When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

May 22, 2004

Feeding The Trolls

Bravo Romeo Delta

Well, I've been spending a fairly large amount of time online involved in an experiment. People are always saying, "Don't feed the troll."

I started to wonder what happens if you feed a troll. More specifically, can a troll be overfed? So that's what happened to the comments section in Michael Totten's post about Sarin. We're up to comment 162 as I write this.

I was going to go count the number of times a request or question was left unanswered by my opponent and myself. When I got to the print preview (it's easier to mark on a hardcopy), I found that the whole thing had gone on to 59 pages.

So I skipped it.

Then I started looking around at some other cool stuff that I wanted to write about.

  1. Bombers are back in vogue in the Pentagon
  2. Writing about North Korean ability to shell Seoul
  3. A treatise on the right to bear arms

But I find myself tuckered out - enough that I'm not really that hot to blog right now.

And the object of my responses keeps coming back for dose after dose.

I still haven't found out if it's possible to overfeed a troll. But I do know that it takes too damned much effort to find out. Sort of like the Tootsie Pop Problem.

Sadly nobody has invented an automatic licker for this sort of experiment, but then again, they don't tend to be all that accurate either.

Keep tuned for further updates in this incredibly inconsequential bit of debate.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at May 22, 2004 02:38 AM

Retaliatiory Launches

I know what you mean since my Yahoo MB debates have always been draining for me. >_

Offhand, I'd say you did a good job. Debates aren't for the conversion of any of the participants (If they weren't already committed to their viewpoint they wouldn't be participants), but rather of any neutrals within the audience. By that yardstick you did a better job than I would have in a hundred years. Your end of the debate was a magnificent example of patience, good research and logic while his involved the sort of sophistry that's always a turnoff to neutrals. Mind you, he did sort of discredit himself from the moment he had trouble answering Michael Totten's question of "Do you trust Saddam?" but by writing as you did you made the contrast even more stark than it already was.

In credit to him I'd say that he's a higher caliber of debater than I normally see from the Left. You and the others there seem to be having an effect on him. I noticed that at this point he's putting more emphasis on logic and evidence than he'd previously done. I consider that a good sign. ^_~

Posted by: The Snark Who Was Really a Boojum at May 22, 2004 09:28 PM

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