It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Lost Art of The Troll - Part II

page: 1
30
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:
+22 more 
posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 11:45 AM
link   
Part I
 

The Lost Art of The Troll - Part II


“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile, and cunning.”

― James Joyce



In the shadows behind the curtains where no one sees or even cares to look, the beast of propaganda purrs like a well-greased machine, wholly supported and maintained by the very people it is meant to deceive. The sound of distant drums can be heard throughout the night, and the faint light of torches can be seen colouring the dark horizon, shadows of distorted figures flicker on the mountainside. The mob is coming. They are approaching—pitchforks in their hand, moralities in their mouths, and a lynching in their minds.

They seek the Troll.


Enter the internet, a vast wasteland where even the most fair-weather of pundits reign free. Anyone who can push a key can also crystallize his spirit into the consciousness that exists among the tubes and wires, just in case someone happens to pass by and take a look.

The strangest part about this place is the social aspect. Millions of people, sitting at their desks, paradoxically together but entirely alone, gazing into the frozen glare of unnatural light behind a piece of glass, imagining their way through life, momentarily forgetting themselves or how they actually are. How strange. How cheerful self-delusion can be. But like any media, there is prime material for a healthy creativity, and the internet serves as a canvas. And here especially is quite an interesting phenomena: a pen-pal type discourse between complete strangers that has never once existed on earth, a media worth cultivating if you ask me. If we were to live together as spirits in an afterlife, the internet would be a great analogy for how heaven would be—bodiless minds bumping into one another, sharing the mundane back and forth for eternity. But like any large gathering of lambs, it proves as the perfect feeding grounds for the predator; or in the case of the internet, the modern troll.

With the onset of the internet, riding in on the back of television, trolling is no longer a past-time set aside for a rare breed of intellectual literati, revolutionaries, artists, and philosophers—the ones who with their words and ideas shaped the very culture we find ourselves in—but is the go-to sport for your average screen addict, the same fellow who lacks any other outlet for his negativity and expression—he rarely even goes outside. As a result of this nowhere to go and nothing to do, this breed of opinionated cavern-dwellers are prone to the typically typed-out trysts that manifests as the best attempt at artistic expression that a synthetic life could ever produce. The art that once toppled regimes and sent the slumbering public into a revolutionary frenzy is now the prime means to deface facebook pages with lazy acronyms—your typical lol’s and wtf’s, that we spend most of our time trying to figure out wtf they mean—or to post a picture of a celebrity face or an animal with text over it in a simple but ultimately mediocre way to express oneself, to nonchalantly cyber-threaten the innocent with meaningless poop-humour, and to flat out digitally deceive the gullible for the sake of a few laughs—and all this while sitting, sipping on a silly mountain dew. Like any subculture that has been assimilated into the pink and bubblegum depths of pop culture, trolling has become bland, tasteless and without the artistic subversiveness that once made it so powerful, as soon as it became open to the public.

But there is so much at risk, so much at stake here. Online bullying has become a real phenomena. One can be convicted for typing words on a screen, for a thought crime, as the Orwellian eye of the populace constantly scans this wasteland for detractors and deviants. There is very real danger for trolls here. The agitated populace believes what they read on their screens. They cannot for the life of them see through it—and God-forbid if anything sticks out, or worse, attempts to poke the stupid lumbering beast. It is no wonder that trolls in the past submitted their manuscripts without their name. They risked death. Nowadays, pixelated influence lifts off of the words and into the minds of those who read it, and sometimes, outside of their digital worlds, they lash out on the very un-digital world in which they actually live, simply for something that happened on their screen. They’ve gone and thrown their feelings into the binary code of their software; they've become software. The’ve gotten themselves along with the mundane details of their lives so tangled up in the wires and engineering of the whole thing that they are almost permanent fixtures. For that they are territorial.

HOW TO TROLL SOMEONE

Brothers and sisters; because of a few bad apples with even worse seeds, the men and women who in the past, trolled governments, the so-called elite, modern culture, and those who would seek to oppress, are at risk to being innocent victims of this witch hunting mob. Their crime? Having a different opinion than the kindly plebeians, the easily-offended ones, who upon seeing a thought against the grain, crush it beneath the boot of mob rule. Words hurt them, and thirsty populace would rather hurt a real person than to hear them spoken not in their voice.

