Trolling is serious business, Keredria

| Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This was going to be a comment on your post, but then I figured, "hey, post counts are the thing of the week, so why not boost that?"
Pretty pissed (though I should have been more saddened) that there are people who have to make low, personal attacks on those who don't agree with them. I guess either to make themselves feel better or because they don't have any substance to actually respond to opinions

Being "right" or "ethical" are abstractions with little day-to-day value to an individual. Winning arguments by never ever stopping talking, that has an impact. It boosts self-esteem and can get you a lot of profitable attention. Since most people are concerned about practicality rather than morality, due to eating practicality rather than morality, they will tend to shout until you give up.

Though I still stand by my assertion that such low handed comments are not only unnecessary, but doing it via Twitter where they may not see such comments is downright cowardly. If you want to be a bitch, have the balls to do it to someone's face. Not everyone follows everyone else on Twitter.

What is "to someone's face", digitally-speaking, is a tricky thing. Obviously if I am in an email exchange with someone, that is "to their face" and if I am in a private exchange with someone else, that is not "to their face." What about an @personIhate? Or a #personIhate? The first gets them the tweet even if they don't follow, but depends on them knowing about the Interactions/Mentions and checking them recently enough to be able to respond, something I didn't know about for an embarrassingly long time. Perhaps hastags are just a weak pretend-"to their face" and just tweeting into the tweetosphereverse is the equivalent of calling them a slut on a bathroom wall that they might use at some point and therefore see. My point is that it's a little murkier than you make it seem.

"It's just a WoW blog."

Sure. It is. But no! Wake up tomorrow and imagine your blog is gone. Are you going to shrug your shoulders and say "meh"? Or are you going to be a little tiny bit upset, perhaps more upset than you would be over "just a WoW blog"? I'm guessing the latter. Beyond your own personal attachment to your own blog, I don't much like the "just a WoW blog" concept in general. Is this all of great national importance? Certainly not. But it is of personal importance and it is of cultural importance. I'm sick of seeing the "it's just a game" thing tossed around every which way to trivialize any differing opinions. A raider tells a casual to quit whining because it's just a game and the casual tells the raider to chill out because it's just a game and meanwhile a form of entertainment enjoyed by millions of people is all just a game and if anyone takes it the slightest bit seriously we start questioning whether they suffer from some sort of mental illness or social impairment. Somewhere there is someone who is very concerned that the wood that he uses for model ships is of lower quality and to a complete outsider that may sound silly, but who the fuck are we to tell him to shut up because "it's just a silly ship"?

I'm not going to suggest that it is ideal to have so much time and mental energy devoted toward hobbies and entertainment when national elections in the US don't break 50% turnout with even fewer people following the races. There is an argument to be made for a different distribution of time. But don't fuck with entertainment. That's how you get revolutions and I am not in the mood for one right now.

Furthermore, I'm really getting sick of people linking "immature and petty and ridiculous" and "hateful and full of vitriol". A person is perfectly capable of being immature and petty and ridiculous without being hateful and full of vitriol. Don't link the troll looking for a laugh with the guy who sincerely believes that birth control is for whores. Did I just get political? No, I did not. I've been political this whole damn time, I just happened to mention an issue that we think is "political", as opposed to being "social" or "health-al", while somehow the earlier concept that people focus on day-to-day survival at the expense of ethics is not political. If anything, it should be the reverse.

While we're on the subject and I'm getting angry, what's with "don't talk about politics"? What sort of stupid social rule is that? I can understand religion, since ultimately religion is based on personal believes about that which cannot be measured until someday something happens about which I will make no particular claim. Politics should not be a religion. That's the danger when we put it in the "don't talk about or question this" realm. If you think a certain tax policy will have a certain effect on the economy, that's not a matter of faith or belief, it's something that we can, with varying degrees of uncertainty and error, test or at least predict. It only gets worse over time, because as we push politics further and further away from conversation, we lose our ability to talk about it politely. It's like "the talk". I don't think it will ever be entirely without awkwardness when parents give "the talk", but maybe if we talked about the subject of "the talk" a little more often it wouldn't be such an awkward subject steeped in strange imagery and obscuring language such as "the talk".

