MM on ME


Mar 3, 2010




Trolling IS an issue for a forum like this.

Hello Mark,

I think your post is too long (for most and for me), but I do tend to think that you mean well and that you try to explain things from your point of view. In what follows I merely make a few remarks on your summary and posts and in particular but not only the paragraphs that name me=Maarten.

You will soon find that I will be using a rhetorical device to get my point across, which I am sorry for, but seems to be required, since you did in all your looooooong post not properly discuss precisely that point, that is both Parvo's and my concern.


Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Summary Suggestion:

In Place Of: Ludicrous unfounded allegations that people whose posts you consider dangerous are operating as a secret cabal and practicing CBT on patients etc etc

Consider Alternative: Explain why the opinions expressed are dangerous, either Ignore or Report posts and threads you dislike, and request specifc action from moderators via the "Report Post" button or by PM to moderators.

Sorry Mark:


I was explicitly and repeatedly writing about trolling and doublespeak

, and I also think Parvo's post was quite clear about that.

Besides, I find my own and Parvo's suggestions neither "ludicrous" nor "unfounded", and take exception to your saying so, if only because of the palpable honesty and concern of his and my posts. So, here is my refrain for this post, that you refrain in all of its length to properly discuss, logically speaking - and (properly admitted) members of CoFIBs may well sing along as this theme repeats itself, like a refrain in a song, throughout this post:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: At this point in time, we should all, internationally, be getting behind that and other initiatives and not wasting time disputing semantics, so I hope we can all agree on that.

Now if you think so, why did you write this looooooooong post I react to? And I am NOT discussing "semantics": I made a point about trolling on this forum:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: Maarten and Parvofighter have raised important questions, and I have many ideas and suggestions for moving forward, including that I support (with some qualifications) many (but not all) of the proposals made by them regarding moderation, management of disputes, and other questions.

It would have been a LOT clearer if you quoted the "questions" and "suggestions" and indicated what and why you (dis)agree.



Mark: I am in general principle strongly in favour of free speech

Noble of you, and I agree, but it's a red herring and Parvo and I are talking about trolling on the forum, not about general principles.



Mark: Note that I find the term "game" Maarten uses a little troublesome here, only because it risks being seen by some as trivialising an extremely serious and important endeavour, but technically I agree it is a correct and useful analysis.

That is academicalese. FWIW: I used the word commonsensically correctly (Shorter OED), psychologically correctly ("Games people play") and logically correctly (Games theory in logical semantics), but in general, and unless I say otherwise, on this forum I write ordinary English, my way.



Mark: ...a daunting task due to the length of what I want to describe...

My advice is to serialize it, with every element in the series treating one (set of) topics. (You loose many potential readers with loooooooong posts.)



Mark: Many comments have been made on this thread which may well be construed as personal and ad hominem attacks on myself and Esther12, in contravention of forum rules. Since neither Esther12 nor I have requested that these allegations be censored, I have not moderated these comments myself, but I draw attention here to veiled insults which, if applied to me, are both offensive and incorrect.

Again: I'm talking about "trolling for suckers", and have been talking about trolling all along. I think it="Esther12" is a troll. I do not think you are one, and we have pm'd.

Also, one can't discuss (with) trolls on a list as one discusses (wIth) persons who are not trolls.

Furthermore, I think it is in general wise if a moderator who gets caught up in a discussion he or she is moderating on one side of the discussion asks another moderator to moderate the discussion. Ths avoids appearances of moderating according to one's own personal bias (I know there is a lack of moderators...).



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: With regards to the reference to "mere ghostly trolling spooks with issues" I have examined the wikipedia definitions provided, the allegations by Parvofighter (in full) and my own conscience, and I can confidently assert that this label is a completely false, incorrect, and grossly unfair description if intended to apply to myself.

OK Mark: I accept that mostly (probabilistically, as with most empirical judgements), and never thought otherwise. However... "grossly unfair description if intended to apply to myself" is too woolly and poly-interpretable for my logical tastes: Suppose - to take a member of this forum - I would think you are trolling. Suppose I think I have some evidence for that. Suppose it is in fact false and incorrect (what's the diference, BTW?). Suppose I care that this forum prospers. Then HOW am I going to discuss my suspicions, on an anonymous list, on which it is only rational to assume there is a goodly chance of trolling by KCL and CDC staff, simply because their heads, careers, status, personal finances etc. are on the block if (i) ME/CFS has a proven medical cause and (ii) there is a well-organized forum of patients with ME, without speaking about trolling?



