October 29, 2005

Trolls Will Die

With Reza away and his liberal influence suspended a new shoot-to-kill troll policy is coming in.
Anyone posting comments without positive content (that's to say, depositing vacuous snark of the "it's called critique variety") under false names will just be eliminated. It would be nice to be Buddhistic enough not to be irritated by trolling, but I'm afraid that's not the case.
If this blog and its productive contributors annoy you, moan about it somewhere else.
Anyone with a positive point or argument to make - however controversial or provocative - is of course welcome here and always will be.

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at October 29, 2005 11:15 AM | TrackBack




Looking around the blogosphere just about everyone has either shut down comments or introduced some kind of security screen to deal with troll pollution. It's easily understandable. Why should anyone who isn't a martyr/masochist put up with a foul mood induced by comments designed solely to annoy, contributing nothing whatever to the discussion at stake - or any other?
Essential to the definition of a troll IMHO are:
1) Asymmetry. They use anonymity to ensure they have nothing at all at stake, no reputation to defend, and no reason not to look stupid.
2) Indifference to argument. Any commentator, however infuriating, who is making a serious point with some commitment to persuasion is not a troll. Trolls merely vent (more specifically, harass) - when pressed on any point they either make another irritating one-liner or melt away.
3) Negation. The typical troll is a disillusioned leftist in a state of cognitive dissonance (denial). They have long given up on the attempt to weave a coherent narrative of their own, focusing instead on protestations of negativity. They have no 'position'. For that reason they have no pedagogic value, except perhaps a warped psychological one.

This policy has already upset some (real) people, and has probably been overstated in a way analagous to the geostrategic death threats made by wimpy Western states. Still, I will try to keep trolls out of the comments thread, interpreting 'troll' in the most restrictive sense compatible with a tolerable (to me) mood.

Anyone wanting to make substantive criticisms of anything on this blog - including this policy - is extremely welcome to do so.

Posted by: nick at October 30, 2005 02:55 AM



> scapegoating is just a means to an end in a
> bare-knuckle ideological struggle - designed to
> discredit and deride reactionary memeplexes
> Posted by: Nick at October 27, 2005 11:25 AM

Thank God for honest brokers, eh?

Posted by: Everyone Else at October 30, 2005 01:11 PM



I am pleasantly surprised by this about turn, and did wonder how long you could hold out for Nick. This is a breath of fresh air. I am happy to assist in the removal of troll comments, be them vacuous snark, monological poetic drivel, or leftist rant. And I won't be bothered to cut and paste into the tangents box either.

Posted by: tachi at October 30, 2005 01:30 PM



Tachi - thanks. I'm hoping we can be as restrained as possible, but since No.1 a-hole is determined to push the envelope it can only be a matter of time before we need to do a zap ...

Posted by: Nick at October 30, 2005 01:34 PM



Fully agree with the policy, but there could be a bit of clarification on where this blog is going.

For example, some of the links on the main page are out of date or link to blogs which are, to all intents and purposes, at war with hyperstition.

Links to places such as Kurzweil AI and Albion's Seedlings would be more consistent.

Posted by: sd at October 30, 2005 06:57 PM



sd - Absolutely and completely agree with you. We need Reza on board for this, which is why it's been put off for the moment. Links to blogs which are actually doing everything they can to screw us over obviously need removing and sure we can think of at least 10 stimulating replacements without even trying. Yes, yes, yes.

Posted by: Nick at October 31, 2005 12:24 AM



> We need Reza on board for this

You'd never have got his approval over the deletions -- why the sudden need for permission to remove a couple of hyperlinks?

Posted by: Brian Greene at October 31, 2005 12:56 AM



"You'd never have got his approval over the deletions" - well, we'll see.
When this issue (deletions) came up before it was a little different, involving more substantial comments for instance. Find it hard to believe Reza will hold out for total laissez faire on comments - scarcely any other site in the blogoverse is willing to host regular vacuous abuse.

Posted by: nick at October 31, 2005 02:25 AM



Tachi has enormous credibility here as a security hawk, calling for a tough policy on trolls when others (mea culpa) were still addicted to illusions of liberal civility. If he's prepared to take the job of security chief I for one will support his candidacy (he'd look kind of cool in shades and brass knuckles, helping trolls fall down the stairs, don't you think?).
Any comments?

Posted by: nick at October 31, 2005 04:56 AM



As part of the ongoing fanged neolibertarian putsch I'm going to chop out a bunch of links later. Apart from the despicable Sphaleotos (dying tonight), are there any other dishonourable enemies that need culling? I can't get to blogspot sites, so if any of those are especially revolting best to tell me about it.
PS. Just being wacky or from particular POVs uninteresting isn't a death-penalty problem, we have to really loathe these guys to take the axe to them, so be restrained.

On the positive side, you'll see some new links popping up already - any other ideas? (Samizdata and Transterrestrial Musings are already in the pipeline.)

Those who have put in the most coherent work here recently, for e.g. sd, tachi, Traxus4420, Black Mesa Research - it would be great to put together an up-to-date mission statement about the core blog commitments. While aware of the danger of black-holing into meta-reflection, a mutually plausible definition of hyperstition as we see it might be useful, outlining its broad problematic and principal themes. Anyway, I'd be grateful for suggestions / chewing this over. I'll put up a relevant post to focus attention in a few days time, if people think it's a good idea.

Posted by: nick at October 31, 2005 07:24 AM



Right now we can't wait for approvals, since defending the integrity of the blog demands immediate action, though when Reza is back of course we will respect his view. He created this blog, and we respect that, though whilst he is away we will defend this space by any means necessary. Anyone provoking blog violence claiming that we have to wait for instructions and have to tolerate their erosive effects is in for a shock.

