Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Jesus Resurrection Day

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Benefits of Boredom for Greater Creativity

Tap into the powerful energies and abundant resources of the Impetus of Having Nothing to Do.

Are we losing the ability to daydream? Have we let prayer slip away? Is blissful contemplation a relic of the past?

Just as pleasure causes pain, and socializing causes loneliness, and gluttony causes hunger -- now consider how boredom causes productivity. Silence, solitude, inactivity, and inward stillness spur great achievement.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Achieve business goals with Vaspers Advanced Technology Show

Your host Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate rips the lid off the mysterious secrets of the internet in Vaspers Advanced Technology Show on BlogTalkRadio.

Coherent rants and exclusive, hard-hitting interviews with tech experts, internet marketing pros, and book authors. 

No fluff. No schmoozing. No goofing off. Just practical tips and deep insights you can use for your business right now.

Episodes thus far:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

AARP Sucks

AARP  is now airing a very stupid TV commercial. 

AARP is the American Association of Retired People. Some say the letters stand for Always Against Real Progress.

I was quite annoyed at the AARP commercial where a senior citizen is stopped by a state trooper who asks for the driver's license, proof of insurance, and AARP membership card -- thus implying that if you don't have an AARP card, you could be in trouble with law enforcement and maybe go to jail.

Now AARP has a TV commercial which shows a stream of strangers knocking on the door of a senior couple's home. They are pestering the seniors with sales pitches and even invading the interior of their home and dancing on tables and other nonsense.

This is a gross misunderstanding of customer psychology on the part of AARP. Elderly people don't want strangers banging on their door, trying to con them into buying junk, or entering their home and prancing around.

It's a great example of what I constantly refer to as "we, we, we all the way home" mentality that is commonly exhibited in websites and other marketing. This ignorant TV commercial is presenting the AARP discount from the perspective of AARP, instead of from the customer's perspective.

Far better would be to show the wife sitting at a table with a big pile of cash. Husband comes home and sees it. "Where did that cash come from?" he asks. She replies, "It's the money we're saving, thanks to our AARP discounts."

Most "Noble" Profession in the World?

Some blogger posted "Most Noble Professions in the World". It's weird that she considers only three professions to be "noble": Teacher/Educator, Doctor/Healer, and Writer/Orator.

I wonder if she has offended the Artists, Farmers, Homemakers, Babysitters, Musicians, Composers, Laborers, Engineers, Architects, Actors, Dancers, Pastors, Chefs, Mechanics, Police, Fire Fighters, Historians, Carpenters, and Diplomats.

Lists like this seem frivolous to me. It's like "Most Important Tools in the World" or "Most Interesting People of History." It's highly subjective and based on personal definitions.

What is meant by "noble"? Why is a teacher more "noble" than a plumber? In what way is a novelist more important than an electrician? How is a doctor more "noble" than a farmer? If you have no food, you won't need a doctor, you'll need a grave digger. At least that's a "shovel ready job."

Just because someone classifies a profession as "noble" does not mean there aren't horrible people in that profession.

Hundreds of years ago, the parasitical nobility and in-bred royalty despised merchants. Then the merchants became richer and more powerful than the princes, dukes and earls.

You might consider marketing to be "not noble" -- until you need to sell something. You might think lawyers are sleazy -- until you are accused of a crime or falsely arrested. You might look down upon factory workers -- until you realize they made most of what makes your life pleasant.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jesus film by Pasolini

 My favorite movie about the life of Jesus is the one by Pasolini, the avant garde film maker, entitled "The Gospel of St. Matthew".

Made by a non-religious person who respected the themes and questions of faith, this film is more Biblically accurate and authentic than any Jesus film I know of. Too many producers of historical films change dialogue and modify events to suit their own egos, imposing their "vision" of a story, rather than being faithful to the story itself.

Wikipedia states:

Pasolini read all four Gospels straight through, and he claimed that adapting a film from one of them "threw in the shade all the other ideas for work I had in my head."

Pasolini's film does not embellish the biblical account with any literary or dramatic inventions, nor does it present an amalgam of the four Gospels (subsequent films which would adhere as closely as possible to one Gospel account are 1979's Jesus, based on the Gospel of Luke, and 2003's The Gospel of John).

Pasolini stated that he decided to "remake the Gospel by analogy" and the film's sparse dialogue all comes directly from the Bible.

