photo blog_head_zpsonl8fonu.jpg
Meesa gonna kill you!

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Everyone's a Troll

"Sigmund Freud was a half baked Viennese quack. Our literature, culture, and the the films of Woody Allen would be better today if Freud had never written a word." - Ian Shoales

***

Was Johnathan Swift a troll?

A: Wikipedia defines as a troll as: "someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages... with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response..."...

If you've never read it, Swift's A Modest Proposal (full text there) simply states that the Irish should eat their own children, rather than starve. Swift obviously meant this as satire, but it caused (and continues to cause) a lot of trouble among those people who just don't get that it's satire. And therein lies the problem.

Swift's satirical essay is as dead on the page as any forum post (meaning you can't figure out from the tone of voice/speaker's face what the emotional context is); and was likewise just as anonymous. Now, certainly, you can't quite call it "off-topic" and whether it's "extraneous" is debatable. But it's definitely "inflammatory" and has the primary intention of provoking of an emotional response.

To give a more modern example, Stephen Colbert mocked conservative congressman Bill Posey who introduced a bill requiring candidates for president to provide their birth certificates by claiming there were rumors that Posey's grandmother had had sex with an alligator, and thus Posey was part alligator. Posey thus responded, saying such comments were hurtful and there was no need to claim such things. But Posey failed to get that it was satire. He just understood that Colbert was attacking him. Colbert's "alligator rumors" were inflammatory, extraneous, and off-topic to central debate of whether Obama was Kenyan-born, and they certainly got a rise out of Posey.

I write this as someone who's written somewhat satirical posts before and I haven't been reported to the mods (as far as I'm aware of).

So the question is, where's the line between satire and trolling? Is it no longer trolling if you do it at a national level (i.e. the context matters)? Or is it when it devolves into baiting that it's trolling? Or is there something else that constitutes trolling?

B: No, but Voltaire was.

C: Most certainly. Voltaire and Shaw aswell. Possibly Belloc.

D: No he was a satirist. There are themes behind what he wrote.

B: [Voltaire's] ability to alienate everybody, regardless of where he was at, is something that is both comical and admirable. ^^

E: When Wikipedia says "an emotional response," they are using pretentious talk to say "anger." A troll's goal is to piss people off to feed his/her own ego. A satirist's goal is to provoke thought and inquiry about the state of modern culture. They really couldn't be more different.

A: So no one who misunderstood Swift ever jumped up and said "that jerk is proposing the Irish eat people!" Aren't many famous satirists egoists? Especially in Swift's time, where his fame definitely allowed him to make a living. Trolls, on the other hand, really can't feed their egos very much. It's not like they gain notoriety as trolls, since they're very quickly banned. At best, it's that they get to pull a fast one on others, in very much the same way satirists do.

Also, how can we know the goal of a troll vs. the goal of a satirist?

people really took Swift literally:

"many readers failed to understand the irony, putting Swift's patronage in jeopardy." Yes, he's a brilliant satirist, but he stilled failed to come through. Sarcasm is one of the hardest things to pull of in text.

F: Maybe all satirists are trolls. Though their work is usually intended to provoke hopefully intelligent debate rather than negative emotion, the fact remains, they still want to provoke.

F: Maybe all satirists are trolls. Though their work is usually intended to provoke hopefully intelligent debate rather than negative emotion, the fact remains, they still want to provoke.

G: He was a troll with intelligence and a respectable goal.

H: Trolling and satire are not mutually exclusive, especially when the person being trolled is the one who's the target of the satire. Borat at the rodeo is a prime example.

A: Proposal is remembered precisely because people failed to realize it was satire. If people had realized it was satire immediately, it wouldn't be a classic, it'd be some lesser-known work.

Congratulating yourself for getting it's satire a few hundred years after the fact doesn't mean anything. In its day and age, could it have been considered trolling?

I: Wouldn't this mean that anyone who takes a devil's advocate position is also trolling, if that position creates an emotional response?

