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Do not feed the trolls...

by halley (Prior)
on May 07, 2004 at 15:12 UTC ( [id://351478]=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Re: Why GOD... WHY?!? Y2K+4 bug? Wassercrats
Jan 03, 2004 By the way, anyone know who holds the record for the worst # of posts/level ratio, or who has had the most total downvotes?
Jan 05, 2004 I'd like to claim the title of worst monk, overall, or to know who it is.
Jan 05, 2004 Hmmm... I'm not bad enough to catch up to sickboy by being myself. I'll have to look for a different record.
These posts were written shortly before Wassercrats began his quest for worst reputation. First the Boycott O'Reilly campaign, and then a few stubborn denials after receiving negative feedback on his code, his methods, and his understanding of best practices. (Or did it go back farther?)

If it were just a matter of the code quality, or the lack of usefulness of his code examples, I wouldn't think the guy deserves the community flogging he is receiving. People give specific comments and he dismisses them. People give general or "big picture" comments and he scoffs at them. The guy is clearly trolling for fun and profit, at the expense of the community.

What should really be done in a situation like this?

Somehow, as the saying goes, I don't think wrestling with the pig will work here. Banning people on the internet is kind of like writing spam filters; it's an annoying waste of resources that can never win an inevitable escalation.

I suggest people just avoid replying to the trolls; eventually they run out of steam and go on to some other pursuit.

[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Do not feed the trolls...
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on May 08, 2004 at 04:56 UTC
    When I graduated from college, I was 23. I have always been one of the smartest, quickest, and have (had?) a near-photographic memory. Oh, and I'm extremely arrogant. And, until my wife got her hands on me, my attitude was this:

    The way I'm doing it, whatever it might be, right now is the best I am aware of. As I happen to be very smart, it's likely that it's one of the best ways out there. I am willing to be shown a better way, but you'll have to convince me.

    I think that most of us, at one time or another, have subscribed to that attitude to some degree. Some, like me, subscribed to it completely.

    And, frankly, I still subscribe to it. But, the way I take into account different points of view has changed. Instead of immediately responding, I wait. If there is something to be said, it can be said just as well tomorrow as today. Most of the time, my response doesn't need to be made, or it can be improved.

    This attitude adjustmenttook almost 6 years to come about, with a ton of hard knocks. I've been fired twice, had to work away from my wife and kids for a year, and been generally miserable ... all due to my attitude - my lack of humility. This isn't to say I'm anything approximating humble right now, and I may never be. But, I am much closer to doing things a better way than I could have ever come up with on my own.

    Now, what does this have to do with the topic at hand? Wassercrats - I feel you. I know where you're coming from, cause I've been there. I knew it all, and I knew that I knew it all. I had an answer for everything and everyone. Heck, I answered for them, too!

    I'm not advocating that you change one bit. In fact, if you did change into a xerox-monk, we would be a poorer community for it. I cannot imagine that any monk would ever say we would be better off without merlyn or Abigail-II, yet they are more caustic and blunt than you or I could ever hope to be. They've had 20 years more than us to perfect their style.

    All I am asking is this - before you hit the Create button, let your response sit for an hour. That's all. Just one hour. If, when you read it again, you still think it's worth saying, then say it. Otherwise, change it or hit the back button.

    Why? Your reputation matters. You, like me, may not personally care about reputation as a first-class object. However, your reputation is what allows you to do what you want to do. Without it, you are powerless, whether you like it or not. This is simply the way the world works. The sun rises in the east, our computers are binary, and power is based completely on reputation. Accept it, fight it ... I don't care. But, you cannot deny it.

    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

    I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

Re: Do not feed the trolls...
by b10m (Vicar) on May 07, 2004 at 15:17 UTC

    Too bad for Wassercrats that freak is taking over control now. Maybe they should team up? ;-)


    All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.
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Re: Do not feed the trolls...
by exussum0 (Vicar) on May 07, 2004 at 17:17 UTC
    What should really be done in a situation like this?
    Same as always I'd gather. Nodereaper will reap the trolls, and people go away after time if you ignore them.

    As for the people who try to push group-think, i.e. "freak is prolly hacking, I wouldn't suggest answering his questions" type thing, unless he's shown some evil-ness, i.e., "i'm trying to break into yahoo", he has every right to atain knowledge. Granted, freak doesn't seem to be interacting well with others on the site. Is it his fault? The site? The counter-party? I won't argue that. So long as he asks questions that aren't dupes, which he borderlines once in a while, why NOT answer his questions? How do you know that he's not a white-hat?