Given Pasolini's well-known reputation as an atheist, a homosexual, and a Marxist, the reverential nature of his film was surprising, especially after the controversy of La ricotta.

At a press conference in 1966, Pasolini was asked why he, an unbeliever, had made a film which dealt with religious themes; his response was, "If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself. I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief.

Pasolini employed some of the techniques of Italian neorealism in the making of his film.

Most of the actors he hired were non-professionals. Enrique Irazoqui (Jesus) was a 19-year-old economics student from Spain, and the rest of the cast were mainly locals from Barile, Matera, and Massafra, where the film was shot (Pasolini visited the Holy Land but found the locations unsuitable and "commercialized"). Pasolini cast his own mother, Susanna, as the elderly mother of Jesus. The cast also included noted intellectuals such as writers Enzo Siciliano and Alfonso Gatto, poets Natalia Ginzburg and Juan Rodolfo Wilcock, and philosopher Giorgio Agamben.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Your Relationship to the Now

How are you and the Present getting along? Are you ruining the current moment with regrets about the Past -- or fears about the Future?

If you could live your life all over again, I can almost guarantee this: you would probably mess up even more. Why? Because you'd be arrogant about what you know now, and it would cause you to be too aggressive, leading you into more trouble and failure.

If you wish your future to be exactly as you dream about it, you'd probably be miserable. Why? Because your dream of a perfect future might be a lot more problematic than you realize. The things you hope to have might backfire on you.

So it's best to remain in the now. It's all we really have anyway. 

Learn from the past, look forward to a bright tomorrow, but invest in the current moment. Do your utmost to make today as perfect as possible. 

Painful introspection and dark dismay about your history can be very good -- for a while. If it compels you to make a new beginning and get on the right track. But if it drags you down into depression and hounds you like a ferocious demon -- that's not good.

Face the facts about your past mistakes. Scold your former self for being so stupid, selfish, or too trusting. Then move on mentally with renewed vigor and joy. You're still alive and relatively free. 

You can make the final chapters of your life beautiful, with the help of God, the support of friends, and continued self-awareness.

Be here now means, quit condemning yourself for what you did long ago. Stop beating yourself up for a dumb action yesterday. Quit slapping yourself silly for past behaviors.

Where are you? You're right here. What time is it? It's right now. Then act like it. Act like you are right here, right now. You're not the exact same person you were years ago. You've achieved new realizations. Life is a journey with many weird and unfortunate side tracks. Get back on the good path and stay on it.

You don't have to live any tomorrows before they arrive. Keep your day of death in mind, but use that realization of your mortality to spur you on to make the most of the present moment.

Be here now. Do something right now that is positive, and keep doing it with each successive moment. Say goodbye to the past and later on to the future. Say hello to the now and turn it into a wonderful event.

People can improve. Some can even experience radical, positive transformation.

I'm cheering you on.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Google Glass augments your reality

I understand that you need help coping with your environment. It's such a drag having to make decisions based on the limited contents of your mind. It's not your fault you have trouble with reality. You just need to have it enhanced, expanded, engadgeted. 

If only you could have a wearable computing device that guided you through the twisting trails of your life.

Google Glass computerized spectacles will augment your reality and help you navigate through the world.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Blenderhead Jordan Cooper the Tech Stupidity Destroyer

Jordan Cooper. Harsh language at times, but very smart analysis. He's pretty good at exposing stupidity in the corporate, media, entertainment, and technology sectors. 

I'm a Blenderhead fan for sure. Agree or disagree, your mind will be sharper when you encounter his.

UPDATE: Here's my BlogTalkRadio interview with Jordan Cooper on Vaspers Advanced Technology Show.


* Is the new Myspace just a really ingenious advertising ploy to promote Justin Timberlake’s career?

* The real reason you’re not on Facebook anymore has nothing to do with privacy or data, it’s because you don’t have any friends.

* Go to any small business owner with your new-fangled application and most will respond the same exact way. “F*** the tools. Just do it for me.”

* Give these small businesses as much information and as easy-to-use applications as you’d like, it still won’t make a dent. Nothing will make up for the physical time and effort needed to actually utilize it.

* Small businesses don’t want your software. They want you.
Yes, it’s not scalable. Yes, it’s not replicable. But it’s what they need.

* Google Glass and smart watches will run into the same societal issues as bluetooth earpieces ... wearable technology is not about style or design but how others are disturbed by it, and none will be successful when its usage makes you look like a crazy person.

