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Thread: Trolling

  1. #1 Trolling 
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    How is trolling defined here? I've seen several individuals (mostly in religion and pseudo) here who seem to me to be trolling, posting tidbits that ignore the tenements of scientific inquiry, and attacking other members as they see fit. Why are all the personal attacks and unsupported claims-as-facts tolerated? I understand how hard it is to catch all of it, but when its a consistent thing from members, why do we put up with it? The memory of how long archy lasted is still fresh in mind, and I can't believe how well a couple of his (slightly less extreme) counterparts are lasting, as I would see them as being the exact same as him.

    I know you guys don't like the idea of using the 'boot button', and I respect that, but it's sometimes the only way to really fix some problems, especially if individuals won't change their behavior and will just continue on, making senseless arguments and claims that they refuse to support on top of attacking everyone who challenges them.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    cuz it is fun.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Please PM me with the specific examples of this and I'll start a discussion in the mod forum. I can guess who some are, but I'm interested in your opinion and perspective on it.

    Please send it via PM so as not to 'feed the trolls' or inadvertently spark a flame war.
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  5. #4  
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    I think people should err on the side of allowing people to speak freely. If people can go to a public square and talk nonsense, why shouldn't they be able to do it here? You always have to the freedom to not read their posts.

    The one thing that I do object to (which, fortunately, I haven't noticed happen here) is when crazy people attempt to hijack other people's threads. As long as that doesn't happen, I don't see why we should ban people just for having crazy opinions.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    except that this isn't a public square - if someone came ranting in my backyard, i wouldn't feel as tolerant as if he did it in a public square
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I don't think trolls have to have crazy opinions. It isn't an essential part of the definition.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    except that this isn't a public square - if someone came ranting in my backyard, i wouldn't feel as tolerant as if he did it in a public square
    How in the world is this "your back yard"? What can be more public than a free discussion forum accessible to people all over the world? This is not a private club, and this is certainly not your personal space.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    except that this isn't a public square - if someone came ranting in my backyard, i wouldn't feel as tolerant as if he did it in a public square
    How in the world is this "your back yard"? What can be more public than a free discussion forum accessible to people all over the world? This is not a private club, and this is certainly not your personal space.
    That's where you're wrong salsa. This is not a publicly owned space but a privately owned website, where the owner (the admin) chooses what is allowed and what isn't. We are all here on his good graces.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  10. #9  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    ... and this is certainly not your personal space.
    i never said it was, but that doesn't make it a public place - as Paralith said, (In)Sanity as site owner and administrator has the final say on what is acceptable on this forum and what isn't

    we, as moderators, merely attempt to bring his guidelines into practice
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    ... and this is certainly not your personal space.
    i never said it was, but that doesn't make it a public place - as Paralith said, (In)Sanity as site owner and administrator has the final say on what is acceptable on this forum and what isn't

    we, as moderators, merely attempt to bring his guidelines into practice
    I'll concede both you and Paralith's points on that.

    Let me put it this way then: If I owned the site, then I would err on the side of permitting free speech as much as possible.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    ... and this is certainly not your personal space.
    i never said it was, but that doesn't make it a public place - as Paralith said, (In)Sanity as site owner and administrator has the final say on what is acceptable on this forum and what isn't

    we, as moderators, merely attempt to bring his guidelines into practice
    I'll concede both you and Paralith's points on that.

    Let me put it this way then: If I owned the site, then I would err on the side of permitting free speech as much as possible.
    This is an old topic. There is a difference between a simple public chat forum and a scientific discussion forum. While it is a good idea to let people express their ideas for scrutiny by more and less knowledgeable people, as I have found in abundance here or I would not have grown so attached to the place, but there does have to be some control over what goes on here. This is a scientific discussion forum and as such it should at least show some regard for the scientific method and try to encourage productive discussion. A guy running around unchecked can do more damage than one might think.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    lol...

    point me to the scientific discussion please.

    Oh you meant it is a discussion forum for the people interested in science?
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    lol...

    point me to the scientific discussion please.

    Oh you meant it is a discussion forum for the people interested in science?
    Yeah, people like me, but there are others, like you, who actually are scientists. Discussion of scientific topics should at least have a scientific flavour, which would include the involvement of the scientific method. People want to learn new and interesting things and a free for all does not really make that easy to happen.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I'm one of those scientists.

    But do you really think I talk science here?

    You wouldn't be able to understand anything. There is no scientific discussion on internet forums.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I'm one of those scientists.

    But do you really think I talk science here?

    You wouldn't be able to understand anything. There is no scientific discussion on internet forums.
    I see what you mean now. Yeah, a place then where guys like you have to put up with dunces like me and think of ways to explain things so we can understand them.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  17. #16  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    You made a few assumptions based on nothing.

    I have no desire to talk science on an internet forum.

    I have no desire to educate anyone.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    You made a few assumptions based on nothing.

    I have no desire to talk science on an internet forum.

    I have no desire to educate anyone.
    Right. Noted.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    I think people should err on the side of allowing people to speak freely. If people can go to a public square and talk nonsense, why shouldn't they be able to do it here? You always have to the freedom to not read their posts.
    I've seen sites like that; its not a pretty picture. What generally happens is that the crazies take over the forum. The good posters get frustrated and leave and the only new posters you attract are other crazies.

