135 thoughts on “Monday Mirthiness – spot the troll

  1. So, what’s the Village definition of a troll, and how should they be handled?

    To kick off we could take Sir Christopher Monktons definition: ‘Anyone who disagrees with me’. And his response: ‘Lash out with verbal abuse, revile, misrepresent and belittle’.

    Accurate and useful?

  2. Village Idiot says:
    August 18, 2014 at 3:51 am

    That’s not the definition of troll I learned. A troll is someone who makes a post to tweak others, intentionally setting them off for sport. In that sense, Monckton’s definition isn’t even close.

  3. Village Idiot says:
    August 18, 2014 at 3:51 am

    The nominations are closed. The votes have been cast. The votes have been tallied and the results are in. By a margin greater even than a 97% climate consensus, you have been awarded the prize for the most spot on, on the nose, absolutely appropriate comment moniker ever! Your victory was so overwhelming that the trophy will be retired forthwith.

  4. Gamecock. Full disclosure on my part – I’ve paraphrased the way I have experienced the usage by Mr. M of the word ‘troll’. I’m sure I’m not alone in my view. If anyone would like to waste their time trawling through his offerings here, no doubt they could produce some examples

  5. Village Idiot says:
    August 18, 2014 at 3:51 am
    “To kick off we could take Sir Christopher Monktons definition: ‘Anyone who disagrees with me’. And his response: ‘Lash out with verbal abuse, revile, misrepresent and belittle’.”

    You left out “have my lawyers look into a lawsuit”.

  6. I vote with Scott
    “Scott says: at 4:47 am
    Nah the definition of a troll is one who brings propaganda to a data fight.”

  7. Rob aka Flatlander says:
    August 18, 2014 at 5:07 am
    I vote with Scott
    “Scott says: at 4:47 am
    Nah the definition of a troll is one who brings propaganda to a data fight.”
    ——————————————————–
    Like
    cn

  8. Mr. Watts, Do you consider it possible to enter comments on this site that express disagreement with its stance on the issues of global warming and climate change?

    If you do not consider it possible, then there is no reason for anyone to enter comments expressing disagreement or raising questions.

    If you do consider it possible, please give us some guidelines for expressing non-trolling dissent.

    We will be much obliged.

  9. Jesse Fell says:
    August 18, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Considering there are plenty of extremely well-informed comments on WUWT from people who fundamentally disagree with the editorial line of the site, I think you already have your answer.

    For the record, the answer is simple: be neither dense nor obtuse and you will not be considered a troll.

  10. Jesse fell, I agree that guidelines as to what is permissible would be useful.

    Generally though the rules are the same as in any polite discourse.
    -Don’t swear.
    -Don’t ignore direct questions.
    -Don’t mis-represent other people.
    -Don’t be insulting.
    -Do admit when you are in clearly in error.
    -Do accept that people can legitimately draw different conclusions to you on incomplete information (this doesn’t mean agreeing with them).

    As a socialist and a Christian I have been vigorously attacked on this blog for my views.
    And I have responded robustly.
    But I have not yet been banned.

  11. Village Idiot, Jesse Fell and any other trolls who may be reading:

    A troll is someone who attempts to avoid or to inhibit discussion of a subject by deflecting a thread onto other matters. Often the attempt includes offensive misrepresentation of a person.

    Recent examples are
    (a)
    Nick Stokes on the Patrick Moore thread where he managed to deflect from discussion of the funding issue by repeatedly presenting a falsehood about Patrick Moore.
    (b)
    Village Idiot in this thread at August 18, 2014 at 3:51 am (and subsequently) attempting to start an argument about his untrue attribution to Viscount Monckton of an untrue definition of trolls imagined by and asserted by Village Idiot.
    (c)
    Jesse Fell in this thread at August 18, 2014 at 5:23 am pretending to attempt discussion with our host about Fell’s suggestion that it is not “possible to enter comments on this site that express disagreement with its stance on the issues of global warming and climate change”.

    Richard

  12. Troll from Old Danish (OD) “droll”, an elf or jester, alternatively a lurking monster, is powerfully suggestive. In Shakespeare, “troll” represents “a drab, a harlot, strumpet, trollop”– a girl, a lass, a wench.

  13. Oh, on topic:

    I understand “Alligators in the sewer”, “monsters under the bed” and how “trolls in the closet” fits, but, really, wouldn’t an outhouse be more appropriate for trolls?

  14. @Jesse Fell

    >Mr. Watts, Do you consider it possible to enter comments on this site that express disagreement with its stance on the issues of global warming and climate change?

    Being a blog I assume it is fair for me to be so bold as to answer for Mr Watts.

    There are numerous commenters here who from time to time present one or more views holding that mankind is creating a dangerous change in the climate through the emission of (particularly) CO2 from the burning of ‘fossil fuels’. They hold that these emissions are creating detectable changes in the global mean temperature, that this is increasing the ferocity of storms, increasing sea level rise, melting glaciers and decreasing polar ice packs, extending droughts, causing floods and over 600 other things which claims are documented on a website devoted to collecting them. They also hold that such changes are occurring now, that the ‘human fingerprint’ in these changes is detectable, and that it is urgent that the nations of the world band together to created a sort of emergency response team, answerable to no national government, to deal with this manifest threat.

    The detailed commentary on the effects of this ‘man-made global warming’ are without end, the long term future consequences are alarming, the immediacy of the need to shut down as rapidly as possible all sources of CO2 emissions undeniable – in short, the narrative is long, comprehensive and detailed. There are thousands of people who disagree with up to 100% of these claims and have standing to make professional contributions on the matter.

    You are free to present here any supporting data, commentary, articles, scientific papers, charts, videos and so on that support your position(s) if you subscribe to the above. That is what sets WUWT apart from the likes of Skeptical Science or Real Climate where the theme is so patently one-sided that there is no useful conversation taking place there.

    You will find the denizens of WUWT to far better informed than average, many like myself are working professionally in fields that are directly in or are impacted by the decisions taken at the global level on this matter. In short, the capacity to review and comment on any assertions, pro or con the CAWG narrative is present and accounted for. Whatever is submitted, we can as a group make it better, I think.

    To be labeled a troll is much more difficult here than at other sites because it is not done on the basis of holding that the CAGW narrative is true, it is on the basis of being a troll, trolling being a well understood activity on the internet. We try not to feed the trolls but they morph to give the impression of being vaguely uninformed seekers after guidance. But label them we do because of their behaviour.

    There are regulars here seeking to hijack threads when it suits them or when the information presented is so damning to the alarmist cause that spending 12 hours a day trolling is better than facing yet more aspects of the reality that the AGW premise is fundamentally flawed on so many levels.

    If you have a paper (or article) to present that is up to snuff in terms of content and quality you can offer to host a session and we will examine your argument. It can be very informative.