There is only one solution. The idea of the Troll must reshaped by the very trolls it idealizes. Trolls must become favourable in the minds of the many once again, a voice and protector of the people. We all hate rules, but a proper method might be developed if trolls could ever put their stubborn minds together and to good use.

Is this possible?

Can the Troll be vindicated before we crucify him?

Is there a proper way to troll someone?



+1 more 
posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 11:46 AM
link   
Please feel free to add to this small set of suggested list of principles:

1. Seek higher enemies. Be a higher enemy.

If troll thirsts for intellectual discourse, one might seek their betters, and therefor, their own betterment. In this instance he can only gain when he loses, having learned something about himself, wisdom, and discovering where he might do better. He may offer the same wisdom when he himself is that higher enemy, a higher troll. In the end, when we look back, our enemies will define us, and through them we will learn how powerful we really were.

2. Admit when one is wrong.

If one is wrong, it might be best if he admitted it, for in the process he has elevated the enemy, and the enemy respects the admittance in return, and hence, respects the troll.

3. Harness the power of language.

Refinement of culture is the goal; language, the means. Do not devalue her, and embrace her as would any warrior with his sword. Learn to use her and wield her. It is in language where the troll manifests and how he shapes himself. In the midst of mediocrity, the warrior becomes valuable. He becomes art. If in the weeds, a flower grows.

4. Be entertaining.

The troll cannot be boring. Although shock humour and poop jokes generate a mild interest within the mob, it is more likely to cause offence. As one crystallizes his spirit in words, it endures longer if it has more meaning and is more memorable, thus producing a higher quality of art for the masses. For the sake of maintaining an interesting experience during our stolen days making noise on the internet, out of respect, the troll should at least be interesting.

5. Be indefinable.

Labels do not work on trolls, there is no where to pin them. It is the internet. It is not real. On the internet, the troll is simply a few paragraphs of words—that is how he is seen and known. Labelling what we do not know is a fool’s game. The internet and the solemn wanderers within it have no need for the person behind the mask. They don’t even care to know.

6. Be the Martyr.

Figuratively (there’s nothing literal on the internet), allow them to stone you. Allow them to hurl the greatest insults. Allow them to demonize you and your words. Allow them to swing and miss. At least give them an outlet for their mob anger. They’ll feel better having eased their addiction to cruelty and elevated in their digital feelings at the very same time they show their hypocrisy, while you can smile unharmed, turn off the screen and go about your day having done some good.

7. Be Honest

Honesty is the best troll. No one likes to hear the truth, or at least, no one likes to hear what people think is the truth. But if they condemn the troll for being brutally honest, then they have only condemned honesty.

8. Have mercy on people. Have no mercy on ideas.

To pick on the one behind the screen is a fool’s errand. The troll knows nothing in its regard and would only display irrationality by doing so. What is present and accounted for are the ideas in front of him—lambs to the slaughter.

9. Experiment
Preaching to the choir is a game of the mob, their favourite sport. For the sake of learning and refining one’s own ideas, the troll may engage the preacher, even if he is singing the same tune. Both are better off with this engagement insofar as they are forming their own ideas in the process. Being a friend in this case, is being an enemy.

10. Fight with Noise.

The troll’s only weapons are his words; and words literally cannot hurt a fly (you can try it if you do not believe me). They can only ever make a bunch of noise. From that noise, behold, the troll.

11. Learn

If the troll doesn’t learn how to navigate with his words and ideas while trolling, he gives trolling, and himself, a bad name

10. Have fun.

For one reason or another—perhaps we work here; perhaps health allows us to do little else; perhaps it is the only place we find comfort as the walls close in around us—we are here. Here there is opportunity in the wake of tedium.


Thank you for reading,




posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 12:03 PM
link   
Great post!

I remember back when (and this will show my age) trolling was a term used on the old BBS's way back before Al Gore created the internet. It was just as you described. By reading your post, it brought back memories of those days. For us, it was as simple as you described, but what came of it was called "a Duel" that ended up in "War". This is where the troller and the defence engaged into a war or words. The rules were simple. There were no rules. The winner was the one who could 'constructively' bash the other with witty words of pummeling! lol

More or less, in simple terms... It was a war between the two to see who could bash the other in the wittiest of ways. An intelligent trash talking, verbal beatdown if you will. The audiance (all other members of the bbs) would vote on who won the war. The duel was the challenge and the war was what took place in another forum, usually called "The War Room".


