Communicating with Trolls: The Late Night Show with Mike and Dan

Brojo coaches Dan Munro and Mike Wells get together to chat randomly about all things related to difficult communication, especially trying to communicate with trolls and haters online, or dealing with forums and groups that have turned nasty.


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Full transcript (unedited)

Yeah, man. So yeah, I love social situations. But I treat them very differently. It’s not, it’s not relaxing to go to large group events. For me, it’s a bit of a an emotional drain, and a psychological drain, and usually a physical drain as well, because it’s usually a dance event and workshops all weekend and dancing till 2am. And that kind of thing, it has its place. I love it. It’s good for me. But, but I definitely have to refuel after events like this, where somehow, when I hang out with do a one on one, like when we hang out, have a lunch on the weekend, something like that, we’d have the most intense discussions, but I come away. Absolutely. Kind of recharged and full of ideas and tons of energy. Interesting to see that dynamic. I wonder if that’s part of the sort of outgoing introvert mindset. Yeah, I wonder about that. Like, I’d always be interested to hear from people who really genuinely believe they love big groups. And socializing is like a preferred form. And they feel it’s totally genuine and totally healthy. Like, I’m not saying these people don’t exist, I’m not trying to imply that I’m, I’m just really keen to hear from them because I am definitely strongly extroverted. But I still hate groups, unless unless the group actually ends up taking the form of lots of one to one intense discussions. Like, for example, when we used to run brojo, you know, like, group stuff that didn’t dream me by taking turns to talk, and everybody’s talking real shit. I think it’s, it’s the same like having mentioned Kelly here for two days, we’re like talking almost nonstop for hours and hours. Didn’t drain me though. Because we’re doing a real shit. And I didn’t have to think of it. Like, I feel like the distinction for me is when I’m, I can give all kinds of intellectual energy, I can stand in front of a crowd and give a TED talk, and I’ll feel recharged. Because there’s no emotional drain. The moment I’m in a situation where people need attention, when they need someone to listen to their problems, and not fixing, it’s exhausting. And as a guy, you know, with a girlfriend who, you know, women often are, you know, famous for wanting their man to listen and not fix things. I can understand why guys find that such as such a difficulty. It’s, it’s hugely draining and parenting god. Yeah, you wouldn’t know anything about that we need all your emotion and you can’t talk any rational sense to them. Drain It’s beautiful, but it’s, it’s, it’s definitely you need time to refill that cup. I’ve been thinking about that a little bit lately. Like, accepting your partner, right? So then you can apply this to friends, whenever. If you’re gonna go on when they don’t, don’t hope that they’ll become something that they’re not. And one of the things that I am as problem solver. And like, like, I would call it complaining if someone talks about a problem that they could do something about, but they refuse to do anything about it. I call that complaining. Not everyone will call that complaining. Some people just call it sharing. But for me, I’m listening to they’re going, why are we talking about this? You know, and on a like a rational or academic sense. I get it. Some people just like to talk about stuff and share and they don’t want to do anything about it. But I get it like I get that Lions have to eat raw meat. Like I get that it’s true, but I don’t do that. You know what I mean? Like that’s not my thing. And I don’t get it from an empathetic level. Like I wouldn’t ever go here. I feel like doing that too. Like for me if I hear myself talking about a problem I could solve I feel embarrassed, like Get your shit together and you know and so one of the things I’ve been talking about with Lucia but it’s like she has to accept like if she brings problems to me. I am desperately urged to try and help her stop, not solve them myself necessarily. I’ve moved past that. But I’m going to push her to solve them. And rather than going with the Cosmo magazine, like you should listen more she has done staying like I’m not that person in her life. I’m not that guy. That would be to like, I’d have to, like, pretend to be something, I’m not to be that guy. She needs to talk to her girlfriends. If it’s that situation, you know, I’ll talk to her family or there’s other people she can talk to. I’m just not their role. And in life, the guy listens to complaints and just get him Yes, poor, you can’t do it. I’ve never, I’ve never figured that out, either. I suspect that in the situation where you are your female partners only support that there’s probably a balance that can be achieved, where you’ll give her time where you’ll just listen, and you’ll hold it in your holding your responses you hold in your opinions, you hold him, but you, she’ll be very clear. After she’s had a little bit of time to stew over in release, there is going to be a discussion about how it can be, you know, confronted and resolved. Because, man, I think I would explode if I didn’t have the opportunity to actually fix it. I found something really interesting in the forums the other day, I’ve been really actively engaged in a number of tech forums lately, and started a kind of side business doing consulting for large product companies, where the executive teams bring me in to consult on their products, it’s been really interesting, it’s a different, it’s a different event. It’s a lot like the management consulting, I used to do, except now I’m a third party, roaming the world wherever I want to be. And they just bring me into zoom calls and talk to their team about their features and problem solving. And they’re beautiful, because they want to solve problems. That’s why they’re there. You know, it’s great I can, I can identify and solve everything. Those are incredibly fulfilling discussions. But then I’ve also been spending a lot of time in the forums in the user forums of those same companies. So I understand what the users are struggling with. And that’s a whole different world, a lot of the users there are just there to complain. Yeah. And I had a situation the other day where a user came in and asked, How do I fix this thing was thing doesn’t work what I do, and I gave him a solution. Here you go. There was no thank you. No sign of appreciation, more complaints. Oh, I like I gave him the solution he needed, but he wanted to complain more about how the product didn’t work exactly the way he wanted. And that kind of gave him the what for. And then a few other forum, moderators kind of came in and go, Why do you, you know, you don’t even work for the parent company? Why are you why are you reacting? They considered it defensive, wasn’t defensive at all. And I explained, it’s like, look, he came in, he asked a question, and gave him an answer. There was no thank you. There’s no appreciation, there were simply more complaints. If I, if he worked for a company that I was Management Consulting at, he would have been escorted out of the building on the spot, like there was no place for that. It simply didn’t make any sense. If you come into the forum’s asking a question, and someone answers it, and invest time in your problem, it’s so important to give some degree of respect and appreciation back otherwise, you’re just a drain on society. And I didn’t realize my viewpoint on that had become quite black and white, quite harsh. I had zero tolerance for that. And I reacted off the cuff. It was interesting, as I was writing, I was like, I can see a little bit steam. But this is a very healthy kind of anger. And he needs to see this. And it was a lot of fun writing, I really enjoyed that. Yeah, it’s a there’s something I sort of debate with a bit around sort of compassion