    Welcome to WUWT.

  15. Crispin in Waterloo: “If you have a paper (or article) to present that is up to snuff in terms of content and quality you can offer to host a session and we will examine your argument. It can be very informative.”

    That’s probably what Mr. Watts intends, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that “up to snuff in terms of quality” can be so applied as to suppress alternative views.

    I have no doubt that Mr. Watts sincerely attempts to maintain open inquiry on his site and to give space to opposing points of view. And by all accounts he succeeds to a much higher degree than alarmist sites such as Skeptical Science. But mechanisms for enforcing a consensus operate on his site, too, as I discovered when I submitted a proposed post questioning what I’ll call the “Brown-Eschenbach Law of Lapse-Rate Conservation” (the “B-E Law”).

    Long-time followers of this blog may remember posts by Willis Eschenbach and Robert Brown respectively called “Perpetuum Mobile” and “Refutation of Stable Thermal Equilibrium Lapse Rates.” Those posts’ purpose was to refute Han Jelbring’s erroneous theory that at equilibrium the atmosphere would exhibit its dry adiabatic lapse rate: there would be a substantial vertical temperature gradient even if the atmosphere were not being mixed by the effects of solar radiation, etc. There are indeed legitimate bases for refuting Dr. Jelbring’s theory. Instead of those, however, Mr. Eschenbach and Dr. Brown employed respective versions of the B E Law.

    The B-E Law contemplates two thermally isolated systems that are initially at equilibrium and for the sake of argument exhibit different lapse rates in the presence of gravity. Consequently, at least one of them has a non-zero thermal-equilibrium lapse rate. If those erstwhile-isolated systems are then thermally coupled at two different altitudes, the B E Law says that instead of decaying to zero as the now-coupled systems approach a common, composite-system equilibrium lapse rate, net heat flow between them would last forever (or, apparently, at least until their temperatures decay to absolute zero) as the two systems attempt to maintain their pre-coupling lapse rates.

    Where did they get such a law? Supposedly, it is dictated by thermodynamics and Fourier’s Law in particular. But how can that be? The bases of thermodynamics are strictly empirical, whereas the situation to which they are applying it is one that according to them could never have been observed. What is their rationale for thus applying thermodynamics beyond its scope? In particular, how can thermodynamics tell us that heat flow would not simply decay to zero as the new, composite system reached its own, common lapse rate?

    Dr. Brown’s following derivation of the B E Law supposedly explains it:

    Two different columns of gas with different lapse rates. Place them in good thermal contact at the bottom, so that the bottoms remain at the same temperature. They must therefore be at different temperatures at the top. Run a heat engine between the two reservoirs at the top and it will run forever, because as fast as heat is transferred from one column to another, (warming the top) it warms the bottom of that column by an identical amount, causing heat to be transferred at the bottom to both cool the column back to its original temperature profile and re-warm the bottom of the other column. The heat simply circulates indefinitely, doing work as it does, until the gas in both columns approaches absolute zero in temperature, converting all of their mutual heat content into work.

    Where did Dr. Brown get that “as fast as heat is transferred from one column to another, (warming the top) it warms the bottom of that column by an identical amount, causing heat to be transferred at the bottom to both cool the column back to its original temperature profile and re-warm the bottom of the other column”? In particular, how does he know that “it warms the bottom of that column by an identical amount”?

    At least to this layman, that result seems remarkable. Thermally coupling the previously isolated systems gives the (now-constituent) systems access to a broader range of energies than they previously had, so their phase spaces and thus their statistics change. Yet Mr. Eschenbach and Dr. Brown seem to argue that the constituent systems would seek the same equilibrium configurations they previously had. I could detect no logical basis for so astonishing a result.

    So I submitted comments questioning their logic and instead suggesting the conclusion of a paper by Velasco et al. To my way of thinking, that paper not only provided the real basis for refuting Dr. Jelbring’s theory but also showed that the B E Law is invalid. But I’m afraid that what ensued was not edifying.

    Why, the response was, should anyone give any credence to some “random guy” on the Internet? My acceptance of Velasco et al. and my refusal to avert my eyes from the yawning chasm in the logic behind the B E Law was taken to evidence of “amazing ignorance of thermodynamics.” No one attempted to explain why coupled systems would not simply assume a new, different-lapse-rate equilibrium state. No one attempted to identify any false step in Velasco et al.’s derivation. In other words, the thread trailed off into irrelevancies.

    And that’s the way things stood for a couple of years, until comments submitted by Dr. Brown in the winter of 2014 again addressed equilibrium isothermality. Ordinarily I just let errors go after I’ve made a few attempts to dispel them—my batting average is only about .300—but I had been so taken aback by such unscientific arguments from scientists that I again urged Dr. Brown to aattempt a more-creditable defense of his theory.

    My reading of Velasco et al. is that it is a demonstration, based on no assumptions other than the basic axioms of statistical mechanics, that at equilibrium there is in fact a non-zero (albeit, for any significant quantity of gas, quite small) translational-kinetic-energy gradient in the presence of a gravitational field. If you haven’t disproved that through statistical mechanics, your “refutation” is illusory.

    Again, though, he merely acted as though the B E Law had the status of F = ma:

    Well, illusory except for the implicit violation of the second law. Because if a gas has a lapse rate and metal has a different one then you have perpetual motion. The only way to avoid a violation of the second law is for all material objects to come to the same thermal gradient in a gravitational field. I’m hoping you can see why this is not ever going to be the case.

    Thereby convinced that we would never get more than a superficial dismissal of Velasco et al. from the scientists, I decided to dig into it myself and report the results. I wrote up an equation-by-equation description of how Velasco et al. arrived at their conclusion so that anyone who could identify an error would be more likely to do so, , and I submitted it to Mr. Watts as a proposed post.

    And that’s where I witnessed this site’s consensus-enforcement mechanism first-hand. In response to my submission, Mr. Watts spiked my piece, dismissing Velasco et al.’s paper as “junk” without identifying any incorrect step in their reasoning. So I wrote another piece, this time without the Velasco et al. equations. The second piece was a more-qualitative demonstration of why the gradient would be zero only in the infinite-number-of-molecules limit. Mr. Watts would not post that piece, either.

    Now, both submissions included some statistical mechanics, and at least as to the second one Mr. Watts ultimately admitted that he didn’t understand its substance. In truth, that’s partly my fault; after the effort that went into typing all those complicated equations into the first submission I didn’t put as much effort as I might have into making the second’s statistical mechanics accessible. But I don’t think the subject matter’s difficulty was the sole reason for his spiking my submission; his blog runs plenty of posts that not everyone can follow. I think the ultimate reason for spiking my pieces was that Mr. Watts thought they contained a crackpot theory.