Ahhh... the good old days!

Loved the post by the way. I know it wasn't what I described, but it stemmed from what you described and in those exact ways. There were rules to posting and responding for trolling, but once the dual was called and the war took place, all the rules went out the window and may the man with the craftiest ways to verbally insult you, win.




(post by Bellor removed for a manners violation)

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 12:34 PM
link   
So Lemis. Fifteen months between Part I and Part II? I flipped to Part I, read it first and gladly so. Throughout, your gentle act of trolling the modern troll with skewer and wit was well worth my time taken from more immediate chores, to which I now depart.

Thank you

T



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 12:49 PM
link   
I wonder if anyone has done a video series that acts out, "in real life," how people behave on the internet.

At the introduction of the internet, it seemed that a "troll" could be quite quickly connected to a real life behavior that we have experienced historically. As it has taken shape, it seems to have taken on a life of its own. It tends towards almost the anti-pathy of its original inception. Even more interestingly, I am not sure I can directly relate it to a "type" of behavior that I encounter in real life on any sort of meaningful basis. At least not in a way that is even remotely comparable to what is experienced online (driving would be the closest, I think).

I wonder what other manifestations might come along as time and progress march on..

I was once told by someone; "The easiest way to win a race is to make sure the other participants dont even know they are racing." Always thought that was rather funny!

edit on 8-3-2014 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 12:55 PM
link   
Part I was great. In history, there are many who used trollish tactics to make their points and counterpoints to those attempting to troll themselves. Thinly veiled sarcasm, irony, and humor, they did battle, many times even in the guise of a devil's advocate. And many were able to appreciate it. This is true.

But ah...yes. Today.

Well, I've trolled a bit on the internet in response or even as a first volley when trying to make a point. It isn't as easy to do with subtly as may seem to think it is (your mama!). Been trolled a little bit, too (okay a lot). It used to be an almost elated, kind of eureka moment to realize you realized were being trolled and then, depending on your mood at the moment, got to do battle. There are many ways to slay a troll, the most common being starvation. You could end it with the click of an X or wisely planted ignores. But many times it was just more fun not to end it.

So, yeah, there used to be a little fun in it even. Hell, on a couple of other sites I frequent, we still fondly remember The Great Troll War of 2001 and The Banning Times. The thing was, at the end of the day, many of the people who battled got back to reason, even became friends, despite or maybe because if it.

But as with all good things, it is coming to an end. Both because of the ridiculous redefinition of it by the masses who do cry "Troll!!!" at anyone who disagrees with them and do grab their pitchforks and by the misguided tactics of those who think they are trolling but really aren't. I swear there are days when I wonder if the internet despite (or because of) its wealth of information and power is making people more retarded or if it's just bringing out the masses to show us that maybe we always were so, collectively. (I bet I said that part wrong somehow, someway and will get in trouble for it, but I'm letting it stand as written.)

There are now ore and more trolls who take it well past respectable limits. Who bully, as you mention. Who use government and other databases through freedoms granted to them through their jobs and the Patriot Act, through private "commerce" tools they can pay a buck for or get for free, and through other tools and peoples' own stupidity in using them and thereby giving out too much information about themselves to track others down or post their personal in the hopes that someone else does (which they hardly every do, but who ever knows) to hurt them. Those people should in my mind be prosecuted.

But one bright light? The art of trolling is really not dead and will never die. It's just harder to spot among all the litter out there these days, all the lack of thinking, all the instant gratification, the strange, knee-jerk laws we're creating without forethought or even thought, and all the weird definitions the masses are placing on things. There are still some wonderful examples of it out there, both here at ATS and elsewhere on the internet (and yes, in life too). Those who are able to spot and appreciate it are maybe fewer though or probably just tired.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 12:57 PM
link   
Trying to get an emotional reaction to make oneself feel powerful happens all the time in 'real life' not just on the internet.
The impotent do it all the time - it gives them the hard on they so desire.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:01 PM
link   
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

And I had *just* checked in on you yesterday to see if the ghost had truly departed.


/salute from a fellow ghust of winding...



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:10 PM
link   

Itisnowagain
Trying to get an emotional reaction to make oneself feel powerful happens all the time in 'real life' not just on the internet.
The impotent do it all the time - it gives them the hard on they so desire.


