Figes tells us that Turgenev wrote a famous bit of verse about the critic Stasov: the penultimate lines are …
Argue even with a fool:
You will not gain glory
But sometimes it is fun.
I confess I’ve been spending a few minutes here and there blasting off again at a few fools on sci.logic. The highminded justification is that, given the thousands of people who do visit that group each day, someone ought occasionally to say “enough is enough” faced with streams of garbage. But let’s be honest, Turgenev is right: sometimes it is just fun.