Mark: I have a very thick skin,

Hmm....nothing personal, although we PM'd, but most on the Phoenix forums are thinskinned about some issues relating to how ME/CFS is discussed, and rightly so and IMHO moderators should be aware of this



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


- Mark: Parvofighter's posts were very well-written and clearly heartfelt. However in every case the headline conclusions (or rather, rhetoric and supposition) are not supported by the evidence presented. In every section, a more modest conclusion could have been reached which was not so personally abusive and incorrectly suggestive of ulterior motives, hidden agendas, secret CBT practice and other ideas frankly laughable to those on the receiving end who - let's please bear this in mind - actually do know the truth of their own situation.

I protest your description of Parvo's posts: He did NOT indulge in "rhetoric and supposition" and what he said was well "supported by the evidence presented". This does not prove logically and irrefutably that he is right, but we are not speaking about mathematics or logic: He and I are speaking about trolling for suckers on this forum.



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: - "I am innocent of the charges made in Parvofighter's thread, and since I have been thus accused falsely, I tend to also believe that Esther12 has probably also been accused falsely"

Mark: This logical fallacy should be called "Innocence by association".



Mark: (however I have no way that I currently know of to definitively confirm the identity of Esther12, Parvofighter, Maarten or anybody else - short of meeting them in person - and I do not presently wish to do so urgently anyway).

I think you are misrepresenting things here, Mark. As you full well know we must deal with probabilities since on anonymous forum



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

and it is hard to establish certainties about trolls on it, especially skilled trolls, and even more especially on anonymous forums. I have also PM'd with Parvofighter, and I am perfectly convinced he is precisely what and who he says he is, and indeed I never-ever thought otherwise.

As to me=MM: Are you JOKING, Mark?! Apart from my family-name (which I want to and do avoid on the net because I have been threatened with murder by Amsterdam drugsdealers I opposed, who still occassionally threaten me with mails with "judicial steps", in my construction meaning "a bullett through the head", as happens often these days in Amsterdam, where mayor & aldermen protect the - indeed extra-ordinarily rich, powerful and dangerous - drugsmafia ), which is easy to find for anyone who really sends lawyers after me, simply by asking the University of Amsterdam, EVERYTHING on my site supports that I am who I say that I am and does so better than any site I know, since I am more honest, more detailed, and stand to loose far too much if I spoke falsely. (Also, at least one forum member knows my real name, by the way: Are you as disclosed as that, Mark, to someone on the forum?!)

There is NOTHING available like that for either you or it: Either of you can be anyone, for all anyone else on this forum knows, whereas I, in view of my site (150 MB of text, mostly by me) can only be me, and absolutely noone else.



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

And as to personal meetings: I'd like to meet it in the flesh, without anonymous BS, so I know what I am really writing about:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: Actually my own extremely verbose and classical style is quite unusual here in the UK too I think.

Methinks you are both exaggerating and claiming too much:



Mark: I don't always write like this, sometimes I am more succinct, but most of my opinions are subtle and complex rather than dogmatic and simple-minded, and that can cause confusion for my countrymen and women as well. In another context, I would be more than happy to talk with a US citizen using my language of choice when irritated or angered - choice Anglo-Saxon - but I'm told that this language is considered extremely offensive by many Americans as well as many UK citizens, and it would be counter-productive to paint the forum blue, so I restrict myself to what is considered acceptable. I am just as much inside a box here as Maarten is, but I have less issues with that then he does I think, since I consider that to be something we all just have to learn to live with in certain contexts, and that is life, which contains finite games within its rich tapestry.

The writers of classy classical English write loooong sentences often, but they manage to be a LOT clearer than this, and than you manage, ordinarily, in my experience. (Not blaming you, merely defending Hazlitt, Dr. Johnson, Mandeville - countryman of mine! - and Swift.)



Mark: Re: the unfair and incorrect "Doublespeak" analysis of my comments on the 'talking to psychologists' thread:

Supposing this is as you say it is:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: In one of very few posts on the thread (2? 3?) I urged Esther12 to respect the group's clear and unanimous verdict and said (paraphrasing to explain my position further) that I personally would stop suggesting trying to discuss with psychologists via this forum, and discuss with them elsewhere (perhaps directly) if I wished to learn more of their views and enter into argument with them.