and empathy. All the big philosophies will in one way or another say that if for this huge effort to try and understand them from their point of view, and, you know, see the human frailty and stuff. And when somebody does something that’s sort of this sort of contradictory to the culture of the thing. You have to try and understand them and so on. And I get that, like, if we did that more with criminal offenders, there would be less crime too simple there. But I’ve also I’ve worked directly with criminal offenders, and there’s a time and a place far more frequently that people would have met, we got to be hard on them to get the best results for everybody involved, including themselves. And I think we’re getting into an age where it’s almost I mean, you can totally talk about how people get offended the whole outrage, culture and everything like that. We’ve become too tolerant of people being disrespectful of people. Lost which I think I’d use the term disrespectful, where they know what the game is, and they break the rules and then expect to be like a plus. ordered for doing so. You know what I mean? Like, like your example is a good one. So when it comes to a form, this is a q&a situation. Couldn’t be more clear. This isn’t like, this isn’t a This isn’t your therapist. This is like tech guys. What do you think tech guys are going to do like talk to you about your feelings? This is tech guys do this places like spectrum as fuck, like you’re gonna get black and white answers do it comes in and then like, just wants to bitch. No, I don’t think that should be accommodated. I don’t think it’s in his best interest to accommodate that even to not even like reflect a little bit. Like, sometimes if you’re if you’re if you’re petting a dog that’s dangerous. You need to be a bit kind of thing. You can’t just be like, oh, let’s talk about the dog. How we did was the fluffy Did you like that? Like, there’s there’s places for that. Lots of them. Therapy, for example. There’s nothing but there. But you’ll notice therapists You don’t owe him anything. And even down to intimate relationships. If you haven’t signed up for being something you’re not, then you don’t owe them anything. They shouldn’t expect anything. Lucy is pretty good for this like, Rotella like this is the guy you married, remember? And she’s a fair enough. You know, like, she’s not expecting me to like add more denims to the contracts that weren’t there when I signed you know. And that’s what I love about coaching as a guy show up going like this guys can be hard on me. So I don’t have to pretend to know. And thing is I’m actually not that hard all the time. You know, there’s times where like compassion reflecting their strengths and their but complaints don’t go very far and coaching they get destroyed, annihilated and the person will think before it sets what they want and what they need. Yeah, I don’t know, I think coddling people has gone too far. It’s overcorrected. It is it is. And the thing is, particularly an online forums. I think people often use it as a place to emotionally vent. You know, I look at these tech forums, and one of the situations is that the team, the business development team, which is 800, strong, is super busy, super busy turning out awesome features and good products, and then not spending a lot of time in user forums. So the user forums end up being a bit of a Lord of the Flies situation. All right, people start complaining, someone else picks it up, pretty much now you’re developing an anti company sentiment in their own forums. And just like any relationship, it starts to erode and see a lot of corrosive thinking and behavior and talk. And new users come in are like What the hell’s going on here? This is crazy. This is mayhem? Who’s Who’s running this show? No one is, you know, it’s very Lord of the Flies. It said, it’s actually a great analogy. And, and I remember when I was writing, I was thinking, well, he’s probably just really had a bad day, maybe I should be a little more gentle. But I decided that that absolutely wasn’t what was needed here. For him, he needed a good kind of smack upside the face. And what’s interesting is, I’ve found that since I’ve started my participation in the forums, I’ve, I’ve had a lot of fun seeing what impact I can have on the culture there. So one of the things is rather than moaning about problems, I fix them. Here’s a solution. Have you tried this? Have you tried that talk to this guy, he’s an expert in DNS issues, whatever the heck it is, right? I give them solutions. And the moment people have a direction to vent their anger and give their attention, you know, an actual solution they can work towards. A lot of them will take it appreciatively. The ones that don’t, you’re like, You’re not here to actually fix anything, you’re here because you’re frustrated, and you just want to be an ass. And this isn’t the place for that. So just go away. You know, if there was a block button in the forum, I’d be using it. You know, I’ve said that out loud to people, you know. But I think it’s just something that we all kind of have to take some responsibility for, because I live so much of my life online. Now. I don’t want those forums to be like ratty, you know, mongrel infested neighborhoods that I don’t want to go into. It should be an awesome place where people are actually helping each other. Just like the community outside my door. I want to see people taking some responsibility for their issues and help in taking some responsibility to be a good citizen. If they see somebody else having a problem that they can fix easily, or point them in the right direction. If we can do it takes two seconds of your time that makes a better a better world for everybody. So I found that actually to be a really good investment investment of my time. And what was really interesting to me was, it paid back quickly. Like we’ve talked about this in coaching, where the more you give, the more you serve, the more you provide help to people, it’ll, it’ll come back, it’ll come back in the form of referrals that have come back in the form of new experience and knowledge that will come back in new opportunities that will come back and coaching with that person someday later, when they have a good job. It’ll come back and hear it’s quite interesting. So I’ve gotten a number of interesting corporate contracts out of it, including the companies that I was sort of silently helping, right? And very unexpected. But it’s really kind of beautiful to see that there is a kind of tangible karma to investing in your in your investing positively in your social world. And I’m having a lot of fun seeing where that goes. I actually put a put on my website and put a you heard of buying me a coffee. Yeah, I think I have yet, like some estimation type thing. It’s like a tip jar. Yeah. It’s like, hey, if you’d like to this blog article, buy me a coffee. So I was answering some questions in the forum. And then what I would do is I’d refer them to articles, blog posts, things that I do, and I renamed it, buy me a beer. And I put, but you know, all kinds of great information and content there. And anytime someone asked me a question, I’m like, Here’s the article you need. Here’s the solution in here, here’s a video. Here’s the Cloneable. Because I keep answering the same questions. Very frequently, people can’t seem to work out how to use the search feature. But that’s a whole different thing. It was interesting. The first day I put it up, I got 10 beers. So it’s about 100. US just instantly dropped in by one guy. Yeah, I was like, That’s very interesting. Like, I didn’t ask for that. And no, but just being out there pulling him pulleys, but out of the fire, right, when it mattered, most didn’t mean anything to me mattered a whole lot to him. Yeah. And I think I think we run into that all day long. But we we really notice it when it happens, we’re too busy to win in our own head too, you know, almost selfish in a way, not out of any malicious intent. Just we’re not really aware that everyone’s struggling in