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Journal: The Trolls 81

Journal by Tom

Wow, it's been 15 years but I've finally got my own personal troll! :-)

I must apologize to everyone I've ever called a troll now that I've seen a real one. Yeah, there are trollish comments, but this... it's a different league. If you ever wondered who these brain-damaged morons were who set up geocities homepages with blinking purple text on blue background with red dots in Comic Sans - that kind of different league.

Now it does make me wonder about trolls in general. Has there been a study on this? I really wonder if psychologists have tackled this because quite honestly, you cannot be mentally stable and post in this and this content at the same time. So I do wonder if trolls on the Internet (the real trolls, not the people occasionally posting something stupid) do have a mental problem. It definitely looks like it. Probably insecurity issues, definitely an exaggerated need for attention, might be related to borderline syndrome or schizoprenia.

And, of course, the Internet provides:

As someone who has had to deal with family members suffering from mental illness, let me tell you that it's not funny. So despite the fact that they are, in fact, obnoxious, aggravating assholes, these sad little fucks also need help and their miserable little existence is not something you'd want to trade for yours, no matter how much you think your life sucks. Trust me, with a mental illness on top, it'll suck more.

Obviously, we can't offer therapy to people who usually comment anonymously and will often go to great lengths to avoid being tracked down. What we can do, however, is get a better understanding for how they act this way (they can't help it, mental illness is stronger than your conscious mind) and that the best thing we can do for them is to not continue the feedback loop. "Don't feed the trolls" - old wisdom there.

The last link in that list contains a few more ideas.

Now that I'm at the end, I kind of regret the smiley face at the top. But I'm leaving it in because this journal entry is a bit of a journey, even if it is short. Thanks to some Internet resources, a bit of research and connecting the dots, I've come a short way, changing my mind a little on this particular sub-sub-sub-part of life.

-----

A short additional statement on how to treat trolling. From what I've gathered from the resources above, a few comments (both here and in the various spammed threads) and my own life experience:

First, don't feed the trolls. Most of them seek attention, so if you stop giving it to them, they become frustrated and go away. Notice that they seek attention, not validation. A rebuke or an angry rant or even a shootout of personal insults satisfies them as much as anything else. Much like the old PR saying "there is no negative publicity", it is all about the attention itself, not about its content.

Second, stand your ground. Do not leave the site or stop commenting just because you're being trolled. It takes a bit to do that, yes. Trolls consider it a "victory" if they shut you up, either by simple flooding or by frustrating you enough to disappear. In their twisted minds, it gives them validation and somehow proves that they were right.

Third, if you see someone else being trolled, give them support. Doesn't take much - a single sentence is more than enough. Someone under attack by a real troll is being flooded. The troll will commonly post under multiple aliases or otherwise attempt to appear as more than one person. Psychological experiments such as Solomon Asch's show how we humans as social animals experience conformance pressure. So give that other person support by showing him that the flood he's getting is no the only opinion around. It doesn't matter if he consciously knows it's just one troll, the pressure is subconscious.

-----

I'd like to have comments disabled on this journal entry, for obvious reasons, but you can't publish a journal entry with comments disabled, so... 1000:1 bet that he's stalking the journal as well and will add his drivel below?

Also, if the formatting looks atrocious, turn off beta and revert to classic. Seriously.

User Journal

Journal: Star Trek meets Candyland 5

Journal by grub

The other day my family was playing Candyland. Our daughter was getting into it so I started playing some classic Star Trek fight music.
The music ends just as she advances to GLORIOUS VICTORY!

YouTube video here

It's awesome, not that I'm biased... :)
User Journal

Journal: Thanks for the gift subscription! 6

Journal by grub

I just received mail notification that a fellow user has bought me a gift subscription to slashdot. I'm already friends/fans with the person but his email address isn't visible so I can't thank the person off-/. (wimp, change your privacy settings and deal with the spam! :P )
 
Not sure what I did to deserve it, but I thank you!
 

User Journal

Journal: iPad pre-orders in Canada enabled, I drink the KoolAid 4

Journal by grub

Canadian pre-orders started today.

64 GB WiFi version ordered, should be here by May 28. No need for the 3G version, I can tether with MyWi on the iPhone.

My dad picked up the similar model on a trip to the US last week. Was playing with it on the weekend, awesome device. Perhaps not magical but still most impressive.

User Journal

Journal: The little things

Journal by Monkeedude1212

As everyone in IT knows, the bulk of the workload is not actually doing operations, but rather fixing things or getting them to function properly. This makes it more of an annoying job, specifically when you can't figure it out for a while.

So I get pulled aside to help set up a server for someone at work. Somehow, as the junior guy, I have the most experience with IIS and web sites. Given there are only 3 other IT workers in the company, and each of them kind of have their expertise, its not TOO surprising. Anyways, so he's trying to browse to a virtual directory he set up or some such, and its giving him a 404. So I get called over. He says I can sit down if I want, call him when I get it figured out. Great, so I have no idea what he has done to set it up so far, and any troubleshooting he might have tried. Check the paths - they all look good. Okay so its pointing to a default.aspx - it exists and is in the right spot. Won't open in Internet explorer for some reason. That alone seemed curious enough. I tried pointing it to a test.html file. Worked like a charm. So ASP.NET isn't going for some reason. I'm told Its a fresh install of Server 2003. Maybe it doesn't have the latest .NET framework, its a long shot, but I go grab it from windows update. Still doesn't work.