    That’s understandable, of course. There’s a “random guy on the Internet” up against two of Mr. Watts’ more-influential contributors. Although Mr. Watts no doubt does want to expose his readers to alternate points of view, he doesn’t want the site to be seen as the place where every weird theory finds a home.

    At the end of the day, though, what he did was this. Despite the lack of scientific support for the, well, novel B E Law, he hosted two posts based on it, thus establishing it as this site’s de facto standard proof of equilibrium isothermality. And when he was offered a post that—with complete mathematical support—questioned this standard, he spiked it. Regardless of the intent, the effect was to enforce the local orthodoxy and suppress an alternative view.

  16. Village Idiot says:
    August 18, 2014 at 3:51 am
    “To kick off we could take Sir Christopher Monktons definition: ‘Anyone who disagrees with me’.

    Did he actually say that as implied by the quotes? Can you give a link please?

  17. @ Vince Causey August 18, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Mostly, the posters Monkton calls trolls appear to be folks “pulling a Nick Stokes”. (See the “Moore tour needs some backers” thread.)

    Not only was Stokes attempting to hijack the thread but he would rant incessantly even after being shown to be wrong.

    One thing I’ve noticed: trolls do not like to be called trolls.

    Must be a cultural thing.

    Dunno.

  18. Vince Causey:

    re your post at August 18, 2014 at 6:32 am.

    The statement was not made by Lord Monckton. It is a falsehood presented by the troll who posts under the accurate and descriptive title of ‘Village Idiot’.

    The falsehood was refuted (by me at August 18, 2014 at 5:42 am) but your post shows that refutation was not an end to the matter. Thus, the troll has been successful in its objective of deflecting the thread from its true purpose which is amusing troll identification.

    Richard

  19. Thus, the troll has been successful in its objective of deflecting the thread from its true purpose which is amusing troll identification.

    Or he is helpfully providing a practical experience.

    Can’t believe that my father’s aggressive style gets through but I get moderated. I really need that style guide.

  20. Getting back to “trolls coming out of the closet”,

    I’m wondering whether trolls can legally marry and get equal protection under the law.

  21. From my experience .. the typical conversation with a Climate Troll goes like this:
    - Poster: There’s been no warming for the last 10-15 years or so, look at the graph.
    - Troll: But there is a 97% consensus that CAGW is happening.

    - Poster: There’s a new study that shows IR out to space is increasing which goes against CAGW theory.
    - Troll: But there is a 97% consensus that CAGW is happening.

    - Poster: All the data show decreases in tornados, hurricanes, floods, droughts, etc … which goes against CAGW theory.
    - Troll: But there is a 97% consensus that CAGW is happening.

    - Poster: according to CAGW advocates, the arctic is supposed to be ice free about now … but it’s just not happening .. look at the pictures.
    - Troll: But there is a 97% consensus that CAGW is happening.

    …… I think you get the picture. There needs to be a 97% somewhere in that cartoon.

  22. From what little I know about trolls (having lived in Norway for some time), I always thought that they usually have a tree growing on their nose. I kid you not. Whether that is the type of tree that Mann likes to give undue weight to, I do not know.

  23. Dr. Deanster: Wherein the trolling?

    Richard Verney: Is making a puerile sideswipe at Micky Mann trolling?

  24. Question:

    Who is the idiot, the one who proclaims himself the Village Idiot or one who replies to one who proclaims himself the Village Idiot?

  25. JohnWho:

    You pose a good and on-topic question when you ask at August 18, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Who is the idiot, the one who proclaims himself the Village Idiot or one who replies to one who proclaims himself the Village Idiot?

    I answer, probably both but the respondent may not be a troll although the Village Idiot is. Indeed, a chosen false name is often indicative of a troll.

    Richard

  26. “A troll is someone who attempts to avoid or to inhibit discussion of a subject by deflecting a thread onto other matters. Often the attempt includes offensive misrepresentation of a person.”

    Good definition, which can be demonstrated with an example:

    “There is no doubt that Climate Change has had a hand in exacerbating racial tensions in Ferguson, Mo., as the poor and disadvantaged demonstrate for Social Justice. Those who blindly deny the effect of Climate Change on poor people’s lives should acknowledge their part in disrespecting Minority voters in America today.”

  27. Thank you for your response Richard.

    But, perhaps I should clarify:

    What I mean is that once someone is identified as a troll, is it then wise to pursue further verbal intercourse with them?

    I will agree that one’s screen name could be indicative of a specific viewpoint.

  28. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yogyakarta says:
    August 18, 2014 at 6:05 am

    @Jesse Fell

    >Mr. Watts, Do you consider it possible to enter comments on this site that express disagreement with its stance on the issues of global warming and climate change?

    You are free to present here any supporting data, commentary, articles, scientific papers, charts, videos and so on that support your position(s) if you subscribe to the above. That is what sets WUWT apart from the likes of Skeptical Science or Real Climate where the theme is so patently one-sided that there is no useful conversation taking place there.

    I’ll go further. Anthony has posted input from climate orthodoxy scientists as guest blog post here. If you feel your contribution warrants a full posting here, I’d recommend submitting it to Anthony with such a request. You might be surprised. We regulars here would not be.

  29. JohnWho:

    At August 18, 2014 at 7:49 am you pose the question

    What I mean is that once someone is identified as a troll, is it then wise to pursue further verbal intercourse with them?

    There is no simple answer.

    Whenever possible it is advantageous to ‘not feed the troll’ because the troll obtains its objective when it engenders any response.

    However, a troll’s comment often requires rebuttal so it does not mislead onlookers. And that can result in a skillful troll generating a continuous interchange by use of ‘goalpost moving’ and additional falsehoods which also require rebuttal.

    Please remember that some trolls are professionals who obtain remuneration for disrupting threads.

    Richard

  30. trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior. Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.

    Trolls just want to have fun – Erin E. Buckelsa, , , Paul D. Trapnellb, Delroy L. Paulhusc

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886914000324

    That’s peer reviewed.

  31. ATTP has made a self-reference:

    I guess if you don’t really know what you’re talking about, but don’t want to admit that, then that might be the only way to engage in such exchanges (ooops, is that a little too robust again, sorry).

  32. “A troll is someone who attempts to avoid or to inhibit discussion of a subject by deflecting a thread onto other matters. Often the attempt includes offensive misrepresentation of a person.”

    and then

    Indeed, a chosen false name is often indicative of a troll.

    #####################

    watch how the definition will grow and change to fit the circumstances.

    But let’s get down to the difficultly of defining a troll.

    1. Deflecting the thread onto other matters.

    The problem here is the problem of judging what is germane. There is no algorithm that will
    tell you when a comment is on topic or off topic.

    For example, what is the topic of this post?

    well its a cartoon. And the cartoon says paraphrasing “if it walks like a duck …. then its a duck”
    Or the equivalent of ” I cant define pornography but I know it when I see it”

    So, the topic one could argue is “what is trolling” Of course it is on topic to discuss ANY
    incidence of trolling as an example to illustrate a point. And it might be on topic to discuss trolling at other blogs. its also on topic to discuss the drawing of the cartoon.