some way sometime. But I think, yeah, there’s, there’s a number of things with that approach, like, one is like, it’s easier to measure online than in person a little bit. But you can change the culture with role modeling. So I think an even more effective approach then say, kind of attacking the guy who complains, is just being the guy doesn’t, and be prominent. Yeah, that’s real, Marcus Aurelius stuff, you know, be unlike the man who caused the injury is the best kind of revenge. And I’ve seen this I’ve seen, see myself getting involved even something as small as like a comment section or a thread that’s really getting out of hand. views come in and swing in the positive direction when everyone else is spiraling negatively. It doesn’t take many people to do that to turn it around. But it’s a bit of an art like it has to be a can’t be a counter attack, because then now there’s just polarized and two sides. There’s always the kind of, like, there’ll be the say, the left and the right arguing with each other, the black and the white. It’s the gray that comes in and rescue that says, I can see both sides of the story. Clearly the most helpful approach we could all take, as this kind of calls everyone out, like to a higher level that you can do better than this, like, really, you’re adults, and they say talk to each other. And you actually you kind of go meta on the discussion in the style and the culture, rather than the issue being discussed. It can be the turning point, quite often for a culture, but I think even more so as just while everyone else is pitching, you come in and solve and you keep doing it so much that other people might as well give them a nudge myself. Because I think, while you have sort of we’ll call them negative influences. They pay power is quite brittle. I think deep down, people don’t really want to be like that. Or a few people do but the followers are only doing so because of those sort of following instincts that humans have, you know, that kind of they get pulled into it and they get outraged and triggered and so on. We’re going to start off with a hero comes along kind of thing, and someone comes along and it’s just better than that, morally. It shames them into an adjustment of behavior. I think it’s very easy to convert the followers of a negative much more so than it is to subvert the followers of a positive. I think for most sane people, absolutes don’t exist yet, you know, there isn’t absolute black isn’t absolute light. So if you’re leaning too heavily towards one of those, you know, schools of thought, it’s because you probably retreated there out of defense feeling attacked, so I’m gonna I’m gonna become more Christian or more atheist are more whatever anti Vax, why because someone’s challenging me. And so I have to defend and prove myself and the end up going deeper down the rabbit hole, whatever whatever that rabbit hole happens to be there are millions of them. And it’s interesting because when you come in in the middle, you give them an escape, you give them a way to back away from their untenable extremist position without conceding defeat or, you know, I was wrong, you know, it’s more like not actually okay, he’s, he’s being more reasonable. That’s legit and fair, I think I’ll walk through that door and see what happens. I think you’ve probably encountered as often as I have situations like a, when you walk into the middle of a relationship dispute, as a coach. I’ve walked into disputes between business partners, have walked into disputes between businesses and their clients mediations, right before a big legal affair. Obviously, marital relationships, even friendships on occasion, right? Where you, you walk in as the coach without taking sides. But you’ve got two people that have very distinctively defensive viewpoints. I found that very interesting that quite often I’ll be brought in by one person. Occasionally, I’m lucky. And I’m brought in by a third party who’s not involved. And so I’m, you know, there’s no question of my bias. But what’s interesting is, I’m usually brought in by one of the parties. And the first question that the other person has is, is he bias is he going to just support the other person’s, you know, stance and beliefs and so on? Well, what ends up happening is most often I end up challenging the person who brought me in more, because there are a lot of things they don’t see. And because I know I can call them out more directly and help them see them. And it becomes a really interesting dynamic, when you Yeah, I’m just sort of reflecting on the whole arbitration of, you know, divisions in in social groups all the time. I see you said actuations, where there’s, there’s a, there’s a technique, there’s sort of an art form to coming in and diffusing the situation in a way that everyone feels safer and respected and happier, and, and able to leave their extreme positions and come back to a middle ground, come back to the table, sit down, talk through the actual differences, instead of just being completely emotionally polarized. Maybe that’s it, maybe it’s, maybe it’s all about resolving the emotional polarization first, so the actual facts can be discussed. Well, that’s why I feel like we’ve circled back to the first discussion, which was about, you know, letting your partner release her emotions before you can actually have a rational discussion. I think it’s still centered around role modeling. Like I saw a video with Brad Blanton, author of radical honesty, and his actual day job as relationship therapist. And he was saying that almost every time they both come in, one says their peace, and the other says they’re beasts and then they look to him to go like who’s right? And every time he’s like, you’re both followship. And he says that he’s never had an exception to that, ever. And yeah, that’s radical honesty for you. But that’s always the case. I’ve never seen two extreme sides and one of them’s right. And that can be quite humbling when they get that message in a way that they can hear it. You know, I quite often say I’ll watch because I like watching intellectual debates, or watch the atheist versus religious type debates, the top level people. And it’s always a bit disappointing because I know that no one’s leaving changed. People who came to watch the religious guy are now more entrenched, because now they got an enemy of being attacked. And all those rational arguments and everything didn’t do shit. I know that and the other side as well. Yeah, there’s, there’s plenty of arguments for like, There’s wisdom in the Bible. And there’s plenty of arguments for the Bible’s full of shit. And yet neither party leaves having adjusted at all, if anything that the concrete. So nature of like anybody who comes out like I’m an atheist now they always were, that’s all. And now they just feel safe to say it, which is still good for them. But the most powerful thing I’ve seen say exactly in that example, is I’ll tell people, I’m an atheist, and then I say, my wife’s Catholic. And they all just sort of get out. Because no matter what side you’re on, that’s like, oh, that’s new. Like you’re, you’ve together. So here, why wouldn’t we be? And I just have to kind of reset like that. That’s possible. And I think what stands out and you can get the same thing in a relationship coaching session, is people have spent so much time arguing they’ve forgotten what the goal is, what are they trying to achieve here to beat the other people is that who you really are, and see them relationships, like you hit a beat your partner, because if your relationship is, you know, if your goal is actually to be in a good relationship, and you remember that, you’ll see that our this is not the way to do that. This conflict is not the way to do that. And that’s what I mean, when I say like, if I say to people, like my wife’s Catholic, and I’m atheist, it can be a wake up call, if the goal is I just want to get along with people. I just want to not hate people. That’s all. That’s the real goal. My real anger towards a religion is not that people are