Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thieves (and trolls) from space

My first official rant? Let's just call it drive by observations on the internet... of thieves and trolls - (I'll talk about flamers and blog trash later)... that clog up the internet. Here are two examples:


The blogger writes: During my years frequenting Starbucks, I’ve observed ways to beat the system and get free drinks. This is dedicated to your poor schmos who cant afford an affordable luxury. I pay for my drinks but have “accidentally” stumbled on these field-tested rules.

Comment: "Does anyone think that perhaps part of the reason the beverages are so expensive is that there are so many thieves stealing that it jacks up the price? That, and then having multiple employees, even at a low pay rate, means you have to sell a lot of stuff to break even, much less make a profit.

I'm in no way affiliated with this business, and actually only drink their coffee occassionally, but am of the mindset that a thief is a thief, no matter what you steal.

Think about that when someone steals something from you, big or small. Can't afford to buy your coffee? Drink public water then, or work somewhere that provides Coffee Butler for free."


My son and I ate recently at a Outback Steaks - The waiter had a waiter in training in tow; when asked how did I like my prime rib (after consuming 3/4 of the delicious prime rib - king's cut of course) "It's OK..." Well, the waiter in training offered to get me a new one - "No! I was just kidding!"

Upon further conversation, many people do try to beat Outback out of an extra cut of meat by eating half of the entree and then sending the meal back for correction - very sad - could explain why buffets are popular and why meals at Outback are expensive.

# 2: TROLLS:

An Internet "troll" is a person who delights in sowing discord on the Internet. He (and it is usually he) tries to start arguments and upset people.

Trolls see Internet communications services as convenient venues for their bizarre game. For some reason, they don't "get" that they are hurting real people. To them, other Internet users are not quite human but are a kind of digital abstraction. As a result, they feel no sorrow whatsoever for the pain they inflict. Indeed, the greater the suffering they cause, the greater their 'achievement' (as they see it). At the moment, the relative anonymity of the net allows trolls to flourish.

Trolls are utterly impervious to criticism (constructive or otherwise). You cannot negotiate with them; you cannot cause them to feel shame or compassion; you cannot reason with them. They cannot be made to feel remorse. For some reason, trolls do not feel they are bound by the rules of courtesy or social responsibility.

Perhaps this sounds inconceivable. You may think, "Surely there is something I can write that will change them." But a true troll can not be changed by mere words.


One of my favorite news/forums in the electronic gadget space has been hijacked by flaming trolls. Every bit of industry news is met with skepticism, verbal assaults and posing as psuedo voices of reasoning. Even acts of charity, i.e. donations to the Tsunami or Hurricane Katrina are met with scorn and second guessing. I guess bullies in grade school are now residing on forums.

Ok, I need to chill...

The book cover? Cosmic Kidnappers, written in 1985 by E.T. Randall.
Library of Congress Summary: Drawn into a computer and out again into an alien spaceship, the reader must figure out a way to get back home.

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