal error story was full of dickheads agreeing with the story's premise until I fired up my anti-troll multiple rocket launcher. I consider that story to be a flop from a trolling perspective because it was absolutely uncontroversial until myself and a few others stepped in to fan the flames. Bah. I hated Adequacy, too. It was a bunch of half-rate wankers, if you ask me. That site was about as subtle as Charlton Heston's performance in Soylent Green. Talk about fucking logrollers.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Adequacy ? (3.50 / 2) (#54)
by bugmaster on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:08:18 AM EST

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what happened to Adequacy ?

I used to skim the site for a laugh now and then, until I lost interest. Now, it times out connections on port 80. Did they run out of money ? Get sued for libel ? Fly their spaceship out to the comet ? What ?
>|<*:=

They ran out of money (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by ucblockhead on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 10:01:26 AM EST


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
waaat... (none / 0) (#86)
by christiansimon on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 03:25:35 PM EST

>|<*:=</br> what is this?

er...topic.
Adding to the dissusion of the AST-er. Notice that this misunderstood person is doing this in anticipation of the reaction. A well placed compliment can distract them. It may be impossible to think come up with one on the spot. The attention is on the reaction.

After reading this I realized that some of my own posts have been inadvertantly provocative in the troll like manner. I believed these comments to be useful and true. Maybe I really wanted a reaction. but I digress...

This article may make people aware of this misleading practice. Giving a chance for someone to catch on to what these posters are up to and diffusing their activities with the combined effort of watchful public.


[ Parent ]
It is a (none / 0) (#90)
by Happy Monkey on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 05:52:49 PM EST

flat-bottomed ice cream cone being sucked into a black hole.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
They were wanted (5.00 / 1) (#109)
by coryking on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:29:56 PM EST

Many of them were wanted felons; as such they were forced to flee the country

[ Parent ]
So very nice (3.50 / 4) (#59)
by caine on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 10:18:10 AM EST

How suitable that the ad I got with this article was "YHBT. YHL. HAND.". How this ever could get on the FP is beyond me, and I have no desire to see "the now-defunct" Adequacy resurrected, especially not on K5.

That being said; The article was kinda funny.

--

There is no such thing as an AST (3.75 / 4) (#60)
by thelizman on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 10:33:59 AM EST

The so-called "AST" is nothing of the sort. These types of trollings have been around long before adequacy, on this thing called usenet.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Don't worry (none / 0) (#89)
by Happy Monkey on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 05:50:26 PM EST

The next place it crops up on a grand scale will get them named after it. The name has to keep up with the times. How many people would get it if they were called Jonathan Swift Style Trolls (JSSTs)?
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
The Dingo Ate Your Baby [nt] (none / 0) (#115)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 12:29:57 AM EST


--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Indeed (none / 0) (#93)
by grouse on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 06:13:35 PM EST

The AST is a ridiculous liberal myth.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

I've seen AST's at work at /. (4.33 / 3) (#63)
by andr0meda on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 11:08:48 AM EST


I am not going over the discussion with him again, but I can tell you that it was mainly a political discussion about the US government, their decisions, and it's relation with the rest of the world.  For europeans like myself, this is an easy topic to get emotional about, and I have a strong view on that matter.

However, I talked to him in more than one individual discussion, and while at first I was a bit off-guard by the fluent use of language and the abundancy of 'rocksteady' 'evidence' and factual knowledge he brought to the table, I soon after came to realise that he was playing a brilliant mindgame.  My reflex had been to try to disproove his arguments with pure logic, but he was using it against me, however not quite in an honest way.  I started to analyse his methods of reasoning and writing and I noticed that he subtily changed subjects, evaded certain hot points, and steered discussions in a direction only he wanted to go.  By quoting parts out of context he created all different kinds of discussions, not forgetting to insert nuances he was certain I would fall for and react upon.  I started reformatting my text to make sure all eventual interpretations were ruled out as much as possible.  However, the guy on the other end was good at covering his bases and it was hard for me to find weeknesses in his perfectly logical, allmost inhuman, reasoning, and when I occasionally did, he simply changed the truth and believed it, without overemphasising any of it as to not raise any suspicion.  

One thing that struck me was that he was not giving away any clues about his background, his own political beliefs, his nationality.  He revealed nothing of himself, and when I assumed certain things about his personality, it was again very easy to tell me I was wrong, making his argument weigh in in favour of mine.

Then I changed tactics and started to reason more humanely, more 'beta', and low and behold, his responses started to weaken, started to try to draw me back into the logical discussion using obvious baith.  But I didn't bite it and left him cold after that.

When I examined other posts by him on other people's posts, I noticed the same patterns, but he was less carefull in those, obviously beause I was the only one who would go as far as I did in discussions with him.  His post in case was a very generalising post, with wording that came close to scolding the european people with lots of sneaky suggestive wording, mainly implying that europeans could not possibly be taken serious.  Reading that post, I was offended, but instead off simply falling for the baith, I reposted his post, adding style-classifiers to every word that carried a possibly offensive tone or that could be misinterpreted, while making a strong effort to remain as fair and objective as I could judging his sentences.  With his suggestive wording so apparently uncovered, it wasn't a pretty sight.  He never reacted to that post again.

Nonetheless, while I felt flattered that the ACT in question went to great lengths to lure and tease me and my brain capacity into lengthy discussions about sensitive issues, I also felt very bad about putting so much energy in what hindsight appeared to be unhonest trolling.  

