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Users are increasingly taking their anger, rage, and psychotic urges online.
The online community is increasingly becoming a place where users vent their psychotic urges and frustrations at the world

Ever seen a long raving profanity-laden tirade on a website?  Well, if you're not new to the internet the answer is surely, yes.  Virtually every website that accepts unfiltered comments (including DailyTech) has seen some of these posts.  And they aren't just people casually casting about expletives.  These people are angry, and ready to vent.

People, in increasing numbers, are headed to the internet to vent their rage, signs indicate.  Road rage has been replaced by web rage -- a new form of public antipathy for the twenty-first century.  While this is evident in the descent into name-calling and petty aspersions on many a site, it is also evidenced by the rise of sites specially dedicated to users expressing their anger at the world.

Among these are and, which contains eloquent musings such as one user's comment, "I don't give a flying f***, so f*** you".

From Benjamin Franklin to Letitia Baldrige, etiquette experts of the past must be turning over in their graves at some of the online activity.  The internet frequently descends from a glowing urban paradise to a dark dank alleyway.  States Sara Black, a professor of health studies at St. Joseph's University, who studies the rise of online bullying, "The Internet can be a great tool.  Like any tool, it can also be misused."

One key incentive that drives users to vent online is the anonymity the internet provides.  Describes Lesley Withers, a professor of communication at Central Michigan University, "In the [pre-Internet era], you had to take ownership [of your remarks]. Now there's a perception of anonymity.  People think what they say won't have repercussions, and they don't think they have to soften their comments."

University of Texas psychology professor Art Markman says the removal of body language and facial expressions from communication leads to a descent into the darker side of human emotion.  He states, "It's hard to be aggressive when you're face to face.  A lot of times, real anger is an attempt to get control over a situation where the person doesn't usually have it."

Indeed people attempt to lash out at blog posts they disagree with or even their fellow commenters’ opinions, though they have little hope of changing the posting.  Social observers liken these power games to the ones played by children and teens at schools.  Cheryl Dellasega, a Penn State women's studies professor describes how children and adults alike are turning the online community into a new site of bullying

She proclaims, "Girls who are getting teased come home and let their [aggressors] have it by putting something on their blog and starting a rumor campaign.  [And the rumors,] they go out to a much bigger group, a worldwide group. The impact is devastating, and it's as easy as clicking a button.  Kids don't realize that one post can destroy somebody's life forever."

Indeed lives have been lost to online bullying, such as Megan Meier, who committed suicide after a neighborhood bully invented a fake male persona and then used it to torment her, finally convincing her to kill herself.

In August, The New York Times ran a story on trolling.  According to the magazine, trolls post insulting comment for "lulz".  States one ex-troll in the piece, "Lulz is watching someone lose their mind at their computer 2,000 miles away while you chat with friends and laugh."

Even respectable adults are losing their composure on the internet.  A Japanese woman murdered her husband's online avatar after he divorced her.  A South Korean actress committed suicide over online rumors. 

Is there an end in sight for online rage?  Well certainly not until the latest election's results are in and long since overflowing with discussion (and tirades).  However, for the long run most experts agree there's relatively little that can be done to quash online anger, other than better parenting, and an emphasis on polite behavior online as children develop.

The problem is not new, explains psychiatrist Dr. Terry Eagan, medical director of the Moonview Sanctuary in Santa Monica, California.  He states, "Some people are just bitter and angry.  Sometimes, they're against everyone, other times against a specific group. That person can get really stimulated and can say all sorts of horrible things. But I don't think it's not like they didn't exist before.  I tell patients that I'd rather know everything about people; information is powerful.  When the climate of the world is more fear-based, it permeates everything."

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By Eris23007 on 11/10/2008 8:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
Your understanding of the theories underlying capitalism and communism are flawed.

Communism assumes all poeple to be equal and to have equal rights to oppertunities. Most oppertunities stem from society - schooling, health care and housing, transportation- No man can provide these for himself, and thus they should be equaly accessable to all.
Offcourse, there's always one person that doesn't play well with others and abuses the system for his own benefit. Communism is defeated because it trusts in poeple's ability to work together and share.
(russia was never (or only very briefly) a communism! - leninism and stalinism)

No. Communism is not about equality of opportunity, communism is about equality of outcome - no matter the talent, capabilities, or other unique facets of the individual, all individuals are guaranteed the same outcome - everyone gets the same ration of food, everyone gets the same quality of place to live, etc.

No man can provide himself with schooling, transportation, or a house to live in? What about the man who cuts down trees and builds himself a house, or domesticates a wild animal upon which to ride? What about the woman who chooses to spend her time reading about math and physics while everyone else is doing nothing?

Communism isn't defeated because it trusts in poeple's ability to work together and share. Communism is defeated because PEOPLE ARE NOT EQUAL IN CAPABILITY. IQ is a bell curve. Some people work harder than others. So long as not every person has exactly the same capabilities as everyone else, Communism will continue to fail.


Capitalism states no man is equal. To gain a right you must earn that right... Natural selection in society. so far so good.
However, who determines when a right is earned? That person has power and will not choose based on objective evaluation, but subjective preferences (you don't award the most capable , you award in your own interest) - and the system becomes about who, not what. Thus capitalism defeats itself because it assumes poeple are honest and altruistic.

Again false. Capitalism is in fact the system based upon equality of opportunity - every person has the opportunity to use their natural abilities to achieve greater economic success for themselves and whomever else they choose. Outcomes are simply not guaranteed. Thus those with greater abilities generally observer greater success.

Capitalism is not defeated and has not been defeated. Its efficiency is somewhat impacted because of the power-sharing issues you describe.

Capitalism also does not assume honest or altruism. It assumes rational, big-picture self-interest on the part of all participants.

Where Capitalism is challenged is that people are not inherently big-picture thinkers. People are very good at rational short-term self-interest; it's the long term thing that kills them. This is the fundamental cause behind our economic turmoil right now.

Capitalism will continue to win out in the end because it comes the closest to sustainability overall while improving the lives of the majority of the participants. The smartest thing that we as a society can do is to establish incentives that leverage the power of capitalism to reward long-term rational decision-making HIGHER than short-term rational decision-making.

I'll pass on the required profanity as I'm writing this from a company computer (off the clock though, of course). Weak, I know. But I'll revisit the post later :-)

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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