Giving this person so much attention is the wrong thing to do.
You're right, he clearly loves the attention, and I did ignore him for years. There's only one problem with that: PerlMonks is not just a discussion forum, but also a long-standing repository of good Perl information. People who put a lot of effort into it don't want to see it cluttered up with bad info that makes Perl look confusing and stupid to the newcomer.
I was thinking about Usenet, which I used regularly for more than a decade. Most Usenet groups were entirely unmoderated, and there were plenty of trolls, so the only way to deal with them was for everyone to ignore them. I guess we just didn't worry about whether an ignored troll posted a bunch of nonsense to a group like comp.lang.perl.misc. Maybe we worry about that here too much, I don't know. I'd actually prefer to go back to ignoring -- it's much less trouble -- but I want to do my part to maintain the quality of a site that's made me a better programmer.
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