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Enter our inner circle. The history of trolling is a history of rhetoric. This particular history of rhetoric is steeped in philosophy and mythology, spanning across cultures, continents, and time.


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Nothing like a good old-fashioned Internet troll to make chaos out of an otherwise absolutely peaceful situation. Some people approach their free time differently than others. If there were ever a line in the world of face tattoos, Post Malone might've just fearlessly stumbled across it. Maybe drinking like a fish whilst smoking like a chimney are clouding his judgment? We'll let you be the judge. At least the roasts rolling in on the tide of his unsettled audience are A1.

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How can an artist, after all, get bored with his art? Yes, trolling is an art. What makes something an art anyway? If you put aside the medium, forms, and techniques, what any piece of art represents is emotions.

Trolling defined

Trolling, I believe has the same purpose and if done right achieves the same goal. Urban dictionary takes a slightly different tone and defines trolling as:. Urban Dictionary is obviously lesser of a credible reference but given trolling as we know it is a recent phenomenon, does offer a fresh perspective.

For the purpose of trolling discussed here, both are equally relevant. Challenging the beliefs of a person triggers the same region of the brain that responds to physical threat. That is, telling someone you are wrong would excite the same kind of response as throwing a pebble at a monkey- fight or flight, turn aggressive or quit the discussion. There is no third option. The more you challenge the personal beliefs of a person, the stronger they will guard it.

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There are numerous cognitive biases that cause this kind of behavior. But in the face of all those cognitive biases where logic and reasoning are discredited just as easily, rhetoric is the single most effective tool for persuasion. It often uses invalid arguments but the errors are so subtle that few people can actually recognize them in real-time.

Fallacy and slippery slope are particularly potent for the act of trolling. With these considerations in mind, here is your four-step guide to trolling:. If you see someone just hurling abuses, branding people, calling names, just leave them alone.

Also, never argue with someone who seems to have more time than you. They will just erode your patience. Find someone seemingly smart- people who think they know what they are talking about.

The origins of rhetoric

The smarter the target the more you will savor the experience. Tell them they are wrong. Just bombard their statement with brutal criticism attack the statement, not the person. Do not bother with any explanation and if you do, deliberately offer half-baked arguments. With such onslaught, most of them would fold- some would just not respond, others may delete their post and some might even turn abusive- a you chose a wrong target.

They have been trolled.

Some, however, would come out stronger with better-structured arguments and logic. When you tell someone you are wrong the most common response you get would roughly be on the lines of this is my opinion and I have every right to express it. Take that luxury out of the equation and this is where rhetoric comes into the picture.

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Science has no room for opinions. There are of course flat earthers who believe the earth is flat but then they support their opinion with elaborate theories. They do fiercely back their claim with reason. People may have baseless opinions in politics but political science demands reason.

An opinion without reason is just intuition and intuition has no credibility.

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The president is a vampire who eats babies at breakfast? Ask them to back their opinion with reason and facts. When you drag people from the comforts of opinion to the stage of reason, a ificant majority of them would immediately collapse. Some might sustain for a few rounds but their reason would eventually run its course while you would have an endless supply of rhetoric. Ultimately they would fold and more often than not, you would never hear from them again.

They would just stop expressing their opinions and that is trolling in all its glory. The internet today is a very toxic place.

But where does all this noise come from? Generally, someone makes an unsubstantive statement, someone who sounds smart. People read it- some agree, some disagree and they all in their own ways shape their opinion; the opinion they will share elsewhere. One piece of misinformation fosters an entire gang of misinformants.

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The problem is those pseudo-intellectuals who talk stupidity with the tone and authority of an intellectual. Trolling has these days has acquired a bad reputation. Featured Image Source: YouTube. Speak Up. This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by mjay. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Credit: Sabina Becker Via emmashipleyblog. They Stick To Their Guns The more you challenge the personal beliefs of a person, the stronger they will guard it. Dangle The Bait Tell them they are wrong. Strip Them Of Their Armor When you tell someone you are wrong the most common response you get would roughly be on the lines of this is my opinion and I have every right to express it.

The art of trolling: a philosophical history of rhetoric

Take this line of rhetoric for example: Science has no room for opinions. Make The Kill When you drag people from the comforts of opinion to the stage of reason, a ificant majority of them would immediately collapse. But Why Do I Troll?

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