08.20.19

Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A publication from the Free Media Alliance

Overview

Narcissism

Summary: “Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important.”

This is focused mostly on Cluster B personality disorders and their effects, and mostly on Narcissistic personality disorder, but most of all on its presence online.

It is intended as practical advice and not the result of a formal study of online behaviour. Such a formal study could help, if not compromised by a preferred outcome such as looking for an excuse to further regulate the Internet. Some formal studies are compromised by their sponsors.

People throw around a lot of ad hominem in online debates. A common example is accusing Stallman of being autistic. Stallman has said himself that he could be on the autism spectrum, and there’s nothing wrong with that — it is typically brought up to imply he is incapable of making decisions that fall in line with the real world.

“Some formal studies are compromised by their sponsors.”It’s a circular argument; if your goal is to change the world, you’re not going to be talking about things that begin by ceding that the world will not change. Some changes are more realistic than others, but the FSF has met most of its goals, except for the largest. Nothing written here is really about the FSF failing to meet their goals, only abandoning goals partially and not adopting ones that could be necessary. In terms of meeting goals, the FSF has a great track record.

Being clinically diagnosed as a narcissist is also irrelevant. If someone is diagnosed as having NPD and they are not lying and trolling and trying to destroy Free software, then the matter of NPD doesn’t need to be discussed. But when there are many people who are lying and trolling and trying to destroy Free software, then it is still useful to talk about NPD. If more people understood it, a better handle of online communication could probably be obtained by most people. This is highly relevant to the Free software community.

Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important. Some narcissists are very intelligent people, but the word “clever” would apply more universally, and narcissism is more about control and dominance than intelligence. Not everyone who is a jerk is a Narcissist, but some of the worst jerks could well be.

“Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important.”Not all trolls are narcissists either — a lot of trolling is just a harmless prank that never gets out of hand. At first it is difficult to say whether the trolling is harmful or not, and if it puts you on alert that’s alright, but it could be nothing.

Misunderstandings happen all the time. As many misunderstandings are harmless (and they really are, they’re worth resolving whenever possible) a narcissist will try to make everything seem like a misunderstanding. Don’t let this sour you on trying to resolve honest disputes.

The worst trolls are the better-known, evil awful person, who tries to suck the soul out of you one jerk-move at a time.

Most people probably still think of narcissism as just an inflated sense of self. That definition may have validity but is not too good, when every idealist is trying to find some way to save the world. Oh, you don’t want to use software that doesn’t include source code? Boom, you’re a narcissist. Beyond just trying to do “big things,” a narcissist may:

1. pretend to care about you or other people

2. misquote you and speak for you and gaslight you

“The worst trolls are the better-known, evil awful person, who tries to suck the soul out of you one jerk-move at a time.”3. use smear tactics and try to intimidate you, even as a response for anything they dislike about you at all

4. constantly accuse you of things they are doing themselves — then say they were “just kidding, lighten up”

5. play a hero, pretend to care, but have actions that never match their words

6. play people and groups against each other, often over incredibly insignificant faults

7. routinely miss the point of what you’re saying and demand you consider their points (exclusively) — all conversations with narcissists are one-sided

8. have consistently different standards for what they will tolerate vs.
what they will dump on you

Narcissists do not respond (initially, later on, after repeated attempts, or under any circumstances whatsoever) to logic or honesty with logic or honesty. They only ever double down with fallacy and lies.

Although people say “don’t feed the troll,” what they don’t tell you is that the thing you’re feeding them is your happiness and well-being.

This is not just about trolls — Narcissism explains most of the ills that society has. People think that narcissism is rare, but it is not as rare as many assume and we are creating more of them with a society that is perfect for narcissists.

“People think that narcissism is rare, but it is not as rare as many assume and we are creating more of them with a society that is perfect for narcissists.”Selfies are not so bad. Prior to camera-phones, they were known as self-portraits, and some of those are amazing. The real problem with Narcissism is just how many people out there are lying by default, how good they are at lying, and how great they are at weaseling out of any effort to pin them for it. You aren’t just wasting your time going after narcissists — you’re wasting your life.

When feminists talk about “Patriarchy” they are describing male narcissism and narcissistic success. When MGTOWs talk about women, they are describing female narcissism.

Any gender domination in society is a cultural habit reinforced by differences in physical strength. It’s not because “men are just like that.” But narcissists of all genders are “just like that.”

Though they may not always appear to act in groups, narcissists do swarm together. If there’s one nearby that you can discern, there are often others lurking around. They feed off your emotions and off the imaginary things they attribute to your feelings — whether good or bad.