I would say that is only the "modern" manifestation of Trolling though. At least as far as the internet goes, I have watched the transformation over the years from the original BBS systems to the widespread and easily accessible forums we have today. As this changed, it seems that the actual "art" of Trolling was lost somewhere in the milieu. Now, it seems to be Tourettes-esque outbursts of whatever negativity one can muster. The actual interaction that takes place through these mediums is unique, and imo, a very interesting and cool thing in many respects. There really isnt a comparable form of exchange outside of technology.

Trying to get an emotional reaction is also what happens when people create music or create a painting. The "how" and "why" can manifest very differently though.

That said, some might say the same thing is happening with modern art in general!



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:14 PM
link   

ErgoTheMirror
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

And I had *just* checked in on you yesterday to see if the ghost had truly departed.


/salute from a fellow ghust of winding...


"He comes and goes, where he stops, nobody knows! The facade changes, the colors bend, truly nameless with his lense."

I think some of the neatest toys are those old tin ones..



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:17 PM
link   

Serdgiam
That said, some might say the same thing is happening with modern art in general!

The craft conducive to creation consummation is casually crushed by common cruelty and competent copying.
edit on 8-3-2014 by ErgoTheMirror because:




posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:20 PM
link   
reply to post by ErgoTheMirror
 


Office/desk jobs can suck..


Luckily, the playground of the mind has no hours. Well, unless its closed.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:20 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 



In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
en.wikipedia.org...(Internet)

Yet upsetting people by baiting and name calling has always happened in 'real life'. It happens because people get attached to their names, labels, ideas and beliefs.
edit on 8-3-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:36 PM
link   

Serdgiam
"He comes and goes, where he stops, nobody knows! The facade changes, the colors bend, truly nameless with his lense."

I think some of the neatest toys are those old tin ones..

Who will I be when it is me I see I see?


Serdgiam
Office/desk jobs can suck..


Luckily, the playground of the mind has no hours. Well, unless its closed.

In deed indeed!

The playground is still open... the music still playing... the arms and hugs still free. Here today to show affection for thee, away tonight to show affection for me!

Think about ya'll often.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:36 PM
link   

Itisnowagain
Yet upsetting people by baiting and name calling has always happened in 'real life'.


Well, duh!


Trolling, however, wasnt always *just* about baiting and name-calling. It might have involved those aspects, but it also used to include others, such as cleverness and creativity, that have dropped by the wayside.

How it manifests through information technology is also different from how it happens in a personal social exchange. At this point, there isnt even a concern about getting attention or replies, because they know they will every single time. This is likely linked to the fact that when someone says something on the internet, it reaches more people than in any other setting. That increases the likelihood of someone else reading that message that will "feed the troll."

This wasnt always the case. When you add that with anonymity and direct immediate responses, it creates a new environment for new things to grow. Beyond Trolls, I suspect that there are (or will be) other "types" of manifestations of human behavior that are specific to the environment.


It happens because people get attached to their names, labels, ideas and beliefs.


That might be a part of it, at least for some.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:50 PM
link   
So good to see your material back up on the forums!




posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:13 PM
link   
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

What are you thinking of when you talk about trolls? People who have a different opinion to yours?
Or "Internet TROLLS, also known as paid “forum posters” or if we call them what they really are, SHILLS, are increasingly being employed by private corporations and contracted agencies?"
You can't use your suggested rules for trolls that are paid to spread disinformation as they have their own rule book and it includes when they are exposed calling other people trolls. Some people when arguing get frustrated also end up calling people names to try to feel superior they use the word ' troll' . So you have a cases of trolls calling people trolls and arrogant people who feel inferior calling people trolls and people who disagree with an opinion( they are mistakenly identified with) are also called trolls.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:47 PM
link   
It is obviously impracticable in the forums of these said Internet medium to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all.

Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest.

The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained.

It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be preserved; and, on the present occasion, this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several users as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.

...and with said as such, the bar will not be raised unless the community raise itself.

Yeah, thats right, in your face! (especialy Americans)

keep on trolling everybody!
edit on 8-3-2014 by NullVoid because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 03:00 PM
link   
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


This has been a fantastic read, start to finish!

I really hope that many take heed of your words, although I feel it may fall on deaf ears.

I will ponder your words though, and I really loved how you referred to the original trolls, that was a very interesting point.

All in all BRAVO SIR!


edit on 8-3-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)




top topics



 
30
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join