Subject: Re: The toxicity of trolls From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 27 Sep 2002 03:46:19 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Tim Bradshaw | it's quite hard to feel sympathy for our current troll. I find this an odd statement. I am overwhelmed with sympathy for him, which is why I want nothing to do with him at all. It is precisely because this is such a sympathy-inducing creature that he has no place in a public forum. This is a person about whom I have two unwelcome choices: To care about him personally or not care about him or anything he says at all. Nothing he says invites me to respond professionally to his questions. He asks me to take part in his personal life, which is a disgraceful request in public. It is like using the public announcement system of a full football stadium to ask someone for a date. It is not only embarrassing in itself, it puts you in a position where you understand that answering in the negative will be a terrible blow, and you therefore understand that doing it in public may be nothing short of a manipulative move to make you answer in the affirmative because you at least feel enough about the stupid requestor to save him from a crushing defeat. In short, I find the overwhelming sympathy obscene. It is for the very same reason that I find street prostitutes distasteful -- it is not that they sell their body in a degrading manner, it is that anyone who understands what they are doing is forced to either care personally or to block any and all sympathy from reaching them, causing either an overwhelming personal involvement in the personal tragedy of strangers or a dehumanizing lack of emotional response to their plight. Both are deeply offensive to me. -- 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.