    The one thing that I do object to (which, fortunately, I haven't noticed happen here) is when crazy people attempt to hijack other people's threads. As long as that doesn't happen, I don't see why we should ban people just for having crazy opinions.
    We've had them, we just brought the hammer down on them. I don't know that we've ever banned someone just for their ideas.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I have no desire to educate anyone.
    good - i wouldn't want to be overqualified for the job of janitor
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  21. #20  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I recommend for janitors that they use super frost slides instead of ultra super frost.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I recommend for janitors that they use super frost slides instead of ultra super frost.
    Whatever your personal reasons may be for participating in this forum and apart from your pithy, sarcastic and funny remarks, whenever you do engage in a discussion on sciency topics, wannabes like me benefit from it, enjoy it and appreciate it.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    You made a few assumptions based on nothing.

    I have no desire to talk science on an internet forum.

    I have no desire to educate anyone.
    LOL Perhaps, I understand.

    But I think there is a difference between what different people call science that is involved here. But have you seen what they call science in an elementary school, for example?

    Also I wonder if you are defining the word "educate" a little narrowly here as well.

    I mean for those that teach science as a profession, I can quite understand a reluctance to take on students in a professional manner here. After all ones classroom is a difficult enough environment for teaching as it is.

    However there are things we are too busy to take the time to teach in a classroom, things not in the curriculum that we can feel important to explain to people. So within that broader definition, do you still say that you have no desire to educate anyone?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  24. #23  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Hit and run trolls
    Persistent trolls
    Annoying trolls
    Ranting trolls
    Obnoxious trolls
    Condescending trolls
    I'm never wrong trolls
    William McCormick


    Who cares. People are what they are, everyone when it comes to science has their own methods and approach and even though there should only EVER be one method of approaching science people choose not to follow it and from that choice you get all that is the form of a troll. In how ever many forms as there are.

    The fact that we are all here on this science forum means that we at least share some common ground in which we can communicate. Everyone can be an arse yet I for one would not have it any other way because if we didn't have trolls and the occasionally arse-ing around this place would be boring.

    PS And about the educating people thing... Anyone dumb enough to listen to anyone on here about anything in any form without reseaching what they are being told to believe deserve to trip trap across the bridge and get beat up and eaten by the troll.


    This is a science forum. If you can't stand talking science most of the time what they hell are you doing here? If you really find being sciency all the time annoying then throw in the word protein in every other sentence, that might help if you don't feel like talking science; you might get away with it now and again, go on try it... Either that or get aquainted with the trash can.

    Au revoir... 8)
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  25. #24 Re: Trolling 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    How is trolling defined here? I've seen several individuals (mostly in religion and pseudo) here who seem to me to be trolling, posting tidbits that ignore the tenements of scientific inquiry, and attacking other members as they see fit. Why are all the personal attacks and unsupported claims-as-facts tolerated? I understand how hard it is to catch all of it, but when its a consistent thing from members, why do we put up with it? The memory of how long archy lasted is still fresh in mind, and I can't believe how well a couple of his (slightly less extreme) counterparts are lasting, as I would see them as being the exact same as him.

    I know you guys don't like the idea of using the 'boot button', and I respect that, but it's sometimes the only way to really fix some problems, especially if individuals won't change their behavior and will just continue on, making senseless arguments and claims that they refuse to support on top of attacking everyone who challenges them.
    Who hasn't made a senseless, unsupported claim by someone else's estimation? Ditto on the "attacking those who disagree," but I see that as commonplace also. You would have to ban a lot of people and then you would be talking to yourself.
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  26. #25  
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    If you want a definative definition of troling mine would be
    "Someone who disagrees with the opinion of a moderator".

    Can anyone do better than that?

    It is impossible to define because it depends someones perception of what someones motive is.

    There is an example given in wikipedia of trolling where someone is posting something he knew to be incorrect, as it happens it appears to turn out he was correct, obviously he was banned anyway because not banning him would have left he moderator looking rather stupid, and we can't have that, can we?

    Anyway as nobody can define a troll what is the point, as far as I am concerned it is just a term a moderator invented to get rid of someone they didn't like and had no other legitimate reason to put forward as an excuse.

    The fact that trolling didn't apparently exist untill he late 1980's should tell you something, there were certainly plenty of other forums where people could post their views, ie newspapers and puiblic meetings.
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  27. #26 Re: Trolling 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    How is trolling defined here? I've seen several individuals (mostly in religion and pseudo) here who seem to me to be trolling, posting tidbits that ignore the tenements of scientific inquiry, and attacking other members as they see fit. Why are all the personal attacks and unsupported claims-as-facts tolerated? I understand how hard it is to catch all of it, but when its a consistent thing from members, why do we put up with it? The memory of how long archy lasted is still fresh in mind, and I can't believe how well a couple of his (slightly less extreme) counterparts are lasting, as I would see them as being the exact same as him.

    I know you guys don't like the idea of using the 'boot button', and I respect that, but it's sometimes the only way to really fix some problems, especially if individuals won't change their behavior and will just continue on, making senseless arguments and claims that they refuse to support on top of attacking everyone who challenges them.
    Whats the problem, if you think they are trolls why do you reply?
    If other people reply what business is it of your?
    Who are you to apoint yourself as their 'online guardian' whether they like it or not.
    How do I know your post above is not a troll?
    The answer is I don't and I don't care if it is.

    What I do care about is people who self appoint themselves as censors.

    If you don't like it don't read it and let others do the same.

    The fact that the term trolling was probably invented by some socially defiecient computer nerd should tell you a lot.
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  28. #27  
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    I would say that Esbo is an expert in trolling. Given that his/her account has previously been terminated for just that.

    Bye now.
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  29. #28  
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    My above post looks suspiciously like a troll doesn't it?
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  30. #29  
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    esbo? that was esbo reincarnated for a short run? How are you sure?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  31. #30  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I have ways....
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