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The Lost Art of the Troll – Part I

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posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 01:45 PM
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The Lost Art of The Troll - Part I



THE TROLL

The internet is a vast frontier, a format through which opinions can collide without boundary or resignation. In this amoral wasteland, anything is fair game for critique, as is the case where any unwarranted opinion is put forward as if it mattered more than others. Luckily, words and ideas can only penetrate the skin of those who think themselves weak; for although they understand how impossible it is for words and ideas to draw blood, they nonetheless find cause to make themselves bleed. As a consequence, they will at all costs display their self-inflicted wounds for pity, or, who knows, to perhaps seduce others to share stake in their moral crusade. Sadly for them, the internet isn’t real life, nor can it translate to real life unless of course they do the translating themselves. The magic and beauty of having a medium through which to express free speech and freedom of opinion is all but lost as the mob sharpen their pitchforks in search of those seedy individuals who, paradoxically, cause our sweet moralists harm while doing absolutely no harm. For the troll, extinction is inevitable.

Before the herd mentality seeped into culture through internet and television, the troll resided in the words of books and dialectic, and was at most times presented by the best minds of all time. The great Socrates of Plato, through his use of irony and a feigned stupidity, allowed his opponents to bury themselves in the dirt of their own folly. Democritus, who developed an atomic theory thousands of years before the idea was considered by modern science, scoffed in the face of fools so much that almost 2000 years later, Rembrant would immortalize the hearty laugh of that mocking troll in his self-portrait. One needs only to read ‘Candide; ou l’Optimisme’ to witness Voltaire troll Gottfried Leibniz, as he parodied him as the optimistic fool Dr. Pangloss. And through his trolling of the Jewish orthodoxy, Spinoza survived bribes, assassination attempts, excommunication and was cursed to be torn apart by she-bears, for serving them a tall glass of STFU in his 'Ethics'. The troll, as an intellectual, was never in bad company.

Socrates though was eventually killed for being a troll—for who dares to go against the prevailing moralities of the age. Although his martyrdom was almost a blessing, as it showed the inherent evil of an overly irrational and morally-superior mentality, the slaughter of trolls never ceased. Luckily, rational minds did find seats of power, and the forbidden art of trolling wasn’t lost. (Without 17th century Netherlands—all honor to them—the line of great trolls may even have been cut too early). Some trolls even founded their own country.

But if we skip ahead to the present day, and as the art of trolling became accessible to the masses, we find that trolls have since been reduced to a malicious creature who attacks his unsuspecting prey from the bridge under which he dwells—and rightly so. With the advent of television and the internet, the troll lost its grip on the vain and illusory ideas of the culture on which he fed upon in favour of attacking the very real perpetrators of those ideas, and has therefore became a vain creature himself. Since the thought-deficient masses got a hold of the art of trolling, all that has and can result from such an inundation was mediocrity. We see this in the petty attempts of today’s trolls, where, either out of laziness or stupidity, most of their art never breaches one-hundred and forty-something characters, and all that is produced are petty insults.

Trolling was once a refined art and was only practiced by the most refined spirits. But now, where a refined mind is almost non-existent, and through the overuse and over-abundance of trolling on the internet, the art has all but lost its charm. What was once an intent to show the evil in the errors and double-standards of the extremely pious, became an intent to cause harm and confusion among kindly, albeit emotionally unstable people.

What us true trolls must do is take back the art we once lost, and to shame the malicious pseudo-trolls who abuse it, while at the same time preserving the great doubt and healthy skepticism we employ on those who wished we would submit to their extremely dogmatic yet irrelevant ways.


TROLLS

Voltaire

Democritus

The Pseudo-Troll:


Thomas Paine

Bertrand Russell

Hunter S. Thompson

Gore Vidal


Martin Luther King Jr.

Christopher Hitchens


Banksy

The Dada Movement

Troll Song


Coming soon: The Art of Trolling Part II. How to Properly Toll Someone.


edit on 14-12-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 01:48 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

The Lost Art of The Troll - Part I



Coming soon: The Art of Trolling Part II. How to Properly Toll Someone.