    The post also has some text

    “Josh writes: There’s been a bit of closet trolling recently, a pretence if being polite but blatantly not, and generally trying to derail posts. Fortunately we have a helpful cartoon for that.”

    so it would be on topic to talk about politeness and rules for conversation. Its on topic to talk about thread de railing, And what does it mean to be on topic. Here we might make our case by bring in other examples.. say poster X on old thread Y. Of course then the topics of that post get brought up again.

    As people make comments the topic evolves. It grows, it morphs. And then someone crosses a “line” none of us draw the line in the same place.. what is on topic to you might seem off topic to me. At this junction some Nanny throws the troll flag.. an offensive misrepresentation.
    And then people argue about whether calling someone a troll is

    1. OFF TOPIC
    2. offensive.

    Thread Nannies try to control the discourse until the jack boot of the moderator can come down on somebodies neck.

    Now, go back through old posts. Look at comments. See how many times a post about
    climate science becomes a discussion of politics… to some this is “on topic” to others it is
    “off topic”

  33. Josh/Anthony:

    “AND THEN THERE’S TROLLS”
    Grammar issue:
    Shouldn’t that be “AND THEN THERE ARE TROLLS” ?

    “There’s” is singular, isn’t it? Unless the grammar issue was done on purpose for some reason…..

  34. Steven Mosher says at August 18, 2014 at 8:17 am.
    Very good comment.
    But I would argue that there are clearly defined cases where thread-jacking is trolling.

    1) The thread is moved into a circular conversation. Epitomised by the Monty Python sketch (this is not an argument, yes it is, no it isn’t…). That’s the extreme case but we have all seen a discussion devolve into repetitive contradictions rather than a sharing of views and different perspectives with novel evidence being introduced. The thread is killed when it circles.
    2) The thread is shifted to a subject that has recently been covered elsewhere. No new light can shed as the subject has just been covered completely. That starves the thread of value.
    3) The thread is polarised by raising a subject for which there is no definitive answer but very high passions. Anyone claiming that they know the true God (or proof of none), true political creed (or ideological proof of another’s wickedness) or many cultural values such as “All modern art is rubbish”.

    Those thread-jacks are trolling as the debate isn’t merely moved but mangled.

  35. Mosher,

    Hint, go through the Greenpeace Patrick Moore thread and see the trolling attempts of the person for which this cartoon was designed, if you really care, before pontificating and spouting obtuse crap.

  36. Steven Mosher:

    Thankyou for your clear demonstration of trolling with the start of your post at August 18, 2014 at 8:17 am which begins saying

    “A troll is someone who attempts to avoid or to inhibit discussion of a subject by deflecting a thread onto other matters. Often the attempt includes offensive misrepresentation of a person.”

    and then

    Indeed, a chosen false name is often indicative of a troll.

    #####################

    watch how the definition will grow and change to fit the circumstances.

    There was and is no attempt to “grow and change” the definition of a troll that I have often posted on WUWT prior to stating it in this thread.
    The definition was mine and the descriptive addition is NOT a modification of it.

    Similarly, a church may be defined as being a place of worship, and an addition may be that the style of windows is often indicative of a church.

    Goalpost moving is a troll activity. You often do it. I don’t.
    Perhaps your most extreme example of ‘goalpost moving’ was when you tried to redefine the scientific null hypothesis.

    The remainder of your post is an excuse for trolling based on your pretended difficulty with understanding what is “germane”. Yes, Steven Mosher, you often display that difficulty, but it is usually not clear if your difficulty is deliberate or not.

    Richard

  37. Stephen Mosher: Of course posts about climate science becomes a discussion of politics. Just compare the politicized summary in the IPCC with the scientific report it purports to summarize. Climate science ( I really ought to call it “science” with the quotation marks) is and has been highly politicized from the onset.

  38. From Wikipedia: “Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water.” Simple to see how the term fits the behavior of some comments. Sometimes the bait is obviously artificial, sometimes it’s alluringly juicy — but it always has the same objective to catch the “fish.”

  39. In defense of the obtuse, that’s just the way some of us are. How do you tell when somebody is being deliberately obtuse versus just plain dense and unreasonable?

  40. Climate science stopped being about science over 15 years ago. It’s about politics. Mosh, if you don’t like climate science being dragged into politics, you need to start policing your own house.

  41. “How do you tell when somebody is being deliberately obtuse versus just plain dense and unreasonable?

    It reminds me of a current rule of thumb on most of the internet these days: A sufficiently sophisticated parody of a left wing position will always be indistinguishable from the real thing.
    (all sex is rape? Check, not a parody. all problems are based on racial discrimination? Check, not a parody. Climate change means you shouldn’t have children? Check, not a parody.)

  42. I and others have been labeled a concern troll here several times for expressing honest concern that some things posted here are detrimental to the credibility of WUWT and the faithful readership. There is no useful response available for such ignorant claims so one is left a loss of respect and a sense of wasted concern. People who respond to real concern with the concern troll card as a first response are among the most ignorant of posters and just add to the things to be concerned about. Intelligent, honest, and constructive criticism is never inappropriate. It is what keeps us from being doomed to repeat historic failures.

  43. dp:

    At August 18, 2014 at 9:43 am you write saying in total

    I and others have been labeled a concern troll here several times for expressing honest concern that some things posted here are detrimental to the credibility of WUWT and the faithful readership. There is no useful response available for such ignorant claims so one is left a loss of respect and a sense of wasted concern. People who respond to real concern with the concern troll card as a first response are among the most ignorant of posters and just add to the things to be concerned about. Intelligent, honest, and constructive criticism is never inappropriate. It is what keeps us from being doomed to repeat historic failures.

    An anonymous poster asserts without providing any evidence that there is unjustified labeling of people expressing “honest concern” that some unspecified “things posted here are detrimental to the credibility of WUWT and the faithful readership”.

    That reads like concern trolling to me.

    Richard

  44. Richard – I think it would be off topic to drag those old posts forward. It would also redirect the conversation to those topics. I have just expressed an honest, intelligent, constructive post and you have demonstrated perfectly the point I made. If you personally would like to see all the evidence available I will send it to you in a private email but I am not going to flood this thread with what can easily be found by searching this site. I appreciate your racing in to prove my point.

  45. dp:

    re your post at August 18, 2014 at 10:29 am.

    Thanks for confirming my point. And I notice that you have used the same ploy on another thread today in your post here where you convert a reasonable post into a troll comment by addiing

    I suppose this makes me a concern troll (again).

    Richard

  46. dp:

    At August 18, 2014 at 11:02 am you write

    Richard – I am not going to be a part of another of your many endless streams of pedantry.

