Trolls aren’t funny. But it can be awfully amusing to see them put in their place. Fortunately for our editorial team and our readers, most of those who visit our pages have a strong and serious interest in the contents. Thus the reader comments section that follows each story generally reflects that reality. Discussion tends to be civil, often thoughtful, and generally adds to our value proposition. But the Internet, of course, is open to one and all, and we get the odd visitor who is, well, odd, and probably ended up at Poets&Quants by misspelling some pornographic search term (we could only imagine what they might be looking for, and we choose not to imagine that).
Also, we have to admit, we have some less-than-constructive commenters who appear to be so familiar with business schools that they must exist somewhere within the MBA ecosystem (hey Princeton Review, how about a ranking of “Business Schools With the Most-Offensive Trolls?”). Whether an obnoxious comment has been deposited by a passerby, or a dedicated reader, we get tremendous enjoyment when other readers find clever ways to point out the fallacies in the “reasoning.” First we may cry over the presence among our species of the dangerously intolerant, but our tears soon turn to healthy snorts of schadenfreude, when some of you, our beloved readers, rip the heartless bigots to shreds with a few carefully selected words.
So, most of the comments that made us laugh out loud this year were zingers responding to statements of foolishness, or bigotry, or both. However, some comments which were focused on the story at hand, rather than the discussion below it, also provoked us to laughter. The sex scandal at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, as might be predicted, generated a number of humorous comments. But the school appears here twice, thanks to a reader who has identified a new “thing,” a remarkable entity that we’re sure must be seen to be believed (if even then).
When one reader took a gander at the MIT Sloan School of Management Class of 2017 feature story and concluded that “Sloan places a high premium on physical attractiveness and pays little regard to meaningful, selective work experience,” another reader came back with a pithy rebuttal. Responding to “Esuric,” James Lee quoted some material about one of the students profiled, found on a website for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which funds scholarships for military veterans. It turns out that student Erik Mirandette had led counterintelligence teams in Afghanistan and other countries, having joined the U.S. Air Force after recovering from massive injuries he received in a suicide bombing in Cairo that killed his younger brother while the two were backpacking from South Africa to Egypt. Reader Lee just pasted in the material from the foundation, and ended briefly: “Okay man.” Other unquestionably attractive students profiled in the story came from business backgrounds in keeping with admits to elite MBA programs.