Trolls and Krugman

I saw two quotes via Jon Gruber that I feel the need to repost.

The first is a wonderful essay on trolls by Paul Graham,

The third cause of trolling is incompetence. If you disagree with something, it’s easier to say “you suck” than to figure out and explain exactly what you disagree with. You’re also safe that way from refutation. In this respect trolling is a lot like graffiti. Graffiti happens at the intersection of ambition and incompetence: people want to make their mark on the world, but have no other way to do it than literally making a mark on the world.

This is why I no longer post anonymously. If I have anything to say that is worthwhile, then I had better be able to put my name behind those words and stand by what I wrote.

The second quote, not unrelated, comes from a contribution by Jonathan Chait in a list of Reasons to Love New York. He explains, better than I possibly could, why it is I love reading Paul Krugman,

The most remarkable attribute Krugman has brought to the Times is rudeness. The social niceties that accompany his exalted position are utterly lost on him. He does not seek out the company of famous politicians and cannot be courted with flattery or access. He understands that you can’t arrive at truth without explaining why mistaken beliefs are wrong.

If you read any of Paul Krugman’s blog you know how much time he spends fighting of forum trolls as well as public trolls (a.k.a, pundits).