22 October, 2020

The Troll Destroys The Other

Birthing the modern mob­, the new bully boys on Internet Street­, ‘digital democracy’ sees the political lose out for lack of fresh ideas. Discourse is left to die.

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
The Troll Destroys The Other
outlookindia.com
2018-03-17T11:10:34+05:30

Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher once wrote a book on reverence and face-to-face relationships called I and Thou. There was poetry, majesty and a sense of sacred to the book. Meeting face to face becomes a ritual humanising relationship. Buber contrasts the I-Thou relationship full of reverence and anticipation with the I-It relationship, which is impersonal and instrumental. I was asked to read Buber by a philosopher friend of mine bef­ore I wrote anything on trolls.

Reading Buber gave you a perspective on the internet. It reminds you that technology is not complete without an act of storytelling. The story humanises the technology, provides a narrative. It is easy to confront troll and selfie on these lines. A selfie is an act of individuality seeking collectivity, desperate to sustain memory. A troll is an act of a collectivity seeking to distort a story and disrupt a community. A selfie is an invitation to a self, an act of trolling seeks to destroy the other as it cannot stand a different narrative. Within the technological realm, a selfie is an...

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