That's an easy troll to spot...as we'd be here for years waiting for part 2



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 01:51 PM
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Originally posted by Maxatoria

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

The Lost Art of The Troll - Part I



Coming soon: The Art of Trolling Part II. How to Properly Toll Someone.



That's an easy troll to spot...as we'd be here for years waiting for part 2


Very true. I still have to wrap my mind around the concept.
edit on 14-12-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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In the U.S., Thomas Paine would have been labeled a troll. Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail - done for the lutz. History is full of them!



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by Aleister
 


Thank you for your examples. I have added them to my list.

However I don't think they do it strictly for the lulz, although lulz usually result.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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I have been called a Troll. But I warily walk in the shadows of the original who spoke against it to the point of mockery yet was a complete Troll himself even making it on to the $100 Bill!


I may stick around for part II cause I can be a sucker too...
edit on 14-12-2012 by abeverage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by abeverage
I have been called a Troll. But I warily walk in the shadows of the original who spoke against it to the point of mockery yet was a complete Troll himself even making it on to the $100 Bill!


I may stick around for part II cause I can be a sucker too...
edit on 14-12-2012 by abeverage because: (no reason given)


I bet when they called you a troll you could almost smell the vile-poison they spewed when they uttered the word. I too have been called a troll, but my aim was never to bring shame nor harm to any real beings, only their opinions. So how about rather than feel like sh## about it, why not turn a negative into a positive and prehaps embrace it? Who knows, maybe it's impossible.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 05:31 PM
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I do enjoy laughing at people who deserve to be laughed at. who doesn't? I suspect many (if not most) of your readers here will include themselves among your "refined minds". so I would like to try to cut them, and you, and me, and beloved Democritus off right here by the retelling of ...

...a brief yet true anecdote:

unflattering stereotypes of persons in the uniformed services are not uncommon. even from the inside, as an enlisted soldier, we would often talk amongst ourselves about how stupid people in the army are. listening to such talk, you become aware that the speaker has somehow managed to become temporarily ignorant of his own wearing of that same "stupid" uniform.


even you, misanthrope, disgusted with humanity, would do well to read your own nametag.


(p.s. the king of all modern trolls: Robert Anton Wilson.)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by tgidkp
 


Originally posted by tgidkp
I do enjoy laughing at people who deserve to be laughed at. who doesn't? I suspect many (if not most) of your readers here will include themselves among your "refined minds". so I would like to try to cut them, and you, and me, and beloved Democritus off right here by the retelling of ...

...a brief yet true anecdote:

unflattering stereotypes of persons in the uniformed services are not uncommon. even from the inside, as an enlisted soldier, we would often talk amongst ourselves about how stupid people in the army are. listening to such talk, you become aware that the speaker has somehow managed to become temporarily ignorant of his own wearing of that same "stupid" uniform.


even you, misanthrope, disgusted with humanity, would do well to read your own nametag.


(p.s. the king of all modern trolls: Robert Anton Wilson.)


Beautiful. I was waiting for a statement such as this and I commend you for it. You are indeed a true troll.

My name is a mix between two french plays, Le Misanthrope and Les Miserables, and doesn't represent my view of humanity, which I myself am a part of. But I do love to play it up for those who are too quick to believe anything they read. Of course to them, and maybe even you, I am my label and nothing more, and I'm only giving them what they wish to believe.

I love RAW. He's the main reason I'm here. I have all his books.

edit on 14-12-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


What us true trolls must do is take back the art we once lost


Fear not young Grasshopper...the art you speak of is strong, and still practiced amongst the elders, though their numbers are dwindling.


Avoid group think, and maintain the course, and you too shall join the ranks of the Chosen Ones...but I must warn you, the path is riddled with danger as complacency continues to spread like cancer.





posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 06:25 PM
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Originally posted by facelift
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


What us true trolls must do is take back the art we once lost


Fear not young Grasshopper...the art you speak of is strong, and still practiced amongst the elders, though their numbers are dwindling.


Avoid group think, and maintain the course, and you too shall join the ranks of the Chosen Ones...but I must warn you, the path is riddled with danger as complacency continues to spread like cancer.