religious, that’s a hate what they’re doing. I hate them. And I hate feeling hate. And if you can just go like, you know, I can set you up with a conversation when you walk away with way less hate towards religious people. Without them changing a thing. You know? Would you rather have that? Or would you rather, like convince a single Christian to convert atheism? Like, what are you really here for? Yeah, I’ve seen this progression, it’s kind of a progression of relationship. Entropy, right? Where you’ve got a couple, any couple? Relationship couple business couple, you know, citizens and government can be any kind of social relationship, right? Starts off good, can faces some problems at some point. And at first, the problems are the goal, right? It’s an actual, we’ve got something we could potentially solve here, what can we do to solve it? And if that isn’t actually dealt with, it starts to decay, and emotion starts to really enter the picture. And I think there are phases to it. I think the first phase is essentially avoidance, where they’re just like, oh, this is really uncomfortable. Let’s try to pretend the problems not there, we’ll just kind of go along, we don’t have a immediate overnight solution. And that stage one, and they generally don’t resolve anything with that, because they’re just avoiding the problem now. And pretty soon you start to enter stage two, which is more of a form of trying to avoid the pain, like actually hiding from each other, because they imagine the the other party is causing them harm. I think this is actually one of the things that explains a lot of the backlash we saw towards vaccination. You know, all the science aside, whatever the science is, you know, I’m not I’m not a scientific expert here. I’m not going to claim to have the answer regarding the vaccine debate, but I think there was a point where people got scared enough and tired enough and frustrated enough that they began to see the government as an enemy. Why? Because no one had clear answers. And yet, you’re still confronted with this problem of, well, you’re gonna have to get the jab and you’re gonna have to carry around a stupid vaccine pass if you want to go get a dinner, or get on an airplane, or stay in a hotel or go see a concert or anything, right. And that created a lot of emotional turmoil for people, I see the same thing in relationships as well, there’s a point where they just start avoiding each other completely. And when they see each other, there’s just pain. So they’re trying to doctor it and as best as they can. And but at that point is when usually we get called in as coaches, they can feel things are slipping out of their grasp, they’re spiraling out of control, things are clearly not getting better. They don’t know how to make them better without help. And so they bring in relationship advisors or us, right. But then there’s a stage three, which is when the resentment kicks in and they started attacking each other. You know, you’re now my enemy. So originally, there was some issue, which could have been resolved most likely nine times out of 10. They could have done something about it. They could have at least acknowledged that it was a problem mutually and agreed on that fact. Right. But what usually ends up happening is is to K process until they see each other as the problem. And at that point, that’s when, you know, the divorce lawyers get called in, we’re not even invited to the party anymore. Too late. Right. And and that decay I see that happen very often. It is, it’s almost like I mean, we see this in all kinds of different areas of human psychology. So it’s no surprise to see it in relationships. But I feel like there’s a, there’s an inner pattern here where, you know, you go avoidance, and then we’ll end up with, you know, your world falling apart, because you’re not actually dealing with a confronting with whatever it is your money issues, your health issues, or relationship issues or career issues, you know. I think, yeah, the vaccine one was a good example of this at a real big level. I remember specifically in New Zealand, you know, you got to a point we had protesters outside, you know, the government. And what stood out to me is that the Prime Minister didn’t go and talk with them. And I was like, Ah, you should have talked to them. You should have tried not to get to a solution, but to show that you’re willing to talk to them. That was missing. And all they did was further divide, you know, and by that stage had become us versus them all throughout New Zealand on more than one issue. And it’s not on the government to solve that. I mean, I think most governments are kind of, unfortunately, full of just quite pathetic minded people. And it’s up to the rest of us to sort out shit. And I really think like, there’s just like heroes missing. People come along, like, look, we’re all neighbors and friends, we shouldn’t be fighting about this, like, let’s just try and talk about not like, what science is, so you’re wrong. And well fucking, does YouTube have found this other things that you’re wrong, and that that just didn’t get anywhere because people felt the goal was to convince the other side, and to protect myself. Rather than the goal is I want to like the place I live like this grand a goal, like I want to enjoy the people I’m around. Yeah, people lose sight of the kind of grandeur goal for this shorter term thing. And when they lose sight of that, which is easy to lose sight of, you just need to trigger them, promote them, and they lose sight light instantly. They then just engage in essentially self sabotaging behaviors, you know, with my experience, nowhere have I seen this more than in criminal justice, like the way criminal justice works, the revenge system, you heard people say will hurt you back. It’s so counterproductive, it only creates more crime. It guarantees that we will not reduce crime to like a microscopic level. And so we’re just shooting ourselves in the pope in the foot with this like need for revenge, we create laws that are based on like how much revenge you can take on someone, rather than like, how do we like work with this guy, so he never does it again. And so he never raised his kids to do it. And so we like the bigger goal of we have a Chromeless society, you know what I mean? Harm, the harm free society be will be like nap, fuck it. I don’t care if my kids get mugged by his kids and teenagers, I want him to go to jail, you know, and you can see them just like you said, and all scopes, people just start going against the other person, they get all tribal. And it’s not in their best interest, other than instant gratification. I was just watching a documentary about an initiative in the US some years ago, 2030 years ago, it’s quite old news now. Where there was an effort to sort of rehabilitate criminals, by embracing them back into this society. And the way they approached it was they tried to create places where everyday citizens, business owners, housewives, whatever, would interact with people who had recently come out of, you know, doing they’re doing their time, and essentially help them reintegrate into society simply by just talking to them and getting to know them and sitting down for a coffee and chatting about life. And how are you doing and what’s next. There was no direct plan. But what’s interesting is, it was put, it was kind of I remember, I was put out by somebody like Ronald Reagan, like, like an old school president, and everybody was like, There’s no way that’s going to work. That’s insane. You know, no one’s going to want to get involved in that. And it’s just going to create, I mean, there are two different types of people with two different worlds and two different mindsets. But the results were amazing. And when we talk about it in the context of what happens psychologically Glee, I think we’ve hit the nail on the head here, which is that when someone feels suddenly that they are accepted, and embraced in society, society is no longer the enemy. Once society becomes an opportunity for a better life, of