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30 thoughts on “The 4.45pm Link

  • Larry from St. Louis

    After identifying as a wing of the Democratic Party (and not understanding that such site is full of nutjob rants) and arguing that the University of Michigan is a hotbed of religious silly gooses (whereas U of M is far less religious and far more sophisticated than the university that you attended), I would like to congratulate you for not demonstrating your idiocy in this post.

    Best to keep the word count low.

  • mike cobley

    Larry From St Louis – Go Funk Yourself. Thats right, Lar, get the funk in and get ffffffunky. Ooooooh, get on down!

  • Anonymous

    The intellectual Skunk from St Louis is preading his stuff as usual.Best avoid any engagement with him unless you want to get the same respect as he does.

  • Abe Rene

    A terrible event. What are the roots of this ethnic conflict between the Kyrgyz and the Uzbeks?

  • Abe Rene

    PS. That’s apart from Stalin scrambling the borders – for there would have been nothing to prevent the ex-Soviet leaders engaging in negotiations to unscramble them. Therefore the roots of the ethnic conflicts must go deeper still.

  • Paul Johnston

    I’m not sure what is so disturbing in these events, that fact that two people so similar should reach such levels of hatred. They are not separated by religion, language colour of skin (not that these are excuses). The talk of one being pastoral, the other more urban surely cannot account for such barbarity.

    Sometimes despair seems to be the only reaction. The worry is of course the whole Ferghana valley explodes!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Civil wars are the most vicious, they say. It is a form of self-hate (as the co-psychologists might intone). But no, there is an aspect of that in these things. The human condition. Monstrous.

  • Larry from St Loopy

    Calm down folks, calm down.

    Killin peeps is OK. The good Lord hath demandeth it.

    Whosoever shouldst disagree with you; kill him and all his kin for they do the work of the devil.

    Whosoever shouldst look funny at you as you walk down the street; kill him and all his kin for they do the work of the devil and wouldst gainsay the Lord and His good works.

    The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters

    He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemes; thou annointest my headwith oil; my cup runneth over

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. and I will dwell in the house of The Lord forever.

    Told ya!!

  • Larry the Loser from St Loopy

    “I’m not a Christian, you anonymous moron”

    sayeth the Loopy of St Louis.

    Be not afraid my son. Before the day of judgement falls, you too will be converted to the true righteous faith and devotion to Jesus our saviour the one and only true son of God.

    Until that day, fuck off like a good lad and less of the insults.

    Ye know not of whom ye speak.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    You are possibly pseudonymous, Larry, rather than definitively anonymous. But is ‘Larry’ your real name? And why do you consistently address people in that ferociously rude manner? It is as though you are spitting at people all the time. Great gobs of vitriol. Is that what they teach in Law School? Would you talk like that to someone’s face? Perhaps you would.

    In essence, the style of your comportment actually tells us much about the nature of US imperialism and that of its proponents. In other words, it gives the lie to what you are attempting to argue.

  • ingo

    Suhayl, he’s not a lawyer, we have to feel a little sorry for this poor soul, cause he obviously takes this website as his daily psychological spine fix, somehwere to vent his anger and lack of professional resolve.

    If he’s a lawyer, than he’s got a lot of time on his hands, probably feels a little unemployed with too much time on his hand.

    I have not seen any video’s of burning people, but I take the word of Ms. Kendzior and those not in the pay of some or other vested dingbat outfit.

  • Vronsky

    How often do I have to do this…

    Word counts:

    – posted by ‘Larry’: 81

    – in response to ‘Larry’: 579

    – on topic: 167

    Topic content: 20%

    Troll content: 80%

    This represents very skilful trolling – the ‘Larry’ avatar can leverage almost 4 times his own contribution in responses from other posters.

  • Vronsky

    ..that should be 7 times his own contribution. Overall the thread is 4 times more troll than topic.

  • glenn

    Vronsky: Did your analysis tell you who the biggest chumps are in responding directly to trolls?

  • Richard Robinson

    Good numbers, Vronsky, thanks for your patience.