Something that heavily influences our economic futures, our freedom, and our survival, should not be shoved off to the side to be debated on TV sideshows and ten thousand dollar dinners. I'm not saying it will be pretty. We will, wait for it... disagree! Yes, we might have different opinions! Shocking. But wouldn't it make some sense to talk about those opinions, find where we stand, and maybe have some small chance of spreading a little bit of knowledge or a new perspective?

Can you imagine if we all thought it was impolite to express our opinions on other subjects? Can you imagine a WoW in which no one ever expressed an opinion on class changes? Or a TV show that no one could talk about? How about the food you're eating, can you say whether you liked it, or is that rude because someone else might not have enjoyed the meal?

It's perhaps naive to think this, but I suspect that politics could be a little bit less political if we didn't work so damn hard to not ever talk about it.

P.S. SEX SEX SEX "the talk" is about SEX can't we use the damn word? I'm sick of seeing "gender" when we're clearly not talking about how a person identifies themselves. The word SEX is not going to get children pregnant but having no clue what the hell is going on just might. My point is that abstinence-only sex ed is about as smart as abstinence-only internet. One of these days I need to write that post about why gay people would care about birth control.

10 comments:

Azuriel said...

Except... politics is religion insofar as they match the same criteria of being based on personal beliefs. Tax policy is math and economics models; politics is picking a certain tax policy because you delusionally believe a limited government results in more individual liberty when in fact corporations will fill in the power vacuum.

Politics is arguing favorite colors. And since the only way to settle the argument about why you chose orange sherbet over a much more sophisticated and stately gray is to convince a bunch of strangers that the Flintstones Push-Pop guy said something totally embarrassing on national TV yesterday, it leads to bad blood and hurt feelings. Plus, who cares what the other side thinks? Your own opinions are correct, else you wouldn't have them, ergo everyone else is wrong. QED.

In other news, I have no idea what the internet drama was about, but don't ever change, because your highly entertaining writing style is contagious. It's like reading a Yahtzee transcript about a game I actually played once and can't wait for him to get snarky with.

sam said...

but it shouldn't be. Politics is a real world thing with real world people involved and you can see the consequences and extrapolate them and hopefully use that information to do better.

People that don't want to talk about politics are like people that whine about how much better work would be without office politics. Silly people that haven't figured out that if you have a group of 3 people or more you have politics. It's part of the human condition. You can ignore it or accept it but it's not going away and it will continue to affect your life.

Religion is blind faith with no proof it fits your analogy of colors far better than politics.

Anonymous said...

@Azuriel

"politics is picking a certain tax policy..."

Politics is also about failing to recognize that corporations use the very policies that you hope will rein them in to squash competition and solidify market share. Never underestimate government's propensity for corruption, or the blindness of voters to the unintended consequences of the policies they support.

What I think politics is really about is hiding the truth beneath layers of almost-truth, flawed models and false narratives. With every side clinging tenaciously to mutually incompatible lies, is it any wonder that arguments tend to become heated?

sam said...

Politics is about groups and/or individuals acting with each other. The more people, the more groups the more issues that come into play.

Politics can just be about the two ladies running your homeowners association arguing about what color the fireplaces should be.

Two kids at school trying to steal friends from each other to make their click bigger,etc,etc. It's a fallacious argument to assume that all politics is about squashing and corruptions, it could just be about your mom trying to get everyone to see things her way.

It's all politics, all the time. We tend to call it politics when we don't like the issue or the people involved, we call it socialization when we like what's going on.

Keredria said...

Oh my dear Klep... lawl. But you're right trolling IS serious business and honestly I probably get too emotional (read: angry) to be a good troll.

But I've long had issues with people being obnoxious on twitter. I realize Twitter is a world of its own, but I stand by my assertion that if someone really wants to say something, either tweet it to them directly or have the balls to blog about it.

