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A Rant Against Rants (you have been warned ;)

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posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 12:19 PM
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Hello all!

Firstly, I have no idea what kind of response I hope to get out of this post, but I want to point out a few aspects of some of the posts that I see that really make me cynically laugh (at best) or tear my hair out (at worst). This is supposed to be a serious forum on the issues, but most of the posts seem to be rather pointless in nature, and undermine the value of arguements - ALL arguements. They come in all shapes and sizes, but here are a few:

The Opinionated Statements (which CANNOT be supported by evidence)

EG: "Bush = Hitler" or "Kerry = liberal takeover of america...blah blah blah)" - sounds stupid as an example? Sounds way more stupid as the sum total of an actual post.

The Pointless Statements (which will never be agreed to by the opposition)

EG: "We KNOW that there was no plane at the Pentagon" or "what do you expect after fighting a war for oil?"

Does anyone seriously believe that they are gonna convert ANYONE ELSE to such beliefs simply by sticking them in as a reply to a post that has nothing to with it? Exactly WHAT is the point of preaching to one's own choir? let us instead argue out our ideas by supporting them with INDISPUTABLE facts. To seriously argue on the merits of one ideology over another, you need SOME common ground.

The Ill-Considered Statements

EG: "the islamists this the islamists that" or "how typically american"

How often have we seen posts like this? You'd think that we'd get over stupid generalizations like that which are abhorrent and border on rascism. Just WHAT are people who post stuff like that trying to achieve?


I could go on and on and on...the vast majority of posts out there just distract from the issues. Can anyone here actually say that they have seen ONE thread following a linear arguement seriously without getting distracted by such things? How do you expect to DENY IGNORANCE with ignorance itself?

I'm a pretty new member, and I expect a lot of you will be now shaking your heads and saying: "Think the board is not good enough for you? Then get off!" But it's not that at all. I truly believe that EVERYONE with a view that they truly believe in should be respected for it, but that presentation matters. Take the pro-Bush, anti-Bush arguement (which permeates nearly EVERY war on terrorism thread, even the abstract-idea-aimed ones). Some of the posts of the above variety really undermine the values of both camps. Some of the comments of fellow supporters of the President make me ashamed to be among them. And I bet that some of his opponents can identify with that shame that I feel.

Others might say: "We're all free to say what we want, screw you" Fine, screw me. But aren't we all supposed to better ourselves through careful study of ideologies, rather than mudslinging at each other, or demonizing anyone who disagrees with us? Freedom of Speech is important...people have died in its name. When we waste time hurling insults at each other and other nonsense we undermine the value of that sacrifice. Free Speech is NOT the same as Cheap Talk.

So there...I don't expect this to be The Rant To End All Rants. In fact, I have a depressing fear that most of the replies to this will be negative...but I'm hoping that at least some of you identify with what I'm saying here. We NEED to start seriously discussing the issues here. Passion is good, and I would LOVE conversing with someone who can be opposed to what I believe without demonizing me, or what I believe.

Conversations like that actually present people with the true value of all ideological camps, and allow them to be true to themselves when choosing which camp to align with, instead of simply regurgitating micheal moore or the swiftboat veterans for truth. It appalls me that some people would have not voted for Bush based purely on someone elses propaganda. It equally appalls me that some would have not voted for Kerry (who, while I don't agree with him, is, I think, a decent, competent, honorable man) based on people trying to tear him down based on questionable info.

And This is exactly what happens here most of the time. Well it's gonna be 2005 soon. Let's make a collective political New Year's Resolution to try to become better arguers. Let us not derail any threads with hatred, bombast, preaching to our choirs, or any of the other ways in which we do so now. Let us present each other with the passion of our beliefs, but do so in a way that respects the passion of those opposed to us. If your heart is filled with generalized hatred, go get a gun and settle your problems that way. On this board at least, let's treat people who disagree with us as the opposition, NOT the enemy.




posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 12:40 PM
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Good post.
It does seem that just about any thread on ATS can get hi-jacked into a Euro-bashing, America-bashing or Ismasist bashing slug fest.

I've seen it often and heve even been guilty of it myself.
There have been many threads in which I have typed up a response to a post that was going offtopic and just hit the back button rather than reply because I just didn't want to get into that argument at that time or in that thread.

