Subject: Re: The toxicity of trolls
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 25 Sep 2002 12:15:09 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Wade Humeniuk
| It might not be benevolence that it lent to ilias and his ilk, but a type of
| "top dog" behavior.

  I have to admit that while I do not start to play this game, I also do not
  yield when someone wants to be "top dog", so I recognize the mechanism.
  Still, anyone can be better than ilias without any effort.

| As human beings we still have desires to be the "top dog", to be the
| perceived winner/superior/smarter person in a situation.

  I think it is bit more complex than that.  I believe only a relatively small
  group of people engage in this anti-social competitive game-playing, but when
  they do, others not only do not want to yield their position to them, it is a
  self-protective necessity to prevent competitive people from "rising" in the
  hierarchy of a group.  I consider competitiveness to be a mental disease when
  it causes people to attach more importance to their personal position than
  the good of the group they fight to take over and I believe that people who
  feel the need to challenge whoever they think is the "top dog" for no other
  reason than their own personal satisfaction to be mentally diseased as well.
  This anti-social behavior causes nothing but conflict, but not /only/ because
  we are human when we also refuse to let people like that win, the group that
  yields to mentally diseased leaders would soon perish.  There is therefore an
  element of self- preservation in fighting the mentally diseased, obsessively
  competetive whenever and wherever they try to take control.  (Part of my
  great distaste for the entire field of competitive sports is that regardless
  of whether these morons "win" or not, they have abused their physical health
  to the point of being crippled, and it is more a testament to the advanced
  state of modern medicine that these guys can walk at all.  Sports-related
  health care costs are /enormous/ and keep growing without bounds.  It is,
  however, entirely possible that giving the anti-socially competitive an
  outlet in a field where their fighting has no bearing whatsoever on the rest
  of society is a good thing.  Sports may therefore provide people who would
  have become criminals and soldiers looking for a war a place to fight amongst

| Thus we might put up with a "lower dogs" behavior because it keeps us on top,
| no matter what the "lower dogs" views and behavior might be.  In fact the
| more absurd (and thus obviously inferior) the "lower dogs" behavior may be,
| the better.

  But winning over the "lowest dog" only means that you are the next lowest
  dog.  That should not be particularly rewarding, should it?

| Engaging in public communication with people as smart or obviously smarter,
| breaks all that down and may threaten some.  It takes a honest, courageous
| and humble person (or psychologically healthy person) to face all that.

  Then why do so many who cannot take it engage precisely in public discourse?

| People may not be trying to convert ilias but are just pissing on the "lower
| dog".

  Even so, they should find a more worthy target.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.