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OP/ED: Dark Days. (The black band on ATS)

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posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 12:59 PM
Even though I understand SO's post, I am surprised by his reaction to what this board has become.
Wasn't this kind of predictable?

When so many different people come together to talk about so many different subjects, it's just a matter of time before you have the repeated X vs X discussions popping up everywhere.

I don't believe in the "everyone has his own truth" way of discussion, because it makes discussion pointless to begin with. There are no multiple truths, there is always one truth. Of course there are a lot of point of views and people who are slightly more wrong than others, but that doesn't change it. There can only be one truth.

The only problem with the "there is only one truth" attitude, is that you will eventually have to tell people they are wrong, and you're not alone.
So in the end everyone is telling eachother they are wrong, and that won't help to keep the discussion going either, let stand learn from eachother.

So what has to change?
In order for this site to be a place where we can learn from eachother (build eachother up) instead of telling eachother how our truth is right (breaking eachother down), there has to be some sort of attitude change.

People should be more carefull about telling others they are wrong, while realizing they can be just as wrong.
I also think moderators should post more. They should play "judge" in X vs X discussions, looking at proof and arguments in an objective way, and telling people who are clearly wrong, that repeating their invalid points is not appreciated.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 01:04 PM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by Nerdling
We are stuck with the undesirables, whilst one must be able to voice an opinion
some take it too far. Too many threads turn into mud slinging matches with the left and right wing cliches being shot around.

I really expected all of this to end after the Election. I was wrong.

There is very little room left for the soft left and soft right. Centrists have it even worse.

I'm afraid this is something we'll have to cope with, not eradicate.

(Not singling Nerdling, there have been similar thoughts express, his is just the most recent one, and most convenient to quote.

Given the type of site we are, and where we tend to focus our fact-finding, this attitude is wrong.

While to some degree, my post was lament over how ATS has succumbed to the partisan ditto-mongering pervasive throughout all media, I had hoped to initiate some type of wake-up call.

To simply shrug and say, "Well, that's how it is, we'll have to deal with it," is the wrong response from us. Our response should be, "Why is this happening, how is it happening, and who might be responsible?" If we can't recognize controlling techniques here amongst ourselves, then what good has been the past 1.2 million posts?

We have perhaps the greatest singular brain trust available to contemplate this issue. We should use it.

Actually, as one of the most loved authors and obviously "shy" ones here I do see this as a wake up call, and have pledged to several mods to refrain from flame throwing.

Thus I make my promise here and now to stop "tweeking" people. My personal appologies to any I have previously offened. My "style" was to provoke thought and healthy discussion. DocH will reduce the 'acid" content.

Nice job SO. very nice job................

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 01:42 PM
If everyone would just be human first, and (add your nationality/race/religion/foot size) later, this world (and forum) would be much better place

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 01:53 PM
Testing before we can post on this board?

This sounds like a protection against questioning misquotes and bad sources.

It seems as though even some moderators are not fit to question these posts.

I guess many of us are "logically impaired". Out with us all.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:04 PM
SO, why don't you name a few names, or point out some threads so we can more directly evaluate whether or not your theory of pro-active manipulative forces is valid? Riddling around the subject isn't going to do anything. The kind of examination and evaluation you are talking about would need to be kick-started by admin. It will not happen naturally considering the size of ATS.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:15 PM

Originally posted by JakkoI also think moderators should post more. They should play "judge" in X vs X discussions, looking at proof and arguments in an objective way, and telling people who are clearly wrong, that repeating their invalid points is not appreciated.

Moderators have lives too...
That's simply impossible. We don't have the time to do all of that. And besides, a lot of people wouldn't even listen.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:19 PM
I've tried to remain objetive and discern between rationality and subjectivitey on these boards for some time now. I think variance between members is healthy and allows to realize the relativism inherent in all of us. I don't agree with this. We can't abide by a universaly feasible set of ethics in regards to debating when we are all confined in our own microcosms. There needs to be a set decorum, however, conflicting members are usualy employing intutition and logic to the best of thier ability.

