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Re: Pledge To Killfile Andrew Suffield

I wrote:
> "Z rejoices in the flames that his posts
> inspire", which is more or less the factual content of "Z's posts are
> trolls" [1] ...

Whoops, left out Footnote 1, which is my own take on the same topic as
http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/troll.html :

FWIW, the origin of this usage of "troll" has little to do with the
squat ornery guys who live under bridges in fairy tales of Germanic
origin.  "Trolling" is a fishing technique in which a dense lure,
shaped to dive, is dragged behind a moving boat to catch deep-water
fish.  As I recall it, in the glory days of FlameNet (Usenet) groups
like sci.physics and talk.religion, some people considered it sport to
drop a carefully crafted post into the waters -- preferably not
crudely inflammatory, but rather a reasonable-sounding comment with a
semi-subtle logical flaw on which the half-sane posters would pounce,
followed by a mass flamewar.

Another variation was to cross-post something inane to two or more
flame-intensive groups and see if you could get the denizens to
declare war on one another.  I recall one frequent alt.folklore.urban
(and talk.bizarre) poster, a Ted somebody, who was particularly
skilled at "trolling for net.kooks", and other a.f.u/t.b regulars
would call "troll" when they caught him at it.  Thus the verb "troll"
("Ted's trolling again") became a noun ("This was another of Ted's
trolls") and then its referent slipped ("Ted's such a troll!").

So at least as some of us use the term, a "troll" is one who is gaming
the social dynamics of the list in order to warm his miniscule soul at
the flames, not one who believes himself to be debating a point of
significance (however ham-handedly).  In my opinion, the term doesn't
really fit Andrew; but YMMV.

- Michael

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