So Many Freakin’ Trolls

I’ve been working in the IT industry for quite a while now, working as a programmer and a designer for various clients off shore and local. I even teach the subject on 4 different schools. Overall, I have 10 years of experience (of course, if you add the 3,521 hours worth of sleepless nights, 2,401 hours of coffee making and drinking, and 66,666 hours of cursing every single demon from hell and beyond for my problematic algorithms, that adds to an even 18 years of experience!).

I also have working knowledge of viruses, hackers, spammers, phishers, and everything else that the law can sue. However, yesterday was the first time I personally encountered a Troll.

Trolling, according to my favorite friend Wikipedia, is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I usually encounter these morons throughout the net, and I usually ignore them because I believe in the freedom of speech. I also believe that this liberty should be protected zealously. Therefore, when I encounter these people, I often leave them, and their opinions alone.

But I was a bit testy this past week. I mean, who wouldn’t? You must have heard of the 6.9 earthquake that happened here just this week, then you get aftershocks every now and then (total aftershocks is more than a thousand, and still counting), then you scan the building for strong spots every morning, and hold on to dear life and hope that the roof won’t fall on you. Anyone could get testy. But it became worse when I read an article about a girl who’s trending on Twitter and other social media websites for a comment she made during the said calamity. Basically, she’s hoping for a tsunami to wipe out the Bisayans (people of the Visayas, a region in the Philippines) so that there would be less ‘unfashionable’ people in the Philippines.

Obviously, that was a severe racially-induced comment, and she was hammered by many Bisayans for it. There was even threats to her life and her family. I was reading them and was appalled that a fellow Filipino would even think about it. I hated the comment, and I especially hated the person who made it. It made me forget the calamity and the pity that I have to my fellow Bisayans who were at the epicenter of the earthquake; the Bisayans who lost loved ones; the Bisayans who were injured, physically and emotionally. I started looking, researching about the person for an entire day, and even asked her for a public apology. I was so adamant that I even continued to repost my comment over and over on her Facebook page, laughing my ass off everytime it was erased.

After several hours, I got bored and decided to leave for the day. I told myself, I’ll have to do it again tomorrow to get her attention. I was so desperate to ask for an apology from the said troll, and even planning how to do it better for today, when an article in Yahoo made me rethink what I had been doing:

The article was a wake-up call for me. I didn’t know how much time I wasted on getting this troll to justice, then I realized that this is what she really wanted. She really did got my attention for the whole day, and this was what she really wanted. I let myself be played in her fingers, and I didn’t know it. I’m usually sharp about things like this, but because of the emotion triggered by the calamity, I forgot everything.

I had resolved that I will never, NEVER let myself be played again by a troll, and I hope everyone else wouldn’t, too. Here are some of the activities that a troll likes to do:

  • Spread rumors (for example, a noted person dying)
  • Gossip about celebrities (celebrity A is gay or having an affair)
  • Assume the identity of other users
  • Attack people and entities under the guise of their “right to free speech”
  • Bully people who can’t fight back including celebrities, politicians and other prominent people who know it’s self-defeating to engage in a cyberwar with a troll

The really bad thing about a troll, is that it will continue on making accounts even after it is blocked. It will continue to raise hell to the netizens and start a word war, provoking us, which is what the troll really wanted. So, courtesy of that article, here are tips on how to deal with these attention-hungry psychos:

  • Do Not FEED the troll. Keep cool. Don’t reply. (I did this with impunity)
  • Ask your friends not to reply to a troll. (Heck, I even asked my students to message her)
  • Block a troll, flag the offensive comment or report him or her to the site administrator. If the troll shows up under another account name, block him again. (How come I never thought of this?)
  • On your social account or your blog, adjust privacy settings moderate comments, or disallow comments, to keep them out. (Well, it was a public blog, so this one would probably work on other social networking sites)

A troll made me waste an entire day…can’t believe it.

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in infotech


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Cost of Life

A lot of people nowadays talk of investing…well, most of my friends do. I actually began about investments in 2005 when I was talking to my former boss, who’s actually 7 years older than I am. He has a wife and a lovely 2 year old daughter, and he’s thinking of investing for their future. He talks about a mortgage, a business of his own, a life insurance, an educational insurance, and of course, a better-paying job.

