The Internet May Suck, But So Does This Article

from the professional-trolls dept

Almost a year to the day after Forbes came out with their hilarious blog bashing piece that made a lot more sense if you read it as satire (even if that wasn't intended), we have a similar case up in Canada, with a well-known (if neglected) news magazine declaring that the Internet sucks. It's kicked off quite a debate among some bloggers (and the journalist himself) -- but like the Forbes piece, this new one makes a lot more sense if you read it as satire. Think of it as an attempt to show just why the internet sucks as a medium for publishing news, by coming out with a piece that is so weak in its arguments, no one could possibly take it seriously. Of course, then you realize the piece isn't actually for the internet, but was originally published as the cover story in the magazine and you're left scratching your head again.

Basically, it's a professional trolling effort by a magazine that apparently has been losing its audience and has been unable to turn around its decline. You can go through the article, paragraph by paragraph, and point out the typical trolling techniques, from taking stories completely out of context to taking the words of a few and pretending that the entire world ascribed to that view to stretching the truth to misunderstanding economics and legal issues. What you end up with is a bunch of basically smoke and mirrors that can be summarized thusly: the internet sucks because (a) a couple people said it would do amazing things but (b) there's a lot of really crappy stuff and stuff I, personally, don't agree with (c) therefore what those people said is wrong. It's the equivalent of me saying: Henry Ford claimed automobiles would change the world, but with the growth of roads, we now have traffic pollution, accidents, and it's harder for me to ride my horse around. Therefore, Henry Ford is wrong and automobiles haven't done anything good at all. Man, automobiles suck. The logical fallacy is pretty astounding, and since even the support of that logical fallacy is built on such weak legs. With a good troll, usually the supporting material has a basis in reality, and then there's one small thing that's wrong. In this case, almost every paragraph has a glaring problem. In his defense, the author of the piece claims he wasn't trying to be "balanced" but thought-provoking. About the only thought he provoked was whether or not he actually believed anyone would buy his weak argument. In the end, he didn't do much of a job convincing me that the internet sucked, but that his article does, indeed, suck.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Pooh, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:09am

    Please...

    ...don't snort the dandelions.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Bill, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:10am

    But hey...

    If it weren't for the internet, I wouldn't have gotten this sweet Russian bride on clearance....

     

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  3.  
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    Lisa, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:14am

    Re: But hey...

    Sweet! And I got stuck with a plain old American boy. :)

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Karl, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:23am

    Ann Coulterism

    Ann Coulter journalism now rules the world.

    Imagine how much Rush Limbaugh drove up his reader/viewership this week after mocking Mike Fox's Parkinsons.

    Dvorak makes a very good living at it, too.

    I believe we've found bottom.

     

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  5.  
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    Blaise, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:31am

    ahaha Maclean's

    hahahaha, as a Canadian, I was very curious which magazine it was you were talking about. When I found out it was Maclean's, it all made sense. lol. In the few issues I've actually read, they seem to have a bit of knack for the ridiculous.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Daruku, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:31am

    Internet

    Funny how the internet has a way of "outsing" people who don't say the truth...

     

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  7.  
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    mike, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:39am

    Internet > All you N00bs

     

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  8.  
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    hans, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:42am

    uuggh

    3 paragraphs into that article I developed a headache and couldn't keep reading. Internal logic error #2345 Does not compute!!
    There are just too many problems with that article to mention, just to say its equivalent to listening to a drunken person with down syndrome trying to tell you what you did wrong with your life.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:45am

    Re: Ann Coulterism

    If you believe we've found the bottom, then I salute you for being more optimistic than me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Eric, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 10:52am

    I have to say, he makes a few good points, but can never follow through. As ashamed as I am of humanity that Janet Jackson is the #1 google search, or that Wikipedia often has misinformation (mainly on news and "hot" topics, rarely on the types of things you would actually find in an old Encyclopedia Britannica), that's just ignoring the people all across the world who may become interested in Nuclear Engineering or Astrophysics because they were able to explore the most modern finds in these topics on the Internet.

    The telephone led to telemarketing, and every form of high-speed transportation led to high-speed accidents, living in buildings instead of caves meant much weaker arcitechure and much more damage during natural disasters..... But I'm not ready to give any of it up. Someone ought to point out to Steve Maich that misuse by some, or even most, does not make something worthless.

     

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  11.  
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    hans, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 11:02am

    uuggh

    "It is far more accurate to say the vast majority of what we do online is utterly trivial."

    This goes for reading your article too

     

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  12.  
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    Justin, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 11:55am

    He proved himself right just by posting his article on the internet.

