Fighting has always been, more or less, a form of blindness
struck me as an important insight, and it has prefaced one of my web essays since I first read it.
Though sad, perhaps this news will inspire new readers to look up his work.
Fighting has always been, more or less, a form of blindness
Life seems personal to me. We experience life personally.
How could we avoid taking most things personally? Seems kind of difficult to find any other way to take things.
All politics is local. Indeed, I suspect most people take politics personally.
Most people take their lives personally.
"Isn't that also a form of harm?"
This piece added by etbnc at 1/08/2009 06:15:00 PM
These days people seek knowledge, not wisdom.
Knowledge is of the past;
wisdom is of the future.
Here's a question -- is it real trolling if the person actually holds that attitude, or is it real trolling if the person doesn't hold that attitude in reality, but pretends to just in order to get people wound up? Or, are both of those "real trolling", just different flavors?
I put "real trolling" in quotes to parallel your earlier use of quotes and to suggest a pun on the commenter's nickname.
But raising a question about the psychology of trolls does strike me as relevant to the original topic. As I recall from back in the days of Internet yore, early on the terms "troll" and "trolling" supposedly signified game-playing behavior, a kind of sport, or sometimes performance art. But it seems to me that was a flimsy cover story from the start. The behavior was unhealthy then and it still is now.
As you suggest, these days I don't really try to distinguish trolling as a supposed game from functionally equivalent harmful behaviors. When Troll Spectrum Behavior occurs, I do think it's important that someone demonstrate a healthier counterexample. Accidental quasi-trolls might learn if offered an opportunity, and some healthy social reinforcement helps to maintain a sense of community. Beyond that, of course, no feeding. :)
It seems to me Troll Spectrum Behavior might be related to a problem that I see underlying the topic of Zuska's post, and that I see underlying a number of social problems: a widespread inability to perceive harm.
Filtering out perceptions of harm, injustice, exploitation, pain, and suffering; lacking empathy or actively suppressing empathy; ignoring the consequences of our behavior; these things seem like enablers in mechanisms that create further harm. I find that disturbing.
I find no value in trying to distinguish the varieties of Troll Spectrum Behavior (as mentioned recently at Zuska's blog). It doesn't matter to me whether attention-seeking and game-playing behaviors stem from conscious or un/subconscious motivation. The consequences are pretty much the same, so my (lack of) response is pretty much the same.
I do think it's important to demonstrate mature interactions instead. That fosters situations in which social learning can occur. But that doesn't require feeding attention appetites.
This piece added by etbnc at 4/14/2008 05:28:00 PM
This piece added by etbnc at 4/04/2008 10:22:00 AM
Looking at the calendar today, and looking at some of my usual daily web site reading, I am reminded that today is not a good day to try to be serious.
Since I try to emphasize serious, weighty matters here, I definitely will not post anything new today.
Um, er, what? Oh, I see. Doh!
This piece added by etbnc at 4/01/2008 10:29:00 AM
How do we become motivated to understand?
How do we become interested in understanding ... oh, I dunno, any idea, something, anything?
How do we become interested in learning?
This piece added by etbnc at 3/26/2008 04:25:00 PM
When I was a kid I often built things from Lego blocks. I kept my unassembled Legos in a gallon-sized plastic bucket. Whenever I began a new Lego building project, I would sit down and dump the entire bucket of blocks all over the floor in front of me. Scattering a gallon of Legos takes up considerable floor space, but it seemed the easiest way to find the pieces I wanted to assemble. That, and they made a satisfying whoosh, roar, and clatter as they tumbled out.
I knew folks who took a similar approach to assembling large picture puzzles. I have several essay projects that I intend to construct here eventually. Since I consider this blog as a staging area for my other web site, I thought it might be helpful to dump my bucket of Legos here so that we can easily find the building blocks for future essays. So, here we go: (Whoosh! Roar ... clatter)
This piece added by etbnc at 3/21/2008 01:15:00 PM
What I fear is that some writers are trying to inspire a movement to actively cause a hard collapse
How would we live if beginnings justify means?
This piece added by etbnc at 2/28/2008 07:15:00 PM
Some people like to stand on soapboxes and shout loudly at me. They like to proclaim that they have my best interests at heart.
Personally, I prefer consistently repeated behaviors by people who demonstrate that they have my best interests at heart.
He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.
Most models are wrong, but some are useful.
(George Box, paraphrased)
This piece added by etbnc at 2/26/2008 07:20:00 PM
If it ends with -ism it seems likely to become a problem, for someone, someday.
That's been my observation and experience.
Ideologies. Labels. Imaginary boundaries. Is. Is not! An illusion of information.
We bundle up some things we know believe, slap a label on the bundle, and talk as if everything worth saying can be delivered in a bag with a label. Eventually Later Soon we begin to talk as if only the label matters, as if everything we need to know can be conveyed merely by the label. Sometimes we seem to forget what we put in the bag, we're so busy announcing its label.
I thought about calling that phenomenon “bagism”, but someone else got there first. Same with labelism. Even ismism.
Good grief, what's left?
Well, how about breaking that habit?
This piece added by etbnc at 2/01/2008 09:21:00 PM
(Some thoughts under development ... )
Ideas, when they form and float through our minds, are just ideas.
Expressing ideas, the act of communicating, is behavior.
We like to believe that our writing, our speaking, our conversations, we like to believe we deal only with ideas. But to me that seems incomplete. It seems to me we often react to the behaviors that we perceive as much or even more than the ideas wrapped in those behaviors.
Words matter. Words matter because words create consequences. Communicating with words is a behavior.
And behaviors create consequences.
Show me, don't tell me
A sustainable culture begins with a healthy, sustainable attitude
This piece added by etbnc at 1/23/2008 02:15:00 PM
I've mentioned this book several times recently in comments elsewhere. It occurred to me that I should mention it at my own web site, too:
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
by Neil Postman
If TV news and talk radio leave you feeling something other than well-informed, Postman's little book might explain why.