* The notion of having a so-called “right” to appear in Facebook news feeds is based upon a false assumption that everyone who subscribes to your updates (or “likes” your page) actually gives a f*** about everything you post. Get it through your ego-maniacal heads already. They don’t.

* Groupon was built and operates like a Ponzi scheme.

* The only reason anyone publicly complains about getting too much e-mail or celebrates “inbox zero” is just to show others how incredibly important and busy they are.

* Facebook is losing popularity with teens due to social media’s inherent cycle of narcissism and depression.

* The hypocrisy of so-called data-driven marketers who cherry-pick metrics as proof at their own convenience.

* RSS never caught on in the mainstream because it requires people to do something they’re not used to – thinking for themselves.

* Practically none of the folks I know in tech-geek circles are on Facebook anymore. Some have even jumped off of Twitter after their developer API crackdowns and media-centric focus. Tumblr is thought pretty much as a haven for memes and immature nonsense. Pinterest is pointless and full of bored housewives. Instagram is just a bunch of horrible wannabe photographers.

Some have even sworn off Google for search engines like Blekko and DuckDuckGo on the notion the Mountain View company has betrayed their “don’t be evil” mission statement. In all these instances, they’re jumping off the ship at the same time the entire world is coming aboard.

* We have plenty of companies these days banning Facebook at work, yet the same exact ones installing software like Yammer or Salesforce Chatter which mimic the very same user experience. If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

* Companies are primarily sold by these social business software firms on the fact that having a familiar interface will increase employee adoption and usage, but with functionality that supposedly “empowers the enterprise”.

From what I’ve seen however, these are essentially tacked-on features, none of which are intuitive or work too well individually, but as an aggregate look like an impressive suite to chief executives (who of course, in sweet irony, won’t be the ones actually using it anyways).

* You’re talking about folks who operate at glacial speeds, where it takes countless meetings to decide on some of the most minimal, unimportant things. Social business software purchases will continue to thrive in environments where the corporate culture rewards looking good over being good.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Internet Radio Interview Tips for Podcasters

Here's some good advice from BlogTalkRadio on interviewing people on an internet radio podcast show. I'd add "Don't waste time joking around and jabbering about trivial nonsense. Get right to the meat of the topic so your audience gains value immediately."

It's fine to spend a few moments loosening up with random talk about the weather or favorite sitcoms. "Are you disappointed about The Office ending? Do you hope The Farm with Dwight Shrute will be a spin-off show?" might be a great opening just to get the ball rolling.

But often the bantering back and forth is tedious, prolonged, and not very funny.

I've listened to a lot of tech interview podcasts where I got absolutely nothing out of them. 

Questions were fluffy stupid junk like "What is your biggest wish?" or "What part of the country do you like best?" when the person being interviewed was a CEO of a tech company and MAY have had some interesting insights and expertise to share.

The big mistake a lot of internet radio tech shows make is acting goofy and trying to tie in with pop culture. If we want pop culture we'll tune into Entertainment Tonight or Jay Leno or The View. 

Trying to be hip and trendy and cool is usually an exercise in futility. You may attract large numbers of fans, but they'll tend to be dumbed down and won't understand the technical discussions that you eventually get to in your show.

If you think your audience is brain dead, by all means yak about frivolous garbage. 

But if you have intelligent fans and want to provide them with good information, valuable tips, and deep insight, stick to smart questions that will hopefully provoke smart replies.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Customers First is the Correct Business Model

Seth Godin says: "First figure out who you'd like to do business with, then go make something just for them. The more specific the better."

Too many times, a business finds or develops a product, then tries to find a market for it.

Too often, someone starts a business because they lost a job, don't want to work for a boss anymore, and have a passion about something. Plus, they want to make a lot of money. More money than they'd ever make working for someone else.

That's just about the worst scenario you could possibly imagine, but it's extremely common.

So the person starts a business, happy to be free from slaving away for a manager. The business is based on hostility toward bosses, desire to get rich quick, and enthusiasm for a service or product line.

See what's wrong with that? The product comes first. The customer is secondary. What should happen is you discover a need that customers have and then go find or make something that meets that need.

The first thing I would ask a new business is "What is the unmet need that you fulfill?"

If they start yakking about "great product at a fair price", I know they're going to fail. Anybody can say that. That's not how you differentiate your company from competitors. If you can't say something totally unique, that none of your competitors can say, you're doomed.