Both sides need to be objective and logical.


posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:02 PM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
We have perhaps the greatest singular brain trust available to contemplate this issue. We should use it.

After a little more thought- (amazing stuff)
While I do not agree with what Bandit said I see (hopefully) what is intended.

Also, I read SO's last post and his first (again).

ATS is maybe intended to be a forum for discovery. In this quest different fact(oids) are going to come up and down. Within all this agendas will (hopefully) percolate to the surface.

Maybe I'm wrong- this is my cut of 'it' at the present.

In most disagreements I don't believe any old saw about truth. Truth changes.

The main message I take from this thread is that ATS recognizes there are gremlins out there seeking to both:
    cause discord,
    spread disninfo

A few other messages are part and parcel of this thread as well, but this is the main one for me. I appreciate ATS staff re-stating the goals of ATS. While I try to not get in to the mirk and mire I can't say I always succeed.

ATS runs ATS- I like it here so far and can't see any reason to leave. If ATS changes things then based upon what 'they' have so far it probably will be for the best anyway.

(I still remember the 1 millionth post)



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:03 PM
I thought I'd add my thoughts to this topic, being both a political junkie and an ATS addict:

I personally believe that politics are a neccesary evil in the realm of conspiratorial discussions. I mean, 90% of all conspiracy theories lead to some form of government cover up. Not to mention that politics might as well be another word for conspiracy. I don't think that removing political discussion would solve the current problem of polarization, rather I think the intellegant political discussions are one of the things that lends credence to ATS as a legitamate stop on the journey for truth.

Honestly, I have seen many of the afore mentioned problems lately. I don't think a site like ATS with a motto like Deny Ignorance should even consider quieting anyone's voice. Even the crazies need to be heard once in a while. Without getting into a deep philosophical ramble about the nature of truth and politics, I'd like to point out somthings I've seen and possible ways to rectify them.

Firstly, and this is true for any topic here, I see a lot of short, one lined posts that honestly don't contribute much to the topic. A lot of these posts are poorly worded and often follow no grammatical structure what so ever. While it is somewhat gratifying to post a well thought out, researched reply that's backed up with links to the information presented and be able to defend yourself against 10 or 15 one liners; I would much rather recieve equally well thought out and well worded replies. Denying ignorance also means you have to deny laziness, "U suxorz, bush is evil, hes like hitler" should not be posted. I understand not everyone is a good word smith, and not everyone has the time to research what they post. And some people here don't even speak english, but just take a second and consider whether or not your post is going to contribute to the conversation, if not, leave it out. A topic doesn't need 3 pages of people agreeing with the second poster, if you disagree then state your reasons, and through evidence, attempt to change people's minds. That is the nature of debate, personal attacks only detract from your legitamacy.

Also I see a lot of topics go off topic fairly quickly, ussually within 5 or 6 posts the conversation has steered towards somthing else. There was a post about boarder security earlier that followed this formula. Two or three posts on topic, and then 5 or 6 one liners about pilgrims being "the original illegal immigrants". You may say that's a legitamate argument but it's arguing symantics, the topic was on boarder security, if you're against strengthening it then state your reasons. A lot of posters lately have felt the need to tell someone they're wrong without stating why. I understand you have an opinion, but please write a paragraph or two and outline why you take that stance, it might even help you understand yourself better. You may have an opinion concerning a certain political affliation but it doesn't mean you are anymore right than someone who feels differently.

There also seems to be a lot of repeat information. I think a lot of posters don't read the entire topic before making their reply. I admit that even I don't read every post on a 20 page topic, but if it's only two or three pages you owe it to yourself to read through what others have said. When you post somthing, even somthing 10 paragraphs long, that someone else has already stated, you make yourself look like an idiot. Many people also seem to get into reciprocal arguments that can go on for pages and pages, where they keep restating their belief and back it up by restating what they said. If you wish to defeat your opponent in a debate you have to come up with somthing new, somthing they aren't prepared to defend against and "You can't spell,a re you on drugs?" does not count.