    “…and I’m making it worse”

    This is the very bones and blood of a troll – to be so plain *wrong* that people just have to put it right.

    Thinking further on my comment about ‘reputation’ yesterday, it occurs to me that there are perhaps 3 classes of posters here; “known names”, “new names” and “anonymous” (the first 2 shading into each other, of course, by number of previous posts. Some blogs show this count for each poster). I wonder if there’s a difference in response along that dimension ? I’d guess, the more people get involved, the more they learn not to bite, but there’s a constant (infinite, for all practical purposes) supply of those who haven’t learnt (or, hypothesising deliberate malice + anonymity, can pretend not to have).

  • Vronsky

    “Did your analysis tell you who the biggest chumps are in responding directly to trolls?”

    The principle myth I want to kill is the idea that ‘Larry’ and his team are merely vulgar and witless idiots. They’re not – their approach may seem crude but I’ve seen it elsewhere and it is a thoughtful and well-developed technique. It invariably gets the required result – some topics are difficult to discuss here, while others (like 9/11) have become impossible.

    Having suggested a while back that Craig should introduce some sort of moderation to control or remove the larries I’m coming round to the view that he is right in letting them comment – I really wasn’t being sarcastic in a previous post when I suggested that we get a good guide to the truth by inspection of their denials.

    But we have to be disciplined and ensure that we take their unwitting information without allowing their agenda. My post on word counts was a plea for that discipline.

  • glenn

    Vronsky: We could have a count to round off threads which would go something like this:

    Total posts = 20

    Post count:

    4 Vronsky

    2 Suhayl Saadi

    2 Mark Golding – Children of Iraq

    2 Larry from St. Louis

    2 Abe Rene

    1 mike cobley

    1 ingo

    1 glenn

    1 Richard Robinson

    1 Paul Johnston

    1 Larry the Loser from St Loopy

    1 Larry from St Loopy


    I’ll run the same on the last thread, see what that looks like.

  • Vronsky

    “We could have a count to round off threads which would go something like this:”

    Word count matters. ‘Larry’ typically posts very few words, but they are carefully chosen to maximise response, i.e. they are abusive and seemingly stupid – remember that 7:1 leverage. We also don’t know how many avatars are just different instances of larry.

    We see less of the angrysoba avatar as its posts seem to have much less leverage than larry’s. When it intervenes its posts are much longer – I expect it takes someone time to produce an ‘angrysoba’ post, so the cost/benefit analysis doesn’t look so good.

  • glenn

    Vronsky: Very true. A fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer, it is written, and one can be stupid and annoying far more concisely and easily than one could be a useful contributer.

    Back in the day, with that olde worlde 20th century technology of Usenet, one could do the only thing that really can be done with trolls – killfile them. If they change identity, update the killfile. Ah, the benefits of simpler times that are now lost.

    Thom Hartmann (a progressive writer and broadcaster) was forced to introduce a token fee for registering on his message-board, and the money given to charity, to prevent a deluge of tea-baggers, nazis, neo-cons, halfwits, trolls and shills (which sums up St. Loony’s act pretty well!) from clogging the boards. They’d keep presenting themselves as just having nagging doubts, be outright insulting, even arguing with themselves, _anything_ to distract. And if nobody ‘bit’, they’d deluge the board with posts so that a visitor would think that was what it mainly was all about.

    Interesting you mention that about the Angry trolling – have you noticed that the angry-loony team have both been given the green light to use profanity as often as possible lately? Both express open contempt for this blog and the posters, yet neither explains why they don’t do everyone a favour and bugger off. Angry wants to retain some dignity and consistency, St. Loony does not.

    But these are just different sides to the same coin, the purpose is to distract and disrupt, because they are afraid of the truth being discussed anywhere. It takes a pretty contemptible character to be able to do that. It’s Craig’s decision to tolerate their presence, it can be ours to deal with it appropriately, and not bite.

  • Richard Robinson

    glenn – I thought there must be other people here familiar with usenet; it’s a shame the people who built these systems threw those decades of experience away (shorter – I wanna killfile ! it could be done in this medium, but I’ve not seen it).