     

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  13.  
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    Just Bob, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    The internet doesn't suck

    ... it has gravity. It's the Earth that sucks.

     

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  14.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 1:19pm

    o.O

    you can snort dandelions?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Justin, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 1:26pm

    PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy ... yes, can' t you?

    Anyhow... to draw more traffic to that site itself proves the major point in his stroy (read: rant.)

    Crap is on the Internet !

    Though I like the crap.. it makes me smile.

     

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  16.  
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    Hey Mike, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 1:26pm

    "It's the equivalent of me saying: Henry Ford claimed automobiles would change the world, but with the growth of roads, we now have traffic pollution, accidents, and it's harder for me to ride my horse around. Therefore, Henry Ford is wrong and automobiles haven't done anything good at all."

    Why are you plagiarizing Al Gore? I didn't know you were a tree hugger.

     

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  17.  
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    Big Huge Dave, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 1:32pm

    Socialists are the bottom

    "Imagine how much Rush Limbaugh drove up his reader/viewership this week after mocking Mike Fox's Parkinsons."

    I just have to say thank gosh someone out there has the balls to speak out against liars like Michael J. Fox. Just because he's got an illness doesn't give him the right to spread lies, no matter how much you may dislike the competition.

    So you're right, I also believe we've found the bottom.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    AvyTech, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 1:58pm

    Re: But hey...

    Ooooh!!! I want one! Where'd you get yours? I had to return the one I got last year cuz she was defective.
    (If I say wear the Excel costume, wear it with a smile)

     

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  19.  
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    Patrick Havens, Oct 27th, 2006 @ 3:06pm

    Re: uuggh

    I think you need to step back to view the article seriously. The article is right on, and very well written. Hell Napoleon Bonaparte right next to me agrees. Then again Lincoln in Ward D keeps blathering about how the beaver in the computer is actually playing with our thoughts. Wait are you that Beaver?


    OK stepping back from that... I think it makes more sense then the article.

     

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  20.  
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    Chris Kehoe, Oct 31st, 2006 @ 9:20am

    macleans cover and story

    macleans did a good piece.....rome was not built in a day...there are a lot of weird scenes within the goldmine.....it takes a lot to laugh and a train to cry......in other words.....it has a long way to go.....who wants to join in on so much unnatural...i showed my ex how to turn on tune in and she dropped out.....of my life......who's afraid of psyber sluts.....i am.....people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks.....big brother watches....airbourne death from above....your eyes are the windows to your soul....dont throw it out there to the world......how do you eliminate low end......the internet is still like a stupid little slide show....computers have helped in medicine and science and many important breakthrus......privacy is not up to par......censorship is and is not.....trust is a big issue with many people.....bill gates....luckiest nerd in the world......easy to advocate the web....he is selling and making monopolies...21st century Quigi board.....etch a letch.......the net has a long way to go......good article mcleans.....we are canadian...not turd gobblers next door to the states......our soldiers die for mid east oil and the tarsands going great guns.....polar bears gone in 25 years.......macleans is on the mark....peace

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    cyberretroboy4444, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Irony

    Ah, there is no better beacon of authority in the dark sea of the Internet anarchotechnocracy than ... "Mike"... And you can have your New York Times; I would much rather learn about the Middle East Crisis from "AvyTech" and "hans". Hopefully, we will soon live in a future free of capital letters and puctuation! Where anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can "create" their own Wiki-knowledge, without the tyranny of "qualifications" and "professional training."

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    F#(Ktheinternet, Nov 5th, 2006 @ 8:26pm

    FOAD

    This usless steaming pile of horse s#!t we call the internet is good for nothing but bitching about how f#(ked up s#!t really is so I finaly decided to take part in the only worthy cause of this monstrosity of false communication which only leads to a migrane head ache why is it every time I'm looking for somthing with some truth to it or just basic facts I'm led on some king of wild goose chase through loads and loads of BS untill I finaly give up on what it was I was looking for. In conclusion the internet can FOAD........... F#(K OFF AND DIE

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    F#(Ktheinternet, Nov 5th, 2006 @ 8:27pm

    FOAD

    This usless steaming pile of horse s#!t we call the internet is good for nothing but bitching about how f#(ked up s#!t really is so I finaly decided to take part in the only worthy cause of this monstrosity of false communication which only leads to a migrane head ache why is it every time I'm looking for somthing with some truth to it or just basic facts I'm led on some king of wild goose chase through loads and loads of BS untill I finaly give up on what it was I was looking for. In conclusion the internet can FOAD........... F#(K OFF AND DIE

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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