Ok, enough from me. I love ATS, it's the only message board I've continually returned to because I think the levels of intelligence, and free open thought is invaluable and enough to make me ignore the assinine comments of those voluntarily in the peanut gallery. I guess ATS is facing the same problem many nations and organizations have faced. ATS has grown and needs to adapt, a framework needs to be built for the new levels or the building will collapse. I shy away from suggesting censorship, but removing a post like "R u crazy? U dont no what ur saying" is hardly censorship. Maybe more mods is the answer, maybe making stricter rules on complete sentences is it. I think what needs to happen is the powers that be in regards to ATS need to sit down and review the way the site is currently run, I don't think much needs to be changed, maybe a few toes need to be stepped on, maybe a few policies have to be strengthened, but I honestly believe all is not lost. Though I have no power, so to speak, on ATS I'd offer my help if I could. I believe ATS is worth saving. ATS is a community now, it's not just a message board, and those of us that love ATS need to work as a community, mods or not. Just don't let yourself get pulled down to their level, don't let the monkeys get to you. If someone responds to your 10 paragraph appendixed post with a one line rebuttle either ignore them or tell them to please not respond till they've thought out somthig to say that doesn't reek of grade school. I think we just need some sort of quality control for the posts, I've seen plenty of message boards that remove posts that aren't full sentences, or are obviously inflamatory. Please, don't let ATS die!!!

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:08 PM

Originally posted by Mahree
Testing before we can post on this board?

This sounds like a protection against questioning misquotes and bad sources.

It seems as though even some moderators are not fit to question these posts.

I guess many of us are "logically impaired". Out with us all.

If you're referring to my post, Mahree, you misunderstand. I'm certainly NOT saying that testing be required before members can post. ...Just suggesting a way to structure the educational process.

...ATS is committed to deny ignorance and to educate. Productive discussion follows fairly established rules and principles of logic. Argument, debate and discussion are all learned skills - and some people have not had the opportunity to learn those skills.

...Some members come in with the needed skills, some don't, some pick them up as they go along. ...Threads on the topic are already here, and are flagged periodically. I'm just saying we can jumpstart the learning process.

Everybody wins. And ATS becomes a center for learning intellectual self-defense.


posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:10 PM
You have voted Shadowflux for the Way Above Top Secret award.

that about summons it up

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:54 PM

Originally posted by JoeDoaks
The main message I take from this thread is that ATS recognizes there are gremlins out there seeking to both:
    cause discord,
    spread disninfo

While that may be, I think the main idea of this thread is that politcal bickering keeps us from discussing the real issues.
We loose sight of what is really wrong with this nation and world. Our minds are muddied by an "us" vs "them" mentality and keeps us from organizing to eliminate the real problems facing this country.

Even before SO put the black band on the ATS banner, I have been thinking along these lines. The disinformation just keeps us at each others' throats.
We need to see through this

