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And because I've always wanted to, let's take a very close look at this post of Byrne's from 2006:

https://www.deepcapture.com/2006/10/my-posts-of-yesteryear/

helpfully archived by Byrne himself, although I assume it is still on this board somewhere:

More and more I came to feel that the Fool had been infiltrated by representatives of the bad guys. Too many strangers showed up and either quibbled over unimportant details, denied that even the most patent facts coutned as evidence, or more often than not, simply clogged (posted at high volumes) to wash out any real conversation.

So I decided to check out the other day and return here. As I did I figured I would do a last poll to ask, how many others suspected that the Fool had been corrupted as well? There were several shills on the board at that time I posted the poll, adn they all immediately answered that I was a nut (one of the possible poll responses). But as the evening wore on, we got around to the point that well over 50% believed the Fool had been cirrupted and my antagonists there were shills.

Sometime the next day, as I knew would happen, the shills were able to organize getting as many of the shills to come vote against the propoisition that the Fool board had been corrupted (the disparate voting by time of day was astonishing and not statistically likely), but even with that, fully 36% of the Fools now believe their environment has been corrupted by shills.

Not bad for just a little hobby of mine.

Patrick


Beginning at the beginning, or a little beyond:

Too many strangers showed up and either quibbled over unimportant details, denied that even the most patent facts coutned as evidence, or more often than not, simply clogged (posted at high volumes) to wash out any real conversation.

As anyone knows who participated at the time, and as can easily be seen by reviewing the posts and posters during that time period, it is the pro-Byrne posters who were the "strangers" that showed up and clogged the board:

TeachMeSomething
LadySnowblood
pbyrnepatriot
Sanity100

to name a few. These posters had never posted on the Fool before and didn't post anywhere but the OSTK board . . . whereas I and others responding had been on The Fool for years.

So I decided to check out the other day and return here. As I did I figured I would do a last poll to ask, how many others suspected that the Fool had been corrupted as well? There were several shills on the board at that time I posted the poll, adn they all immediately answered that I was a nut (one of the possible poll responses).

The poster of a poll on The Fool has no way of knowing which posters voted on a poll, much less how they voted. This is an example of Byrne believing that which he wishes to believe.

But as the evening wore on, we got around to the point that well over 50% believed the Fool had been cirrupted and my antagonists there were shills.

One could as easily contend that the Byrne sycophants and sockpuppets had been alerted by Byrne and had come to the Fool to vote in the poll. Again, one cannot know these things.

Sometime the next day, as I knew would happen, the shills were able to organize getting as many of the shills to come vote against the propoisition that the Fool board had been corrupted (the disparate voting by time of day was astonishing and not statistically likely),

This is where we see the true Byrne "lack of knowledge won't stop me from opining" coming into play. What actually happened, as anyone who reads these boards habitually has seen in other cases, is that Byrne's poll hit the Fool "Best Of" page, probably due to his sycophants recommending the post. That attracted other Fool posters who normally wouldn't have read the OSTK board to come to the board and (unsurprisingly) vote against the proposition that "Fooldom had been corrupted".

The nausea-inducing self-congratulatory nature of Byrne's post is there for all to see. The amount of time and mental energy he spent on what are, after all, Internet message boards, not consequential parts of his business, is also evident. Byrne posted 248 times on the Fool boards -- at least, that's how many posts are still on the Fool -- is spending time on that sort of thing the behavior of a top-notch CEO?

I will note that once Byrne curtailed his ridiculous message board / poster harassment / naked short jihad activities, Overstock's revenue escaped the 5 year 2005-2009 flatline and actually began to grow fairly impressively. Perhaps the posters who were saying back in '06 that Byrne ought to tend to his business and stop worrying about Internet posters were onto something.

UsuallyReasonable
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