Of course, I was a young 24 then, and don’t actually care to listen about his bickering about his future. I actually have my own problems then. I rent a small room, I don’t have that many clothes, and I can barely make it through the week with my salary. I was only grateful because I live off with my girlfriend at the time who’s also employed. I eat at her place to get by (boy, what a freeloader, huh?).

A few months later, I left that job. A month after, my former boss left as well. The last I heard of him was that he’s comfortable with his current job and got everything that he told me a few years back. And now, six years removed from that conversation, here I am talking about the same thing with my girlfriend (a better one. I left that girlfriend who helped me, by the way). I begin talking about my own house, my own car, a life insurance, and an educational insurance for our kids someday.

I am proud to say that I already have that house that I dreamed of. Now, I’m thinking of having my own mode of transportation. The commute between my place and my work is brutal, and I think my own vehicle could solve that for me. I begin thinking of buying my own motorcycle.

However, every time I get the funds to buy a motorcycle, or at least set my mind to go to a dealer, something happens along the way. The first time I went to a dealer, but didn’t made the deal. The next day, I heard that a friend of mine died in a freak motorcycle accident. That changed my mind, for a few days. A week after, I talked to another dealer. The next day, right in front of the store of the said dealer, a motorcycle collided with a car. The rider died. That changed my mind again, until last night.

My girlfriend and I were about to cross a pedestrian lane, with a 50-ish lady three steps ahead of us. She was holding a big canvas bag on her left hand and a two big plastic bags of groceries on the other. Suddenly, a red blur went in front of us and white plastics came a-flying. A loud screech, a sickening thud, and a chorus of ‘ohhh!”s later, we found ourselves witness of a tragedy, except it wasn’t that much of a tragedy. What happened was the red motorcycle, running for 80 – 100 kph, hit the lady’s plastics of groceries, and sent them flying through the air. The speedster hit his brakes, and his passenger behind him dropped to the road, head first. The passenger was about 50 as well. The ohhhs were from the people who were relieved when an approaching car almost hit the head of the passenger.

I was so mad at the rider, because he should have slowed down, knowing he’s approaching a pedestrian lane. I was also mad because the lady ahead of us didn’t press charges. I was mad with the passenger because she was only holding her head in pain and didn’t berate her driver for driving recklessly. I was exclaiming at the top of my voice how it was the fault of the driver, when my girlfriend yanked me back and told me to stop, and thank our luck. We were not hit, although a step ahead would have, we were lucky.

That made me realize, I really should step up on this investment thing and start investing. My life, or the life of my loved ones could end in that one instant. A fraction of a millisecond, a blink of an eye. Everything will be gone *snaps* that fast. It made me rethink my life, and what should I do with it. The cost of my life and my loved  ones don’t know any value, or any amount, because some people around you don’t give a rat’s ass how much your life costs. You will be the judge of that, and the people that you leave behind.

Oh, and I stopped my fetish with motorcycles. Now, I’m looking for a car.

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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in random


*GASP* I just read a suicide letter!

I’m sure that many of you are wondering how it would all end. I’m wondering that, too.

I recently read, believe it or not, a somber suicide letter. Of course, I don’t want to post where I read it for fear of backlash from anyone, especially now where you can get sued for anything. No, I don’t want to do that out of respect for the man.

Before this letter, I think people who commit suicide are idiots or suffering from some mental disability. I’m not a religious person, I am more of a spiritual person. Like the guy who wrote the letter, I don’t believe that Catholicism is the be all, end all of all religions. But I always believed that life is sacred and should be lived to the fullest. Therefore, when I read the first paragraphs of the 3,495 words letter, I was appalled, sickened, and disappointed. Here was a guy who became his own man. He pursued his dream job, got well-deserved accolades, and best of all, he’s got great friends. His only problem was that he was unlucky in love and career (he was released from his dream job because of budget cuts).

