Pavane pour un troll défunt

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Some people have complained that I haven’t been doing enough self-trolling recently. I’m flattered, I’m glad you enjoy it. Actually, once upon a time it was real trolling — in the old school USENET sence of dropping bon mots that you didn’t necessarily believe into a discussion in order to provoke entertaining and popcorn-worthy conflicts and meta-discussion, rather than its apparent current meaning, which is showing up to abuse people you hate. Unfortunately, after the internet/blogosphere/whatever became really popular, the interwebs became flooded with people who are not really “in on the joke”, so to speak, and the life of the itinerant troll became much harder. It actually took me a while to realize just how many people really weren’t in on the joke, so now I mostly confine myself to self-trolling in a small number of places where people keep a little of the old spirit alive.

On the other hand, I like to think of myself as something of a progressive, and I realize that why all these people weren’t really in on the joke was that they weren’t really in on much of anything, tech-wise. Those of us who were in on it were actually part of a specific mid-to-high privilege social class, plus or minus various intersectional considerations, even though some of us never felt that way. (A few never got over it apparently and became MRAs and the like. At the same time, I’ve sometimes felt that the pendulum has swung a little too far — a feeling I think a little akin to Dawg’s posts on Stalinist tendencies among progressives.) Anyway, when some of the people left out — much of humanity — finally came on board, well, the political internet became rather less mind-game oriented, as it were.

But now, the unkindest cut of all: through a Mechanical Turk survey, some Canadian psychology researchers have found that people who troll — by which they mean the classic definition of trolling, apparently — tend to be more likely to demonstrate something called a “Dark Tetrad” (it’s a tetrad that is DARK!!) of personality. I’m just not going to quibble with it, I’m turning myself in right now. Sign me up for my sadistic Machiavellian card.

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This page contains a single entry by Mandos published on February 17, 2014 6:07 PM.

Constructing "Venezuela" protests: a photo gallery [updated] was the previous entry in this blog.

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