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:02 PM
Fear is the Mindkiller
I agree SO, divide and conquer is certainly in full effect. It's important to be aware of this at all times, instead of unaware. We're at war though, not just on terror but constitutionally at home. Simultaneously there is also a division or chasm expanding between public knowledge and private knowledge, access to information that separates & determines the dignified actionable intelligence 'expert' from the ridiculed and dismissed conspiracy 'nut'.
Regarding politics I was no fan of Clinton, or Newt, nor the current administration, what I completely abhor is anyone abusing their public elected position and trust to exploit & strategically hoard knowledge for personal unfair advantage, fortifying their own estates while pacifying the public with carefully cultivated soundbytes, deliberately fostering mass ignorance.
Financially & ideologically, they are the true enemies/underminers/traitors to capitalism in our midst - forever looking out for #1, violating fair competition, taxpayers right to know, devoid of ethics, abusing their access to secure their clique's as well as their own fortunes, while they nonchalantly shrug off the average voters interests if not utterly destroying them. It's not a new phenomena I know, but what is new is that this government, our 'leaders', FAILED miserably to protect its citizens from enemies foreign and domestic, therefore a new level of accountability subordinate to US citizen scrutiny is direly in order, not the complete opposite that's now occurring. On 9/11 the nation witnessed helplessly as thousands of our fellow civilians lost their lives, perishing right before our eyes in person or on tv. In the aftermath, this government in response to its failure, chose not to hold any US department leader responsible for dereliction of duty, but decided instead that civilians rights to privacy & freedom of information were to be held accountable, shamelessly willing to undermine the rights of us all to detect the 'possible' evil few among us that escape the already multi-billion backed clutches allocated for intel, surveillance and defense; adding insult to injury to the general pysche, enhancing 'their' rights while diverting the blame from themselves to the public. Not to cast a paranoia vibe, but with all the litigation racing by, the next winners of the 'person(s) of interest' sweepstakes could very well be one of us.

There are laws being considered in the here & now that can seriously affect ATS and limit freedoms of speech, transparency in government: freedom of information and/or access to it, as well as citizens right to protest these laws, laws that will determine our future conduct and rights on the web. These issues are being decided in the realm of politics/government with maybe slight influence from academia.
Presently one just needs to have steganos,peerguardian, or other wares to see the avalanche of attempted port scans being targetted at one's pc, secretly conducted from gov/corp/edu sites, triggered from each potentially informative click we amateur ignorance-trouncing researchers make on the net. Datamining is Big Biz, from monitoring/predicting consumer behavior, pigeonholing net demographics, and spying on individuals in general. Watching a recent hearing on C-Span regarding spyware I was astounded as well as alarmed that the only 2 people in the room defending spyware or rather cleverly delaying/stonewalling for regulation against it were the very ones the government has appointed to 'supposedly' fight it for us: FTC Commissioner Mozelle Thompson and his deputy.To Deny Surveillance nationally - one must sadly deal with politics.

Also, take "space exploration" for instance. While it's certainly a thought-provoking experience to share science fiction fantasies & speculations on what the final frontiers may hold with each other, any space exploration project [from earth] unfortunately requires dealing with the government and politics: from funding to licenses for airspace,etc...for example the current fate of the Hubble Telescope; an important tool for collecting fascinating cosmic vistas & previously unknown space data for future possible exploration is being decided not by amateur or professional cosmologists, astronomers or space fans, but by politicians. Despite all its past eye-opening marvels & data expanding our intellectual horizons, astrophysicists in the end, have to submissively write their politicans pleading to keep it alive. Here is a tool that with each snapshot truly denies ignorance but present politics will soon have relegated to a floating trashcan, denying knowledge for us all. There are also many rules in politics currently being made regarding the access to information/data collected by tax-paid satellites operated by NRO and other agencies. Sure secret military bases vital to national security need to be protected, but the way things are 'flowing' by my speculation and others, certain behemoths building these crafts(i.e. Boeing or Lockheed) likely have/are/will be privy to this monopolization of space intel giving them huge inside advantages to all future space discovery, climate change,etc, well before the few selected "appealing" scraps are thrown to the public for consumption or in 'urgent' cases, life preservation itself. To prevent these taxpayer funded, ignorance-denying assets & their collected knowledge from being usurped by special interest for exclusive intel, IMO the future fight for the right to know or discern universal facts from science fiction, or Defying Ignorance, will unfortunately have to be fought in the political arena. As for the space exploration critics out there dead set against funding space projects in favor of other ephemeral domestic agendas, a detailed picture from Hubble denies more ignorance for mankind than a trillion dollar war.

Realistically, with many pressing issues & their alarming consequences regarding information at stake, I really don't see how extracting the 'political tumor' from the ATS mind collective will cure it or filter the disinfo onslaught.
IMO ATS members are the knights in shining armor of this dark age.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:02 PM

as posted by DontTreadOnMe
The disinformation just keeps us at each others' throats.