J: Swift was the Einstein of trolls!

Europe CNY 2012 - Day 9, Part 2 - Edinburgh

"However the world pretends to divide itself, there are only two divisions in the world today: human beings and Germans." - Rudyard Kipling

***

Europe CNY 2012
Day 9, Part 2 - 27th January - Edinburgh


At Edinburgh Castle, quite a few cars had had the EU GB license plate. This was expected, being Crown Land.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Modernising Waste"
Modernisation involves being fined for putting your trash out at the wrong time. Can you do it in the morning before going to work?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Hanam's. Kurdish & Middle East Restaurant. Shisha Area Now Open"
This was on Castle Hill

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"In a house on the east side of this close, Robert Burns lived during his first visit to Edinburgh, 1786"
They don't know which house. Sad.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
George IV Bridge. I'm wrong - it is really a bridge, at least for most of its path.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Central Library is proud to be at the heart of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
George IV Bridge

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Road under Central Library

I had 2 pizza slices for lunch. They were lousy as I expected (though a French speaking couple I asked said it was good) but there were time constraints and the shwarma shop up ahead was closed for lunch (wth), and I needed energy to climb the hill later on. I suppose there're advantages to ordering your own pizza, not slices.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
the elephant house

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Magic..!! Is the only way to describe the ambience of the Elephant House"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Birthplace of Harry Potter"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Maybe it was cheaper if you got takeaway

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Augustine United Church

I then went to the National Museum of Scotland. Since time was limited I decided to look at the Scottish historical artefacts, though there was a bit of everything: natural history, technology, history and other odds and ends. My theory was the uniquely Scottish stuff was where their comparative (and absolute) advantage would lie, and I am not very interested in anything after the Renaissance anyway.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
All-purpose toilet

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Hunterston Brooch, AD700

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
War Trumpet. Roman Era.

The Romans had only occupied a bit of Scotland and only for a short time, yet there were a lot of artefacts.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Commemorative Inscription, Roman Times
The labelling was somewhat different from virtually all museums, so often it was hard to identify the name of artefacts and what time period they came from (it was in such small print that it was easy to miss, as many of my photos do - darn; in fact it seems some items are undated). All the same, the presentation was very innovative.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Combs

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Roman Grave Sculpture, 2nd century AD

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Viking Grave

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Gravestone

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Altar Front, 8th c. AD

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
St Ninian's Isle treasure

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
On the St Ninian's Isle treasure

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Carved Stone with Female Aristocrat, 9th c. AD

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Carved Stone with Drunk Warrior on Horse, 11th c. AD

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Gold torcs, 300-100BC

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Bizarre statues (which are used to display items)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Painted ceiling from the Guthrie Collegiate Church, Angus, 15th c
"It is the only painted ceiling surviving from before the Reformation"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Various church items

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
More church items

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Coigrich, 15th c.; Bronze crozier head, 11th c.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
On the relics of St Fillan

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The Fetternear Banner, 1520

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Scribe stuff

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Papal Bulls

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Hand bells of the Saints", 7th-8th c.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Covenating Banners, as used at Battle of Bothwell Brig, 1679

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Mask and Wig of Alexander Peden
Yeech

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The National Covenant

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Carved Sandstone Overmantel, 1651

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
More furniture, 17th c.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Huntly Funeral Procession, 17th c
Not sure why this is under "Medieval Society"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The rest of the Lewis Chessmen (the other 67 are in the British Museum in London)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Jewellery

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
St Andrew

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Bute Mazer, ~1314
This is a feasting cup

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Ceremonial Swords, 15th-16th c

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Walrus Ivory chesspiece, mid-13th c.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Powder horns

To end off, I looked at something completely different:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Baaa.... In other news this is why I don't rely on my phone for photography when I travel

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Dolly, taken with a proper camera

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Hall

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
You can see which of the other highlights I missed. The Benin Bronze Heads were perhaps the most interesting.