And yes I acknowledge that our blogs are important to us, otherwise why would we be doing them. But I do still stand by my point that its not worth getting angry over.

You can disagree, you can state your case, but realize #1 there are always going to be idiots our there and #2 it's a WoW blog. It's not going to (or shouldn't) be worth getting too angry over. And given anger is my first and go to reaction, it's something I need to keep in mind.

Klepsacovic said...

@Azuriel: "Your own opinions are correct, else you wouldn't have them, ergo everyone else is wrong."

What if my opinion is based on incomplete information or lies? bring more information and my opinion may change.

gnomeaggedon.net said...

Nah, you are all wrong.

I know, because I am right.

nuff said.

Azuriel said...

Politics is a real world thing with real world people involved and you can see the consequences and extrapolate them and hopefully use that information to do better.

Do better for whom? Social conservatives clearly see the consequences of, say, birth control and family planning and extrapolate them into moral degradation and sin from there. Politics is religion. You pick something that makes sense to you, and no amount of talking will convince the other guy that you're right and he's wrong.

People that don't want to talk about politics are like people that whine about how much better work would be without office politics. Silly people that haven't figured out that if you have a group of 3 people or more you have politics. It's part of the human condition.

Err... right. Which is all the more reason to bring in more blunt instruments into the thornbush of social interaction to bludgeon each other with, amirite?

I can get along perfectly with a coworker all year, but come general election time people who used to be fine will suddenly hate each other for life. For what? Gay marriage has nothing to do with anything about our working relationship, but now it does. I didn't need to know how ignorant and stupid the people I work with are, and they probably aren't happy the antichrist is running the fax machine.

Arguably the only reason people get along at all is because everyone doesn't know everything about each other.

Politics is also about failing to recognize that corporations use the very policies that you hope will rein them in to squash competition and solidify market share.

And they absolutely would have never been able to do that as quickly with less regulation, right?

Government isn't good, necessarily, but it is the only thing we have in the war against a corporate race to the bottom. I will take corrupt politicians and lobbyists over untouchable CEOs and opaque boards of directors. At least the former have to pretend they care. The latter have a fiduciary obligation to screw as many people over as possible.

What if my opinion is based on incomplete information or lies? bring more information and my opinion may change.

Arguably there is no such thing as "complete information," and who is honestly ready to admit that they have knowingly formed (political) opinions based on flimsy information that could change? "Marriage is between a man and a woman, but I am open to any rebuttals."

Politics isn't math, there is no right answer; it is a contest based on wills and ideology. Politics is power, and power is power even if its wrong. Especially if its wrong.

Maybe I'm just cynical and all those snarky Facebook statuses and Tweets are effecting real change, yeah? People certainly post enough of them that something should be happening, other than a precipitous drop in my overall IQ.

Klepsacovic said...

@Azuriel: The situation you're thinking of is a failure of separation of church and state by people trying to manipulate voters into acting against their own interests. Most Americans use and support the use of birth control. If they were more active, this sort of thing would happen less often.

"Arguably the only reason people get along at all is because everyone doesn't know everything about each other."
Certainly I don't think we need to talk about every single subject. I don't want to hear about your medical life (and yet people still talk about it...). But I do think that we could survive, and benefit from, more political discussion.

"Marriage is between a man and a woman, but I am open to any rebuttals."
I'd never have said that, because I was certain I was right. But despite my front of stubbornness, this is an area in which my views have changed. I used to think gay people were sick, twisted deviants who would destroy the world and corrupt children and were at best too stupid to know what was good for them. Then I grew up and realized that all my fears of gay people were based on false assumptions and blatant stupidity.

People can change, but it's a very very slow process in most cases. It requires a slow, steady trickle of information. Silence doesn't provide that. I don't think snarky tweets do either (guilty), but those are tribal posturing, not actual political discourse.

Tesh said...

It's proper trolling technique to call someone who doesn't agree with you "delusional" or "ignorant". It's much easier to believe that than grant different opinions or priorities any shred of validity.

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