Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


On Sunday, Scott Rankin (whom you may know as @mylin1 on Twitter) commented on my Mental Energy post that "any interesting message that could have been looked at, discussed and even added insight into blogging that he had is lost under a wall of hate."

For once, a "cute" Norwegian Troll
I'm not sure if Scott meant the hate of the original troll or the backlash. But assuming he meant the troll, I agree. I know a lot of people are of the opinion that if someone has a valid point buried in a wall of hate, we should still listen. After all, to do otherwise would be a form of "shoot the messenger." However, that takes a lot of mental energy I think most of us do not care to expend in such a way. Excuse my French, but we don't need to dig into a pile of shit prospecting for gold. It is the duty of the messenger to deliver salient points of the message with as little extraneous information as possible, lest the fluff be construed as the essence of the message.

From my point of view, the noise of the vitriol drowns out any bits of reason that may be contained in the message. It has to do with credibility. Anything you say that reduces your credibility will interfere with the message you may be trying to convey.

I work as a technical instructor. Credibility is everything, and if one or more students perceives that I or a colleague is giving out mistaken information or are not confident in our delivery, they will often decide we don't know what we're talking about, even if 95 percent of what we're saying is accurate. When that happens, we've lost the students, even if they're still sitting in the classroom.

A reporter shouldn't be the news subject.
Looking at a different context, the reporter Brian Williams was caught lying about his experiences covering the war in Iraq, and it has cost him the anchor position on NBC's Nightly News show. (Now, there's a real journalistic ethics issue, right there, and no need to smear some some person with patently false rumors about whom they may or may not have slept with.) Mr. Williams' reputation—and therefore, his credibility—has been ruined by just a single lie (repeated).

Someone spewing vitriol on the Internet has very little credibility in my book. They are showing disrespect for their peers, and rather than arguing their point on the merits thereof, they throw out ad hominem attacks. There's no way to know if they really believe in the issue they are supposedly championing and are simply unable to argue it effectively; or if any truth or valid point is simply being made in an attempt to legitimize their hate. And really, does it even matter?
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  1. I like to expect more of people. I like to give them a little rope and see where they lead me with it. Often, they just hang themselves and I learn to expect a little less from a specific person.

    1. You also made more effort than any of the rest of us to engage the inspiration of this and my prior post.

  2. Apparently, Blogger/Google is having authentication issues. Scott said that yes, he was referring to the troll. And my buddy pointed out that scientists do in fact think it's feasible to extract gold and other metals from human poop. However, I would question the practically of such an operation.