As you were saying?
Really dangerous to try to predict what a crazy person will do next. Especially in his 42nd incarnation of insanity. As an explanation, insanity is perfect, except for the lack of predictive power.
Or maybe he isn't crazy? Maybe the account has been taken over by a professional propagandist? If the latest reports of paid Russian trolls (supporting Trump, among other projects) are accurate, then I'm certain they would rather use old identities as much as possible.
On several occasions I've actually speculated about the motivations of trolls, but it always seems to shake down to two possibilities: They are insane (probably sociopaths or pathologically ignorant) or they are paid to act like they are nuts. They certainly aren't trying to engage in rational conversations and I've never seen evidence of a mind-changing outcome in any discussion invaded by trolls. There are some minor variants of the analyses. Where does "profoundly stupid" fit in? Sincere religious delusions? Maybe a search for suckers who might buy into 419 scams? Or some kind of masochistic pleasure in losing arguments?
Too much thought wasted on the trolls. Or is that their real goal?
Perhaps partly as a result of our exchanges here (but I think it's mostly from an external discussion), I think there is a refinement and simpler version of the "self-deterrence" approach that would work for slashdot within the existing post-scoring system for visibility. The maturity filter could be incorporated into the "Configuring Comments" settings with an age-of-account score modifier. (Should still be logarithmic, so a displayed score setting of -6 would actually be e^6 on the negative side (= -403 individual votes). You might favor a different base, but I like e.)
Then the self-deterrence could then be simplified into a visibility report. The warning would be "Your reply will be invisible to the author of this post. If you insist on replying here, then your reply will be flagged as insincere, or you can click here to start your comment at the top of the discussion." The insincerity flag can remain as before.
By the way, I've realized that there should obviously be a score modifier for posts that have been flagged as insincere, too.
How to get there from here? (https://ello.co/shanen0/post/ryl6plxbdwsws_ivmg3gow) Funny story, eh? Perhaps a better financial model would help, but I'm often suffering from delusions of grand solutions, and the world persists in doing exactly its own thing.