Why are people trolls and what can we do about it?

Why not the shared practice of nurturing and sustaining a trusting relationship between two or more people? Instead of parsing concepts, I mean.

If we focus on the relationship, the parties to the relationship can agree or not that the relationship is trusting.

Well in this case, I had the comments open. Had this thread not interested me and I didn’t open a tab to check on it, it would have gone unnoticed. Almost no one private messages me.

That can work. But I don’t see that as being an especially emotional process. People can be interested in how each other feel, but there is no way know much about it with any certainty. Not unlike people’s bodies, I think of their emotions as being hermetically sealed. If I care about a person, I want their emotions to be healthy just as I would their physiology. But I only see some evidence of this from a distance, rather than experiencing it directly. I will help to what extent I can, but the hygiene of managing one’s existential state is still one’s own personal work. People influence each other, but it seems that there is no direct correspondence behind this.

Basically, I think that relationships are whatever people make of them. I think what most call “intimacy” truly occurs at a transpersonal level as culture or intellect, while personal relationships based primarily upon emotion have no substantive content. How people feel is important, but what creates a relationship or society is what we actually do.


With the kind of troll who actually reads the discussion before emitting their tedious fingerfarts-- there’s usually kind of something there that you could engage with, if you had a shit-ton of time and charity to spend.

What happens is, they read about (say) gay rights, and it pushes their buttons and makes horrible responses pop up in their head, but they know these responses don’t come from themselves, and they couldn’t justify them if pressed, and so, counterintuitively, they go ahead and post those horrible thoughts. They might say they find it funny to provoke others, but that’s a rationalisation; they did it because they want to understand why they have an opinion they themselves don’t agree with.

To the extent that my theory is right, the best response is to treat their bile as a reasonable position, and disagree with it in a considered and polite way. Of course, no one’s paying you to teach remedial kindergarten to obnoxious adult babies, so you might not bother. But once in a while it can be good practice in articulating your beliefs at the very most basic level.


Fire and acid will prevent them from regenerating. Well, except fire trolls.


“Troll Hunters” a BBC documentary was broadcast recently, features several trolls confronted in the flesh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xdY99CoCx0

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