    You need to do much better than that to get me to bite. Try trolling someone else.

    Richard

  47. Publicly slandering Lord Monckton with deliberate and complete lies (literally just pulling something false out of your… ear… and saying the person said it when they didn’t) is not just trolling… it’s maliciously destroying a man’s good name because you feel personally humiliated and threatened by his masterful comprehension of the truth (and even more by the truth itself), and by his colossal intellect. Sadly, however, this seems to be one of the most common modern reactions, anymore, to someone who has a colossal intellect who is habitually right.

    If there’s one thing liberals can’t stand (aside from anyone actually having a brain that functions independently of the nightly news or liberal textbooks), it’s someone that disagrees with them, who actually has the brains AND the knowledge to prove they’re correct. It’s easy to blow off or humiliate someone who doesn’t know how to defend themselves, just like it’s easy to take candy from a baby. Not so with the exceptionally bright and educated…

  48. M Courtney says:
    August 18, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Steven Mosher says at August 18, 2014 at 8:17 am.
    Very good comment.
    But I would argue that there are clearly defined cases where thread-jacking is trolling….

    Mmmmm, thread hijacking can be due to single-mindedness and metaphorical tunnel vision. If the “troll” has that condition, then there is actually only one topic. That results in a monumental resistance to discussing anything but “their” topic, and every thread is perceived as providing an opportunity to do that. I would ascribe that to a distorted sense of relevance rather than to trolling.

    I would suggest that “true” trolling is conducted with some level of malice. It may range from contempt for an argument or the knowledge of the commenter, through effectively libelous views of the commenter or article author being trolled, to systematic propagation of :”big lies.” The persistent assertion of “consensus” and “the science is settled” memes is the latter.

  49. Mr Courtney,

    Your overenthusiastic use of the term “troll” and labeling argument as “trolling” devolves
    to simple name calling and mislabeling of argument, which in itself is just another type of trolling.

  50. Josh

    ¿Trolls? ¿Really Josh?

    I suggest rather that an apropos cartoon on perceptions of ‘trolls’ haunting WUWT might be based on the following idea.

    As Don Quixote tilted at windmills imagining they were people who were his opponents, so on some skeptical threads we see regular commenters tilting at other commenters by repeatedly using the illogical argumentation of childish troll name calling against those other commenters.

    Name calling people as trolls is becoming so frequently used illogically in discussions on some types of threads here that there should be a way to conceptually define those commenters who recursively resort to schoolboy troll name calling at other commenters on these skeptical threads.

    John

  51. John Whitman: “on some skeptical threads we see regular commenters tilting at other commenters by repeatedly using the illogical argumentation of childish troll name calling against those other commenters.”

    Indeed.

    I have on several occasions been on the receiving end when I simply tried to, say, point out a weak point in the head post. Since I made my living as a lawyer, that was always just another day at the office for me. But it was disappointing that it most frequently came from Christopher Monckton, who thereby compromised his effectiveness among the more-discerning readers. He has great gifts but could benefit from making his arguments more bullet-proof.

  52. I recall having read the “anyone who disagrees with me” quote by Lord Monckton. If I remember correctly, he was not referring to himself, rather he was being sarcastic while criticizing blogs such as “Real Climate” for shouting down legitimate dissent and disagreement on their discussion threads by falsely labeling the dissenters as “Trolls.”

    As I am going from memory, I cannot provide a reference. Even so, the idea is a valid one to consider. And, I would like to say that WUWT’s commenters are almost never guilty of that behavior.

  53. @richardscourtney

    “Please remember that some trolls are professionals who obtain remuneration for disrupting threads.”

    I wish solid evidence about this “profession” were made publicly available. Not anecdotal. Solid.

  54. haha

    “There was and is no attempt to “grow and change” the definition of a troll that I have often posted on WUWT prior to stating it in this thread.
    The definition was mine and the descriptive addition is NOT a modification of it.”

    #########

    I added something to my definition but didnt modify it.

    Bwaaah

    You added something so you could ensare more people. So for the record

    please provide your FULL and complete description
    please provide how you tested this definition.

    Do you think your description or definition could pass a double blind test

  55. “Jim Brock says:
    August 18, 2014 at 8:55 am
    Stephen Mosher: Of course posts about climate science becomes a discussion of politics. Just compare the politicized summary in the IPCC with the scientific report it purports to summarize. Climate science ( I really ought to call it “science” with the quotation marks) is and has been highly politicized from the onset.”

    yes an a reasonable person could judging that switching the topic to politics was trolling.

  56. Brute:

    re your post at August 18, 2014 at 11:49 am.

    Please define “Solid”.

    I ask because your post at August 18, 2014 at 11:43 am demonstrates you have a problem with the meaning of words: Joe Born provided unsubstantiated assertion and not “narrative”.

    Richard

  57. “Thankyou for your clear demonstration of trolling with the start of your post at August 18, 2014 at 8:17 am which begins saying”

    your definition of trolling

    “A troll is someone who attempts to avoid or to inhibit discussion of a subject by deflecting a thread onto other matters. Often the attempt includes offensive misrepresentation of a person.”

    1. I did not avoid the topic of trolling. i commented on YOUR DEFINITION of trolling
    2. I did not inhibit discussion, in fact, many people including you responded.
    3. the thread has not been deflected, it has focused on the issue you raised: what is trolling”
    4. I haven’t characterized you as a person.. however the opposite is not true.

    In short, I am not sure you recognize trolling.

    Discussing trolling definitions in a thread about trolls is not trolling.

  58. what I said

    “And what does it mean to be on topic. Here we might make our case by bring in other examples.. say poster X on old thread Y. Of course then the topics of that post get brought up again.

    As people make comments the topic evolves. It grows, it morphs.
    ######################
    so I predict that people will bring into the current thread, what was said elsewhere.
    and that the topic evolves

    NOW… watch what richard did

    “Thanks for confirming my point. And I notice that you have used the same ploy on another thread today in your post here where you convert a reasonable post into a troll comment by addiing”

    Then he says that topics dont evolve.

    Richard.. look in the mirror. I predicted someone would act in a certain way.
    and you made it come true.
    Thanks!

  59. richardscourtney: “Joe Born provided unsubstantiated assertion”

    Which assertion do you question?

  60. Trolling, clickbait, mainstream headline journalism — labels which today, describe the same thing: eliciting emotional responses by expressing seemingly reasoned positions either counter to or in support of local consensus.

    At best, defining trolling is a nebulous task. A trolling comment here is not a trolling comment everywhere. A disrespectful, dehumanizing and despicable comment denounced on one site is lauded in another. The only constant in the definition of trolling seems to be location of where a comment is submitted.

    I submit that people (including scientists) love trolls. How many times do we see 100% of thread participants take the “high road” by completely ignoring obvious trolling? And how much less the obscured?