And that unique statement needs to be customer-centric, not company-centric.

What is the unmet need? How are you going to fulfill it? What makes your fulfilling of that unmet customer need a compelling proposition? Why should anybody care what your company does? What makes it so special, in terms of value to customers?

Look for an opportunity to provide benefit. Then develop a deep expertise on how to solve a certain set of problems. Solve those problems better, faster, smarter, more economically, more creatively, with greater skill and finesse than what the competition is doing.

Keep the customer and her problem in mind at all times.

Not your product. Not your company. Not your vision. Not your dreams. Not your ambition. Not your brand. Not your staff. Not your credentials.

Focus on the ever-changing landscape of customer needs, aggravations, disappointments, frustrations, desires, hopes, and dreams. Know what people want right now -- and what they're going to want 5 to 10 years from now.

Product First, Customer Secondary is the road to ruin.

Product First, Customer Secondary is seen in most stores and websites.

As I often say, it's "we, we, we -- all the way home."

Our great blah blah blah. We this and we that. 

Rarely are the words "you" and "your" used. Look at us. Trust us. Check us out on Facebook. Sign up for our newsletter. Visit our store. Buy our junk. Tell your friends about us. We. Us.

Instead of a company telling you what you can achieve, you're told how great the company is. Instead of being told about benefits of a product, you're told how great the product is. It's made of this and that, it looks so nice, it is supported by a great team of smart people.

But you? Who cares about you? You're just a wallet that opens up.

Let the customer guide every aspect of your product and business operation. Do everything in terms of what they want and like. Use their words to describe your products and the problems they solve. Use their testimonials in your advertising.

Interact with customers on social media. Don't just grind out sales hype and company news like most of the morons who think they're doing "social media marketing." Get back to the Core Values of Social Media -- Sharing and Caring.

If you put the customers first, they'll know it. It will make them feel good. Your sales and service and customer relations will induce a real euphoria in the customers, just as intense as a drug high or a stiff drink of booze.

They'll be anxious to do business with you again.

Not just for your great products, but for that good feeling they get when you treat them with dignity, kindness, understanding, patience, and true compassion. 

They'll leave the encounter with a glow, a radiance, a joy that drives them back to you again and again...and makes them tell everybody they know about their experience with you.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Main Causes of Business Startup Failures

"I recently lost my job. I've decided to start my own business." That's actually a common statement. Sometimes people don't have any foundation upon which to build a business. They're just tired of working for other people. 

You need to read a lot of books and blogs and websites before you try to start a business. 

You have to take time to develop a real specialty, not just a passion. Too many business failures were strong in enthusiasm and weak on best practices and deep knowledge.

According to management experts, quality gurus, and turnaround specialists, most start-ups fail due to:

* lack of genuine expertise

* lack of good, innovative, customer-centered business concept

* failure to understand the market / industry

* bad bookkeeping and financial reporting

* hiring family members

* lack of competitor analysis

* managerial mediocrity

* focus on profit, instead of customer solutions

* poor customer service

* bad employee relations

* poorly planned advertising

* bad website design

* bad social media strategy

* not differentiating your business from competitors.

PHOTO at top of this post: ceiling lamp at the Lariat Steakhouse, Peoria, IL. 

They have delicious food and a very classy, cozy atmosphere. A good example of a successful business, the Kouri family has been operating many restaurants in the area for several decades now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Google Glass Questions and Concerns

The tech community is all excited about Google Glass, the computerized spectacles that "augment reality" --  by enabling you to obtain internet information about your surroundings -- and to clandestinely take photos and video.

Huffington Post asks, "Will we be wearing Google Glass, or will it be wearing us?"

Only a tech lemming would consider questions and criticisms paranoid, privacy fanaticism, regressive, Luddite, or hostile.

On the other hand, corporations tend to find questions and critique counter-productive to sales hype and viral marketing. Too bad. Intelligent consumers don't swoon over every product the corporations command us to adore.

When I expressed some concerns about Google Glass on a GooglePlus comment thread, a typical negative reaction toward me resulted.

It's bizarre that if you step aside from the frenzy and simply ask a few questions in a non-hostile manner, some tech fanboys get upset and accuse you of "hating new technology". Anyone who knows me, knows I am an early adopter of new tech, but I'm selective in what I get excited about.