Thank God for Google, I was getting a little frustrated at this point. Turns out someone had this problem (99% of the time Google will have someone complaining about the same problem). And it turns out they found the solution. Windows Server 2003 doesn't allow ASP extensions by default. This absolutely baffles me. the .NET framework practically -IS- microsoft, and they have it prohibited by default on their servers. What benefit does this serve?

User Journal

Journal: Troubles in Time Management

Journal by Monkeedude1212

So as of late I've found myself taking up more and more side projects to expand my computer related skills. I took the first year of a computer science Degree and then switched over to Software Development when I discovered how much I loved programming things. However, I found that in the work place I'm generally not the one making the decisions on what to program, and thus I was left maintaining other peoples problems and I didn't enjoy it very much. This is of course to be expected at a Junior level, I've learned that now, all things past and gone.

So I currently work as an IT Technician, which basically involves me taking in requests and solving the problem. Anything from Printer toner to Network issues to software problems, you name it. If something with the computer is NOT working - it's my job to simply get it working. So I learned a lot of the hardware aspect of computing while on the job. Learning about cabling and replacing computer parts really isn't that difficult, I'm sure many of the people on /. here can attest to that. I have, on rare occaison, been prompted with the option of writing a piece of software to help the IT Department, and I was more than happy to it.

However I felt that it wasn't enough, and decided I needed a programming hobby. So a buddy of mine and I set off to build a Flash game. I had completed a couple Flash games before in high school, and I thought it'd be fun to get back into it now that I have an incredible amount of knowledge on programming. Everything was going well, until things came up, life got busy, and we couldn't meet up to work on the game. Slowly but surely over time its reached a halt in production, no work is really getting done on it. I partly blame my friend, as he is going to University and doesn't exactly have the spare time after class like I do after work.

Also now, as a way to create some extra income - I have started a sort of unofficial Repair shop. Co-workers can bring me their home PC's, Friends and family too, all for a relatively cheap price. A friend from highschool who I occaisonally talk to (She has a kid now so she doesn't get out as much) asked me the other day about websites. She has a photography business she's trying to get up off the ground. She has had maybe 20 customers or so thus far, and she figures a website will help bolster her marketing. I know a bunch about websites, did a whole semester on Web Apps and Web Hosting and Web This'n'That. So I agreed to build her a website for a remarkably cheap hourly rate (minimum wage) and I guided her on what to look for and where to look for web hosting.

Now here's where things are starting to get complicated. I plan on taking some vacation time next month, but I've essentially used all my vacation time already. My boss says I can work those days in lieu, so I've got every other Saturday scheduled for work.

So - here's where I stand:
1) A flash game trying to re-pick up
2) Constantly requested to repair a PC
3) A website under construction
4) Working weekends
5) Vacation coming up

What should I do? Should I make a weekly schedule and stick to it? Should I drop one of these projects entirely to allow more room for the others? Should I dump my girlfriend?

User Journal

Journal: The "new" and "de-improved" Slashdot 4

Journal by Tom

If you've known /. for a while, you've certainly noticed all the recent changes. The front page articles auto-load-extend (presumably through AJAX code), the link to get to your own page has moved twice, and now there are two (that both look alike - your username - but work differently), and checking if anyone has replied to your comments has been a two-click journey instead of the old one-click for a while now.

Then there's the annoying inline popup (so it's not caught by popup blockers) that tells you that "Firehose is paused due to inactivity". Whatever that means, it doesn't seem nearly important enough to interrupt my reading.

Quite frankly, from a user interface design standpoint, the "new" slashdot sucks. Badly. Maybe I'll try disabling all javascript for slashdot.org and check if that improves the experience.

User Journal

Journal: Did you get a survey re: Slashdot? 5

Journal by grub

I had this come to me today.

Is this legit? A well crafted spam/mining operation? Sent to zillions of /.ers?

My tinfoil hat is buzzing, probably for no reason as is the norm.

Dear grub: My name is Lily Liu. I am a PhD student carrying our a project with my supervisor Christian Wagner (iscw@cityu.edu.hk) who is a professor at City University of Hong Kong. We are trying to understand the popularity of Slashdot to its active contributor, such as you. We hope you might be able to help us in our effort by answering three questions.

*Question 1:*
In your opinion, what (if so) makes Slashdot special among online discussion sites? Is it the content, the group of people it draws in, the discussion engine (e.g., content rating and filters), or possibly other factors?

*Question 2: *
Compared with other discussion sites you know or/and have used, do you consider Slashdot's technology platform to be better? In other words, does it encourage (a) more sense of community or (b) more active participation?
(In answering please also feel free to mention the other discussion site or sites you might be comparing to)

*Question 3:*
As a unique user in Slashdot, could you please rate your own reciprocity by assessing what you get from the community compared with what you contribute to it?(you can give an answer such as: i think i get more or i contribute more,of course we would be very appreciative for your explanation of detail)
**

Please let us know at your earliest convenience. We will quickly summarize results and gladly send you a summary, if you are interested (and sufficient replies are received to create a meaningful summary).

Thank You for Your Time and Valuable Feedback!

Sincerely,
Lily

User Journal

Journal: Hey Motorhead Fans.... 5

Journal by grub
Rock Out video from the great new disc Motorizer.

They had to change "Rock out, with your cock out, impress your lady friends" to just "Rock out, rock out, impress your lady friends"

Ah well, all is great. Hope they make it back here, you feel like you've been through 10 rounds with Mike Tyson after a show.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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