    Responding to trolls allows people these three things: 1) identify with one group over another 2) take a superior position by implying the other (troll) position is inferior 3) provide an opportunity to release tension through lampooning.

  61. Joe Born:

    Your post at August 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm says in total

    richardscourtney: “Joe Born provided unsubstantiated assertion”

    Which assertion do you question?

    You are assuming I “question”. Well, you claimed to be a lawyer so I suppose such a rhetorical trick was to be expected.

    I doubt every assertion you made because they are all completely unsubstantiated. Surely, a lawyer worth his salt would know that defamatory assertions provided without evidence should not be accepted.

    Richar

  62. This is worth putting into perspective. Thanks to the great majority of contributors here – WUWT is a high quality site. With contributors from all over the world. Discussing a controversial, internationally politicized topic. Questioning the official 97% consensus. And, after 8 years, still practically without moderation. IMO that’s an astonishing achievement. We can afford cutting some slack to the few tortured creatures who seem to deprive themselves of so many good things in life.

  63. Brute: “I enjoyed the narrative, thanks.”

    I’m glad you did.

    Again, my intention was not to attribute any unworthy motives to our host, who provides an invaluable service. But some of the commenters seemed to harbor a misconception that I confess to having shared before the experience I described above, and that peek behind the curtain may may help some interpret what they see here.

  64. Joe Born says:
    August 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    richardscourtney: “Joe Born provided unsubstantiated assertion”

    Which assertion do you question?

    He’s a pedantroll – you can never satisfy his pedantry. Nobody ever has.

  65. Village Idiot says:
    August 18, 2014 at 3:51 am
    So, what’s the Village definition of a troll, and how should they be handled?
    To kick off we could take Sir Christopher Monktons definition: ‘Anyone who disagrees with me’. And his response: ‘Lash out with verbal abuse, revile, misrepresent and belittle’.
    Accurate and useful?

    - – - – - – - – - -

    Village Idiot,

    Christopher Monckton did once define, at request, his concept of troll in his comments on one of his WUWT articles ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/23/the-empire-of-the-viscount-strikes-back/ )

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

    A troll is one who exhibits either no intention to contribute constructively to the discussion or an intention to contribute destructively.

    . . .

    I went on in that thread to argue that Monckton had misapplied his own definition of troll in calling several people on that thread trolls.

    I think that definition of troll is problematic in that almost anyone on any thread can call another person a troll by divining intention.

    John

  66. dp: “you can never satisfy his pedantry. Nobody ever has.”

    I was pretty confident of that. But I went ahead and gave him the chance to show he had a legitimate issue. He lived down to my expectation.

  67. @richardscourtney

    Please don’t avoid the question. You claimed that some trolls are remunerated professionals. I am interested in the evidence that supports your claim.

    @Joe Born

    I understand. In fact, my enjoyment of your narrative has nothing to do with the degree to which it might be scientifically sound.

  68. Joe Born:

    re your post at August 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm.

    Your post at August 18, 2014 at 11:42 am was merely an unsubstantiated smear against the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. It is here. And when I pressed you to substantiate the smears you tried to deflect the issue.

    That is not merely a “legitimate case” and it is not “pedantry”. It it is certainty that you are a troll. And I could never lower myself to the levels of you and the other troll who posts as dp.

    Richard

  69. Fun film
    watchmovie-online.com/movie/the-troll-hunter

    The Troll Hunter reminds me of a frequent poster.

  70. Brute:

    Your silly post at August 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm says in total

    @richardscourtney

    Please don’t avoid the question. You claimed that some trolls are remunerated professionals. I am interested in the evidence that supports your claim.

    @Joe Born

    I understand. In fact, my enjoyment of your narrative has nothing to do with the degree to which it might be scientifically sound.

    I avoided nothing. It is common knowledge that professional trolls exist as sturgishooper says at
    August 18, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    A number of organizations and individuals, eg businesses, governments, political and ad campaigns, advocacy groups (like Moveon.org), etc., hire internet trolls:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/24/samsung_fined_340000_for_hiring_trolls_to_trashtalk_htc_handsets/

    His link is to a legal case where Samsung were fined for using professional trolls.

    I asked you to clarify what you were asking for because your response to the trolling of Joe Born was to call it a “narrative”. Clearly, you interpret words as you see fit. And you have repeated that falsehood in your post I am answering.

    I have answered Joe Born in a post at August 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm which is in moderation.

    It seems that he, you and dp are trolling as a team.

    Richard

  71. Steven Mosher:

    Your post at August 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm is daft.

    I provided evidence of a behaviour by citing it and linking to it.
    You think that proves something?

    The only thing it proves is that – unlike you – I substantiate what I say.

    Richard

  72. Matt L. says:
    August 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    Trolling, clickbait, mainstream headline journalism — labels which today, describe the same thing: eliciting emotional responses by expressing seemingly reasoned positions either counter to or in support of local consensus.
    __

    With respect that’s a strange, self-serving and short-sighted definition there, as it gives people a get out of jail free card to call anyone a troll who’s disagreed with by the majority.

    How is that different to consensus-building via intolerance for other views, which then leads to group-think and bullying –> ostracism?

    If a person adeptly argues a reasonable and evidence-based view that goes completely counter to the commonly held local consensus then that’s a person I want to hear from. I can’t learn anything from social sycophants that fear the local social ‘elite’.

    Frankly the troll word has always seemed like a cop-out/pussy word to me, a silly grab-bag word used by reactive people who like to jump to conclusions about people to dismiss them or to avoid counterpoint.

    But there’s a far better term, which goes to the heat of it, and to which everyone innately understands its proper usage. It’s a sh_t stirrer!

    We always know when someone’s doing that.

  73. Jack says:
    August 18, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Think you have 1 tooth too many.

    =================================================================
    You are right of course.
    After all, the toothbrush was invented by a troll.
    If anyone else invented it, it would be called a “teethbrush”.

  74. Steven Mosher:

    At August 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm you have the gall to say to me

    I haven’t characterized you as a person.. however the opposite is not true.

    Say what!? You really are a piece of work!

    You have yet to retract and apologise for this unprovoked and untrue attack of me.

    You characterise yourself by your behaviour, and I have never responded to your attack in kind because what you are is so obvious that I don’t need to.

    Richard

  75. Bill 2 says:
    August 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm
    People that call other people trolls are probably trolls

    #############

    by Richard’s definition yes,

    here is his defintion

    “A troll is someone who attempts to avoid or to inhibit discussion of a subject by deflecting a thread onto other matters. Often the attempt includes offensive misrepresentation of a person.”