In that GooglePlus comment thread I stated:

Google Glass is very different from aiming a camera, video recorder, or smart phone at someone. In those cases, you can be aware that someone is recording you. With Google Glass, you won't be aware, especially if you don't know the capabilities of the glasses.

Privacy issues, concern about how Google Glass can damage optic nerves and eye muscles, concern about how the glasses could be dangerously distracting, and how the glasses could cause people to be overly dependent, so they can't function in reality without "augmenting" it -- these are topics worthy of discussion.

I've never said Google Glass was "odd". Nor did I suggest that I "hate" it just because it is new. This argument is a typical tech orientation.

"You don't like the atom bomb, just because it's new and you have trouble adjusting to new technology".

Ronnie Bincer then replied to me:


Your points of concerns are valid, however the way you are phrasing them makes it seem like you hate the idea of new technology coming out. If that's the case, I would encourage you to leave the Internet as soon as possible. (In fact it may be too late for you!)


I replied to Ronnie:

I love new technology when it's benevolent. I frequently beta test and analyze the usability of new technology.

I 'have said nothing that could be construed as technophobia or resistance to scientific progress.

Much technology is neutral and depends on how it is used, but some technology is inherently malevolent (like atom bombs and chemical war weapons).

What I don't like is people conforming to the Technological Imperative as described by my friend Professor Langdon Winner in his book "Autonomous Technology" -- people fanatically embracing all new technology, without asking questions and exercising critical thinking about ethics, health impact, environmental concerns, etc.

The Technological Imperative states that what can be made, must be made, and humans must adopt to it without questioning.

This leads to technological dystopia, as we see with drones, ubiquitous surveillance, GMOs, nuclear weapons, torture chambers, chemical and biological weapons, toxic pesticides, air pollution, arsenic in ground water from mining processes, etc.

Nevertheless, hardcore tech lemmings, who ecstatically embrace every new gadget that comes along, will not tolerate any tough questions, criticisms, cautionary advice, or expressions of concern. You're either caught up in the frenzy or you're perceived and treated like an enemy.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How Trolls Use Mind Control to Tear People Down

Listen to internet radio with Vaspers SEO and Web Usability Show on Blog Talk Radio

Trolls often use techniques that are commonly used in mind control and brainwashing. It's possible that they themselves were victims of ruthless personality disintegration. The idea is to wreck a person's feelings of self-worth, dismantle their psychic integrity, and overthrow their inner equilibrium.

We all harbor thoughts of guilt and remorse, but we balance them with self-adoring and self-justifying thoughts. We may admit mistakes of the past and current deficiencies, while making excuses and concluding that we're not totally terrible or worthless people.

Lacking a painfully in-depth self-persecution, we are vulnerable to radical attacks that are designed to force our minds to fall apart.

Very few people have engaged in no-holds-barred introspection that leads to genuine horror and urgent desire to confess our inner ugliness and seek to repent and make amends.

This is what the cult, cyberbully, and troll are banking on. They have been demolished psychologically and new seek to inflict this experience on others. Maliciously. Sadistically. A misanthropic glee excites them as they poke their probing spears into your psychic flesh and make you squirm, panic, and deteriorate.

They attempt to tear you down and destroy your personality by relentlessly accusing you, needling you, provoking you barbarically, to the point where you become completely disoriented and in absolute despair.

When your self image has been ferociously dismantled, your mind is vulnerable to being filled with the group's ideas. 

Your personality is replaced with one that mirrors the agenda of your manipulator. Like a vacuum, you mind craves something to fill it. The cult is quite happy to oblige. However, the troll is only interested in deconstructing you and defeating your opinion. Once the troll has humiliated you and trashed your viewpoint, they move on to the next victim.

The difference between a troll and a cult is the troll doesn't have a program to sell you. The cult wants to force you to pay money for an experience and pester all your friends and family into joining. The troll just wants you to agree with them that you're an idiot, a loser, and a wrongheaded hypocrite. 

The troll envies you and the conversation you're having online. He hates how a group of social media community members is in harmony. He even hates it when a heated discussion occurs. He wants to stir up discontent, trouble, riots.

The troll is jealous of secure people with self-confidence and strong views. He seeks to rob you of those opinions and make you appear stupid.

He wants more than diversity of views or intense debate. He wants torture, torment, and suicide. The troll or cyberbully wants to inflict mental anguish and psychic pain. 