Heck, I’d been through a lot of relationships before, and I had a job crisis sometime in my life, too. But I don’t think I’d resort to suicide. I think it was just extreme and I would never take my own life because of problems like these, which are easily solved only if you think of solutions rather than how it affects you.

But, as I kept on reading, I realized that his reason he’s “checking out” is because he don’t want to live on as a bitter old man who will never be happy. He just can’t see himself growing old with that much emotional baggage. His reason for committing suicide is that he believes he will never be happy again because, in his opinion, the world is full of fake, gutless people who will walk all over you while you “turn the other cheek”, and take this as a sign of weakness.

Human society now is a horrendous bunch of negative people who only takes care of themselves and never give a rat’s ass on his fellow man. The world, like the world of business, became a cutthroat environment where nobody trusts anybody, and everybody tries to put somebody down.

As I read on, my emotions turned from dismay to remorse. Pangs of guilt flooded my mind. There is truth in what he wrote. The world indeed became a selfish society where nobody cares for anyone, unless that person can be used. I don’t know if you had heard of the phrase before that humans are the only species that kills its fellow human. Proof: 60 million people died in World War II, 17 million in World War I, 40 million died during the expansion of the Mongol empire, 500,000 died as witches in the Middle Ages, 3,000 died during the 9/11 attacks, and the list goes on.

What’s disgusting is the reason why people kill. Territory, religion, and leisure. It’s incredible how we became a murderous society, it’s no wonder some people will contemplate suicide instead of death taking them over without them expecting it.

Back to the letter, he said that although he surrounded himself with friends who are very positive people and cared for his welfare, he wrote that there was nothing that they can do to stop him. He thanked every person that left an imprint on his short life (he was 34), and left instructions on how he wants to be buried, that he is sober and there is no drugs in his system, a list of charities that he encouraged people to help, and to donate his organs.

If human society keeps this up, a nihilist could be a hero who saves the world from utter destruction. I certainly hope I don’t meet him in my lifetime.

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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in random, relationships


Multiverse Theory

I was in front of the PC and waiting for my downloads to finish when I decided to watch Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston for the nth time. The movie really is a classic, people should really watch it at least once. The acting was, without disrespect to Mr. Heston, so-so, but the screenwriting and the makeup was superb.

Then I watched TV and after channel surfing for a while, I saw Justice League: Crisis of Two Earths on HBO. I’m a big time Green Lantern fan so I turned the volume up. I was lucky, Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern on this movie. The story was also good. In another universe, the Justice League members are actually leaders of a worldwide syndicate that controls criminal activity all around the world, and, get this, Lex Luthor and Joker are the good guys. Luthor escaped to our universe after Joker’s sacrifice. While in the Watchtowe, he unknowingly dropped a device that triggers a really, really big bomb made by Batman from Universe 2. But the Batman of Universe 2, now named Owlman, which has a really cool costume, discovered a way to travel between universes and got the Wonder Woman of Universe 2 to get the trigger. By the way, Wonder Woman 2 is way hotter than Wonder Woman 1, and more aggressive.

After that, I surfed some more and found a Phineas and Ferb episode on Disney Channel where the brothers traveled to another universe where summer is forbidden.

Then, I changed the channel until I got to Fox, and they are showing an episode of Family Guy. Stewie and Brian are traveling between universes. It was hilarious because they got to a lot universes, including one where there are only gay guys, and another where everything is drawn by Walt Disney, and the last one was where dogs actually ruled the world, and humans are pets.

Within a day, I watched four different shows which have the same plot: Alternate Universes. I later learned that this is an actual hypothesis: The Multiverse Theory states that there is a set of multiple possible universes that exists and can exist. I didn’t catch how Stewie explains it, but I guess that’s pretty much what he meant.

And so, I tried thinking of possible universes of my own. Can you imagine a world without Facebook?

Cool, huh? Imagine us walking around the street with THAT in front of us. The only advantage that I see here is that nobody will have to worry about what they wear because nobody will see it anyway. Oh, and everybody will surely have a profile pic, so no worries about mistaken identities, unless your cardboard was stolen from you.

Hmmm…what if no fish dared to go on land, hence stalling evolution?