    Let Suppose the topic is climate models.
    lets suppose Richard suggests another poster is a troll for discussing fruit cups

    It doesnt matter whether the person is a troll or not.
    richard has avoided the topic, climate models, to discuss other matters: “x is a troll”

  76. Bill 2 says:
    August 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    People that call other people trolls are probably trolls

    The subject line is “Monday Mirthiness – Spot the Troll”. So we are. Anything to be “mirthy”. The very title suggest we be mirthful, don’t you think? Have some fun – it’s only one day per week.

  77. “You have yet to retract and apologise for this unprovoked and untrue attack of me.”

    every word of it is true.

    but troll, you are changing the topic.

  78. Your post at August 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm is daft.

    I provided evidence of a behaviour by citing it and linking to it.
    You think that proves something?

    #############

    yes it proves you are a troll by your own definition.

  79. My concept of troll ( on a moderated venue that has a relatively high degree of intellectual openness like WUWT) centers largely around any hostility toward the blog host or name-calling toward the blog host or slandering the blog host . That is it. If a commenter does that or even hints of doing that, that commenter should be isolated in the troll bin. Putting that discussion of troll aside now, all other kinds of uncivil comment behavior should be moderated no matter who does it, other uncivil behavior makes a commenter intellectually defaulted and not a troll; it makes the commenter less rational but not troll.

    So, I think that means >>90% of the people who are called trolls by regular commenters here are not trolls.

    John

  80. “John Whitman says:

    August 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm”

    I’ve been called a troll several times by a prominent guest blogger and postees even though I was not in breach of site policy, nor did i de-rail a thread nor was I offensive. I think the definition of troll is well understood.

  81. John

    I agree, most of the people called trolls here tend to just have different opinions to the majority. That is not to say that a few deliberately or otherwise sometimes display troll like tendencies. However, If we want to test our sceptical views we need others to intelligently test them by commentators with a different viewpoint to us which doesn’t make them trolls

    Tonyb

  82. “… Frankly the troll word has always seemed like a cop-out/pussy word to me, a silly grab-bag word used by reactive people who like to jump to conclusions about people to dismiss them or to avoid counterpoint. …”

    I think that “troll” is often used as a cop-out as you say, but much more often it is used as an ad hominem attack against someone rather than trying to defeat the argument at hand.

    We all know trolls who try to derail every thread and return time after time with lame arguments that have been debunked with facts, but too often people only think they have “debunked” some argument. After all, just because you think you have defeated an argument does not mean you have. Many men “defeated” the idea the continents move — but they do move, now don’t they?

    I will say that on this very thread I have seen a few act as if the fictional character Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” TV show is a role model rather than the social misfit that the character is. I was, sadly, not surprised to see a thread that was supposed to be light hearted fun degenerate. Such is life in this modern world.

  83. Richard Courtney, please pay little attention to Moshpit. You often make very cogent posts. Moshpit’s ostentatious arrogance precedes him. Recall the BEST paper that found difficulty getting published in a decent journal. He and Zeke are Muller’s useful idiots, but apparently thought so little of Moshpit he wasn’t even an author. He’s a Mann-child.

  84. “””””…..Jack says:

    August 18, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Think you have 1 tooth too many……”””””

    Yes; and I think there is one too many gaps, as well !!

  85. @richardscourtney

    There you go. Thank you for the information.

    In regards to the remainder of your narrative, you are simply behaving in a paranoid and abusive manner.

  86. Neat. Show a cartoon and all the trolls come out.
    I had a cousin who was arrested in Prince Rupert for dragging a couple of garbage bins behind his truck, down the main street.
    When the RCMP asked him, what he thought he was doing?
    He replied; Trolling for pigs.
    Now by profession he was a long line fisherman, who trolled for Salmon.
    So is this an attempt at diverting the thread, can I qualify as a troll?

    We need to treasure the clever thread jackers and the deeply concerned ones, they are an endangered species.
    The CAGW meme is fading away, soon the profiteers and corporate bandits will move on to their next scam, their official line will be ; We have always been at war with…. I mean we never believed that CO2 could cause catastrophic warming, you have us confused with.. our evil twins.
    The cult of calamitous humanity is moving on.The old wolf is molting.
    The science is slowly being done, exposing the claims of the activists as nonsense.
    However the IPCC, and its masters still exploit the stupidity of crowds.
    The science of understanding our planetary systems goes on, but the claims of scientific evidence of man made catastrophe were never anything but politics wrapped in a thin cloak of scienciness.
    Just like the white lab coats “supporting” Obamacare.
    So pointing out the political utility of outlandish claims of science, can be on topic.
    Possibly the only reason some of the recent crud ever got published.

    .

  87. I have been labeled a troll by richardscourtney simply because I disagreed with him, and then I was sucked in by his brand of trolling trying to defend myself.

    sure wish I had a redo of that day ;0)

  88. @ John August 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    We Johns gotta stick together.

    While you can’t redo that day, you can learn from it.

    RSC can be, as his son pointed out earlier in this thread, a little aggressive, but I find that if you read through the “aggressive” stuff and then see what he is saying, much of the time he makes a lot of good sense. Who knows, maybe all the time, and I just am not able to see it, but then, none of us is perfect, so what the heck?

    He probably doesn’t have you on his “list of trolls”, and, if you are fortunate, you are not on his list of “people to be ignored” where I probably am.

    Although, now that I think about it, I am most likely on his “list of people who use too many commas”.

    :)

  89. Joe Born says:
    August 18, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Congratulations. You have managed to get your critique of the “B-E Theory” published at WUWT after all in this post. Or at least the gist of it.

    As to trolling, some of the comments here have established that it is quite a flexible concept. I had generally understood it as deflecting or derailing the conversation and yet your post, which did just that, was interesting.

    Moderation in the comments section here is quite light, giving trolls and others quite a bit of rope. On the whole it seems to allow the development and critique of more ideas than it would otherwise, and therefore probably leads to a net gain.

  90. Trolling, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. As a beholder, I pronounce the Idiot to fully live up to his name, and to be a troll. Same with Mosher – incapable of adding much of use, dropping pithy little statements without any reference (and usually, bad grammar), and refusing ever to give a time stamp to the quotes he pulls so that one has to constantly (if one cares, and I no longer care) search through the entire message list to see what the hell he is talking about. Perhaps not a troll, but sort of a boorish waste of time (with regards to both Willis and RGB, who sometimes find something useful in Mosher). But then, I’m only a geologist, and not a highfalutin “climate scientist” who only diddles with numbers and models and never goes out to the field.

  91. Trolling has long been a proud Australian tradition – except we call it Shit Stirring. Used effectively it can be a powerful weapon against ignorance – it can also be mis-used in the wrong hands.

  92. JohnWho says:
    August 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm
    @ John August 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    “He probably doesn’t have you on his “list of trolls”, and, if you are fortunate, you are not on his list of “people to be ignored” where I probably am.”