And there lies the quandry: disinformation is what to all of us, as a whole, and to us, as individuals? What sources are spreading this disinformation? The questions can go on.

Not coming down on you DTOM or berating what you said. Merely asking and adding to what I initially mentioned in my original post to this topic thread.


[edit on 17-3-2005 by Seekerof]

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:07 PM
No offense taken.
I even went back to page one to re-read your first post. So easy to find with your cool blue dick to identify you.

It seems this thread keeps going off track. Either that, some folks are confusing what SO is saying. Or, I am confused.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:12 PM

Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
We need to see through this

I don't see the need for such a rush....

"We" are on online community....Regardless of pomp and circumstance, fraud is just as likely here as it is in a lesbian chat room....

The only smokescreen we need to see past, is the one that covers our eyes from the truth....which is that we exist here together via a port of high-stream data that's being shared throughout the world....and that data is made up of our millions of keystrokes per minute....and attempting to garner some form of unified consensus that ignorance denial is key to being a member here on ATS will not only dramatically reduce our membership, but it will set ATS back on its financial goals and render our shiny new server a nice piece of equipment being used for less than it's capable of....

The truth is that there are far too few people who TRULY wish to deny ignorance, and FAR too many people, who'll say they will just to get things back to the way they were....

Ack! I didn't mean to harp on you DTM....nor did I mean to change the momentum of this thread....I just had to get that out there

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:39 PM
BY Goddess! I'm Stunned by this thread.
After all the "corporation" like changes made to ATS these last two we lament about the lack of civility, ethics and loyalty to the IDEA of ATS?

I am stunned...and the best part, SO is that you turn it on the members and decry them as the manipulated puppets! HA!
You want to run it like a business, have a "mission" statement, board of directors, financial consultant and vendor revenue??? Then take the consequences like the CEO of a company should. If there's a starts at the top.

Two years ago this board had a fairly tight, small community that seemed dedicated to discussion, debate and learning. But a small matter came about called "Take Back ATS" and everything changed. Remember that kiddies? Why'd they want to take it back? What didn't they like? Anybody remember? Probably not. The group was blacklisted and banned as a whole...based on the actions of a 'hacking' member. It sure took care of that little problem. It also wiped out dozens of good writers.....but...

Then we got a mission statement: Deny Ignorance.
As if that means anything. It reminds of the banner in 'Office Space' that read "Is this best for the company?" and as pointless. But we had it. The reason, as dictated from our betters, as to why we were here and what we were supposed to do.
Then we started "legitimizing". We had a news network! We had compartments and divisions and layers of bureaucracy. And we got new moderators that had extreme political positions. Some are gone, some remain and you know who you are. Where there once was respect for the established writers who earned the there were demagogues who created little cliques and vigorously hounded out those of different political stripe. The clones set out into the ATS community, the trenches were dug and here we remain.

Then we got big! Oh, do I remember the threads...'ATS 10,000 HITS!', 'ATS 5,000 members in a day!!!" Look at this graph...WE'RE HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and we all cracked the champange, called Google and buried our heads in the sand) How about consequences???

Then we became ALL ABOUT SOURCES! Nothing was looked at or discussed if it didn't come from or or As if a major news company would expose an international government conspiracy on its front page. There should be discernment of course, but what happened to the news hound 'outside' the machine. The little guy exposing the coverup? These used to be the bread and butter for ATS..but now its not good enough. Now we're erudite..we don't even bother. And I find that sad.

So how do we fix this VOD?

VOD: You want my opinion on how to fix?

Sure VOD, why not? Save us from ourselves!

VOD: But I'm just a troublemaker...I've been saying the same things for months. Oh, all right....