course, you’re going to take care of it, you’re going to protect it just as you would your family and your friends. And that changes everything. And I think that particular approach to, to resolving social conflict in all forms, right, is based on that simple fundamental mammal brain design, of course, I want to feel safe around the people around me, unless they’re actively attacking me, I’m going to treat them well. And I’m going to seek to be a part of that society, it’s only when I feel they’re coming out with me with a stick, and there’s no carrot in sight, then I’m going to, I’m going to retaliate. But we keep creating that we keep creating that pattern again, and again, whether it’s through, you know, some kind of racism, or lack of education, or selfishness, or greed, or all sorts of situations where we end up creating those divisions. And it’s really interesting when I look at business partners, are all sorts of different dynamics going on there. Right there interpersonal conflicts, sometimes they’re weird situations where like a secretary got involved with both of them or, you know, crazy, things like that. So now there’s a love interest that they’re competing over in some level, or feeling resentment over. Of course, money is a huge factor, huge factor differences of opinion, differences have a sense of like, who’s investing more time, effort, value, right? Who should benefit more, there’s so many factors. But all of those could be talked through? Well, once it starts going over, down an emotional slope, it heads for Cliff really fast. And when they don’t resolve that, suddenly, they’re just too many pieces to pick up. It’s like, you know, it’s shards of pottery of a broken vase, you can try to glue it back together, but it is, it is really hard at that point. Yeah, the the kind of sunk cost fallacy where they’ve invested in the carnage now, and, I mean, you get there with the justice system, like who would want to, like admit that everyone in prison should be laid out or whatever, you know, like, nobody wants to go to them to fix the mess. But yeah, that’s this, again, it’s just that kind of modeling. Like when someone’s heroic, and they come up and be the bigger man. It’s amazing. The impact that has, you know, like, the science is very clear, the very best thing you can do for criminal offenders is wrap them in community support, there’s nothing that’s more effective at all, than reducing reoffending. It’s more effective than getting them off drugs and everything. Like it’s a single like, I was quite heartened, when I was working in corrections that we eventually got to the understanding the science there, and we started doing it, especially with higher risk. And in the people were there you go on to the community go lay, who wants to help a dude out of jail and bunch people? Sure, I’ll do that. Like, that sounds kind of thrilling and interesting. And I got to do it. And it’s as simple as you have a coffee with the dude, you’re available on the phone, maybe sleeps in your basement, these people took these kinds of risks. But not from their point of view, from their point of view, they’re doing good for society. So they instantly get a win for themselves, because they’re like, I’m fucking because of meaning in my life, I’m giving to another person who knows who nobody wants to give to. I’ve got heaps of employers who are happy to employ ex cons, you know, and would prefer to because that’s part of their like, value in life that like gives them meaning to like, a hand. They certainly like a guy works hard to win. He knows how hard it is to get a job. Do you know what I mean? Like, and he’s like, nobody will hire me because I’ve got, like you tattooed on my forehead. Wonder it’s like, they’ll let you fucking got a wheelbarrow around. If you’re a good boy, he’s like, I’m fucking gonna watch me with this wheelbarrow, bro. Like, I’m gonna be like nothing you’ve ever seen. And it says it just made sense. It should make sense when you hear like, intuitively, of course, if you rep someone in support, who’s never had in their life, their behavior will improve. And like you said, I think you nailed it, which is the thing that was their enemy is now their provider, they’re going to protect their provider. It’s as simple as that they’re not going to bite the hand and feet. I know a guy that lives near me here as a landlord. And I was talking to him the other day about one of his tenants that he recently invited into one of his properties. Really interesting situation, the guy’s an ex con. The the tenant, not the landlord, right, as far as I’m aware. And in the tenant, he basically said, Look, I don’t have a job right now. Just got out, you know, on government assistance. I’m illiterate can’t read the contract that you want. Beside, you know, so I really don’t have any idea what, you know what I’m signing here as a lease, but I’ll do my best. And Leonard thought about it from any goes, you know, I appreciate that appreciate it some tough times you don’t have a job, you can’t read the contract. Normally, that’s not a situation and your landlord would want to get into. But his response was, yeah, I hear all of that, I appreciate that. The thing that I care about is that you’re clearly honest. You told me straight up your situation, you told me straight up, you know, where my risks lie is your landlord. I’m in if you want the place, it’s yours. guy moved in, lived there for a year and a half, paid his rent on time, every month. You know, he was so committed to that situation, simply because he was given a chance and he was respected. You know, given a situation treated like a human, you know, and I stepped away from that kind of going Damn, you know, that’s, that’s a great lesson right there. You know, it could have gone wrong. For a lot of people, it would go wrong. But it was a really good testament of how when you give someone a chance and treat them well, they’re very likely to do the same back, you know, when the opportunity is there. I think we’re pretty deeply wired for that social cohesion. If it weren’t we all live in anarchy everywhere in the world. Well, we can see the anarchy online. And I think it’s because it the dehumanization of online. Communication, I mean, even from just basic phone text messaging onwards, like if there’s a lack of the things people do online that they would never do face to face. And not just because they’re too afraid, just the kind of social, like empathy and compassion wouldn’t allow them to behave that awfully because you understand when someone’s having a rant online, they’re not seeing people, they’re seeing a computer screen, they can do whatever they want a computer screen. I think there’s more than that. And I love this discussion. This is this is a great discussion, because then online world, I remember you did a piece on this. Six months ago, years ago, I saw it zipped by I never watched it, but was something about why people online are can be total dicks. And in the real life, they’re a good guy, you know, seemingly, what’s the difference here? Where’s that switch flicking? There was a study done, where I need to, I need to look it up if you’re interested. But I was watching a video on social change that I’m fascinated by. So psychologists talking about how it actually is possible to institute wide scale social change, simply by changing the behavior of a few individuals. And one of the things they did was there were some some horrific traffic accidents happening in London. I believe it was in London. And they couldn’t figure out how do we get people to actually watch for pedestrians? How do we get people to not jaywalk? How do we get people to respect the traffic lights? How do we stop people from getting mowed down in the streets? You know, and what they did was the weirdest thing, but it totally worked was they hired some mines. You know, the hole in a box, you know, mines, street mines, they were just hanging around anyway, they’re performers. They had nothing to do except you know, do their mind stuff. And they said, we’ve got