Sometimes it is difficult to refrain.

[edit on 25-12-2004 by AceOfBase]



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 02:03 PM
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Fine post, and I look forward to discussing issues with you in the future.

Some of my pet peeves are: people that intentionally misrepresent what you say. People that put words in your mouth. People with no reading comprehension skills, who refuse to learn them. People who make crazy statements and will not respond to back them up when asked to. People who start a topic with a question, and then leave the post hanging (i.e., Why doesn't the US just apologize? When asked For what? Silence.....).

Enuf is too much. Welcome, and Merry Christmas.



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 04:39 PM
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I totally agree Archangel76.. a lot of times, I have been tempted to put in my two cents ..but then don't because I do not want to deal with the BS that comes about just because I expressed a contrary opinion
I love this board, but as you have said, it seems that lately it's just about how much garbage can be said about one leader or another.
anyway, welcome to the board and enjoy



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 05:42 PM
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Good post and good point Archangel...Keep up the good work and enjoy the board.

regs out...



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 06:05 PM
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Nice thread! I'm sure anyone that reads it can fully agree with youre points of view... I hope everyone takes the time to read it and maybe re-think they actions if need be.



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 06:41 PM
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Amen...Archangel76...Amen...

I mainly go here any more to laugh at the post's, then I end up shaking my head in utter dismay, as some of the threads start out well, then end up in bashing Bush, the USA, Muslims, or whoever...ect, which these don't actually even pertain to the question/discussion at hand...

I mean you can't even hold an intelligent/meaningfull discussion without it happening, that's why I don't post much here...

I've voted you for the Way Above Top Secret award, mainly for your gutsy, and ballsy post in bringing this forward...

Merry Christmas ( or what ever holiday you observe...if any ), to you and your's, and may you live long and prosper...

I wish I had posted this, but like NetStorm, I really didn't want to put up with the BS involved...



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 06:43 PM
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Nice post.
Nice sentiments.
I disagree with the thread starter's apparent conclusions and the rather broad statements.

Filtering of input (other peoples views mixed with rants) is just part of forums. We don't have a 'chat-room' where every third word gets commented on or changed. We have a medium of statements. Statements are just that- statements of something. Whether it be an idea, a prejudice, a fact, a supposition or a conclusion based on guesses and myth this is still what we deal with in forums.

Removing the 'rant' and rave from peoples posts would then relegate the forum to nothing more than a fact based post race. Whoever could come up with the most facts would win. What we have now is more closely akin to free speech than that which the thread originator seems to suggest.

Sterility of viewpoint, passionless presentations, droll and dry facts with no insights and prejudices then would turn this forum into a theater ruled by presenters and researchers. How dry would too dry become?

Take the life from postings and the thrill of presenting a convincing argument in favor of or opposed to a new conspiracy or an existing one revisited would degenerate this forum into nothing more than presentation of facts. If all someone wanted was facts they would just consult fact based sources.

As all know at this stage in their lives, whether young or old, facts alone often are not enough. Facts can be missing, facts can be distorted, facts can be masked, lies can appear as facts. Propaganda, hype, prejudices and the rest of the non-factual make forums interesting and enlivened.

Sure it appears sad (to some) that polarization seems to have closed its paws upon many topics and most threads, maybe that was what was needed. When people become polarized they develop more tools to support their positions. By doing this more information than that which would otherwise have been available appears. Maybe a lot of this new information is wrong, maybe a lot of it is ridiculous, maybe a lot of it is hateful, but it is new none the less. When people refute new ideas they at least have to consider them, even if only in passing.

I am in favor of prejudices and polarizations. This helps me define my own beliefs and many times realize how wrong I was in some of them. If known facts were all that people used then Columbus would never have sailed from a Spanish harbor, nor would man have attempted to fly.



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 08:15 PM
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You have voted Archangel76 for the Way Above Top Secret award.

Good post...good points.
It never fails, no matter how hopeful I am when I start a thread, I am never disappointed. Some one or several post drivel or off-topic stuff. Sometimes I think they just want the points or to see their names in print.
Also, some folks basically just say "I agree" or "I disagree" in a short sentence or two and offer little more to further the discussion. I know it's NOT supposed to happen, but I see it more and more lately.