He models himself after the cult leader or the sadistic psychiatrist.

In a malevolent self-improvement program (billed as a "life changing event"), you might be asked to give a speech to the group, a short summary of your life history. When you're done, the leader will ruthlessly attack you, caling you a jerk, hypocrite, or outrageously filthy names.

You will be shocked at the unexpected hostility. This is designed to put you off balance, to disarm your self-protective routines. At first you'll be embarrassed, but this is just preparation to start viciously shaming you to the point of self-loathing.

The leader will then tell you that in your life story, you took credit for every good thing and success you achieved, and you blamed others for every bad thing and failure you experienced.

Trolls, cyberbullies, authoritarian religious sects, and "personal development" (sensitivity training) cults use similar tactics. But they don't need your life story. They'll pounce on the material that's available in the comment thread.

Trolls will accuse you of something. You defend yourself. Then they accuse you of something else. You defend yourself again. If you allow them to keep it up, they may be able to trap you into a contradiction, which they'll use against you.

Listen to the podcast player above, and check out the links below. Learn how to spot the typical methods of trolls, cyberbullies, and mind control cults -- and turn the tables on them, right before you kick them to the curb.

READ MORE about internet trolls:

"14 Characteristics of a Classic Internet Troll"

"Misinterpretation as Anti Troll Weapon"

"Amanda Chapel: Anti Blogosphere Team Troll"

"How to Defeat an Internet Troll"

"Blogocombat and Confident Self Expression"

"Blocking Spammers and Moderating Trolls on YouTube"

"profile bait vs. troll bait"

Wikipedia "Talk: Brainwashing / Archive 1"

My BlogTalkRadio podcast link for "Blogocombat Against Trolls"

My BlogTalkRadio podcast link for "How Trolls Use Mind Control to Tear People Down"

Download the mp3 of this show.

CLICK on images for LARGER view.

Monday, March 11, 2013

GroupOn is Skanky Scum VIDEO

GroupOn is a total failure and the Andrew Mason's CEO resignation letter is an arrogant, smug pile of filth. 

Andrew Mason is like Ken Lay or Bernie Madoff. Small business people get screwed, and he has no conscience.

Why does the tech community think this is cool or funny? Is Silicon Valley that idiotic and corrupt?

Discount coupons generally are used by shoppers who want a quick savings. They tend to fail at generating repeat business. Coupon shoppers hop from one discount to another, with no brand or store loyalty. Small business see some revenue, but lose by paying coupon website listing fees and offering merchandise or services at steep discounts.


New Yorker "Groupon's Bad Deal"

Huffington Post Business "Groupon Needs to Disrupt Again"

CNN Money "Groupon Fires CEO"

(Image above from CNN Money)

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dealing with a Podcast Troll on BlogTalkRadio

Listen to internet radio with Vaspers SEO and Web Usability Show on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to this episode and hear me deal, live on the air, with a podcast troll who called my Vaspers Advanced Technology Show episode.

Download the mp3 (right click and Save As) of my lesson entitled "Internet Trolls and How to Defeat Them".

That was funny. In the middle of my episode on dealing with internet trolls, a guy called in and asked "What about the intelligent troll? How does one deal with them?"

That was a dead giveaway that the guy was a troll, considers himself "intelligent", and was offended by my statement that trolls tend to be 13 years old, immature, juvenile.

He resisted any attempt by me to get him to explain his opinion, or to give me a concrete example of "intelligent trolling", or to explain his views of trolling in general. Like a typical troll, he kept accusing me, criticizing me, and looking for an opportunity to unleash his envy and hostility in a sociopathic "calm" but intense manner.

Another clue that he was a troll is that he had no sense of humor. This made him seem mentally ill. When he said, "There's no such thing as an absolute", and I said "That statement itself is an absolute, so that's funny you said that. You made me laugh. Thanks for being comical." -- that's when he seemed to go into melt down mode.

He even said, "You mean that doesn't happen very often?" Again, he's accusing me of being a grumpy guy. I replied, "No, it happens a lot. I like to laugh. I like it when people say funny things, like you just did."

You must remember that a troll wants to annoy, ridicule, engage in personal attacks, and disrupt a conversation or speech. They like to stir up trouble. They sadistically enjoy making a person angry.

