An interesting essay discussing Violentacrez/Michael Brutsch’s ‘trolling’ as a “void of introspection”, a lack of judgment, and an absence of empathy:
…Brutsch didn’t so much cry as offer one mild, unilluminating cliche after the other. His response to people who were offended by that photo? “People take things way too seriously around here.” In defending his actions: “I got the freedom to talk about my personal life, my personal feelings… I’m sure there’s more than one person in this building who’s a pervert,” he told Chen.
This utter void of introspection on the part of the troll made me think of an essay by Hannah Arendt, “Thinking and Moral Considerations,” which she wrote for W.H. Auden in 1971. In it, she considers what she had witnessed years earlier, as Eichmann stood trial in Jerusalem. “The only specific characteristic one could detect in his past as well as in his behavior during the trial and the preceding police examination was something entirely negative: It was not stupidity but a curious, quite authentic inability to think,” she wrote.*
What Arendt theorized is that a conscience is the byproduct of the process of thinking — that thinking itself enables the power of judgment, to discern “right from wrong, beautiful from ugly.”