      Regardless of what he is trying to do, he did post about 8 dupes of the same thing, and while I've seen a lot of script kiddies that act as dumb as he does, I rarely see "white hat" types exhibit his lack of intelligence. Pretty obvious if you ask me. Maybe it's "l33t H@XX0R" mentality plus poor language skills in addition to the lack of intelligence, but hey, he's not trying to learn -- he's trying to use our brains instead of his own.
        Duplicate questions are bad. Agreed.

        But I've been guilty of his folly before, asking the same questions over and over because sometimes, things just don't stick right away. UTF-8 anyone?

        As for using our brains, I take it you, just like me, are here 'cause we enjoy programming and enjoy perl and learning about it. Just because a person may not "get it", which is the optimistic view, is no reason not to get used. I use my professors every nite I go to class. :) And not in THAT way.

Re: Do not feed the trolls...
by herveus (Prior) on May 07, 2004 at 15:51 UTC

    Thank you for digging up those quotes.

    The cheap and tawdry entertainment that had been provided by clever responses to the troll (and I confess to playing *that* game myself) has worn thin. I think I'm pretty much done playing, and tired of downvoting posts that beg to be downvoted.

Re: Do not feed the trolls...
by EdwardG (Vicar) on May 08, 2004 at 09:38 UTC

    As always, Lemmy has written an article about this, oh, the wisdom of the man...

    When I was young I was the nicest guy I knew
    I thought I was the chosen one
    But time went by and I found out a thing or two
    My shine wore off as time wore on
    I thought that I was living out the perfect life
    But in the lonely hours when the truth begins to bite
    I thought about the times when I turned my back & stalled

    I ain't no nice guy after all

    When I was young I was the only game in town
    I thought I had it down for sure,
    But time went by and I was lost in what I found
    The reasons blurred, the way unsure
    I thought that I was living life the only way
    But as I saw that life was more than day to day
    I turned around, I read the writing on the wall

    I ain't no nice guy after all
    I ain't no nice guy after all

    In all the years you spend between your birth and death
    You find there's lots of times you should have saved your breath
    It comes as quite a shock when that trip leads to fall

    MOTORHEAD Lyrics


Re: Do not feed the trolls...
by wolfi (Scribe) on May 08, 2004 at 07:36 UTC

    with code...
    my view is write however you like provided it doesn't affect someone else -> meaning cgi apps should use strict, taint, etc // code which will be maintained by others, should be written clearly // all effort must be taken to eliminate bugs posted in code, which will be distributed (like on CPAN), etc.

    with trolls...
    XP, trolls, etc - seem to be a recurrent debate lately. It's hard to decipher, if someone is just being curt or actually being malicious. And i know, it must be hard for programmers to continually repeat themselves to newbies or have their proven advice go unheeded, but i do suggest, that people double-think how they state something, before they do. (I'm sure, most of us are guilty of the occasional, unwarrented tongue-lashing upon someone.)

    however with those, who are simply and purposely detracting from this site... well, i agree banning is useless, but if someone is on a quest for lowest reputation, one can always deny them what they want. Upvote them occasionally - until they're about a measely negative 5 points. Enough to show you disapprove, but not enough to 'reward' them.


Re: Do not feed the trolls...
by Anonymous Monk on May 07, 2004 at 15:33 UTC
    What should really be done in a situation like this?
    flog'em both into oblivion!

      Here is what i think we should do. Avoid them. Don't respond to them. Just ignore them.

      Especially in the case of Wassercrats. For a while i actually thought he was a 12 year old kid. I mean, think about it, who else would be that stubborn and immediately assume that any critism is simple jealousy? "Don't do that, you'll shoot your eye out, kid." "OH YEAH!! WELL WATCH THIS!!!" *BLAMMO*

      The main problem with trying to communicate with Wassercrats is that he simply "has to have the last word, no matter how foolish it makes him look." I honestly believe, hell, i know that he thinks that by having the last word, he is right. What he refuses to see is that nobody wants to be treated that way. Eventually we just stop, because you can't argue with a brick wall. But Wassercrats sees his last post as "the last and final say on the matter!" He does not see that his post is -30 and the one before was +50 ... he just sees his post as the final word -- therefore he must be right.

      This is why i believe the only way to deal with Wassercrats is to outright ignore him. I have set /ignore Wassecrats for myself, i highly recommend everyone else do the same.


      (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)
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