Quite so, and that is my recommendation to it: come to my site, after disclosing such personal details as I asked, for a real discussion with a real psychologist, or go elsewhere to find them:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: This despite the fact that (as far as I am aware) nobody reported the thread for moderation and nobody that I saw asked for the thread itself to be shut down!

Mark: Personally, I would not ask a moderator I suspected of playing a trolling game on purpose or through being taken in by a "troll fishing for suckers" (Wikipedia) to moderate the thread.

Also, the task of moderators is difficult enough with honest members of the forums (>99%), and is much more difficult with trolls on the forums:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: I may have been wrong to assume that forum posters should be treated like adults in these matters, and I am open to the idea that a majority of the forum wish this place to be a space where they can be protected from views, theories and individuals which they and I find problematic - even abhorrent. If I made any mistake here, it was to have over-confidence in the ability and will of the forum to tear any such muddle-headed somatising arguments to shreds.

You are either misunderstanding or misrepresenting here, besides being quite condescending to me and many others.



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: I do not feel that I have an absolute responsibility for everything that happens on the forum. I merely aim to make a contribution as and when I am able to.

Indeed, and that's true for everyone on the Phoenix Rising Forums, with one exception: Cort. Which is why I EM'd him about this matter, for



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

Speaking for myself - who CAN create a forum on his site if he wants - I'd kicked "it" long ago from any forum for people with ME, but than I am me and not Cort.



Mark: Again: bear in mind that, even if nobody else can know the truth about this, Esther12 and I can know that truth definitively.

You seem to be a Cartesian, Mark ;). I am not, and again the issue is other than you write: It is not that it and you know your personal details, it is that noone else on the forums know these, and that



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: Ridiculous false allegations like this are exactly what make me believe that Esther12 is likely to be in just as genuine a situation as I am, by extension of the fact that you are quite happy to bandy these allegations around falsely about me based on flimsy circumstantial evidence.

The same "innocence by association" fallacy again. And



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

Apart from The FULL Proof of it's real identity: I thought for a long time it is obnoxious and loves being so, and the n-word trolling trick it used was clear enough to convince many of the same.



Mark: I personally don't have a problem with people then debating the issues and reaching a conclusion.

Mark, you are - again and again - making things more complex than they need be, and here you are - IMHO, knowing you wrote a looooong post - either condescending or tautologous.



Mark: (..) I did make a mental note to ask Esther12 to stop winding people up quite so much. I also meant to say "Folks, don't get so wound up, you don't want this so obviously it isn't going to happen"

Isn't there a proverb here, about good intentions etc? But I am willing to believe you, although once more



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: - I am certainly not, and I do not believe Esther12 is, conducting "wilful and continuing abuse", intentionally causing "gratuitous offence", "making a sport of manipulating patients on this thread with thinly disguised CBT" or "making dangerous recommendations about health practices"

Then we have a difference of opinion, and I find it rather unpleasant that you again and again and again avoid discussing the real issue at hand:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: I have lots of other ideas about democratic means of resolving disputes, but they would need to be thought through carefully together so that may be an idea for later.

There's 2400 year long tradition about this (just helping you not to reinvent the wheel ;) and I am quite happy about how the Phoenix Forums are doing, in almost all respects, but



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


- I fail to see how sending a forum member PMs would be an abuse of my position!

So do I.



Mark: However I do see how trying to talk to someone with their fingers stuck firmly in their ears and promising not to read anything I write by way of reply is a waste of energy. I will just ask those reasonable friends of Parvofighter to message him/her if you feel it would be worthwhile explaining my response and where I am coming from.

Parvo is very ill. Parvo's post was QUITE clear. I dislike innuendo. The length of your oratios pro domo are clearly such that he cannot - and indeed also should not - be fairly asked to read them, in his condition, let alone answer them.



Mark: I think it would be better for all if we were fighting on the same side in common cause.

You claimed in you PM to me to have studied mathematical logic. Could you please save on the gratuitous and insinuating totalitarian BS?! (For non-logicians: Mark's statement suggests strongly that who disagrees with him is not fighting on his side. If this is not what he meant to convey, it is not what a good logician ought to miss.)



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: I feel proud to consider many people here as friends and there is nobody who I do not want to count in that category - including Maarten, Parvofighter and Esther12. I too hope that Parvofighter will remain with us.

It is not my friend and will never be - yea even if it looked like the astounding (and especially if she - Gong Li, of course! - had a Ph.D. pure maths)...


...and I do hope that it will move itself elsewhere. If it were honest, it would have picked up my gauntlet. It didn't.