The only way in which hyperstition and related subjects may be productively explored - as well as constructively criticized, as I have often done myself - is to have a space in which energies are not being diverted into a struggle against sabotage of any kind. Itís not really about what makes me, Nick or anyone else angry or annoyed, but about maintaining the focus of the blog. And this cannot be done whilst the temptation is there to respond to narcissistic narkism, leftist rant, and poetic self-indulgence.

Sure, some people will ask what has a particular post to do with Hyperstition. I have asked this myself. Itís the attitude though: asking for the sake of being antagonistic is different from genuinely trying to find out what we are doing at Hyperstition because there is something interesting, or potentially interesting here.

And sure there are questions about what constitutes a comment begging for deletion, but the bottom line is that if a comment attempts to thwart the blogís purpose of exploring hyperstition-related issues and theory, then afraid it is not welcome. Anyone posting such comments will be wasting their time, trust me.

Posted by: Tachi at October 31, 2005 07:47 AM



tachi gets my vote.

thinking about the mission statement.

Posted by: sd at October 31, 2005 10:36 AM



this is one link that could go on, maybe:


Posted by: sd at October 31, 2005 03:51 PM



and Tech Central Station

Posted by: sd at October 31, 2005 03:53 PM



TCS, of course. Chinese Internet fritzing is slowing the necessary changes. Thanks for patience.

Posted by: nick at November 1, 2005 01:28 AM



"Find it hard to believe Reza will hold out for total laissez faire on comments." -- Nick

"...a blog without spam is a dead blog." -- Reza

Trolls are undead, Saturnian. The creeping security techniques of conventional wisdom actually draw out the troll's (un)life, maintaining a fake boundary between fake and meaningful discussion. The only way to get rid of trolls is to out-troll them. That is, to punch through the false bottom of their bottomed-out discussion. For example, analyze their arguments along gematric lines totally against the grain of their intent without ever acknowledging the possibility of a conscious entity operating behind their comments.

Trolls are undead. Treat them like you would treat any corpse. Decompose them.

Posted by: thistle at November 3, 2005 03:32 AM



Nick, assymetry can't be met with symmetry. 4Gen is the accelerated acceleration of the slippery slope.

Posted by: thistle at November 3, 2005 03:40 AM



Thistle - I appreciate your genuinely intriguing analysis here, but fate is already cast. Commander Tachi has the Black Ice death machine running, and the only thing the rest of us can do is gaze in appalled awe :)

Posted by: nick at November 3, 2005 07:11 AM



What is 'out-trolling' a troll? What is 'punching through the false bottom of their bottomed-out discussion'? Nice phrases. The BIDM has already begun its slicing, hacking out of pointless nark. Only by removing the conditions for trolling can trolling be 'out done'.

Posted by: Black Ice Death Machine at November 3, 2005 10:08 AM



OK I fess. SS-TV was an abortive joke gone wrong by myself. I wasn't trolling, seriously, well perhaps I was trolling myself. Of course I don't expect you to get scared by the term 'right wing' and expect you to fly into moral panic. What a silly idea! I want to humbly apologise for something that looked like a leftoid snarky rant at the direction of thought here at hyperstition. I tried to respond to explain that
it was quasi-serious joke but it was censored. I was going to follow it up, but then I fucked off in a huff.

Nick - you are correct about cognitive dissonance, my thoughts and strategies are
often far from entirely cogent. Whether it is lefist denial in my own case remains to
be seen. As I said I'm a Noob.

I geniuinely wanted to make a point about stripping back notions of humanity, and
political rights back in order to raise efficiency. The fashion in which I tried to
do it was messy, and immature, OK? happy? Nick, Mill was a nazi so what? I really don't care. I wasn't having a dig at you. You had a interesting point about his idea on the removal of franchise. I was being fictional not realistic. Though I often think after a fight in street with some of the 'disenfranchised' that hygiene, or reprogramming may be an interesting option. I was being quasi-serious funnily enough. Does Hyperstitional content have to be totally serious? I guess I'm learning the hard way

'nice example of patronising leftoid academics playing at being champions of the poor. Like the underclass really need you to speak for them. They'd eat you for breakfast. Of course, their apathy is all due to their being exploited and
manipulated - naive programmable folk that they are - oh and don't their false consciousness while we're at it.'

Sd - I actually don't care for them whatsoever. I get in physical fights with them all the time, I don't let them eat me for breakfast and that is my point. A lot of them want to kill me because I don't take shit from them. I actually interact with these people on a daily basis, and protect myself from being attacked by many of them. With the way some shitbags treat me, I have no option but to get violent with them. Do you not realise how low the tolerance levels of the supposed working classes are? You want to come hang out with me for a couple of weeks in scotland sd? no? thought not. Patronising, yes, leftoid, no! They are programmable replicators
definitely! But then again so am I. Infected by various conflicting code structures. It is a code war SD not a class war. I know this at least.

Whilst I am at it I am on benefits myself, attempting to recover from psychiatric illness and drug abuse. Yeah, dead stupid weight OK. cognitive dissonance? not very funny when it is happening in your own brain. Perhaps I am just a moron who needs gassed. Who knows?

This is all factual btw. I tell not one lie here.

Look I want to put this behind me and get on with it. If you'll left me BIDM, i'll contribute in thought in a consistently serious manner from time to time. I'm sorry OK?

Posted by: Black Mesa Research at November 14, 2005 07:40 AM



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