It’s polite to let the regular readership know when posting frequency and content is changing. It was done 158 posts ago, on December 31, 2011. I’m doing so again.

Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, conversing and generating data.

I’ve been testing a few hypotheses. The data set won’t be complete for another few months until the search returns are complete.

There was no optimization objective and it showed.

As a result:

  • The posting frequency (and predictability) will decrease. 
  • There will be fewer words to read.
  • There will be more novel ideas curated from other sources.

Pandering and Trolling

Trolling is the act of forecasting what will likely cause drama or controversy, creating such content, and distributing only for the purpose of creating drama and controversy. (Being an idiot and saying stupid things that cause anger is not trolling. It’s being an idiot. Trolling requires premeditation.)

Pandering is the act of forecasting what will likely cause an audience, segment, or group, to applaud, creating such content, and distributing it only for the purpose of applause. (Being popular and saying popular things that cause reinforcement bias and popularity is not pandering. It’s being popular. Pandering requires premeditation.)

It’s possible to generate controversy, especially when pushing up against the status quo, without the premediation required to be a troll. It’s also possible to be an idiot.

It’s possible to cause reinforcing confirmation bias, without the premeditation required to be a panderer. It’s also possible to a panderer.

Panderers are gonna pander and trolls are gonna troll

Sometimes the ideas that got us going can become a cage. Trolls, at the very least, cause discussion. Panderers shut it down completely. They create environments, deliberately or not, where those with alternative ideas and approaches that do not reinforce the status quo are met with resistance and are blocked out. That environment really inhibits progress.

It’s really easy to know what you want to hear and produce a sound byte.

It’s much harder to communicate an unusual idea and structure it in a way that it makes sense.

I’m not going to pander even though it would be easier. I’m not going to troll the panderers even though it would be so much more fun.

Thank you for helping me see the distinction between becoming a very effective communicator and pandering. Your feedback has been incredibly helpful, and, I would never have come to that realization without it.


I’m Christopher Berry.
Follow me @cjpberry
I blog at