Somewhat interesting for a few minutes, but once I realized he did not genuinely wish to discuss the topic, I hung up on him, after saying "If you have anything more to say about trolling, go ahead and say it, otherwise, I'm going to get back to my discussion".

This will go down in history as a live example of Vaspers the Grate, Troll Smasher Extraordinaire, Master of the Anti Troll Methodology, inventor of the word "blogocombat", Destroyer of Cyberbullies and Crybaby Serial Flamers -- in action -- using my own principles in a real world demonstration.

Here is a comment thread that was posted on GooglePlus on my announcement of this episode.

David Kowalski1:25 AM

Thanks for the helpful discussion! I look forward to the follow-up. 

Whatever the age or intelligence of trolls, I consider them all juvenile (even though they try to sound smarter and superior -- like the caller you had). 

The less subtle of them start out attacking what someone says, often because they do not like it (or, as it seemed with your caller, for example, to get a perverted kick out of thinking they have belittled you). Whatever logic, evidence, or documentation you produce contrary to them makes no difference. 

They have put their pride on the line and they cannot back down -- no matter what tactics they must employ -- and they must feel like they have had the last word and "won." It seems they just have to feel the kind of giddy sensation a bully does after physically beating up someone.

If you present irrefutable evidence and logic on the original topic, they will find a way to change the topic as many times as necessary. I have had trolls misrepresent what I have said (and even what they said earlier) so that the discussion/argument changes to what was actually said. 

Another dodge and switch they use is to reply as though you were arguing for a related but substantially different point -- just to escape from the one about which they felt were "losing." If all else fails, they seem to think they have "won" if they can fluster or anger you with insults. Thank Google for the block feature.

Ciro Villa1:13 AM
Would have hung up on the (obvious) troll sooner than you did.  I admire your patience... :-)

Steven Streight1:36 AMEdit
I admit, I like to mess with trolls a little bit, just to make it abundantly clear to my audience that a person is engaging in trolling behavior.

I gave that caller the opportunity to explain his point of view and discuss the topic, but you could hear in his tone of voice the real motive of his call.

His tone was accusatory. He seemed to be a champion of some delusion he called "the intelligent troll". Obviously he bases his self esteem on being "intelligent" when he trolls. What a mixed up kid. LOL
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Ciro Villa1:44 AM
It was actually almost "subliminal" in the sense that he was actually a troll calling to argue about trolls...very strange ..

Steven Streight1:54 AM (edited)Edit
Heh. It's common for trolls to hate anyone who exposes their methods, provides tips on how to derail them, and calls them all a bunch of idiots. He naturally had to rise to the occasion, accept the challenge, and try to "intelligently" debunk me.

He accidentally proved several of the points I was making about how trolls operate and how to derail them.

He presented a fairy tale entity he called the "intelligent troll", because he was deeply offended at my statement that trolls are juvenile and stupid. An intelligent person doesn't waste time trolling people for sadistic thrills.

You could tell that I turned the tables on him by laughing, good naturedly, at his silly, self-contradictory remark, "There's no such thing as an absolute". It was like he was about to go into melt down mode.

Trolls are not used to people laughing at them in a public venue like a podcast. He also didn't seem to understand the internet very well, because he wanted to call a comment thread a "chat".

I was tempted to really push the idea that a troll cannot be intelligent, but he seemed too emotionally fragile to endure much criticism. Like any bully, he's comfortable only when he's the one doing the punching. 
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Ciro Villa1:55 AM
He seriously reminded me of some folks (now blocked) that I have had to deal with in the past here on G+ (albeit just in text and not in voice), but exact same uber argumentative tone and attitude, with no room for a civil dialog; just arrogance, pompous, sanctimonious and patronizing tone, very typical of trolls...

Steven Streight3:27 AMEdit
This was the first time I have dealt with a troll in an audio podcast. Generally, I don't take calls on my podcast, because the callers have tended to take over and move the discussion toward their own ideas that they want to talk about, rather than staying on the topic of the episode.

I was a bit amused by the audacity of this troll and his rather ignorant but pompous style.

Notice that he, right off the bat, made an accusation, a complaint, a critique. He didn't act like a normal intelligent person. He didn't say "Thanks for taking my call. This is an interesting topic. But I wonder why you have not considered the fact that some trolls are pretty smart."

Instead he immediately makes an accusation and keeps robotically saying "intelligent troll" over and over again. His brain is fried but he doesn't realize it yet.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Batman Hates Those One Million Likes Scams