|The stupid question is the question not asked|
Closer to home, if someone posted something controversial about Perl 6, is it a bad thing that we take it seriously when posted by (among others) Ovid or TheDamian or TimToady, but with a grain of salt if posted by a known troll
Well, yes. I think that kind of assumption of authority can sometimes become a bad thing. Experts can still be wrong now and then, and annoying people like "trolls" can still occasionally be right. I understand that some people don't feel it's worth their time to consider the merits of every dubious seeming proposal; but on the other hand, that's sometimes where the best new ideas come from: where the experts don't look, and no one else dares.
These are treated with suspicion by many (myself included) just because there is an absence of credibility. Not just poor credibility, but a complete lack.
As for me, I dislike the entire notion of "credibility" in online debate; I don't want people to ever automatically assume I'm right (or wrong). I'd prefer that they examine my ideas to find out.
If you're at work, and someone comes up to you to tell you you're fired, isn't important that you know who this person is when deciding how to react? e.g., your immediate manager, their manager, the department clown, someone you've never met, or someone with a bag over their head?
Not really. All I need to know is whether or not he has the legal authority to fire me. If the guy in the clown suit can actually fire me, I'm fired regardless of how he looks.
I'm pretty sure than everyone here has the legal authority to hold an opinion on Perlmonks -- even us strange guys with bags over our heads. Or maybe I'm just trying to hide the fact that I'm wearing a clown suit while posting this, and I like wearing big rubber noses! :-)