Do not be afraid of the void my friend, is it not merely the logical next step?

What about Ayn Rand? (5.00 / 3) (#72)
by wumpus on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:03:18 PM EST

In one sense she was outrageously successful at this type of thing. On the other hand, she seemed to affect those who agreed with her far more than those who didn't.

Wumpus

Hahaha (5.00 / 2) (#76)
by CFK on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:32:46 PM EST

If Rand were actually a troll she would make so much more sense. I just don't see her being as clever as Nietzsche or Kierkegaard, though.

[ Parent ]
I have the impression... (none / 0) (#84)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 03:01:02 PM EST

...that Ayn Rand believes in her conclusions, which means she is not trolling. But her kind of sincerity is what a successful troll will end up sounding like.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
Adequacy's key advantage: brutal censorship (5.00 / 8) (#73)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 12:20:54 PM EST

[or, why Adequacy isn't Usenet]

While localroger has done a commendable job on documenting the Adequacy house style, and even realises that the style has been in use for hundreds of years, he has failed to document the chief reason for Adequacy's "success".

As most of you are well aware, all responses collected by a troll after someone has shouted "TROLL!" are worth double, as most tech-savvy people are aware of the warning; it scares off all but the most naďve respondants. But the Adequacy staff would rather not have their cover blown so obviously. They controlled the discourse at Adequacy.org with an iron grip. A brutal regime of censorship was in place. Anything that blatantly spelt out the purpose of the article (e.g. "it's a troll, guys, don't bother responding") was deleted. Immediately. Furthermore, friends of the Adequacy staff, the Adequacy staff themselves, and other people "in on the joke" would play along with the article, posting comments in agreement with the article to further infuriate the poor souls who had been lured to Adequacy.

Control of the discussion forum was Adequacy's main advantage over anywhere else. That was their innovation. Without it, they'd eventually be ignored in the forums they trolled, garnering the odd bite here and there but nowhere near as much as an innocent article about religion would on K5 or an article about Microsoft at Slashdot.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Only in this insular, irrelevant world of fuckups (4.47 / 19) (#78)
by Kax on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 01:05:55 PM EST

does any of this matter.

Pardon me for being confuzzled on this point, (5.00 / 6) (#88)
by la princesa on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 05:43:04 PM EST

but what does sincerity have to do with a properly formed argument?  Sincerity seems to be a shorthand for earnesty or incoherence, neither of which should be more than a tool in putting forth an argument.  A person's arguments could be quite sincere, and yet not very defensible except with that precious sincerity.  Conversely, a person's arguments could be completely insincere, and yet highly defensible.  Seeing the difference and being able to assess an argument on multiple scales (technical merit and emotional merit if any) is the mark of a truly discriminating intellect.  

A truly successful argument typically is one that offers a strong emotional appeal combined with technically defensible positions.  That said, the emotional appeal should be a function of the arguer's skill, not inferred from other things the arguer has said.  It is this inability to encapsulate discussions that really toasts civilised discourse.  That poisons the well far more than some idea of sincerity that couldn't be proven anyhow.  If I am arguing about politics, one should only assess my arguments at that point in time, based on what I'm putting forth during that present discussion.  It's wilfully detrimental to respond to my present political arguments using reference to anything I said in the past regarding politics.  It is, after all, a discussion.  Sincerity is an unprovable thing-- one cannot say for certain that anyone is sincere.  There's just the impression.  And besides, if the argument is sound technically, why does it need some little crutch named sincerity to prop it up?

Discussions, at least of the sort being referenced, should in some fashion be self-contained, with participants not using past statements to infer what someone REALLY means.  You can't know what anyone REALLY means.  You can only know what they mean based on their choices of words and tone.  And those choices have nothing to do with sincerity.  The best writers can make compelling choices for their arguments without needing to 'feel sincere' about the topic being argued.  All people should aspire to a standard as simple and pure as discussing something on its merits, not on how sincere you think the other guy is about that something.  

___
<qpt> Disprove people? <qpt> What happens when you disprove them? Do they disappear in a flash of logic?

Sincerity (5.00 / 2) (#94)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 06:25:46 PM EST

what does sincerity have to do with a properly formed argument?

This is a good question.

The AST is not, technically speaking, a properly formed argument; it is a deliberately malformed argument that is carefully designed to hide what I've called the "linchpin of illogic" that makes the ridiculous conclusion flow from the uncontestable axioms.

Now most people do not argue very well, so it is possible for someone who is sincere to produce something that looks very much like an AST. The difference is that their logical fallacy won't be a carefully concealed linchpin but most likely a great big hulking mass that nobody else misses.

There are exceptions. Some of the propaganda produced by the anti-abortion and creationist camps, for example, is very AST in its deviousness. You can usually tell the sincere wingnut from the AST'er though if a discussion rolls on for long enough, because the wingnut's sincerity grinds on them and they get upset. The AST'er, having no emotional stake in the issue, can carry the argument much further without losing precision.

