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I think the meta war going on is based on misunderstanding of sorts. What I think is being misunderstood is what constitutes trolling.

There are truths that can not be proven and as such will not be truths to all. None the less the truths will generally have evidence and probabilities on their side, but will still be unprovable and thus non-truths to those that demand proof. To go into diaries on such topics and repeatedly demand proof and argue makes you a troll.

Let me explain...

This diary is actually based on a comment I made elsewhere, but then felt it really needs to be said to a (hopefully) wider audience.

Let me begin with an analogy...

Lets say I am a person who firmly believes that there is other intelligent life in the universe. Now that is completely unprovable, but we have found amino acids in meteors and the universe is so large that no matter what numbers you plug into the Drake Equation you will likely get a number greater than one.

But still this is all completely unprovable...

So I do a series of diaries on life and the possibilities of intelligent life in the universe. What would you call a person who repeatedly comes to my diaries and tells me I am absolutely wrong because I can't prove it? They come to the diaries to argue that something is just wrong though obviously they can't prove that either. Its reasonable to make a point once or twice that you disagree, but to continuously come to the diaries with the sole intention of arguing makes you a troll.

It seems like some people don't understand this? I am seeing the trolls being defended and the person doing the diaries being ostracized! Like wtf?

Anyway just wanted to point this out...

Poll

Do you believe such behavior is trolling?

29%7 votes
45%11 votes
25%6 votes

| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:55:43 PM PST

  •  For my part (5+ / 0-)

    I couldn't possibly express an opinion until I had the putative troll's rendition of the facts, or had read the exchanges myself.

    I do, however, agree that, for my money, it is exceedingly unlikely that we are the only intelligent life in the universe.

    Actually it is almost inevitable that, speaking in historical time scales, we will be confronted with non-human intelligent life in the very near future. I am referring to the advent of machine intelligence that will in all likelihood equal, then exceed our own. (I understand that most people reading this will disagree, but IMHO, such an outcome will most likely present a potentially deep existential threat to our species.)

    The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

    by Pirogue on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:08:51 PM PST

    •  For My Money We Remain Awash in Superstition (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greyhound, Shippo1776

      about what is and isn't intelligence and consciousness.

      Ours and otherwise.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:34:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  non-human intelligent life... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight

      it's all around us already ...

      you want say a licensed engineer, or one who 'practices analysis', maybe has two eyes, two hands, bipedal, like the aliens from the movies, oh

      •  I think you are trying to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i saw an old tree today

        make a point here, but I am having trouble sussing it out exactly.

        When I said intelligent life I meant an entity (or even just a software implementation) that would be able to convincingly pass a Turing test. It would need no hands or means of locomotion whatever and eyes could be quite optional. It also might not even be in one location, its functions could be distributed geographically.

        Am I correct in assuming that you wouldn't claim that non-human intelligent life of the sort that might pass a Turing test is all around us? If not, can you give examples?

        The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

        by Pirogue on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:12:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I am thinking outside the box (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          Thanks for the reply, I wasn't expecting it, shows you how stupid I am

          When I see a crow, or a sparrow, navigate through traffic, to negotiate a bug, a seed or whatever it is they are doing, sometimes it seems for reasons other than food, I think they are solving more computational problems than people most often do while driving or crossing a street, certainly in more dimensions (and just a note both humans and birds often fail in this endeavour)

          I looked at the wiki link on Turing's test, having slogged through graduate statistical theory I know that it would take me 1. a long time to read the link, and 2. a long time to (probably) fail the test, so apologies if I don't argue details of this test

          I usually try to stay far away from discussion about 'intelligent' life somewhere besides earth because I find most life on earth intelligent, I deeply admire community, swarming, colony behaviors, my mind boggles at the intelligence of octupii and really most underwater life, but I understand you are looking for a specific definition of intelligence, in a rigorous philosophical tradition (I see the link at the bottom to 'the problem of other minds') and that's cool

          So your question, yes, if the Turing test could be and were adapted as you suggested, to say, octupii, yes, I think in time some octupii would pass it, insofar as a human has passed it

          A comment on the test, really the test is a discussion of what we want to be artificial intelligence, as we perceive intelligence -- perhaps our consideration of both artificial and intelligent is open to scrutiny, I believe it sometimes is

          •  This is a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            i saw an old tree today, caul

            deeply ramified field of discussion and there are no simplistic answers to any of the questions. Suffice it to say that, for many of the reasons you mentioned, I refrain from eating almost all animals. I absolutely wouldn't eat an octopus on moral grounds.

            The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

            by Pirogue on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:40:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  You're wrong. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, skohayes, Hey338Too

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    If you were writing diaries about intelligent life in the universe, I would likely be cheering you on. If, though, in the course of one of your diaries, you brought up the possibility that other intelligent life might not be particularly friendly to us (potentially true), that much of what was going on in the world today is inexplicable in terms of the technology we know (stretching, but not over the edge), and that we therefor needed to organize against the possibility of alien invasion (!), then I would probably find myself commenting rather carefully to show you that your arguments might not actually lead so definitely to the conclusions you had drawn.