But narcissism helps explain a lot of things — from non-profits that care more about a fancy, decked-out top office floor than the cause in their mission statement, to the cloying but empty promises in any major political party, to one-sided friendships that seem to always go nowhere (or go crazy) no matter how you work to nurture them from your side, to arguments that start out frustrating and become surreal over time and iteration.

“Though they may not always appear to act in groups, narcissists do swarm together.”The only protection from trolls is to starve them, and trolls are constantly trying to make good people look like trolls. No matter how many anti-bullying campaigns you run, how many people you ban, how many misguided zero-tolerance policies you write, trolls will thrive if there’s food around.

That will continue to happen until the day when everyone educates themselves better about clinical narcissism — and gives up the argument that a particular troll has it.

If you go too far, and take down everyone who displays one or two narcissistic traits, you will also stop their victims.

You want three things for a victim of narcissistic abuse: You want to give them an opportunity to heal, You want to give them room to speak that the narcissist tried to troll them out of — and you definitely, definitely want them to fully understand why it is self-destructive to try to go after the troll either directly or publicly.

Turnabout is not fair play — not just because of karma or some perfect morality — but because chasing after the troll is just another opportunity for the victim to be abused further.

“That will continue to happen until the day when everyone educates themselves better about clinical narcissism — and gives up the argument that a particular troll has it.”Many people think this is just about protecting emotionally fragile people’s feelings — or creating a “perfect” code of conduct, or that this is just an opportunity to squash more free speech.

Unfortunately, it can be all those things — even if those things won’t work. That’s a very substantial reason why a global understanding of narcissism would result in a better world, better environments and communication online and offline, less perceived need for zero-tolerance policy and censorship and controlled speech, and greater harmony and success.

If you critically examine the news and advertising, we are constantly being played against each other as a society. Corporations do this because it makes us “better consumers” by their definition of “better.” (Malleable.) So don’t think for a moment that trolls are just some obnoxious kids on an internet forum.

Trolls create and sustain monopolies, they use marketing to psychologically manipulate the public, and they create a society in which we cannot work together to do anything meaningful against them. Understand that power, and you can learn to feed it less.

“By no means was all of this said just to sum it up as “use GNU,” but yes — a free operating system would help substantially because it starves corporations that are bent on controlling not just your computing via their software and social media platforms and ridiculous “Smart” devices — but your entire life, via your computing.”Will using a fully free operating system help? By no means was all of this said just to sum it up as “use GNU,” but yes — a free operating system would help substantially because it starves corporations that are bent on controlling not just your computing via their software and social media platforms and ridiculous “Smart” devices — but your entire life, via your computing.

Using Free software, unlike using “Open Source” is a political and ethical act. Using Free software promotes freedom (and choice as well) and it teaches that sometimes, “the shiny” is actually just poison.

That said, there is a lot more to freedom than just software. So many things run on digital platforms now, that the relevance of Free software to other (more conventionally thought of) freedoms is understated. This is not just about Free software — it is about free society and a better mankind.

Above all, it is most certainly not a call for more censorship — but instead, an idea that may help people realise why more censorship is not needed, and wouldn’t help much anyway.

When you increase the number of tools and features for controlling people and groups, narcissists tend to find better uses for those tools than the rest of us. This is true whether you’re talking about technology or politics.

“So many things run on digital platforms now, that the relevance of Free software to other (more conventionally thought of) freedoms is understated.”Narcissism is not just male or female, left or right, rich or poor, eastern or western. It is a fundamental evil that has plagued humanity for millennia. But between overpopulation, extremely scientific marketing and global communication, it is very likely that the problem is worse than ever in history.

A thorough understanding of the problem is the best first step towards ideal solutions; while a misunderstanding, uncorrected, is a small step towards chaos. The Internet is full of misunderstandings, and this is one it really can’t afford. If you are tired of being trolled, or have friends that are tired of the same, a good understanding of narcissism is the best medicine you could have. It won’t help you fix the narcissists, but properly applied it will save you a boatload of trouble.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 15/1/2021: KaOS 2021.01, Whisker Menu 2.5.2, Istio 1.8.2

    Links for the day



  2. InteLeaks – Part XV: Intel is Blind to Blind and Colour-Blind People

    Intel does not seem to grasp very basic concepts associated with accessibility; nevertheless, Intel shamelessly tries painting itself as "woke" and a "justice warrior" (policing speech while overlooking much-needed practical work)



  3. Links 15/1/2021: GStreamer 1.18.3 and Proton 5.13-5

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 14, 2021



  5. Links 14/1/2021: Wine 6.0, Debian 11 Freeze, and Alpine Linux 3.13

    Links for the day



  6. Patent Propaganda and UPC Jingoism Instead of Actual News

    Today's so-called 'news' about the EPO (Europe's second-largest institution) and the failed UPC is nothing short of shameless propaganda