You're quite right that sincerity can't be proven, and a truly elegant AST is by definition indistinguishable from the genuine product of an unusually literate believer. In real life, however, both the sincere believer and the AST'er usually leave clues as to their underlying nature.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Give it the fuck up (2.50 / 2) (#95)
by Hymen Restoration Surgery on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 06:28:13 PM EST

la princesa trolls well. You don't. la princesa makes coherently-formed arguments. You don't. la princesa is articulate. You're not. la princesa appreciates the aesthetics of language. You don't. la princesa fucks with one's head. You don't. la princesa is comfortable with who she is and what she believes. You aren't.

Don't even have a conversation with my Nubian queen. You're not fit to lick her fucking feet, you pretentious asshole.



--
H.R.S.
[ Parent ]
You forgot (none / 0) (#151)
by kraant on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 12:27:39 AM EST

And he makes FP fairly consistantly while la princesa doesn't.

What's with that anyway?
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Question (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by anonimouse on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 09:50:01 AM EST

Is she trolling about having her photos removed?
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]
real subtle there, captain (3.00 / 2) (#96)
by Battle Troll on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 06:29:50 PM EST

Some of the propaganda produced by the anti-abortion and creationist camps, for example, is very AST in its deviousness.

Nice choice of examples.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Examples (none / 0) (#100)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 07:29:19 PM EST

Nice choice of examples.

They are the best of the best for what I was illustrating. I could also point out that the NAACP and PETA have been observed hiding their linchpins of illogic entirely too well, but they really aren't as good at it as the fundie Xtians who have managed to raise it to a high and highly hypocritical art.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

buh (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by Battle Troll on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 07:49:39 PM EST

a high and highly hypocritical art...

Care to explain how it's hypocritical? And I don't see why I should sit back and let you toss off the NAACP and PETA, either. Evidence, captain, evidence, or at least make a case!

By the way, by your standards, the vast majority of scientificists are hypocrites by means of philosophical bankruptcy on the issues of ultimate causation and the nature of free will.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Yes, you're right (none / 0) (#108)
by localroger on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:16:55 PM EST

By the way, by your standards, the vast majority of scientificists are hypocrites by means of philosophical bankruptcy on the issues of ultimate causation and the nature of free will.

TSIA.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

read carefully (none / 0) (#129)
by Battle Troll on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:04:31 PM EST

I said 'scientificists.'
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I did read carefully (none / 0) (#148)
by localroger on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 09:31:18 PM EST

scientificists

By which I take it you mean people who believe in science and the scientific method in a religious sort of way, as if no other way of thinking could possibly be correct, or even useful. Yes, this worldview has serious deficiencies.

I can't believe I am even bothering to post this. My house is still in ruins, I lost two cars today, and I am bothering to respond to this. Either something is deeply fucked up inside of me or this is some kind of weird therapy.

I'm not sure which would be worse.

Okay, back to the discussion. Oh, yeah, you're right.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

good Lord. (none / 0) (#171)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 05:50:34 PM EST

Okay, back to the discussion. Oh, yeah, you're right.

Sorry, I couldn't believe you weren't being sarcastic, my apologies.

My house is still in ruins, I lost two cars today, and I am bothering to respond to this.

That's awful! Good luck sorting everything out. What on earth happened?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Check my diary (nt) (none / 0) (#176)
by localroger on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 09:02:09 PM EST



What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
I did subsequently. (none / 0) (#184)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 03:37:26 PM EST

My condolences, and good luck with the recovery.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Intent. (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 06:49:33 PM EST

Firstly, the point being made is that the troll's argument as a whole is not sound. The argument falls apart under proper scrutiny. It can be distinguished from a good argument, although many of the articles found on weblogs are passionately believed but logically unsound. It is more difficult to distinguish between a deliberate troll and a mediocre argument that is not deliberately trolling.

I am happy to discuss almost any topic first I'll check if the author is trolling or not. Trollers aren't looking for reasoned argument. They're looking for people with buttons to push, and take great delight in pushing them. They're looking for an emotional response. They're looking for suckers.

Personally, I find the sincerity of the writer to be one of the indications of intent. If they appear insincere in their argument, that is an enormous hypocritical flaw. If they don't agree with their own position, why should I? It's like politicians saying "beef is safe" but refusing to eat a hamburger.

With regards to your own comments, I can either consider them naďvely or cynically. You are either arguing that we should be more open-minded, or you are arguing that we should be less critical towards people with with barely hidden agendas. We should be more easily led. If someone trolls us, no matter how poorly, we should bite.

I ask you -- why should we make it easy for the trolls? Why should we validate their pathetic existences? Why dignify formulaic, obvious trolls with even a single response? If we held back, we could make the wretched beasts work for months to craft a finely-honed argument whose flaws are invisible even to learned scholars and its conclusions are absolutely outrageous. That would be worth seeing, but to achieve it, we readers need to be far more cynical. We need to raise the bar. We need to accuse each and every person of being a troll, and force them to prove their sincerity to us in blood. A troll holocaust may be a difficult step, but it's a step worth taking.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

I disagree. (none / 0) (#140)
by DeepOmega on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 07:09:03 PM EST

It's like politicians saying "beef is safe" but refusing to eat a hamburger. Au contraire. A poor example, my friend. The safeness of beef is a relatively sound fact - one which can be scientifically ascertained. Trolls do not (usually) argue about facts of this sort. Also, this is with regards to action, not belief. In this case, the politician clearly does not want to eat the beef - his true belief is revealed. In a discussion, though, true belief is (or should be) irrelecant. Otherwise, what's the point of a devil's advocate? I speak, by the way, as one who's been accused of trolling because I like to spice up homogenous discussions with choice opinions which I do not subscribe to me. Is inspiring actual discussion, rather than massive circle wanking, trolling? And I realize that there's, oh, about a 75% chance this post will be called a troll. What can I say - I like living on the wild side. Oh - one last thing. Weren't you on the AQ? Because it isn't?

Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

Argument is vanity. (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by Mr Hogan on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 07:37:22 PM EST

Peacocks have tails man has words. Nothing is settled by argument and nothing important is up for argument - ever - which means it doesn't matter - to the species - which side of a debate is adopted for implementation because everything that matters will happen as it should anyway. We are exactly the same species we've always been - all the arguments shed in our past haven't improved on balance our situation at all - they've sharpened a few sticks cured a few people punctured by the sharpened sticks is the best that can be said. The most successful human being - in terms of health and happiness according to forensic anthropologists - was and is the stone-age hunter-gatherer. See sig.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

oh shut up (3.50 / 3) (#104)
by Battle Troll on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 08:42:03 PM EST

Nothing is settled by argument and nothing important is up for argument

If you believed this, you wouldn't attempt to communicate anything. You obviously believe that your own speech has some kind of meaning. In any case, peacocks don't write books.

which means it doesn't matter - to the species

"The species" is an abstract scientific construction, so it cannot be usefully said to have desires or a perspective. What do you even mean by the preceding?

We are exactly the same species we've always been

Homo erectus says otherwise, and I'm betting he's got a bigger club* than you do.

* penis
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Hey, nice to see you back. (none / 0) (#105)
by Mr Hogan on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:04:19 PM EST

We argue over truth - but truth doesn't matter. In fact it's gibberish. Sorry.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Say for the sake of argument you replied. (5.00 / 1) (#110)
by Mr Hogan on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:43:34 PM EST

Why didn't you :-(

So anyway no look you're trapped in a word maze the walls disappear and reform as you flay about looking for the exit labeled "truth." I communicate because I am human - talk is what human beings do - bears are big and strong birds fly fish swim men persuade each other to move as one - but if communication has a survival function then that don't mean it has truth content. There is no truth - it's just a trick we've evolved. Stop trying to understand what I'm saying on an intellectual level - that's the problem to begin with - words are ghosts ephemeral lose their meaning if you ponder them longer than strictly necessary - the signs point here then there first up then down next left becomes right - everywhere means nowhere. I suggest a program of religious contemplation will reveal existence in feeling - you can either see or you can bark. It's that simple. And oh yeah I almost forgot: everything is ONE. Now you keep asking how do I know what I say is true and I keep reminding you truth is gibberish so the very question makes no sense no wonder you're dizzy. Truth does not matter - it never did that's why historical man was wrong about everything - that is a known fact - except eating raping tilt repeat.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

you overdosed on some bad Foucault, chum (none / 0) (#127)
by Battle Troll on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 03:58:01 PM EST

Assuming you believe what you're saying, there must be some truth that isn't gibberish - that there is no transcendent meaning to life would be a true statement, in the same sense that 'the physical universe exists' is a true statement. Do you believe the world is real?

To allay your confusion, I suggest reading the preface to Critique of Pure Reason. I'm not claiming that words have meaning a priori, I'm claiming a posteori that meaning exists. Humans have an almost infinitely greater capacity for culture than do other animals, and there's the rub. Human behaviour cannot be, as you claim, behaviouristic, and Chomsky(!) already defeated you in the 1950s.

I can't believe you're implicitly defending Skinner. How dumb do you think I am?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Who's Foucault? (4.00 / 2) (#134)
by Mr Hogan on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 05:00:41 PM EST

Existence IS - it has nothing to do with 5 letters that spell out this sound you call 'truth'. Yes rocks exist. Therefore rocks are true? Bark bark bark! Now I'm sure elephants have a concept like 'truth' you cannot imagine - because you are trapped in your human-ness - you think human so-called cognitive states and tricks of language as if by purpose uncover the mysteries of the verb to be - Jesus think about that! - well I suggest you meld minds - whatever that is - with an elephant and see what it has to say about a german who liked to make up words scared all the girls away until he died a virgin.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Why do you call me a behaviorist? (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by Mr Hogan on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 05:29:25 PM EST

Call me Mr Hogan other labels confuse me - that skinner guy well he didn't understand genes are part of the ONE - that you can spend the rest of your life trying to train a woman to be honest and faithful and you will fail spectacularly every single time because the girly genes are quite clear in their instructions: lie and cheat. You know blood analysis of reveals better than 10% of all babies born aren't related to the guy brings home the bacon. That ain't culture my friend.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

wanna bet? (none / 0) (#156)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 08:43:35 AM EST

That ain't culture my friend.

This isn't true in all cultures. Why do you think classical civilisations like the Greeks and Persians kept married women in purdah?

Humans have drives, and they also have culture. Your attempts at demonstrating genetic or behaviourist determinism are a big crock.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

I concur. (none / 0) (#137)
by bc on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 06:04:44 PM EST

But I fear you are wasting your time trying to explain enlightenment to the idiots of k5. Are you familiar with the "the Book of the Die" by any chance ?

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]
Never heard of it. (none / 0) (#138)
by Mr Hogan on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 06:48:46 PM EST

I hope it's a gambling system I could use a hand having lost a minor fortune at the casino - bastards run the place never returned it either. You know who knows gambling? Localroger. Spooky eh?