    And if your reply to me was to accuse me of insulting you, using fallacious logic, disrupting your diary, and insinuate that I was a paid shill for those same aliens, I might, possibly, feel that you had not been willing to debate me substantively.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:11:06 PM PST

    •  I see your point, but you are making a bit of a... (3+ / 0-)

      strawman there. Much more than just politely pointing out other possibilities from the same data, people have been making silly nit pick arguments for sole purpose of arguing.  I have read most of the diaries and comments with in and do agree that there are some valid arguments, but those aren't the people being accused. Its the people who repeated go to the diaries just argue that are.

      Now I don't say I agree those people are (though they may be in that it is not really that unlikely). You make it sound like those that are just politely reasonably disagreeing are being called trolls and that is then a strawman.

      The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

      by fToRrEeEsSt on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:18:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I can't speak for anyone except myself, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Love, Hey338Too

        but yes. I described an analogue to a very real situation, which has played out many times; accusations of a wide range of negative behavior as a response to what were in fact reasonable and polite disagreements, or more often just polite questioning of premises or conclusions.

        No strawmen here. Have there been genuinely disruptive comments? Yes. They are not, however, the comments that tend to draw the kind of fire I described. That seems to have been reserved for cases in which a substantive reply would have been otherwise required.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:34:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, you described the culmination (3+ / 0-)

          Of months of persistent work on the part of some here.

          Thanks to these brave souls who diligently dissected a certain diarist's posts in order to find some minor nitpick they could transform into a diary-derailing gotcha, DailyKos has been saved.

          Just in the nick of time, too.

          Because this wasn't just any diarist, for he had the unique ability to force readers of the site to open his diaries, which, we've since discovered, were actually honeypots intended to entrap innocent "dissenters" into a McCarthy-like witch hunt from which no escape was possible.

          Or something.

          Well done.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

          by DeadHead on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:16:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  DeadHead, that was brilliant. No, I'm not kidding. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes, Hey338Too

            A minor question - don't you think going after Wee Mama, makahali overdrive, MB, teacherken, brillig, and finally Denise might have just shown a slight clue that the fault was not entirely on one side?

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:08:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly, he became an establishment target on... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            what has become an establishment site.

            True progressive will need to find a new home...

            The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

            by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:45:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  You misses the mark, IMO. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fToRrEeEsSt

    Your example is apt, but you gloss over the facts. You do have evidence to support your position, It is not conclusive, but it is real and points in one direction very strongly, while nothing about it makes the alternative one bit likelier.

    Your position, that it is likely that there is other life in the universe beyond that here on earth, is a valid and reasonable hypothesis that we can discuss and debate without any expectation that we will reach a conclusion, while the other position has nothing to support it but a personal belief based on indoctrination from birth.

    There is no equality in these positions. This is the Nye - Hamm "debate", writ large.

    So to extend you point to its conclusion, we have two opposing views with one based on experience and reality, while the other is based on wishful thinking, unfulfilled promises, and the (almost certainly) vain hope that this time we mean it.

    I completely understand why the Democratic Party is in an absolute meltdown, but the fact is that they brought it on themselves.

    It is almost certain that the republicans will take the Senate, and it is very likely that they will expand their majority in the House as well, and it is 100% the fault of the Democratic Party Leadership.

    They sold us out, and they will reap the consequences, but we will pay the price.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 09:50:32 PM PST

  •   fToRrEeEsSt I'm not real sure what you are (0+ / 0-)

    talking about. Trolls are usually rock crusher types and gone as quickly as they arrive via the mods. Rarely right wingers register, comment, and even post for a short while before they out themselves in various ways. Anyone who stays longer than that is more than likely a Democrat or at least an Independent.  What you might have are people who disagree.  

    Some on DK love to disagree, that doesn't make them trolls even if it does often make them assholes. The rec list is full of comments by them. Just avoid if possible.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:21:20 AM PST

  •  I believe you are referring to a debate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch
    Its reasonable to make a point once or twice that you disagree, but to continuously come to the diaries with the sole intention of arguing makes you a troll.
    I welcome the opportunity to test my ideas against those who disagree.  It's the introduction of a disrespectful tone and personal animus that is out of place, not the disagreement.

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:56:25 AM PST

    •  You mean a debate like this?... (0+ / 0-)

      Because this is what I understood fToRrEeEsSt appears to talking about.

      When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered -- MLK, Jr.

      by caul on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:57:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the diarist had meant such a debate, I'm sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch

        he/she would have posted the video.  Instead, he/she wrote this

        Its reasonable to make a point once or twice that you disagree, but to continuously come to the diaries with the sole intention of arguing makes you a troll.
        Which sounds as though he/she is not looking to explore points of disagreement, but for a reaction from the "Amen Corner".  What's the value in that?  What's wrong with disagreeing and truly exploring the various pros and cons of an issue, as long as the conversation is civil and conducted with respect?

        "Because I am a river to my people."

        by lordcopper on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:20:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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