a job for you. Your job because you’re already out here anyway. Right? Your job is whenever you see someone bad driving badly, or you see someone jaywalking, or you see someone who’s in some way, behaving in a way that is, you know, dangerous or threatening to their fellow citizens, your job is to just point at them. Right, it was only did they point at them and point at them as they’re crossing the street or point at them is there, you know, went through that yellow light, they call attention to them, it was essentially a form of social shaming, because everyone saw them pointing at that guy right there. The amount of traffic incidents, nosedived. The reaction was so quick. Now, I find that really interesting, because in online, we don’t have that. The most, the biggest consequence you can get socially is you can’t even really get a thumbs down, you can only get a thumbs up. So it’s missing the normal social framework of dynamics that we are programmed to respond in and and that govern our behavior in an environment. And I think that that’s I think there’s some real lessons there, like Facebook has a thumbs up and doesn’t have a thumbs down. You know, and that made sense from a marketing perspective, but it results in really warped social behavior. And I think that’s kind of I think that’s actually one of the fundamental problems that we’re facing on the internet is people don’t know how to behave well because they don’t have that basic incentive of there’s a consequence of behaving badly, there’s actually people to care about people will actually notice and respond if I am a dick, right? Right now that doesn’t happen, the most they can do is that individual blocks you no one else even knew that happened. Right? It’s not normal. It’s not organic. I always wondered what would happen if you like, everything was forced away from text into video. So if everyone’s comment was a video, and so on, whether it made much of a difference by still I don’t ever make a huge difference, because it’s something about the proximity of him badly. I think there’s a deep, basic, simple avoidance of violence and that we have, and one of the reasons we behave well in front of other people is because everyone’s a slight risk of violence. You know, we’ve got that deeply in our DNA. And online, there’s no risk of violence. I think Mike Tyson nowadays, like yoga to comfortable without getting about not getting punched in the face, you know. And that’s the problem with online is nobody’s ever gonna punch you in the face in some part of you realizes that. Because Louie CK also, I think he nailed it, where he’s talking about, like, you’ve seen this horrible tweet, and he’s go, I feels nice. But you don’t get a person in front of you go crushed in the United see their face and everything and get all that and like that, that feels Yak. So you’re gonna get the counterweight of like empathy and so on. That happens when you see it. It’s like kids in the playground, I think he was talking about when they first started being mean to people, and then they make a kid crying. I don’t like that I made him cry. That sucks. Because I know what it’s like to feel like that. And that’s where they start to learn good behaviors kind of, oh, that’s harmful. I don’t like being harmed myself empathy, you know, online and go I fuck you. And he’s like, I don’t even see where that landed. Me. There’s just also just this animalistic, like, purge of all my resentment about my work and my relationships and the body I see in the mirror, I can just go find some political debate and just purge on people. And, yeah, you just you in real life, they, they would say it differently, or, also, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not really. But in real life, people are way more afraid of confrontation. And someone says something stupid, most likely response is going to get a silence very few people stand up for themselves or call out the decade or whatever, are online, that fear is almost gone, I think people actually get like a kind of roller coaster thrill of doing something online that they can’t do in person. So stuff that would usually go ignored. Which is sometimes the best response is responded to. In this way. He is like online, you get these lunatics on either extreme, and people are reacting. You wouldn’t react if you walk past the guy on the street. He’s just shouting at people enough. Fuck that. I don’t want to get into it. But online, you like what did you say? You’re gonna have a discussion with them. Like that’s gonna go? Well, of course, that’s not gonna go well, you know, you get some like deep thicket, conspiracy theorists to believe just the most supernatural, craziest things and is very, very angry about it. You’re not going to talk to that guy on the street. But online, the guy’s got like 10 million followers. And he’s got his own YouTube channel. You know, there’s just, it’s nonsense. And yeah, I don’t know how we’re gonna manage that. But here’s the thing is these examples like, is a think the name of the YouTube channel was uncomfortable conversations with a black man. Think that’s the actual name of the channel. And I haven’t seen it, or, well, the channel, like every video is uncomfortable conversations with that. And there’s something like a type. And, you know, I only saw one of them. And as the guy who hadn’t met the comic, McDonough, who was the white dude. And basically, the white guy just gets to ask him questions that are uncomfortable to ask about race. And those went back and forth. You know, and it was really like, quite like, oh, questions like that we finally get to talk about this thing that you know, a white guy, just be too scared. Ask a black dude that wants to know, you know, genuine curiosity. And it goes Matthew McConaughey is like the man. So he’s just the way he responds and everything’s just, like, awesome. One of the things he just says heard, you know, and so he says, like, that’s just acknowledges that. Anyway, the comment section is just so wholesome. Under that video, that kind of leadership role modeling and brings out the best of the people in the comments, and usually YouTube comments as an absolute gutter. Worst of all, places worse than Twitter. Right? It’s just the anonymous entity of it or whatever. It’s just it brings out the worst the trolling the bots that are actually In a stir up problems, everything is just a horrible place. But on videos like that there’s another series of videos like if you just Google or YouTube Google, restoring faith in humanity, there’s always compilations of people sort of caught on CCTV just doing awesome things or just acts of just great kindness and getting into the comment section they’re very few trolls very have very little vitriol or even like some of them ones I saw one is Russell Brand he has a few clips and I will say like Russell Brand, disagreeing respectfully with x y&z. And sometimes even the titles mostly says they have a heated argument and you get there and it’s not, it’s just a respectful conversation have to view at different points of view trying to understand each other. Again, the comment section very wholesome. Like most of those, like, Fuck, it’s so good to see people talk like this. And that, like you can go see for yourself. That’s the most common form of commenters, it’s so good to see that people can talk like this. And you know that the person sides with one of them, probably, they’re not in the middle. But it’s bought them in closer to the middle, you know, like they’ve gone. Whoever they are, they’ve been like, look, my guy, I still agree with him. But the other guy was really reasonable and respectful. And that just moves me out of that entrenched extremist position announced honestly, like these are two humans talking about something not me versus them. So there’s something to be said for their like leadership, that role modeling that sets the tone, and actually makes it very uncomfortable for trolls to get involved. One of my favorite channels, a chess channel Gotham chess survey is chess channel. And it’s kind of a little bit comedic. It’s just the guy reviewing games, and he’s the master and teaches you stuff. Now his funny thing is it does a single pin of shame, which is whenever somebody trolls them in the comments, he pins a comment up the top for everybody delay haven’t go out and kind of playful way. So if somebody says like, Oh, you’re just using clickbait in your titles, he pins it rather than and he always gives a little love heart, you know? So his comment section is usually pretty. I was wholesome, but it’s usually pretty reasonable and loving, because he will actually highlight somebody being a deck. And he doesn’t react defensively to it. He’s more like promoting them in this ironic way. He’s like, You’re the star of the show spotlight. You know, and there was the other Yes, sir. Ridiculous zone. Again, this is something that let the leaders I love that it’s such a great stoic response to I’m trying to remember who it was that said, I think it was a president, like Roosevelt or somebody who somebody really criticized them viciously in the media. And his response was, Well, he was clearly unaware of all my other faults, because he didn’t mention those problems at all. I was like, Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s exactly the right mindset to have, none of us are perfect. This guy’s not perfect, either. If you try to pretend you’re perfect, you’re gonna get strung up. You know, and he could see that straightaway. And I think when we talk about the situation that we had, you know, in New Zealand, at the Capitol, where the government did not respond to the anti vaccination protests, right outside the capitol building, it was at same problem, or somehow trying to defend their image or say, We’re above this, you know, you don’t deserve our time and attention, that did not have a positive effect, even for bystanders. Even for people completely outside or uninvolved you’re like, This feels very divisive. Like the government is drawing a line in the sand that say, there’s a certain group of our citizens, we are just not going to respond to them. And I understand their rationale and motivation. But I think it cost a lot more harm than benefit for everyone, even today, was kind of showed the true agenda was not unity. It was something else, you know, the agenda was unity, they would have been out there. And that’s what kind of the clear messaging was, okay, well, we know what their agenda isn’t. Which is, you got to think like an idealistic utopia. Surely the government’s agenda should be unity. What’s the point of running a country? It’s like, imagine if you just take to a microscopic level, and you’re a manager of a team of seven, and your goal is to split them against each other. That makes no sense. Surely the team working together well, is got to be the goal. Well, why would that not apply to our country just because they didn’t vote you in? I mean, you’re a manager of a team. They don’t vote you in focus dictatorship. If you just get the job and they’re like, they don’t even have a say in it. And you can make that work. Let them feel embraced and accepted and important and part of the part of the unity otherwise you end up pushing them from, from what we’re talking about for from, from stage three to stage four, where you’re now their enemy, you’ve just declared that you’re not even going to listen to them. You can say, this is one of the biggest mistakes the left made in US politics was to degrade the followers of Trump saying a fucked up there. So you can be against Trump, because he’s a figurehead, the people following him? If you’re you should be trying to understand them. Why not? US should be the question. You know, what’s what’s, what’s the problem with us that you have that makes you follow a guy like Trump, instead, they just went like, well, there’s more of us than names or fuck them. So do this half the country you’re trying to run that makes no sense to have the tail of the team against you and against the other half of the team. That means actually, you lose, you move half the pace you kids. What’s really interesting about this whole situation, and when I think about basics of humans, social psychology, and how we identify friends and foes and figure out our place in society, you know, this kind of this kind of behavior, the behavior of categorizing a segment of society as different and as unacceptable to your agenda, right? That’s radicalization. That’s how you create a cult. You know, you walk somebody through the whole process all your life’s miserable and unhappy, isn’t it like, it could be so much better, oh, they’re the enemy, we should, you know, declare war on those people. And now you’ve got it, you know, jihadist or whatever. And, and yet, we, even today, even in the largest governments in the world, we haven’t learned these basic lessons about how people work. It’s kind of shocking, you know, I feel like they should be taught in grade school or something. But we’re clearly missing the boat on that. And that’s the thing, like, let’s say we get down to the smaller level of, you know, partnership or something like that. Those people though, engage in a behavior later on, they’ve lost from that behavior. And they don’t like themselves for doing it. When it comes in the cold light of day, we get the impression that there are people out there really enjoy being divisive, and there’s a lot of them. But as I say, online, you don’t see the person like if you’re hanging out with them in a pub, and they had to be face to face with you and kind of like, chill a bit. And not like getting to a fistfight, you might see a lot more reasonableness than you could possibly expect. You might even change your mind. And they might too. And that can happen. And I think it’s one of the few optimism they have about humanity is I’ve seen so many examples of when you get people into the right situation, the best comes out. And you’re like, oh, there’s a lot of people with that in them. You know, and I’ve worked with some of the people who had the worst so I’ve worked with criminal offenders who with the right circumstances and encouragement and stuff with no falsity, whatever become these great people. Like that’s who they actually always were. That’s one of the reasons they feel guilty about the crimes they commit, as they’ve you know, the little boy in them before he was tainted, he’s still watching all the behavior going on this horrible I don’t like being this guy that feels compelled, unable to stop it swept away and like a tidal wave of resentment and conditioning and habits and everything. Now, there are some people out there who I’d say fit the category of evil and there doesn’t need to be many of them. You know, if you took that and there’s people out there who’s take great pleasure in divisiveness, who, they’re the that’s their actual primary goal. They love us. Yeah. You know, as a as a funny side note, I remember we were talking at one point about psychopathy and about how it can be conditioned. No, there are actual clinical psychopaths. But then there’s also psychopathy that is, can be learned. Yeah. In effect that can be learned, right? A bit like learned helplessness or you know, other forms. I’m wondering if learned sociopathy is a thing because in online forums, I see people that just embrace being a troll, it becomes their new identity when they’re behind a keyboard. They are an alter ego that is just stirring up shit. And they get something from that, you know, and I find that fascinating because sometimes I’m at the other end of that and I see it happening. You’ve been at the other end of it and YouTube comments many times, you know, I’ve seen some of the comments and well it That’s kind of amazing, you know what people will write for no reason, you know what self entertainment, their Netflix was down or something. And it’s it’s shocking. And but it’s also a fascinating side of human psychology to see people in so much in need of attention that they will, desperately fleeing shit in any direction, just to see if someone will