    Angrysoba has his moments. Some of the time he (?) talks good sense – and then he collapses back into the ad hominem stuff that does no-one any good.

  • glenn

    Hey Richard – I _was_ one of the people that built and ran those Usenet news-servers, before most people had even heard of the Internet or email. Designed and ran some of the first large-scale public email systems, too. I didn’t throw away the experience, it just got made redundant, I suppose. Usenet is still there, of course, and maybe it’ll get back to its more pure roots as commercial/ idiot element/ shill interests fade?

    You’ve got to be on your toes in that business to make sure you don’t get made redundant along with yesterday’s technology and protocols. The 1990s were great days for the early Internet, before it got entirely commercialised.


    Angry-S does have him moments, indeed, and appears to carry a persona with a conscience that can be appealed to – he does value his own integrity, but falls back on that “Mr. Angry at the bar” act with a regularity that seems a little forced, especially these days.

  • Richard Robinson

    glen – you’re way ahead of me, then (and, thanks for the servers !). I’m just a “home machines” amateur, met the ‘net as one of Demon Internet’s early customers, beginning of ’93. Looking back, I feel very lucky to have seen it in the days when posting an advert would get your account pulled (chorus: “tell that to the Youth Of Today …”).

    Usenet’s still there, yes, but massively de-populated, as so many people converse over other platforms (like this) instead. I can’t see what would reverse the trend. (It still has value, uses, of course). By “throwing away the experience” I didn’t mean individually, I mean in the building of, for instance, comment-boards, etc, the way we here are re-experiencing problems that usenet had fixes for but haven’t generally been incorporated (I wanna killfile !). Not only the techy aspects, it’s cultural, too, which is closer to the individual throwing away – new generations learning the same old lessons. Which was bound to happen, given that the pointyclicky is easier & more accessible. It’s all fascinating – vast numbers of people learning to handle many-to-many exchanges, hasn’t ever really been possible before, and much good will come of it. Eventually. Maybe …

    But maybe I’m spending too much time way off topic. Enough.

  • glenn

    Richard: I don’t half miss those days, you don’t get posters like that anymore. Maybe the reason things were so much better was because you actually needed some sense to get online back then, and it was not so likely one would go to such effort just in order to be a total jack-ass.

    Sorry for the off-topic maudlin, comrades!

  • Richard Robinson

    “Maybe the reason things were so much better was” …

    Even the nostalgia isn’t as good as it used to be. It never was, mind …

    “It’s always September somewhere on usenet”, remember ? It was still full of people acting the arsehole, or the killfile wouldn’t have become so universal. Or maybe you’re just remembering further back to a vanished golden age I never did see …

  • Richard Robinson

    No, I’m missing a point, aren’t I ? The more accessed used to be only available to a relatively homogenous group, the more likely it was that conversation would fit within that set of norms; the more access becomes available to more different people, the less that’s the case. When connections were a scarce resource, discussion was a side-issue along with the purpose for which people actually had them, now they’re sold as amusement ?

  • glenn

    Richard: Right – the whole idea of ‘Netiquette’ was that, in order to be taken seriously, one had to understand that there were formalities to abide by, in order to get value and quality out of a forum.

    One might compare it with ‘ham’ radio, in which a certain level of decorum was definitely expected. In order to get a licence, one had to know a good deal about the medium in which one was participating. All the correspondents had applied the necessary discipline to learn morse, understand how radios worked, and knew how they should conduct themselves.

    You knew you were not talking to some jack-ass who had awakened one morning, marched down to the CB-rig shop with £50, and bought himself some badly tuned setup which was going to swamp every neighbour’s stereo in a half mile radius with “1-4 for a copy / Hey there, Good Buddy, what’s your handle? Well, this is breaker breaker on the side, I’m up, I’m down, I’m round, I’m gone, so keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down… keep your nose between the ditches and the smokies out yer britches, / 3-2-1 agghh’m gone” etc. etc. etc.

    The commercialisation did for the Internet (and Usenet particularly) what CB-radio did for ‘ham’ radio.

    So yes – you did get the point.

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