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

More information is here (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by bc on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 08:55:17 PM EST

The book of the die. It's about "dice living". I think you would enjoy it.

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]
Wait (5.00 / 2) (#111)
by Urpo on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:48:49 PM EST

If you believed this, you wouldn't attempt to communicate anything.

It is possible to communicate without discord and disagreement. I know this because "Hippy Troll" told me. I can even prove it: imagine an entirely one-sided communication, like from a Sovereign to her humble obeying subjects.

I was enjoying Mr Hogan's naturist views, too. I think that, now, the species is so far removed from its natural origins on the savannas with small communes living in harmony. Things were good then, by all accounts - archaeologists have shown that disease was rare and lives were long. More importantly, it is the environment and the level of technology we have literally evolved for, it is written into every fibre of our being that I think a lot of the modern malaise can be laid at the door of this distance. When Man (& woman too!) moved north into Eurasia and our skin lightened and we started committing ecocide on mammoths and sabre tooth tigers and inventing agriculture and states and wheels and eventually steam engines, automobiles, wars and Empires, well, I think we have got sadder and more neurotic and certainly more depressed as this has happened. People know it is a sin to keep a lion in a cage in Piccadilly Circus - what they don't see is that the same reasoning applies to humans, in a way, for we are so much more than cogs in a city machine. Each of us yearns for the open spaces and the sun on our face and the joy of the hunt - don't you ever feel it? I bet you do, deep down there somewhere, the call of the wild. Everybody feels it.

But I am not completely blind. I mean, I don't agree with Rousseau's idea of the noble savage or any of that overly-Romanticised rot. But I do think we are going to have to move on, technologically. Just now our technologies are so invasive and require our whole civilisation's effort to maintain. I think technology needs to be developed that is less intrusive, and that requires no real human maintainance. Then we humans can go back to our "primitive" lives and feel more in tune with our own nature, while the technology, probably some Vingean post-singularity affair, runs all and knows all and keeps us safe. I think that is where we are heading and that is why I support such firms as this one here, because they have the means to free us from our civilisational doldrums.

The ultimate advance in human civilisation will be the one that takes us right back to where we started, at the human level, at least. Perhaps those Indian reincarnation fellows are onto something after all ;-)

--
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.
[ Parent ]

buh (none / 0) (#130)
by Battle Troll on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:28:28 PM EST

Just now our technologies are so invasive and require our whole civilisation's effort to maintain.

This is true for values of right now more recent than 6000 BC.

I bet you do, deep down there somewhere, the call of the wild.

Go back to A-duh-quacy, you flithy trool!

Then we humans can go back to our "primitive" lives and feel more in tune with our own nature, while the technology, probably some Vingean post-singularity affair, runs all and knows all and keeps us safe.

Hello, H G Wells already answered that one in The Time Machine. But here's my answer. This stuff can't happen within your own lifetime, so why do you care? Does it give you a charge to ruminate over our glorious destiny in the loving hands of Prime Intellect?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Be a Responsible Adult, you (none / 0) (#133)
by Urpo on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:59:12 PM EST

This stuff can't happen within your own lifetime, so why do you care? Does it give you a charge to ruminate over our glorious destiny in the loving hands of Prime Intellect?

That seems very unimaginative. Is it wrong to speculate on where we have been, and where we are heading, or should I knuckle my forehead and keep to my station and never, ever consider anything that doesn't directly affect me? Do you also think we shouldn't study history, because, well, its happened hasn't it, which means it can't possibly happen within my lifetime, which means it is irrelevant to me, obviously.

I accept my responsibilities.

Also, there is a chance it could happen in our lifetimes. Technological advances are exponential. Perhaps the Vingean singularity is at 2030AD, or 2050AD. It is more likely to be sooner thanks to its exponential nature. We ought to be considering where we are going with all this technostuff, as Bill Joy has urged us to - we wouldn't want to make a mistake, would we?

I have a tiny responsibility in this, as do you, as does everybody. You can't just brush it aside or stick your head in the sand, or else you'll find Prime Inellect is one evil Stalinist bastard and, in this dystopian future, your children are in rags at your feet and saying "Daddy, what did you do to stop the rise of Prime Intellect?" and you'll only be able to sigh and wish you'd listened to me.

Not that I believe things will necessarily be bad, but we must be careful, that's all.

--
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.
[ Parent ]

Reminds me of Heidegger on Art (5.00 / 5) (#91)
by Urpo on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 05:55:01 PM EST

Referring to a work of art, one philosopher, Martin Heidegger, said: "We ask what the work is as it presents itself in its own Being. The work presents itself in its own Being inasmuch as it - the work - really is. And the work of art is as it really is in setting itself up."

Have you ever read any theory of art regarding the still life? The AST seems similar to that in some ways, too. eg Merab Mamardashvili, speaking about the work as it really is and about the work as it is set up, asks if a Paul Cézanne apple picture is a picture with apples or a picture of apples. He has linked these two questions with the notion that, if we take one picture as a picture of apples, we do not necessarily understand what apples themselves are. Or, it is possible to comprehend through the incomprehensible.

The question with any work of man, including articles on websites, is always one of interpretation. You can read something directly for what it is, or you can read all sorts of meaning into it. It sounds like the person who is capable of multiple interpretations who can flexibly think will be most suited to creating and appreciating ASTs.