1. Lose the motto - If anybody needs a motto to follow, it means you're a follower and a slave. Slavery ain't what made ATS great.
2. Lose the extreme know who they are. Consequently, Hire moderators that exhibit MODERATION! If Masked Avatar hasn't been asked by now...Or soficrow....
3. Leave the members name and info if they're banned. It's disrespectful to leave posts that many people put their time and hearts into..but not their name. Especially when some banning is "politically motivated". It just used to say Banned under their name. That was clean. Either delete everything they've written or give them their name. Of course if you got one guy with 12 points banned the day he signed up, then do what you gotta...but you know what I mean.
4. You post on a topic, you can't moderate it. Simple. Have a problem, run it through the same channels as the rest of us. The power plays and hypocracy of what now happening destroys credibility.
5. Lose all the nonsense rules. Swearing is one of the most beautiful things on the planet...and i can use it like poetry. If it gets out of with the member one-on-one. Its worked before and we didn't have to turn ATS into a family friendly PG rated website. GROWN UPS USE GROWN UP WORDS!
6. Hack down the political know, the ones that turn any topic into a "win" for their political party...*coughGradyphillpotcough*. They rarely add anything to the discourse but MAN can they distract.
7. ACCEPT FEEDBACK! It's not a negative reflection if it makes things better. Authoritarian swagger is repulsive no matter where it comes from.
8. Cliques kill.

That's it kiddies. It may not fix em all would show me you care.

I await my warnings.

There is no enemy anywhere - Lao Tse


posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:53 PM
you have to be kidding me... soficrow is a moderate?

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:26 PM

Originally posted by soficrow

Originally posted by Mahree
Testing before we can post on this board?

This sounds like a protection against questioning misquotes and bad sources.

It seems as though even some moderators are not fit to question these posts.

I guess many of us are "logically impaired". Out with us all.

I was being facetious about people posting as being "logically impaired". Most folks can connect the dots fairly well with a well laid out argument.

by soficrow: If you're referring to my post, Mahree, you misunderstand. I'm certainly NOT saying that testing be required before members can post. ...Just suggesting a way to structure the educational process.

If you feel that you need more education in principles of logic please go right ahead.

posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:29 PM

Originally posted by Voice_of Doom
BY Goddess! I'm Stunned by this thread.

You're loosing your touch... I expected to see a response from you three pages ago.

Two years ago this board had a fairly tight, small community that seemed dedicated to discussion, debate and learning.

There were some serious problems then as well. Not least of which was a very real danger of a complete shut down.

It sure took care of that little problem. It also wiped out dozens of good writers.....but...

All of whom came back eventually... some left again, one was an ATSNN editor. Your point?

This isn't going to be an ATS revamp thread. There are better ways to open that discussion, for which we always listen to ideas.

Our size happened. Plain and simple. It seems you're looking at the results and slightly modifying history to fit what you believe to be the motives. When we threw new hardware at ATS, it immediately grew... signaling apparent existing demand. When that hardware failed to keep up, new and improved hardware again caused in increase in traffic/members. Mottos and moderators were a result of the growth, not a strategy to fuel it.

And what of our growth? It's not a terrible thing for community members to be astonished and proud of their contributions. Some comments have seemed to attribute the "problem" of the subject of this thread to our size. Well, I've seen much smaller board with the same problem. This is societal, not a product of anything happening (or not happening) on ATS. My frustration (that seems continually misunderstood) is that we are the few (conspiracy theorists) who are supposed to notice when we're being manipulated... and we're not.

One more comment about size: I'm fully aware that our large size and seeming "mainstream tone" is very contrary to the roots of what ATS was. Evolution happens. However, I hope that our size is a good thing, but primarily for those who are not yet members. For nearly every topic we cover, we are a top-ten search return on major search engines. Consider us the first step for some... an easy to stomach smorgasbord of conspiratorial topics. For some visitors, it's a first taste that may open eyes and ears. Every day, we regularly receive 20 times more guests than members. That is extremely atypical for a discussion board. Our size is helping people find answers... is that so bad?

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