An internet troll responds to something I wrote online:
… Monegenix.com is a whole life insurance vendor with a vested interest in persuading people stocks are “inherently speculative” so they can sell their product.
Ah, the profit motive. Everyone’s favorite villain (except when they’re the ones making money, of course).
I do like the free plug though.
Recently, I’ve been spending some free time studying the nature of online trolls and bullies. As a kid, I was bullied a lot, and so I find the psychology of a bully interesting. I used to be very afraid of bullies, because they’d always threaten me with things I knew I would hate to lose.
For example, when I was a kid, a bully once stole my bicycle and ran over it with a car. That bike was (at that time) one of my favorite toys. I remember I cried for a week after fidning out what he’d done. But… leading up t that point, I remember being full of anxiety over where my bike had disappeared to.
Anyway, speaking of bullies and trolls… I recently read a story about the Ring of Gyges and it got me thinking about the nature of trolls and bullies.
Now that trolling has become a sort of sport for lots of people on the Innernet, I found it especially informative.
In case you were like me and never heard this story before now, The Ring of Geyges is from Plato’s Republic.
Yes, that Plato.
The ring made anyone who wore it, invisible. Not unlike the Ring of Power, from Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings.
But, The One Ring To Rule Them All corrupted the wearer, eroding their moral foundation.
The Ring of Geyges simply exposed a person’s true self and made it impossible to ignore their own immorality.
As the story goes, Glaucon challenges Socrates’ notion of justice and wonders how genuine any human being’s commitment to justice is. He tells the story of a shepherd who found a magical ring, which made him invisible when he wore it. He used the ring to seduce the queen of the land, and they conspired together to kill the king and take over the kingdom.
Glaucon then wondered, ‘what if there were 2 such magical rings?” — one being worn by a “just” man and one worn by an unjust man. Glaucon imagined that the just man would be shown to be corrupt in reality, and would steal from others, seduce other men’s wives and sleep with them, would kill or free whomever he pleased from jail, and would basically do whatever he felt like, whenever he felt like it. And, if there happened to be a man who wasn’t corrupt, then everyone else would think he was an idiot, but would also not say so to the just man’s face out of fear of retribution.
OK, but what does this have to do with the price of a Corona in China?
Well… everything these days. Everything on the Internet is basically hiding behind a sort of Ring of Geyges.
For example, something you’ll notice about all innernet trolls is:
- They always hide behind a veil of secrecy or anonymity. Sometimes, it’s a fake YouTube profile. Other times it’s a fake Facebook photo. Other times, it’s a fake persona online, even if they still use their real name. The Internet means they never have to face the people they’re attacking and;
- They never ever ever address the substance of what’s being said. They never address the facts, in context, or the logic of an argument. It’s always about stirring the pot, ruffling feathers, and hurting the feels so they can take home a digital troll trophy. When you address a point brought up by a troll, they switch gears and bring up unrelated facts to make their position appear legitimate. When you make an analogy, they respond literally. When you respond literally, they respond with a metaphor.
Everything is very cloak and dagger. Everything is about obscuring the truth. Everything is about secrecy and hiding their true self and motives.
But… like the Ring of Geyges, trolls can’t hide who they really are. The ring exposes them, even when they are invisible.
And, it shows you enough of who they are so you know to end the conversation quickly. Or… you can try to empathize with their point of view (which trolls hate with a passion because it contradicts their unstated cynical view of humanity).
On a related note, while I’m normally all for transparency, there are times when I think secrecy is very important. One of those times is when you want to insure and protect your savings. Tis why I often recommend at least a little bit of life insurance for most people who come asking my advice.
The right life insurance plan can cover your savings in a veil of secrecy — even from the IRS (and yes, it’s completely legal).
Now… don’t get me wrong. Not everyone has the right mindset to own life insurance. And, for some people, it will be a tortuous process. But, for the right mind, it will make all the difference in the world.
Anyway, if you want more advice and information that I don’t publish to the blog, join my email list below.