    I wonder if there is a way that I can put myself on his ignore list? ;0)

  93. I rarely agree with Mosh but a troll he isn’t.

    I don’t see any reason to care about the trolls they just make Warmers look stupid. They also tip their hand to the next stupid thread of BS they are about to spread to the media types and they rarely make much difference to what direction the discussion takes anyway.

    The political arguments are central to the debate since this is where the true aim of the left is.
    Its goal is control and power through fear, CAGW is the tool nothing more and this is why the science doesn’t really matter to them.

    There are people here who use the troll accusation because they can’t handle critsism, this is not helpful to the cause.

  94. A troll is a definition of a person who intentionally tries to infiltrate a blog by putting up silly arguments, to try and derail or be rude to other posters. Or naughty ugly people who have few brains and short legs. The mythical troll lived underground, and used to snatch pretty young women and enslave them. When they surface they get there cupupance anyway. Oh good news
    the two solar farms are quitting in NSW.

    [Comeuppance? Or just a "cupo'pence"? .mod]

  95. JohnWho:

    At August 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm you join in the daft form of trolling practiced by Mosher when you write of me

    Although, now that I think about it, I am most likely on his “list of people who use too many commas”.

    I have no such list and I don’t care about commas.

    I do have a mental list of ‘useful idiots’ which you and Mosher are both on.

    You are each illogical, irrational, and supportive of other trolls. This thread is only one of the many where you have each demonstrated these deliberate faults.

    Richard

  96. Bob Boder:

    At August 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm you say

    There are people here who use the troll accusation because they can’t handle critsism, this is not helpful to the cause.

    I agree that you use the troll accusation because you can’t handle criticism, and calling out trolls is not helpful to the AGW cause.

    Richard

  97. John:

    I can help with your point in your post at August 18, 2014 at 6:12 pm.

    You say

    I wonder if there is a way that I can put myself on his ignore list?

    Try making a post that has some content.
    At present you have yet to contribute anything to be ignored.

    I hope that helps.

    Richard

  98. JohnWho says:
    August 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Oh, I forgot to add the word “troll” somewhere in my last post.

    You know, just to insure that I appeared on topic.

    Dunno if I’m trolling or merely being pedantic but actually you did it to ensure that you appeared on topic.

    Mind you, h/t to dp for “pedantroll”. I’ve never come across that one before. It’s absolutely brilliant.

  99. I really enjoy the level of knowledge in this room and it blows me away reading the structure of the arguments as they are presented to refute or support a point. However, this trolling business is dominant on a lot of blogs and it really does become a bore after a while. Miserable people with shit for brains at best is how I would describe them. Cheers

  100. Richardscourtney says

    Don’t remember ever calling someone a troll and since, grammatically, i know I am usually pretty bad I am quite ok with being criticized.

  101. I always thought a troll was one who opposes opinions in an article but doesn’t have any real “evidence” to back his/her argument & is obviously on line for the soul purpose of undermining the general consensus. I find the best way to deal with trolls is to ignore ‘em

  102. I find the best way is to ask them a direct question about what is going to happen in the future not what has already happened in the past. “Trolls” typically just move from one climatic event to another and explain how the event was predicted by AGW theory and is proof of its existence. If you ask them what the theory predicts will happen going foward and ask them to put their name to that prediction they usually either go away, ignore you out right or even sometimes publicly refuse to make a prediction. Thus you both prove they actually know nothing about the theory and are also just posting to be a pest.

  103. What I’ve liked at WUWT is that it is exciting discussions taking place, and that one can learn from. With accusations of trolling and moderation of provocative input, it is as if something is being tightened. Spot the troll, or the devil, and go for a witch hunt. Over some time it can create a small congregation who agree on most things. Internet debates can be characterized by a mass psychology where it comes to discredit persons, take person instead of the ball, polarize, etc. It comes to chase trolls back into the mountain
    In fairy tales about trolls is one thing trolls do not tolerate. It is getting out in the sun. Then they crack. It is a deep symbolic significance in this. What cannot tolerate daylight will disappear.

  104. Mr Green Genes says:

    August 19, 2014 at 12:41 am

    JohnWho says:
    August 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Oh, I forgot to add the word “troll” somewhere in my last post.

    You know, just to insure that I appeared on topic.

    Dunno if I’m trolling or merely being pedantic but actually you did it to ensure that you appeared on topic.

    I’ll be sure to insure that I don’t do that again.

    (Merriam Webster: “to make (something) sure, certain, or safe”)

    :)

  105. Joe Born says:
    August 18, 2014 at 11:42 am
    @John Whitman (August 18, 2014 at 11:28 am)

    Patrick says:
    August 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm
    @John Whitman (August 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm)

    Tonyb says:
    August 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm
    @ John Whitman (August 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm)

    - – - – - – - – - – -

    Joe Born / Patrick / Tonyb,

    Always appreciate your responses.

    To me the illogical argumentation represented in the habitual troll taunting accusations (aka schoolboy troll name-calling) made by more than a few regular commenters here represents irrational intellectual behavior. I wonder how it came to be an intellectually tolerated behavior? I do not know the answer.

    John

  106. @ richardscourtney says:

    August 18, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Richard, please note that this thread is a “Monday Mirthiness” thread.

    You seem to lack a proper dose of mirth, which my post was attempting to promote.

    The self-deprecating description of one, who, perhaps, uses too many commas, I thought, obviously wrongly, was intended to promote, uh, mirth.

    To incur either wrath, scorn, or ridicule in a humor thread just don’t seem right.

    But, as Forrest Gump might have said: “Troll is as troll does”.

    /mirthiness

  107. Guidelines for commenting are available here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/policy/

    We all do a pretty good job of respecting these. Another form of trolling involves the invention of new content guidelines within the comments, and the abusive, aggressive enforcement of a commenter’s personal content preferences. This is also breaking the WUWT guidelines because it is a form of thread domination. This form of trolling on this website regularly results in over 1/3 of the comments in a thread to be directed to or written by the same person, or as many as 130 comments having that person’s name within it.

    If any one is harassed and disquieted by this activity, ask the perpetrator which content guideline on this page you have broken:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/policy/

  108. @ richardscourtney says:
    August 18, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    So let me see if I have this right, if make a post with solid scientific content you will put me on the ignore list, but if I continue to make frivolous comments you will continue to give me your undivided attention?

    If you were a woman I would swear you were flirting with me ;0)

  109. Anthony sorry about the vernacular. Cum-up- ence. This is how I pronounce it. Means they get what they deserve – one day. Anyway, just because one doesn’t agree isn’t the criteria, it is the way a person goes about disagreeing. And in the past we have seen some really good examples of trolls. After all we are not all scientists, and I can’t comment on graphs and mathematical equations. Be they factual or not. I use my eyes and experience about this subject of climates and weather. There is no absolute. But one, CO2 does not have any impact on changing climates. Water vapor is the largest greenhouse gas, and – well you’ve heard it all before.

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