The AST is a field of tension between the word, and the object. Between the literal, and the literary, between apple and picture of an apple.

Only semnioticians, amateur or otherwise, can excel in the world of the AST, imho.

--
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.

Hold on there, skippy. (none / 0) (#142)
by gzt on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 07:26:16 PM EST

The AST is a field of tension between the word, and the object. Between the literal, and the literary, between apple and picture of an apple.

And in this, how does it differ from any other well-crafted piece of writing or any art work?

Admit it: you just wanted to quote "The Origin of the Work of Art" and name-drop.

And one doesn't need to be a semiotician or hermeneutic philosopher to have two different meanings in one bloody text.

[ Parent ]

No (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by Urpo on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 08:49:29 PM EST

The AST is specifically designed to glory in this field of tension, to send roots into its soil and seed new growth. Certainly any texte can have multiple meanings, but it seems to me that the AST is unique in striving to divide its readers among those who see the multiple meanings (the Morlocks) and those who do not (the simple minded Eloi). The AST is meaningless if it does not have perfectly bifurcated paths of understanding in its readership.

--
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.
[ Parent ]

that's only true (none / 0) (#169)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 05:15:01 PM EST

If you define AST to apply to all art created specifically to divide the audience - which, while a workable definition, is also propagandistic and cumbersome (because it applies adequacy's name to the entire world of irony; Le Bourgeois gentilhomme is entirely concerned with ASTs that the audience is in on.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Heidegger and "Arts" (none / 0) (#143)
by anothertom on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 08:10:16 PM EST

You know that Heidegger was a confessing member of the NSDAP?
Have you ever seen the crap, the Nazis propagated as "arts", after they had driven people like Kandinsky, Liebermann and Klee out of the country?
You can cite Gershwin's Law a thousand times (this thraed is actually about trolling) but that won't change the fact that Heidegger is quite the wrong philosopher to be cited, when it comes on arts.

[ Parent ]
Doesn't particularly matter (5.00 / 1) (#144)
by Urpo on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 08:43:40 PM EST

Heidegger may not be Politically Correct, I grant you, but his philosophy is still the inspiration for much of the philosphy that has succeeded it, in particular that of Jean-Paul Sartre, though you'd never here his fans admit it. Besides, just because Heidegger may have had unpleasant political opinions, this does not automatically invalidate his views on all things.

By seeking to push his entire corpus outside the sphere of debate, you are committing the very same Orwellian crime you accuse Heidegger himself of.

--
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.
[ Parent ]

Have you read his views on art? (none / 0) (#153)
by gzt on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 07:32:35 AM EST

No, you haven't. You're a cunt. Go away. Heidegger's views on art are insightful and original. Yes, he was a Nazi. Very unfortunate. His philosophy of art remains insightful and original despite that. Again, either read what you're dismissing or go away.

[ Parent ]
Yes but (none / 0) (#189)
by stud9920 on Wed Jul 23, 2003 at 06:20:16 AM EST

he also was a boosy beggar who could think you under the table

Linux Zealot fan fiction. Post yours !
[ Parent ]
-1, they might be giants (none / 0) (#192)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jul 23, 2003 at 05:59:43 PM EST

Music for people with brain damage.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
trolling is ... (4.00 / 5) (#92)
by akb on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 06:13:29 PM EST

... boring.  Maybe that's why I found adequacy boring and have found k5 to have become boring as well.

Collaborative Video Blog demandmedia.net

Ooo! Shiny metal tied to a bit of string! (3.60 / 5) (#98)
by zikzak on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 07:06:42 PM EST

This story is just plain horrible.

Trolls (5.00 / 5) (#99)
by kjb on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 07:26:35 PM EST

I think one of the most brilliant trolls I have ever seen was when Alan Sokal trolled Social Text.

--
Now watch this drive.

The Sokal Hoax (5.00 / 2) (#126)
by domovoi on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 02:09:08 PM EST

I think it was brilliant, too, but it wasn't really a troll. Sokal's point wasn't to put something over on the readers by exploiting a rhetorical chink in someone's argument to say something outrageous. What Sokal did was more akin to social engineering, that is, he anticipated his target's response to a skillfully (mis)directed attack and made out like a bandit.

Indeed, the payoff for Dr. Sokal was the subsequent unveiling of the spoof that the Social Text article indeed was. This one fills me with no small amount of glee every time I think of it, and really points to the necessity of parody in a self-important world.
------------------------------
This is not my signature line.
[ Parent ]

How to respond to a troll (4.00 / 4) (#106)
by TheModerate on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 09:07:00 PM EST

First of all, don't respond to a troll.

However, because trolling is itself vague and ambigious (I mean, one can say that any post that gets a lot of replies is a troll), there is sometimes a certain amount of doubt as to whether or not you are indeed responding to a troll. Here's what you do:

  1. Check his user history. Most of the trolls on this website are very bad at what they do, and they will either be moderated down or the title's of their comments will obvious be of similarly trollish material.
  2. Read some of his previous comments. Do they sound trollish to you?
  3. If you are still in doubt, keep your reply short. There is a law on the internet that says anything written that is short and to the point automatically sounds witty (this is how most post signitures work). Give him a clue that you are on to him.