As you can see the National Museum of Scotland was an excellent museum, with good exposition, presentation and display. I was sad that I couldn't see more of it. Maybe if I return to Edinburgh...

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Royal Mile, Lawnmarket

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
St Giles Cathedral

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Walter Scott

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
St Giles

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Angels with Bagpipes"
I cannot imagine Angels would use Bagpipes

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Poor woman pimping her historical tour and being ignored

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
North Bridge

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Tartan Factory Outlet. No thanks.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Calton Hill from bridge

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
General Register House

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Road to Calton Hill

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Old Calton Cemetery with "Celebrities" like David Hume. Well, that was the only name I recognised.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Calton Hill

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Regent Road

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Calton Hill information

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Nelson Monument

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Dugald Stewart Monument, one of the icons of the city

At about this time my camera finally kaputed.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Portuguese Cannon

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Dugald Stewart Monument and Edinburgh
The magnificent orange, yellow and red don't really show up well

Here is one of the classic shots:


(Source)

Here's an equivalent (probably PSed):


(Source)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Nelson Monument, ridge behind

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Edinburgh view

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Nelson Monument, National Monument

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Observatory

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Neo-Classical and incomplete National Monument (they ran out of money in 1829)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Edinburgh view

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Ridge behind Calton Hill

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The National Monument wasn't so nice from the back (see the dumpster)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Geology lesson

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Of fire and ice

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Other side of Edinburgh

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Nelson monument

There was a "Hume Walk" on Calton Hill. This was probably just marketing.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Mounting the cannon

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Dugald Stewart Monument

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Edinburgh

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Edinburgh

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Who photographs the photographer?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Addicted's Army: http://addicted.blogsport.de/ (but it's in German)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

I then went back to the cemetery. It was a bit dark to go tomb hunting and I had no map, so I just wandered around and I will say that I visited the place where David Hume is buried.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Cemetery

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Obelisk

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Calton Hill from Cemetery

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Path to street

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Alexander Duncan

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Obelisk inscription: Thomas Muir

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Obelisk

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Scottish T-shirts: "I'm not an alcoholic. I'm a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings"
"It's a kilt. If I wore underwear THEN it would be a skirt"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Stevenlaw's Close

On the way back, I passed an establishment selling one of the most famous Scottish delicacies.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Deep-fried Mars Bar
It was quite good (£1,9): warm and gooey, with a thin and light batter (though it didn't cling that well to the bar and the two were quite distinct). I prefer the version with Ice Cream though.
Oddly the place sold doners (I didn't see many doner places in Scotland, possibly because they have enough unhealthy food already). Even more oddly they were not Turks but Italians. One of the Italians said since Turks sold pizza, he sold kebabs.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Adam Smith


Edinburgh Streets: I hate bagpipes

For dinner I went to a pub.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Consumer Protection laws: "If you think the head on your beer or lager is too large... we will gladly top up your glass. Under UK law a reasonable head may form part of a pint."

I decided to have one of Britain's favourite foods.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Chicken curry with naan
I was quite disappointed with this. I thought it would be authentically British (i.e. sweet, as some people complain to me). Instead this tasted very Indian (i.e. spicy and unsweet). Though they gave me a fork and a knife.
Interestingly they cut chicken breast into odd shapes for the curry - WHO USES CHICKEN BREAST IN CURRY??? And parts of the naan were too dry (they probably microwaved it without water). I should've gone to a curry shop for butter chicken, but then that was harder to find.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
They raised £97,01 for charity. If it were me I'd be ashamed to boast of this measly sum.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
This was actually the main purpose of going out to a pub for dinner - Cranachan. The curry was just a diversion.
There was very little whiskey in it.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Ghost Tour (nightly!). I passed on this. Yes, I'm getting old.

I toyed with the idea of climbing Calton Hill to watch the sunrise but decided not to, since I'd already seen sunset.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes