A Troll's Anthology

By Xah Lee. Date:

Dear readers,

you wrote:

No, it's about a troll that shows up in cll from time to time. Ignore him.

You are accusing me of being a USENET troll.

May i be a troll, but sometimes i think that my learning and issues and the bag of fire inside of me are too important for the progress of society to avoid appearances just because i might be called a troll. Sincerely, mind you, that i was either not going to reply, or going to launch into very serious issues about religion, and/or history of Europe, and torture, which will surely educate and as well as offend egregiously. The anger and injustice in me is such a potent impulse, but anyway i've decided to be light-hearted this time, and focus on the subject of trolling.

If you think i'm a troll, then you should know that the best response to a troll is to not respond. You are now a victim of troll.

I wonder how many readers here really understanding the term _troll_, and i'm certain that the majority have very little knowledge of the subject.

Acquaint yourself with online dictionaries:

You see that there are few predominant meanings: 1. to fish by trailing a lure or baited hook from a moving boat. 2. a Scandinavian folklore creature, mischievous dwarf-type that dwells under bridges or hills. 3. to stroll, patrol, wander, ramble.

I can see that it all can contribute to the etymology of usenet troll.

Now look at Jargon File's explanation: http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/troll.html (local copy Troll Definition from Jargon File )

From here we see that there are two connotations. The first one is prone towards positive, the second negative.

I myself is a well-respected learned man, but every time i read something i pity myself for how little i know. It is a wonder to me, of common people we see daily on TV or streets (and in newsgroups), who have so many opinions and things to say about so many topics from personal issues to political issues, i often like to pet my ego and ask: Of the at least 2000 years of recorded human history, of the countless geniuses in the past, of the myriad of human subjects from sciences to arts, of the depth of the seas of knowledge, how many droplets have they ever spent examining in their pitiful life? Are all the people in history stupid? Are all human concerns in the past irrelevant to today's?

Here are few resources on the troll as a creature:

from Tolkien Encyclopedia
by Varda layton2 @ flex.net
Orkneyjar - The Heritage of the Orkney Islands
a site devoted to Norse lore

Here is a article that mentions the possible origin of troll to mean stroll, wander: http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/polari.htm (from World Wide Worlds, by Michael Quinion. (local copy Michael_Quinion_troll.zip ))

In my aimless research for some history of usenet troll, i have also found an essay called _The Subtle Art of Troll_, at http://www.urban75.com/Mag/troll.html

For coherence and integrity of my report on trolling, and for posterity of the good chance that this article might be unintelligible in a few months because all the urls referred to are gone, i'll reproduce the complete article below:

I have also found a few troll songs. _The Usenet Troll Song_, by Jacob Sommer at http://www.gingicat.org/jacob/troll.html . The full content is below:

Troll Song

Now here is another troll song sung to the tune of jingles bells

troll Jingle Bells

Then i found this interesting meow meow story, which the author claims to be the largest usenet flamewar. At: http://member.newsguy.com/~shpxurnq/meow.html . Full text below:

meow wars

meow meow army — imagine that!

of course there's Bill Palmer's essay “To Catch a Troll”.

To Catch A Troll

I like this Bill Palmer essay. It reminds me of one i've written, on the Philosophies of Netiquette, posted here twice. If you haven't read it, fetch it from deja.com.

I also found this one “Once upon a troll…”: Once Upon A Troll .

Brings tears to my eyes. Does it you?

In this lispy land, are there beautiful lady troll who needs my character for decent health, who could pacify my anger, and faak me over and over?

When a person's sanity is at balance, when human passion is raging, no etiquette must get in the way. — Xah Lee

Postscript: for those newbies or kiddies or regulars who have no interest in a usenet troll phenom or its phenomenon, i offer pornography: http://www.alsscan.com/budapest/budapest.html , http://www.alsscan.com/prague/prague.html .

One has to marvel at these Euro chicks. Such candor. Such sincerity. Such ease, naturalness, loveliness. When can the world's moralists take off their faaking attires? When can when can when can?

I truly thank the internet, for making information of all sorts readily available for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Such is a core element in destroying all moralist faakheads.