But for the most part, this isn't going to help. Trolls work best on people new to the world wide web and trolling unintentionally (for the most part) causes an internet elite to form. If you are new to the web, you aren't going to know about trolling are probably going to have the idea that people actually mean what they say.

How do we solve the troll problem? Give them all jobs. Seriously, a big indication of a troll is how many posts or how much time they spend online in a day. If you don't believe me, look at some of their user infos. I would even say, that the longer a person spends his time online, the more likely he is to become a troll simply because he runs out of interesting things to talk about. In order to have interesting things to talk about, you have to develop as an individual, you need to gain experiences and points of view, and you simply can't do that by sitting on the computer all day.

Perhaps this hurts a little, and I've been holding back mentioning this for some time, but I think all this trolling is holding Kuro5hin back. Back? Back from where? Do you think this is a serious discussion site? It sure can. Anything is possible. This site can be anything we make of it. Perhaps the problem is that kuro5hin is too free and too open. What do I have in mind? Here's some ideas.

Anyway, eventually I'm going to come up with some more concrete suggestions for actually getting rid of the troll problem.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer

Nice try... (3.40 / 5) (#114)
by gzt on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 12:05:56 AM EST

...but you're not going to work your secret brand of troll-magic on us. This one has been tried far too many times. Better luck next time, skippy.

[ Parent ]
Exactly (4.11 / 9) (#116)
by Keith Harper on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 12:31:49 AM EST

Every experienced internet user knows that the correct way to respond to a troll is:
  1. Indicate that you have spotted the troll, and that you have not been deceived. That way, everyone can see how smart you are, in direct comparison to the stupidity of the troll.
  2. Expose and refute every single one of his "linchpins of illogic", as localroger calls them. This is always extremely easy, as most trolls are quite stupid, and can be dispensed with using simple facts and reasonable arguments.
  3. A parting shot regarding the troll's intelligence, supposed social status or sexual potency is considered de rigeur. Troll's are a callow and insecure bunch, and do not bear up well against personal attacks. One or two well-placed slurs should send the brute packing, but if that doesn't work, a relentless pursuit of the troll throughout your forum should finish the job in short order.


[ Parent ]
Idiot (5.00 / 3) (#179)
by synaesthesia on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 07:10:32 AM EST

A parting shot regarding the troll's intelligence, supposed social status or sexual potency is considered de rigeur. Troll's are a callow and insecure bunch

What the hell is wrong with you? Can't you even understand the simplest rules of grammar?

PLURALS DO NOT TAKE APOSTROPHES.

Get this into your tiny little mind, and then perhaps people will start grudgingly hanging around with you. Before long, you might even be able to get it up, although it'll probably be quite some time before you actually have sex with a real person.


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Trolls don't exsit! (4.75 / 4) (#113)
by Fantastic Lad on Sat Jul 19, 2003 at 10:37:35 PM EST

Well, they do, but I strongly suspect that they're a helluva lot less common than people claim. --Indeed, it seems to me that any argument which comes from a viewpoint which is (horrors!) different than either the reader's or prevailing attitudes present, well, by gum! That poster gets labeled, "Troll".

Pardon me, but the only thing sillier than this is the frightened-school-of-fish reaction everybody seems to have when they see that label.

I speak from personal experience. I've been called a troll more times than I can count. --Do people think I'm deliberately inventing viewpoints which I don't actually maintain just so that I can cause anger and frustration? Got news for you. When I post, I might be right or I might be wrong, and heck, I might even be insane, but I do NOT post just to create fireworks. I post because I want to share. And more importantly, I want to bounce my ideas off the world at large in order that I might learn from the results. This creates a crucible effect, and it burns away the bullshit on both sides. It's called, 'Networking'.

Further, some of the classic "Trolls" I've seen around the boards I visit, including this one, seem essentially to just be the postings of hard right conservatives and die-hard skeptics. --Sure, I often happen to think their views and arguments are thin, and sometimes downright imbecilic, but I don't doubt that those posters honestly believe (or at least want to believe), in both themselves and their arguments.

Sounds to me as though localroger got burned by somebody against whom all of his most clever rebuttals were powerless in altering the other guy's point of view.

Gee. Tough freekin' cookies. That's life, and thank goodness for it! If all of our viewpoints were the same as localroger's, then we'd all be closet sado-masochists dealing with our issues under the thin guise of fiction.

No thank you. I've got my own stuff to work through. --Indeed, Every person alive has a unique set of problems they need to solve, and a multitude of different viewpoints are required, plain as that, in order for us to accept all those varying challenges.

-FL

Exactly. (2.00 / 2) (#123)
by reflective recursion on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 11:46:16 AM EST

Just look to Slashdot if you want to see what real trolls look like. They are always easy to spot because of the complete inanity of their posts (First post, Goatse.cx, BSD is dying, Stephen King is dead.. I don't think I need to continue, you get the point). It's sad that the Usenet tradition of calling people "trolls" just because they have a different point-of-view has made it into the realm of K5 and other web boards.

[ Parent ]
You know what the only difference is... (3.80 / 5) (#128)
by Alhazred on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:01:57 PM EST

Between a troll and a State of The Union speach?

The fatness of the head of the speaker...

As usual a very nice post, your tips on how to lie and deceive your public are both time honored and well exposed.

Nice meta-troll ;o).
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

Poor Troll (1.00 / 5) (#131)
by t reductase on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:32:28 PM EST

Boring.

