troll-spotting: how to distinguish innocent non-trolls

(updated, and updated again, somewhat later that evening…)This one, by contrast, is (probably) sincere (or a very good act). As ever, these things are never cut and dried; and there’s complicating factors to add in: the persona of a writer–any writer, any medium–combined with the online persona. Consider this a counter-balance to the previous post: benefit of the doubt, tolerance for difference (naïveté, opinion, IQ, education, general sophistication, cognitive abilities, etc.), being attentive and taking care, including care for others: not mocking the afflicted.

I’m not saying this particular individual is what my granny would have called “touched”–I don’t know this person–but the views expressed and the way they’re expressed are. That distinction is super-important: between a real human being in the real world and a writing voice; between a person and their views/arguments; between a speaker and their words. For further, I refer you to the authoritative treatment of the subject: Aristotle’s Poetics. (I do believe we’ve been through this before, in the epic sequence on troll-anthropology…)

One can try to guide people in a more sensible direction gently–as opposed to putting on the whole schoolmarm-dominatrix getup and bringing up the cat o’nine tails big stick. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. And you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Over to you, gentle readers, in this close-reading exercise: how to distinguish sincerity from its contrary:

UPDATE: *Sigh*

Meanwhile, on other boards… but interestingly, not the one where the most vehemently blindly anti-mineral-oil, scientifically-ignorant MUAers have been known to reside. And just as interestingly, choice of two boards that can be most foolish, frivolous, inane (errm, at times):

Go Makeup Board! My faith in humanity, reason, common sense, and decency is restored. Civilization is safe. But also: this convinces me that we’re not dealing with a troll–out to stir up trouble and make mischief. This is sincere. Excessively so: passion, zeal, blind faith, unreason, fanaticism, zealotry. All of which, in turn, do constitute  a branch of the anthropological family of the greater troll clan.

But you see, although I wiped the ginger brow and heaved a sigh of relief that this wasn’t another fecking viral zombie undead monster bouncing back: I worried; because I worry a lot about this:

Back on SCB, I tried very very very hard indeed to remember that “stupid is as stupid does” is not a good attitude to take:

(eeeps, with apologies for heinous typo–now corrected in the original).

Some previous past history:

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