Re: OT: Troll vs. Crank

From: Cimode <>
Date: 16 Jun 2006 13:55:52 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Hi Marshall ;)

My little contribution...
What's more important: putting precise words on people or putting precise words on concepts?

Marshall wrote:
> Sometimes our vocabulary limits our understanding.
> (The "Sapir-Whorf hypothesis".) I think this has been
> happening to me lately.
> Most people are familiar with what a "troll" is.
> To me, the defining characteristic of a troll is that he speaks not
> in good faith. That is, he doesn't believe his own arguments; they
> are made simply for provocation.
> But until lately, I haven't really had a concept, or a term, to
> describe
> someone who *does* believe his own posts, but whose posts are
> nonetheless of no redeeming value. (I am unclear how this hole
> in my understanding has persisted for so long--an excess of
> faith in human nature, perhaps. I am also beginning to believe
> I posess a certain gullibility.)
> In any event, everyone else probably already knows this, but I
> present what is a relatively new concept to me: the crank.
> Trolls seem to get all the press, and all the attention. But
> it strikes me that cranks are actually distinctly more numerous.
> (Real trolls are relatively rare in this newsgroup; we generally
> have several cranks at any given moment.)
> In any event, consciousness of this concept of "crank" has
> improved my ability to interpret what I read in the group.
> Since the concept is much publicized, (at least relative to
> trollhood) I thought that perhaps the idea would be useful
> to anyone else who, like me, somehow managed to miss
> it for so long.
> Marshall
Received on Fri Jun 16 2006 - 22:55:52 CEST

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