a reply to: calstorm
Dealing with your post's remarks in orxder of importance, I'd first like to offer you my condolences on your loss. It is always a struggle when these
things happen and no amount of words can make the pain go away; the best they can do is ease it a little. So, I hope it helps you just the tiniest
amount to know that others here sympathize and empathize with you.
It is true that many seem to respond after only reading (and even misinterpreting) the thread's title or the first few lines of the OP. I see this as
symptomatic of a societal trend, which is partly driven by the mainstream media's increasing and near-frantic attempts to grab "views" for whatever
articles of "news" they post, combined with the claims by many that they just don't have time to read. "TL;DR" is becoming a real issue, because it
not only affects the written word and the "sound bite" style of media presentation the MSM and others employ, it filters over into real life.
I have actually heard people say
"LOL!" in response to something they find amusing.
I guess many people are being indoctrinated with the concept that they don't have enough time to actually read/watch anything of length. They want to
know the "key details" and they want them now. It's almost as if the desire to seek out knowledge themselves and form their own opinions is being
discouraged. But then, there is nothing especially new in that: there is a reason why "intellectuals" have often been targeted for in revolutions.
Silence those who actually analyze and sometimes say, "Hey, wait a minute... That's garbage!" and TPTB can more easily control the rest.
ATS is something of a reflection of society in general, and even though this site probably has a higher percentage of thinking and insightful,
questioning people than most online places, the external forces still have their influence on what is posted here and by whom.
Trolls are problematic if we take too much notice of them. Compared to some sites, there are very few here. They are a small minority and seldom last
long before their T&C violations put paid to their activities. However, "trolls" have always existed. In times gone by, before the www and discussion
boards like this one, they were the people who went along to public meetings just to cat-call and disrupt, picked fights with random people in pubs,
argued with others just for the sake of arguing and being annoying, or perpetrated hoaxes purely to gain attention and notoriety.
It's all about them feeding their own inflated egos. The internet makes it easier for them because they have greater anonymity. However, the beauty of
internet forums is that unlike those real-life situations, no-one need respond to them at all. We can totally ignore them. If they persist in their
disruptive, childish games, we can simply report them to the moderating staff so the matter can be dealt with.
So, let's focus on the good members, for they are the vast majority. People who take the time to post their thoughts, who are willing to accept other
points of view and even change their own. People who -- like you -- feel a sense of community here. That's the essence of this place. Community,
combined with a desire to learn and also share what we know. That is a great combination and even with the growing pressures of the "TL;DR" mindset,
there are still plenty who want to maintain that feeling.
And for that, I am very glad.