Sorry, I got confused by the cloud of trolls and their sock puppets.
I think that it has become kind of pointless even to try to talk with them these days. If they feel that their belief's are threatened in any way, they will just go back to the google and fill themselves up on their favorite propaganda. Apparently I've become something of a pervert (or even a prevert) for persisting in so much random reading?
That XKCD guy is pretty amazing in his perceptiveness and depth. Also the recursion.
As regards deterring trolls, my own feelings are mixed. The goals are clear. I like an interesting and rational discussion. Even when I'm on the wrong side, I can learn something, though these years it's getting harder and harder to get enough data to change my mind on anything major. (Perhaps my most recent major "evolution" actually involved reaching a much better understanding of DNA, but that led me to a much better understanding of the pseudo-scientific confusion of some of the religious extremists. They think DNA is like a tiny set of blueprints defining a unique human being, whereas a much more useful metaphor is to understand it as a kind of recipe book. (Can't remember if I got that from Dawkins or the inner fish guy, or maybe somewhere else.))
On one hand, it is clear that the rules of the game are being abused for the sake of stupidity, so perhaps adjusting the rules would help.
On the other hand, it seems to me that this is another case that fits into Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. If you extend the system (in this case the rules of the discussion game) to eliminate one kind of meaningless statement (in this case various forms of Sophism), then the system remains broken for a new kind of meaningless statement. No completeness to be found there.
On the third hand, trolls are pretty stupid, so it will probably take them a while to figure it out. Perhaps if that time is longer than the lifespan of an individual troll, then the problem might be effectively solved?
Hooray! ARBEIT macht FREI, Windows Ten!
How many Zs should I be up to?
And of course I'll STILL be here after the trolls and their sock puppets go away.
I still think the best solution is to ignore the trolls and let them discredit themselves (as far below in the discussion), but I'm noting that the rapid-posting delay obviously doesn't work. Not only do trolls love wasting other people's time, but they are experts in wasting their own time (obviously).
Minor time saver, but it would sometimes save me a bit of time or tab switching if the time limit didn't apply to the owner of a journal replying within that journal. Special circumstances?
However, I rather doubt the "selective delay" feature is worth implementing (mostly on grounds of unjustified complexity), and I doubt I would chip in for it. In contrast, I think my three-part suggestion (mostly the deterrence part) would be an excellent investment of a few bucks that might save me (and other people) a lot of precious time.
Then again, it's really hard to write (or code) rules that won't get abused. One interpretation of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem would say that it is impossible, but I'm not convinced. The theorem depends on being able to extend the language, and I think the minds of trolls must be close to (or beyond) their limits.
As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie