For my part, I referenced the eighteenth century - but my comment was only upvoted five times, compared to Urban's ten. What's a girl to do?
Why, she's got to get with it quickly, and try fast-forwarding to 1910: Stephen Leacock, and his short story about a person who would not change his mind, in any discussion of Shakespeare's plays, about the existence of a Shakespearean character named Saloonio, even when faced with the text and a live performance:
I began to see that there was no use in arguing any further with the old man. I left him with the idea that the lapse of a little time would soften his views on Saloonio. But I had not reckoned on the way in which old men hang on to a thing. Colonel Hogshead quite took up Saloonio. From that time on Saloonio became the theme of his constant conversation. He was never tired of discussing the character of Saloonio, the wonderful art of the dramatist in creating him, Saloonio's relation to modern life, Saloonio's attitude toward women, the ethical significance of Saloonio, Saloonio as compared with Hamlet, Hamlet as compared with Saloonio - and so on, endlessly. And the more he looked into Saloonio, the more he saw in him.
-- Stephen Leacock, Literary Lapses
Trolls post statements that are more provocative than normal comments. They reply with a persistence that goes far beyond normal discussion. They shift arguments and evidence with amazing fluidity so that there are always more points to address. They press emotional buttons that weaken the rationality of their opponents. At their most sophisticated, they feign reasonableness without ever settling on reasonable conclusions.
-- Ryan McGreal, Raise the Hammer
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