Who cares? (1.25 / 4) (#139)
by Spencer Perceval on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 06:58:32 PM EST

A lot of people, it seems. This web forum community message board is filled with stupidfaces


All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.
Adequacy was a better salon for controversial subj (4.25 / 4) (#149)
by Adam Rightmann on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 11:43:38 PM EST

ects, than, say, kuro5hin.

Posit a debate on the sinfulness of homosexual acts on kuro5hin, hard to imagine, isn't it? Between those that would argue against the existence of sin because God can not be proved (be mindful that the omnipotent, omniscient God of the Judeo-Christan faith could easily put himself beyond the ken of conventional physics), and those that would argue for the necessity of carnality for a fulfilling life (ignoring celibates due to HOly Orders, young age or intellectualy drive, cf. Newton or Stallman), and those who crave the "5" votes and don't want to take a potentially unpopular stand, the debate would not get out of voting.

Are Homosexual Acts Sinful? At Adequacy, we could debate that, here, raising the question is anethema.

Adequacy was the last bastion of freedom. (4.77 / 9) (#150)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 12:19:27 AM EST

One of the most delightful qualities of Adequacy was that it attracted a truly diverse range of participants. This allowed for refreshingly honest debate.

If you look at any of the religion "articles" here on K5, you will notice something immediately; an incredibly hostility to the entire concept of established religion, yet a grudging acceptance that religion might actually have a purpose. People experimenting with dangerous, wacky cults such as humanism, Wicca and Ayn Rand. They're just beginning to understand the importance of belief, but they're not yet mature enough to comprehend it.

I'm afraid this is due to the nature of the site. It attracts nothing but young techno-tinkerers. It gets its feed of new faces solely from that technological kindergarten, Slash dot com. Compare this to Adequacy, which not only featured articles from the brightest minds of the day, but attracted a huge, diverse following from all walks of life. It could debate topics like the offence to God caused by man-on-man relations precisely because Adequacy was open and free; not ruled by a God-hating cabal of turd burglars.

[ Parent ]

Last bastion of freedom? (none / 0) (#157)
by Keith Harper on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 08:44:21 AM EST

Just what kind of American are you, Mr. Gibbons?

[ Parent ]
Subjects that stop midway are fu (none / 0) (#195)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 12:31:17 PM EST

ndamentally flawed. You should use the subject line to make a quick (and witty if you are able) summary of what you want to say.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú


---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

the comments on this story (none / 0) (#152)
by the77x42 on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 04:50:19 AM EST

I expected more attempts from people trying to be an "AST". For once the comments have let me down. For shame.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

I heard (4.00 / 2) (#154)
by phred on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 08:36:35 AM EST

AMD shut them down.

I found adequacy folks (4.00 / 3) (#155)
by phred on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 08:39:33 AM EST

to be whiney and hypersensitive. Perdida was my favorite tho.

Comic (4.00 / 1) (#160)
by stud9920 on Mon Jul 21, 2003 at 09:13:08 AM EST

I have a nice comic about adequacy here

Linux Zealot fan fiction. Post yours !
you forget (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by makaera on Tue Jul 22, 2003 at 09:28:33 AM EST

You may call this the Adequacy Style Troll, but don't forget that these people were refining their technique on /. back before k5 had 10k users and adequacy existed. I remember seeing all of your sample subjects in stories posted on /. that occurred before adequacy came to be. (Unless adequacy existed in 2000, in which case I'm making a total fool of myself and you should all just run me over with your cars or other methods of conveyance.)

"Of course I'm tricking you", I said. "I'm playing white." -- bojo

I guess I'll never understand. (3.00 / 1) (#196)
by ryuuzin on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 02:32:35 PM EST

It's terribly funny, this thing called "Trolling". It's funny how this little meme has served to completely change how we perceive of and interact with each other.

Nowadays, someone who posts a perfectly valid but socially-abhorrent (or -inept) viewpoint of an issue is labeled witty and applauded for his/her skills in fooling the rest. Likewise, someone who posts a flaming remark about another poster (or a public official, a popular personality, etc) we call a troll par excellence. Back in my day we called the former "ignorant" and the latter "???holes".

I knew a lot of these people back when they *were* ignorant and ???holes. They're still around, in fact. But, how is it that the act of posting has suddenly turned these people into witty, urbane individuals? *sigh* Jeux sans frontieres.

your so witty and urbaine (none / 0) (#197)
by UncannyVortex on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 04:25:54 PM EST

pls die thx

[ Parent ]
Excellent example! (none / 0) (#198)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 10:27:49 AM EST

Sir, I applaude you for fooling us all with your post. You are indeed a troll on par excellence.

ryuuzin: truly a witty and urbane individual.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Oh my. (none / 0) (#199)
by ksandstr on Mon Oct 27, 2003 at 05:29:40 PM EST

Although this article contains, for the most part, piles upon heaps upon stacks of formalizations of verbal techniques known to and perfected by generations of green-hued bridge enthusiasts before the current batch, it would still have deserved to appear on the front page if for nothing else then for your exquisite use of the word "nauseating".

In addition, your circumlocutory and excessively verbose use of language reminds me all too closely of a particular character in one of the recent Star Track series who had a similar penchant with regard to hearing his own voice.

Well done.


The Adequacy Style Troll (AST): A Brief Refresher | 199 comments (185 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
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