  7. Links 14/1/2021: Season of KDE 2021 Selection, Mesa 21.0.0-RC1, Tor Browser 10.0.8

    Links for the day



  8. InteLeaks – Part XIV: Technical Incompetence and Incoherence Leading to Alienation and Brain Drain

    The idea that Intel "loves Linux" or "supports Linux" is somewhat of a sham; one needs only to consider what Intel insiders are saying about that, having witnessed it firsthand



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 13, 2021



  10. Links 13/1/2021: $150 RISC-V Computer With GNU/Linux, Intel Replaces CEO Again, and New Fedora 34 Plans

    Links for the day



  11. Unitary Patent is Dead and Lies About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Aren't Ending

    Not "Russian agents" but concerned European citizens are beginning to see the truth behind the Unified Patent Court, which the 'media' has wrongly called "Unitary Patent Court" three times in 2 days



  12. InteLeaks – Part XIII: GNU/Linux Documentation From People Who Never Even Use GNU/Linux

    Inside Intel there's a whole bunch of embarrassing secrets about the Developer/Development eXperience ("DX") team; no wonder documentation efforts have been lacking and far too much time wasted putting such documentation together



  13. Links 13/1/2021: Mozilla VPN, NeoChat 1.0.1 and Sci-Hub Under Attack

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 12, 2021



  15. GNOME Foundation is Still Participating in the Attack on Richard Stallman

    GNOME's supposed 'representatives' (close-knit friends with Microsoft connections) continue to attack RMS (Richard Stallman), the founder of GNU (the G in GNOME) and the Free Software Movement



  16. Links 12/1/2021: GTK 4.0.1 Released, Jailbroken iPhone 7 Running Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. InteLeaks – Part XII: Intel Isn't Interested in Improving and Instead It's Shooting the Messengers Who Highlight Areas for Improvement

    It seems rather clear that Intel (quite frankly like many other companies but perhaps even more so than the rest) isn't interested in self-assessment and instead it's looking to muzzle or even oust constructive critics



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 11, 2021



  19. Tiger Computing Ltd Afraid of Being Seen as Close to the British Military, Resorts to SLAPP Against Blogger and GNU/Linux Developer

    Tiger Computing Ltd (UK) has resorted to baseless legal threats against critics and sceptics, based on clear and obvious misuse of trademark or copyright laws (they don't even seem to know the difference)



  20. Marketing Companies (Disguised as News Sites) Badmouth Linux, Go, Monero and More

    Another day, another shallow piece associating “Linux” with security risks based on something that has nothing to do with GNU/Linux and generally boils to nothing like a real threat (unlike Windows back doors)



  21. The Media is Slurring and Misleading Linux Users Instead of Just Telling the Mundane and Objective News

    The "big sites" or the so-called 'news' sites seem incapable of just objectively covering the news (in line with journalism/journalistic standards)



  22. Links 11/1/2021: Kdenlive 20.12.1, fwupd 1.5.5, Microsoft Offline Again

    Links for the day



  23. InteLeaks – Part XI: Accountability Issues and Disdain for Views/Opinions of Actual GNU/Linux Users/Developers/Communities

    The truth about internal affairs at Intel and developers' struggle with "low/non-tech involvement," as told by insiders



  24. Links 11/1/2021: Linux 5.11 RC3, Firefox Integrates More Patent Traps

    Links for the day



  25. As Microsoft Windows Drops to Just 30% Market Share the Microsoft-Connected 'Net Applications' Wants You to Think Windows Still Has Over 90% of the Market

    StatCounter says Windows is down to 30% this month (Android is at over 42%) and it’s time to talk about the lies which are still being spread by Net Applications (many so-called ‘news’ sites helped spread those lies last year, including so-called ‘Linux’ sites)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 10, 2021



  27. People Sponsored by Google Are Hiding Sponsorship by Google and Hiding Google Critics

    FOSDEM mailing list hides the critics of Google; it's becoming part of a familiar pattern



  28. Alex Oliva's Departure is a Massive Loss to the Free Software Foundation

    The FSF (Free Software Foundation, established 1985) is losing not only Mr. Oliva; it loses some credibility as the departure contributes to the general perception that there's still an ongoing coup, reinventing the FSF in the image not of its very own founder



  29. InteLeaks – Part X: Replacing Free Software With Microsoft, Turning One-Minute Processes Into Days Long

    Processes that were entirely Free software-centric were rejected and replaced by truly antithetical spyware of companies that aren't Intel and give Intel no autonomy or self-determination



  30. Alex Oliva's Resignation From the FSF Board

    At the advice of friendly FSF board members, I turned in the following letter to the FSF president, asking him to pass it on to directors and voting members at a suitable time...


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts