Subject: Re: The toxicity of trolls
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 25 Sep 2002 22:57:22 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Pascal Costanza
| So, perverse and cruel as it might sound, anything that increases their
| level of suffering actually might be a step towards a real improvement of
| their situation.

  It is not perverse and cruel.  Most people live cozy little lives much like
  that of a pebble that has fallen into an indentation in a larger stone and
  through wind and rain and snow and cold, digs itself deeper and deeper
  because it never receive enough energy to travel out into the world.  You can
  find such holes that are hundreds of years old.  Humans at the bottom of such
  holes call their holes their "religions" or their "culture" and fight tooth
  and nail to remain in their hole if they are washed out by the massive floods
  of information from the Internet.

  However, people outside their hole have a duty in no small sense to drag them
  out, to let them see the human experience they have protected themselves
  from.  This will be very painful to many of the "outed" hole-dwellers.  If
  they are aware of this pain and do not want to be exposed to the real world,
  the solution is very, very simple: Return to their hole.  If, however, you do
  venture outside your hole, the fact that we are human beings and therefore
  invariably benefit from sharing in our collective experience, means that even
  hole-dwellers be exposed to the real world and experiences that they may
  resist because they secretly want to go back to their holes.

  It is courage that keeps them on the outside -- and that courage should be
  awarded with information they need but do not want.  If they respond with "I
  feel hurt!  Do not present information I cannot cope with!", they should go
  back to their hole and not return to the outside world.  As long as they are
  out in the real world, they have an /obligation/ to cope with the world they
  have chosen to deal with and human /decency/ requires that they do not make
  their coping problems anybody else's problem.  Posting a requirement to
  curtail the freedom of expression of others because they cannot cope with it
  is obscene and is the really perverse and cruel thing to do to others.

  Imagine how many things people cannot cope with!  Imagine a world where
  somebody's failure to cope were the one ruling principle of all your social
  interaction.  You would get a society where people could not pronounce true
  statements about groups of people because they would feel offended.  You
  would get a society where differences that really hurt a group would have to
  be kept a secret instead of being rectified and solved because they feel more
  hurt about the existence of a difference than about it causing their losses.
  You would get a society where people would have to determine whether they
  would offend anyone with statement before they could determine its truth.  In
  the end, we would encourage people not to learn to read because they would
  only find millions of volumes that made them feel ignorant and unworthy.

  If you want sympathy from some warm body that does not understand you, get a
  dog.  If you want sympathy from some warm body that does understand you, get
  a cat.  If you want sympaty from some warm body that wants to be understood
  before it gives you any sympathy whatsoever, get another human being.

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.