Alas there's still hope. Although I fear the dark ages are among us, a renaissance always follows. it's good to know the practice is not lost, and it still resides in people such as you.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 06:35 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Interesting perspective and well written.

I'm accused of trolling but most of the time those who are doing the accusing are often the ones doing a poor attempt at trolling themselves and are not even aware of what the differences are.


Great video selection by the way.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Interesting perspective and well written.

I'm accused of trolling but most of the time those who are doing the accusing are often the ones doing a poor attempt at trolling themselves and are not even aware of what the differences are.


Great video selection by the way.


Hopefully, through leading by example, we can turn that accusation into a right of passage. Thank you for reading and the kind words, sir.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 07:23 PM
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Wait. So I'm confused. What's a troll again? I read your post but the definition is diffused across so many paragraphs its hard to figure out. I'm not too familiar with trolling. I've heard about the term before but never knew the definition. Can you give us a short version for the less Initiated



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by BASSPLYR
 


oh, you're a sly one.

I do not like the "one-ups-manship" of the trolling ideal. I think it undermines the whole premise, if you base your actions referential to someone else's actions or anticipated response.

therefore, I am not a troll.

I am just a cruel selfish jerk.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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reply to post by BASSPLYR
 


I was hoping to leave it up to interpretation. But this is the Wikipedia definition:


In Internet slang, a troll ( /ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[3] The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted."

While the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels subjective, with trolling describing intentionally provocative actions and harassment outside of an online context. For example, mass media has used troll to describe "a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families."[4][5]


I've been called a troll and I probably am in a few eyes, except I'm not guilty of any of these things.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by tgidkp
reply to post by BASSPLYR
 


oh, you're a sly one.

I do not like the "one-ups-manship" of the trolling ideal. I think it undermines the whole premise, if you base your actions referential to someone else's actions or anticipated response.

therefore, I am not a troll.

I am just a cruel selfish jerk.


Surely you haven't lost your sense of humour!

Nonetheless, I have read many of your posts, and although I don't see the same subversive intent or negative approach the trolls before us have employed, you are possessed of equal intellect and, obviously, an ethical soul.

I hope you reconsider your resignation.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 01:36 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


See, the problem I have here is that one can't always tell the true nature of another's response based solely on his/her typed response. There are any number of factors that can affect the appearance of someone's internet message, and if a "troll" believes it is an emotional response, s/he will continue on with his/her activity, regardless of if the "trolled" person was actually affected in the intended fashion.

IRL trolls are a rare breed. Internet trolls really can't be "true trolls" because they are operating by the use of their own perceptions and prejudices of the words of others.

So, if you want to be a true troll, troll it up IRL. Just don't look for too much admiration from those with the vacant eyes.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by ottobot
 


reply to post by ottobot
 


Good points, otto. I will definitely have to consider them.

I agree that words are difficult, if not impossible, to gauge emotion. However I also think that trolls should only reside in places where words are the avenue through which meaning is expressed..

The examples of 'true trolls' I've mentioned have always used words or some kind of other medium to troll others. It's not very often one just goes up to another and trips them physically, a 'true troll' would have to do it mentally. A troll is a mindset and can be applied to the internet, as much as it can be applied to real life face to face interaction. The internet does have potential to be a great medium for discourse, but we are watching that slip away in favour of tweets and status updates, which usually are completely void of intellectual value.

I make it a habit to make sure my threads are long and text-heavy so as to scare away those who don't have control of their own attention span. There is a culture growing here that needs to be addressed, but in my opinion, it needs to be subverted by 'trolls.' People need to be trolled so perhaps they become inspired to defend themselves better next time, maybe by honing their logic, their reason, or their thought processess.

I'm not sure what I'm getting at as I don't quite have it worked out yet, but more parts will follow.

Thank you for reading and for the valuable insight.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by ottobot
 





See, the problem I have here is that one can't always tell the true nature of another's response based solely on his/her typed response


ohh jeez!
i was totaly having that problem on the religion forums here. i couldn't tell if a poster was a [for instance] a christian or not.
it should be obvious [a house on a hill cannot be hidden?] .
i was ruining some members there so bad , i decided that i should 'boycot' that area ... i'd get too many upset rivals.









 
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