Sunday, May 02, 2010

Fun with trolls

Basket cases

The Internet is a wonderful gift to the mentally deranged. It enables them to share their warped perspective and grandiose delusions with the world. PZ Myers highlights a special case over at Pharyngula. John A. Davison is a sorry-ass crackpot who pelts PZ with e-mail about his cranky collection of “science” essays. It's another idiot who thinks he's a genius.

I'm currently having just a little bit of fun with a similarly loopy—but less coherent—nutjob whose self-regard has to be experienced to be appreciated. Let's call this fellow “Smith” for the sake of discussion. His reasoning skills are orthogonal to reality. For example, check this out:


Shermer - Harris - Myers - Dawkins - Randi VS. NOSTRADAMUS - EINSTEIN - SMITH

It's another idiot who thinks he's a genius, ranking himself with Einstein. The Nostradamus comparison I can almost see, especially if you equate obscurantism with delusion (and I suspect Smith can't tell the difference).

It's just sad that Smith thinks Einstein was a theist. A regard for Spinoza's concept of god as the embodiment of nature does not make one a believer in any traditional sense of the word.

Too bad for Smith.

Each time he weighs in with one of his irrational rants, I smile and gently delete it. No doubt he chuckles mischievously as he reposts his nonsense time and again, but it's all for naught. He posts and chuckles. I delete and laugh.

Ha, ha, “Smith.” See how I mock your self-regard?


Zeno said...

Hi, folks! Welcome to Halfway There. Don't bother unmasking the pseudonymous “Smith.” Think of him as Voldemort: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I will delete all comments containing his real name. Any comments that call him “Smith” will be retained.

Like a moth batting himself against a light bulb, Smith will undoubtedly do some of his classic copy-and-paste spamming here, but those posts will vanish into the void. You won't be missing anything.

William said...

I'm not sure if I've posted this before -- I've meant to, but discussion of Smith is so rarely on-topic:

At one of the sites his most recent rants link to is an unusually coherent passage that almost sounds like he's announcing his retirement from comment spamming. I may be reading it too optimistically, though.

Grania said...

"Smith" is a regular troll on the website I moderate as well. He's not the only one although he is the worst by far.

Recent non sequiturs are so bad that people unfamiliar with his usual posts are actually confused as to whether he is a Poe. Sadly I think he is so far gone that he is no longer able to tell the difference between an argument or video that supports his crazy theories and ones that satirize them.

My only query is how do people like this function in the real world? Do they hide it? To what level are they aware that they aren't quite on the same level as other people? Beats me.

William said...

Yeah, he posted a link to an Edward Current video, and seemed not to realize it was a parody. Then again, it's often hard to tell what Smith is thinking.

Grania said...

He frequently posts something along the lines of "Get out of my universe" which suggests to me that in spite of his bluster & bravado, he feels intensely threatened by the very idea of atheism and rationalism and that even he doesn't really believe any of his claims and threats will come true.

unapologetic said...

Those of us reading your comment RSS feed get to see him before he's been deleted. For some reason, Smith tried jumping to my weblog. However, after one appearance which was flagged for moderation, WordPress' spam filter dumps him in /dev/null immediately. I only notice he's been trying to comment when I clean out the hopper every couple weeks.

MikeTheInfidel said...

He's even been on my blog, and I don't think I've had more than two or three regular readers... he's so desperate to be relevant.

Zeno said...

There's an obsessive/narcissistic element to his incoherent writing that suggests to a humble layman like me that Smith requires the attention of a highly skilled therapist. Yes, it's a really sad state of affairs. No happy ending is likely unless he realizes how much he needs help.

Eamon Knight said...

He's dropped a few turds in my obscure corner of the internet recently -- I think he followed me from Russell Blackford's com-box. A year or so back he was regularly stinking up the forum of the local skeptic society.

felix said...

I get the impression Smith spends so much time spamming blog pages and forums each day, he's lost the capability to form a sentence beyond "Ctrl+A", "Ctrl+C", "Ctrl+V".

He's huddled up in his own internal world of delusion where he's the white knight. One of a brave and valorous few who form the essential line of battle against the monstrous reality which threatens the land of Ignoramia.

Kel said...

Smith does the same at my blog, several times a week. I just delete his comments wherever I see them, it's easier that way. And beats turning on comment moderation!

phoenixwoman said...

The Village Smithy's even visited my own little blog, where he proceeded to elicit politely raised eyebrows from my co-bloggers. That confused him and caused him to shamble off on his muttering way.

I must give him credit -- occasionally his monomania spits up a gift, such as the phrase "GOATS ON FIRE!" Which is going to be my new band name, if Cadaver Synod doesn't work out.