respond. I think if you view it like you would view a drug addiction, it will make sense, they get high off it. And like all drug addicts, the only reason they have an addiction is because there wasn’t anything beta going off. You know, like, there’s nobody with a really great meaningful life who’s also addicted to stuff like addictions, that sort of weak substitute for meaning and enjoyment of life. And, yeah, online, it’s just, it’s like, we’ve all got the darkness in us. And there’s a kind of brief instant gratification satisfaction in the darkness, like fling mud kind of thing. But the idea that these people thoroughly enjoying their life or anything like that these trolls are in some sort of position of deep sense of enjoyment. Like, that’s, that’s an illusion. What’s really fascinate me lately, lately was a study I saw that shows, almost without doubt, that psychopathic people become quite unsatisfied with their social lives as they get older. And they have to kind of reap the ground of all that trouble, you know, they’re just distrusted, like, no, nobody who’s got their back, you know, they have all these broken relationships. And, you know, they’re just tired of being hated. And they also feel like quite distant from people, because they manipulate them all the time. And they just did not like Yuning love and connection and the way we would understand, but they just like, this sucks, this is a shit way to live. And they get to their position. And, you know, quite often they’ll go and seek DBT. And they’ll get therapy that helps them like learn how to manage a relationship. So it’s still quite clinical for them, but they like us better, like getting along with people’s way better than what I was doing. And we used to, like working with criminals that used to be like, especially the more psychopathic ones. Is the selling point was like, look, it’s way better to get along for you. Personally, you’ll like it more. I fucking promise. Yeah. No jail, nobody hating you not getting fucking fights with hammers all the time. Like, it’s a bit less thrilling. But you’re just gonna be like way happy with life in general. You know, we’re like, we’re not trying to con you here, like, try and see, you know what I mean, just try getting along. And you’ll see you’ve got Fuck, I should have just done this all along. It’s why bill, even if you want to manipulate for your own gain, it’s still a better approach. Well, this is an interesting thing. And I’m wondering how you see this. But my perception is when it comes to the criminal element, element of society, people that ended up in corrections, right? For the most part, it’s not that they wanted to be there. It’s not that they chose a life of crime, purely out of some sense of opportunity, you do have, you know, clip those, and you do have people with violence and anger issues that ended up there just due to lack of self control. But for a lot of people, I think it was largely due to lack of other opportunities. They’re held back in school, they’re not accepted by friends. They’re sort of shunned by society. And pretty soon the people that they can hang around with and the options that they have for improving their life, in some way materially aren’t legit. Right? They end up making bad decisions. And then that’s even worse when they come out of corrections. Because now the only people they know are other criminals. And even though they say, Wow, their lives are pretty fucked up. And I don’t really want that for my future. But then for a lot of people, they don’t actually have any options once they exit, so they end up stuck back in. And I think the few societies and the few times in history where that has been directly addressed. The results seem to be really positive. Just as exhumed worse now we’ll have to wrap it up soon. Well, what I’ve noticed is put it this way, I’ve never worked with a criminal offender where his behavior didn’t make sense. Once I understood the whole backstory. And there’s an argument you often get where people say, Well, you know, I was raised in a tough home and I didn’t end up being whatever. So you’re not seeing the full picture. You had something he didn’t write. Maybe you had a good friend at school. Maybe you had an encouraging teacher. Maybe you found a hobby that really captivated you. It isn’t as simple as like, Well, we both got beaten up how Going into criminal nominal. So well, he had an extra stuff or less stuff or something. And it all makes sense. And if you had that, then you would have been different to. Yeah, like I think I’ve once I made a criminal once in my entire seven year reign in corrections, a career criminal who had a good upbringing, once all the rest, it was horrible upbringing, it’s like, not even close to good, like fetal alcohol syndrome. So drinking from the start, then abuse and neglect and like bad peer group, because they lived in the poor area. And it’s just like, how do you get a good person out of that situation? Like, it’s annoying. But it’s the same as like, yeah, it does happen on occasion, which amazes me, we’ve got a guy in brojo, at least one that I can think of, that had that have had just horrible childhoods. I mean, like, chained to a radiator in the basement kind of childhoods like literally turned out great. You know, it’s kind of a, it’s kind of shocking, but it’s a testament to our ability to be resilient. As humans, if we’re given the opportunity and the ability to create that better life for ourselves or don’t have to, you know, go dark side, just because you were dealt a bad hand at the beginning. A lot of people do. But I think that that is as much a choice as anything. Well, like I said, you know, if you take the guy had the horrible childhood, and you’re like, he turned out fine. If you were to feed his entire life into a computer, that can be a year, but this thing happened and made a big difference. It’ll be it could be some small but very significant event. And I read a great book. You know, somebody showed him some love, or even just as genetics, it just had that kind of defiance in them. Or it was treated so badly that it created like an empathy. Like, I can’t do this to others. There was an interesting thing I quite often saw people, it was only like, it’s light abuse that does more damage than dark, like really deep abuse, you know, so light abuse can have, you just get better. But really bad abuse. So I can’t do this to anyone’s too horrible. That’s just made up off my head. There’s no science behind their little theory. But I’ve seen that as well. It’s harder to resist, because it’s not clearly bad. Yeah. Something like that. And like, a white lie, half truth, you know. But yeah, that sort of lack of understanding that people bring to things which is, you know, emphasized on mine. Yeah, just brings out the beast and people. I’ll tell you one thing for sure is I’m going to keep investing my time and attention in some of the online forums that I found that I like, I like the community. I like what it stands for. And I’ve found that it is interesting, practicing like intentionally practicing online leadership, really responding to the needs of legitimate people calling out BS when there’s BS to call out, you know, it’s kind of fun. I find it entertaining, because I can see all of you know, their motivations and the people and situations. And I respond to like, in all of the forums, there’s 10 million users of this product, I respond to about 50% of the support requests. Because I know the answer, I’m like, here’s a link, boom, done. You know, it’s that it’s that easy. But that’s all it took as well. That’s all it took to make someone’s day. 100 times better. You know, and that’s, that’s well worth it to me. So, I’m gonna keep experimenting here and see where it goes. Sounds good. Somebody’s gonna do it. That’s the thing. It only takes a couple of people but if there’s no one puts out immediately there’s no counter force. That’s why I know you gotta run we’ll catch up soon. Ebro, TGIF Sunday. Cheers.

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