I'm sure I'm not totally innocent of hijacking, but I tend to try and not bash
Bashing is counterproductive.



posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 09:18 PM
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Welcome.

Expect replies of agreement from those guilty of the things expressed in your post though. I've already seen one.

Deny Denial.



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 09:39 PM
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Hey, this is a pleasant surprise! I'm glad that some people out there agree to what I am saying here. Thank you all for sharing your sentiments.

Sorry about not replying onto this thread..I had to pack up my computer and everything and move it all away due to the tidal wave disaster.

JoeDoaks, I am not in favor of making this board too dry - a mere 'fact-posting' website. No sir, I was just pointing out that people are taking things too far...obviously we must exchange views, but I think you can agree that many posts on this site prevent people from engaging in a respectful discussion of the merits/flaws of their views.

Cheers,
Archangel



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 10:15 PM
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I must say this is a trend that started to becomemore apparent with the onset of the November election. I began reading things on this site earlier this year but did not reguster until August. However if I do remember correctly, at the time I had foudn this place, it seemed alot more professional. It was not as saturated with all the crap that you have so thankfully pointed out. Closer and closer though we got to the election, the more visible these cases become. Unfortunately it has now become the norm to alot of users. Then new users who come by see others doing it, and they think it is ok to do it themselves. The people here when I first found the place were more organized, disciplined, considerate and respectful. Now it seems the majority of people here are acting like first year high schoolers. Can we go back to the way it was? I enjoyed it more that way.

The mindless babble also makes a topic alot longer and fills it with more crap, making it require more time for people to read through all the more sensible topics. It is irritating. I think the administration should make an announcement that starting soon any crap will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly. No I am not saying we should make this a police state forum. I am just saying alot fo people need to adjust their attitudes and be able to discuss thing more intelligently and respectful.



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 10:21 PM
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I agree with Archangel's post as well. I am seeing too many threads started that are obvious propaganda messages, affronts to simple common sense, deliberate provocations, and - my favourites - threads started by persons clearly in need of professional help.

And that's even ignoring the postings by those who over-react, can't take criticism, don't understand elemental rules of logic, etc., etc.

So what do we do about it?

PS. I gave you a way above vote as well.

[edit on 27/12/04 by AlexofSkye]



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 07:16 AM
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Arch (I also gave you a wa vote)
I 'see' where you are coming from (I think) and it all reads sane.

However, this type of forum,- conspiracies- I can't see this thread proposition surviving without killing the forum.

As one example: the movie Conspiracy Theory- Mel Gibson is a nut case deluxe yet he is right!

How does this fit into a forum without the nut/craziness factor? The girl dies!

Sure there are a lot of side-shots and hurtful posts that get on here, but that is where the tendrils to new thought are.

As to logic- I think it lacks life and relegates reality to the constraints of science.
Logic is the tool of sterility.
Where does faith fit in this sane way of posting?
Using logic alone:
    the Germans would have taken Leningrad and Stalingrad,
    the Plains Indian (in America) would have forged a protective and lasting alliance,
    Lee would have flanked Meade and threatened Washington,
    Santa Anna would have kept his columns together and defeated the Texans,
    the British at New Orleans would have flanked Jackson's defenders,
    ad infinitum

A list of occurrences that should have (logically) occurred and did not (or take the opposite view that did occur and should not) spans human existence. Viewpoints, beliefs and prejudices (no matter how illogical) create or ruin events.

As with this board, take away the broad-brush attacks and unmasked bigotry and the board will become the Brave New World2. Discord and disagreement must have license to postulate and present the 'unkind' and 'unworthy' remark else we become too easily deluded.

I personally see the general topic of this thread as disinfo.



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by Archangel76
The Pointless Statements (which will never be agreed to by the
opposition)


EG: "We KNOW that there was no plane at the Pentagon" or
"what do you expect after fighting a war for oil?"


Oh man ... you REALLY hit it the nail on the head with these!
Excellent! Glad you said it.



posted on Dec, 28 2004 @ 07:56 AM
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you guys are voting this for the WATS award and it's in the wrong Forum



www.belowtopsecret.com...


anyway, I undertsand what you're saying, and yes I'm probably guilty of it too, but that's what makes this place so great.... we can all have our own opinions and agendas



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