Pretty, noh? How about a world where plastics wasn’t invented?

Yep…I only see one problem with that: Termites.

Finally, as I listen to my Beatles compilation, I got to John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Now, what would the the world really look like if there are no religion? I decided to search the Internet for an answer. Here is what I found:

I couldn’t agree more.

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in infotech, random


To say cheese or not to say cheese

I’m not the kind of person who likes cameras or pictures. Ever since I was a kid, I hated it (well, secretly) when my mom asks me to pose while she snaps a shot. Usually, this is with my sister. She usually finds a spot, and it can be any of the following:

  • under a tree
  • while swinging at the playground
  • inside a concrete hippopotamus mouth
  • near a slide
  • at the doorway
  • sitting at the sofa
  • pretty much anywhere!

Not to take anything away from my mom’s photographic skills, but I thought that time that the reason why I don’t like to have my picture taken was because my sister is with me. Eventually, even without my sister, I still shy away from the lens.

That’s when I realized that if I don’t have the balls to be photographed, maybe I should learn how to use a camera and photograph other people. I started collecting photography books and learned by myself. Right now, my collection of photography e-books is just a modest seventeen titles, most of them I haven’t started reading yet. But I think I learned enough to get myself out of a paper bag, so to speak.

Lately though, since I bought my first digital camera, which is a measly HP CW450t, I experiment a lot with lighting and shadows. I found out that these are the disadvantages that such a camera can’t fix. Worrisome as it is, I started dreaming of having an SLR myself so that I can have the luxury that my  current digital camera don’t have. I even dreamed of having lights and reflection thingies around me, and an array of lenses, with a curvaceous model as my subject.

Alas, it would take a while for me to buy them. All I can do for now is salivate at the idea of having them.

I also noticed more changes since I got the camera, besides from thinking of acquiring a better one. My shyness in front of the lens is slowly and gradually eroding. I can’t place it to confidence because even when I am at my most confident state, I try my best to shy away. I am not sure if the idea of owning a camera yourself will make you less camera shy, but it seems like that is the case.

Maybe owning a camera makes you confident in front of the lens because you know that regardless of the outcome, you can still take a better picture with the camera that you have. It’s like a net underneath a trapeze. If the snapshot by another camera fails, you have that feeling that everything will still be OK because you still have your camera and have a better shot.

I’ll even go further. Maybe owning a camera makes you a member of an exclusive club of camera wielders (which I just made up, by the way) and that realization boosts you confidence. You become more bold and less awkward because you know that you yourself have a camera of your own.

I’m not sure yet, but someday, I might have an answer if owning a camera is directly responsible for eliminating camera shyness. For the moment, I’ll keep on smiling because I am so over my camera shyness! Cheese!

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Posted by on November 19, 2011 in random


Losing sleep

Let me tell you something about my sleeping habits. 10 years ago, I can sleep for just an hour a day and still be active the next day. Maybe coffee was to blame, or excessive Counterstrike and Starcraft. I remember a time when I didn’t slept for 4 days straight just because I was playing too much. Sabi nga namin, basta may Ding Dong, Piattos, tsaka Ginebra, wala nang problema.

Fortunately, I grew out of it, and began to think about my future. When I started my career, I have episodes when I lose sleep, but not because I was playing. It was because of work. I remember a project that was given to our team and we didn’t sleep for 3 straight days. And I have to hold class in the morning! The difference between that time and from ten years ago was that the Ding Dong and Piattos was replaced with more filling junk food like pizza. We can’t drink liquor, though because it is forbidden in school grounds, and we don’t want to smuggle some bottles either.

I finally have a sleeping routine when I turned 28. That’s when I slept for 8-9 hours per day. I can’t imagine that 2 years after that glorious nocturnal habit, I will return to this bad habit.

Everyone needs sleep. And I found a list of top ten reasons why we need sleep here.

They say the reason why we lose sleep is that we are pressured by something. Well, right now I don’t feel any pressure about anything. And that’s the bad thing. If stress is not the reason why I’m awake, then what keeps me up?


Posted by on November 18, 2011 in random

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