This is (a rewrite of) the message that got eaten to provoke the previous rant. I still can’t post it, because apparently Slashdot has gone into its “static-content only” mode for a while. The original parent is here.

Web-browsing used to being up a plethora of intelligent, well-written, interesting pages back in the day

I’m sorry, but can we give the “Golden Era” meme a rest after several thousand years of constant use? I was here when the web was invented, I remember what it was like. I don’t think the quality of the ideas, or the writing, or the visual presentation, has changed a whole heck of a lot either way since then. There’s a lot of crap now, but there was a lot of crap then too. Maybe it used to be geekier crap, more to fellow geeks’ liking, but it was still crap.

only us “old timers” bother with things like netiquette

Here you do touch on the one thing that seems to be different: the prevalence of trolls. Trolls are, by and large, a lazy lot. Even the smallest barrier to entry – even free registration – is often enough that they’ll seek easier targets, so in the early days of the web trolls weren’t a problem. Now, of course…well, you know.

I don’t see it as a “newbie” vs. “oldbie” thing, though. Oldbies might know netiquette, but that doesn’t mean they follow it. In fact, the net tends to train trolls. Think about the stage each young troll goes through when they first learn about these things called logical fallacies. Do they use this knowledge to clean up their act? No, they use it to club other people over the head. Over time, trolls get better at what they do, and the most annoying trolls are usually the ones who’ve had the most years of practice.

For more on “us old timers” and newbie-bashing, you might find this article from last February interesting.