Lowest Troll

The Lowest Troll is a semi-formal role that could be played by many persons and is deliberately set up to facilitate competition to play it better. It has many facets but in open politics itself its primary function is to shepherd development of the Living Ontology Web.

not a debate

Debating Internet Strategies isn't the purpose of this page. If you think the role has no place in any political party or in openpolitics.ca itself then argue that elsewhere, and freel (feel free) to link this page as a bad moral example.

the term

The term originated in some troll-friendly large public wikis to describe a person of extreme tolerance for ambiguity and dissent who can generally engage other trolls, even autistic ones, to engage and at least state their complaints, issues, grievances, or problems in terms that can be used as input to some service design process, e.g. Platform 2005 Process. The term also seems to mock the reference to GodKings used in some other wikis.

Mythological terms and imagery ("troll", "wizard", "little tin god", and so on) seem to infest all net media, probably because all online discourse can be thought of as a kind of video game and the unreal/fantastic net world is a bit less real... not to be confused with what goes on IRL. So the odd terms may be desirable.

why "lowest"?

Many people in positions of authority feel that exercising power justifies it. That is, as soon as they do something, they instantly find reasons why they did it. To confuse reason and cause in this way is very dangerous and creates a tendency to defer unwisely, often known as groupthink. Emphasizing the subordinate or low status of the functionary performing the role (some have used also "janitor") is thought by many to compensate for the actual technological power, e.g. to "kick", such people may have, or may invoke, when they run out of patience.

If you are in some conversation with someone called "the lowest", you can also pretty much expect them to go toe to toe with you and get as dirty as you are... this is at least egalitarian.

why "troll"?

One definition of a "troll" is "someone who wins arguments on the Internet". Another is "heretic". Another is "resister to the authority of systems operators." Another is "someone who doesn't REALLY mean what they say online." And so on. It is fairly obvious that the term is arbitrary and ends up being applied to near anyone who talks about any serious topic with any degree of commitment or passion. As with words used to describe homosexuals, blacks, and communists, it is wise to co-opt the word and define it to create a kind of anti-oppressive power:

A policy forum that simply admits everyone as a troll by default on day one has a lot of advantages, as it is immune to ideological arguments about "who is a troll": EVERYONE "is a troll". It removes from discourse speculation about everyone else's motives ("of COURSE they are saying that JUST to annoy you and CAN'T possibly mean it!"), and starts from a baseline of assumptions of ill will, bad faith and cross-purposes: but good humour. And humour matters more than all the good will and good faith and respect and civility in the world. Especially on the net.

See also political virtues, which the Lowest Troll is expected to wholly embody and demonstrate.