Here’s a thing: I posted a thread about a news story on one of Britain’s oddest, but most loveable, networking sites – Ecademy – and got repeatedly squealed at by a rather odd little troll-type individual, reminiscent of one of those yappy little dogs that do nothing except squeak 24 hours a day. I thought this sort of behaviour went out with Usenet. Actually the guy’s done me a favour: reminded me that there are regions of the Internet where the trolls still thrive.
You know the type: they’ve got an opinion, and it’s vitally important to them that you should really, really care about it.
As is often the case, it turns out the guy’s a ‘Macolyte’, one of those so slavishly devoted to the Apple cause it’s eliminated their ability to engage in rational debate or take part in civil exchanges. Bullied at school, I suppose; trying to work up a tough-kiddie persona online to make up for inadequacies elsewhere. (The briefest of Googles revealed he posts with the same shrillness pretty much everywhere, with an expectedly high proportion of “this comment has been deleted”s.)
I’m not attacking this individual in particular; he just happens to illustrate a type. I’ve worked with guys like this, and regrettably even employed one once. The interesting question is: Why they do this? Surely they don’t get results: behaving this way tends to drive down respectability towards zero. And if they stepped outside their little circles of pique for a moment they’d realise how silly they look. The Mac guy here is probably of normal intelligence with strong technical skills, yet he’s hurting his employability and prospects by being so… daft. They’re sad little people, and I wish there was an easy way to help them.