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: (...)(and understanding of how we all sometimes lash out at those closest to us and most concerned for our well-being.

Did you lately read too much SW, Mark? He keeps assuring pwME just the same since decades.



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: We have all been there, so none of us can ultimately judge another for it.

How do you know "all"? Why do you make undergraduates mistakes about elementary logic? And rest assured: Whether I have been there or not, I am quite capable of ultimately and otherwise making my own judgements.



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: I will therefore redouble my efforts to be sensitive to these sensibilities and cautious in judging those whose perspective is different, and hope that my best is good enough.

For someone claiming to write "classical English", you are remarkably close here to a classical sales-pitch (Toyota-type). Also, I dislike the suggestion that Parvo and I (and others) are overly given to "these sensibilities" and lack suffiicient being "cautious in judging".



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.


Mark: Anyone doubtful of the above who wishes to know more about my opinions and intentions can see my other recent posts which are quite clear

"Anyone"?! C'mon Mark: Your posts (and PMs) are often not "quite clear", though I take it this is not done on purpose, and you do your best, and have a debilitating illness. Besides, your posts regularly are way too long for many with ME to read, and I think you ought to excuse yourself to Parvo for treating him the way you do. (I did not PM him for days, so there is no secret collusion going on.)



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

Finally: I'd like to discuss trolling in this thread, and not the loooooong posts of a functionally anonymous moderator defending his own bona fides, though you certaintly have a right to do so. However.... the effect of your post is that, once again, I have spend a good part of my available energy for the day of today on answering it. May I suggest that



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

And you have not - properly or at all - answered one of the issues I raised in my posts on this thread about trolling, other than by handwaiving and assuring us that Mark means well, whence, by firm logic, innocence by association is guaranteed to all, and especially to it.

If it doesn't disclose itself RSN and debates with me on my site, for all who wish to see and savour academic logical argument or academic blood sports, I favour it's exclusion from this forum, since it thereby clearly has shown itself to be dishonourable and up to no good: If you crave "objective discussions about CFS" for months and months on end on this forum, and you are offered a fair chance to have such a discussion, with a real pro also, on a fine well-read site, and you do not take this up, it must be because you like trolling but dislike being found out. I can't make anything else from the evidence, rationally speaking.



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

And can we now PLEASE discuss trolling on this forum, and what to do against it, such as imposing the rules Parvo and I proposed?!

Thank you very kindly.


P.S. This is the last post (or PM) of this length I am writing to Mark and the reason is this:

I'd expected something considerably more logical and clear of someone who claims to have studied mathematical logic and 'to fully comprehend me=MM but for 1 thing':

It's not a matter of (dis)agreements about the forum etc. but simply a matter of my personal standards for (i) being logical if one claims to have studied it and for (ii) spending what remains of my life sensibly.

Feeling myself obliged to write loooooong posts to loooooooong posts about an issue that in my view is obvious and important, but that keeps being danced around without being really touched, as if that is rational or reasonable, is not what I want to spend energy and pain on:



Again: Trolling is an issue for a forum like this.

And no Marky, I am not saying you are trolling but I am saying that even someone as intelligent and learned as you are may be duped, even by trolls. Yea, even I may be duped... for which reason I propose rules to remove probable trolls from the Phoenix Forums, if not forever at least for 3 months or so, and at he behest of the owner of the site, simply to preserve and protect the quality of the Phoenix Forums, and because it also is not as if there are no other forums to troll or propound seriously that Wessely and co, after all, if you look at them without prejudice may be right, until The Full Proof is in (and then they may be right because they allow ME may have a physical component a.s.o. a.s.f. ad nauseam).


This shows how widespread the trouble with trolls, griefers and lamers is, and note all of the following is both relevant and composed wholly apart from this forum or this occassion:


Df = Definition

From the wiki on "Troll (internet)":



The contemporary use of the term is alleged to have first appeared on the Internet in the late 1980s, but the earliest known example is from 1992. It is thought to be a truncation of the phrase trolling for suckers. That phrase is itself derived from the fishing technique of slowly dragging a lure or baited hook from a moving boat, waiting for fish to strike, a technique known as trolling. The word also evokes the trolls portrayed in Scandinavian folklore and children's tales, as they are often creatures bent on mischief and wickedness. The verb "troll" originates from Old French "troller", a hunting term. The noun "troll", however, comes from the Old Norse word for a mythological monster.


Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they and the troll understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll's enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group.

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