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OP/ED: Ending the Dark Days

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posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 10:08 AM
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ATS and ATSNN offer real opportunities to discuss ideas, identify problems and debate solutions. Which makes this a dangerous place. So all too often, as ScepticOverlord laments, the potential is lost in a strategically manipulated focus on partisanship. True, disagreement between people is inevitable - but a degeneration into uncivilized accusations that prevents discussion is not a necessary given. Maybe the solution involves a more formal approach to education, with testing and formal recognition. Why not get real about denying ignorance? Why not create tests so members can earn titles like Philospher, Mediator and Negotiator?


 


I agree with SO that polarization is perhaps the greatest conspiracy of our time. Unfortunately, a few key people encourage partisanship - and push the polarization. And it's not just new members or committed Democrats or Republicans - several mods are guilty of helping to keep the strategy alive, well and flourishing here at ATS. Worse, we all know that some people here know the rules of logic, and they twist them to use in illogical strategy, to prey on the less educated and ruin discussion.

So what's the solution? Remove the opportunity? Give up? Build up the police force and create harsher punishments? Go on a witchhunt, and gear up the namecalling?

Nah. This problem is as old as time and human socialization. It's just an education problem. Every new member needs to be educated on the rules of logic, intelligent discourse, problem-solving, mediation and negotiation. And we all need to be constantly vigilant - because even educated and aware people fall into the trap and get sucked into the "taking sides" vortex.

So why not keep doing what we say we're doing, just better? We're here to deny ignorance and educate, right? ATS acknowledges productivity and popularity. Time to acknowledge education.

Several threads here teach logic, the basic principles of reasoning, and outline the fallacies and traps. So create a test. Members who pass the test are credited as "Philosophers" or "Logicians." Resources also exist to teach the basics of mediation or negotiation; a test can be designed; titles can follow. Members can test to earn points and titles like "Mediator" and "Negotiator" too. Or maybe devise a series of tests and levels for the three main areas.

Seems to me that this approach will serve several purposes. It will teach self-defense to the logically and life-skills impaired. It will help keep discussion reasonable by giving people the tools they need to participate productively. It will help prevent distraction, redirection and hijacking - and cut the illogical game-playing partisan-promoters off at the knees - through education.

ATS is about denying ignorance, which means it's about education. So take the bull by the horns and just DO it.



Remember: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks.


.




posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 10:47 AM
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Those are great ideas sofi

if even a few are used, then things will get better...

for those that dont know... I was originally a sofi skeptic... and a skeptic in general...

Thru the process that sofi illistrated quite elegantly, she educated me into a new understanding. Her process doesn't work with everyone... as it shouldn't... but with open exchange of ideas, with open minded people who don't take themselves to seriously or comments too personally...positive change is possible

we are all on the same team or we wouldn't be here...
we just have different ideas about what the team needs to do or think or believe... and research and experience is a valid way to "educate" other people.

You can never change someone mind by calling them names, or putting down their ideas... only by questioning them... and being willing to accept the answer will that be accomplished...

keep it real people and keep the childish comments and personal attacks in the hate group boards...(of which the internet offers many, and ATS isn't one of them)

thanks to Skeptic overlord for bringing this to our attention, and thanks to sofi for making the first non mod step towards restoring the respect of the board.

blessed are the peacemakers...



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow



Remember: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks.


I love that quote




Sofi,

I have scanned through SO's thread and found some intresting points to back up his view. However, I feel that you too, have made some very well put points here. Im not sure about testing requirments or titles, but I DO know that there is a general lack of maturity on the boards. Tolerance and acceptance are two words that have been throw around alot here lately. Why cant we actually embrace tolerance and acceptance instead of rejecting them?

I honestly believe that the problems we are witnessing here on the board is indicitive of the inherant problem of humanity. Someone always has to be right. People all over the world are acting the same way we are. It is not just a problem relegated to ATS. We are human and as such, we have some very basic needs. The main goal of our subconsious is survival. Look at the world we live in. What percentage of the world population actually goes one day without some thought of war, invasion, violence, hate, oppression, ect ect.....? I would be willing to bet that the majority of us Humans are subconsiously scared for our lives at some point every day. This fear permeates us and is manifested in our actions and words. We feel safe when we are right. We feel secure when the majority thinks like us. The fact is, there is no majority. We are all a minority in a world of hate. The best we can ever hope to do is come to terms with this and realize that we are who we are and it doesnt matter one bit if your neighbor agrees with you or not. What should count for you is yourself and your own opinions.

With our inate fear, we have lost the fundamental respect for our fellow man/woman. It is this respect that we must seek out and embrace, else we shall continue on the path we are trodding.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 11:04 AM
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I don't think creating more titles will help build effective community. Take my criticism to heart. The problem that we suffer is one stemming from the dynamics of text based communication.

The problems we deal with here on ATS are systemic. It doesn't mean we cannot solve them but it does insist a resolution addressing the system not the users so to say.

After studying IT and Community Development for a year at The Evergreen State College I have found through repeated experiments that developing a web-community based on a 'one' concept not only will fail but will ultimately not satisfy the community in what they seek.

ATS is a community not built on a concept of one. We are a diverse community meeting the needs of a diverse public. With this come the systemic problems I am speaking of.

Interpersonal communication between diverse peoples is difficult as it is in day to day life but add annonymity and people feel they have a bigger 'personal space' where things such as politeness, couth, tolerance and self-restrictions may not exist as they do in real life.

What are the solutions? I think we can use this OP/ED Soficrow has created to address them and to update each new page 1,2,3,4,5,6,7... with updates of Proposed solutions to keep the thread on track and progressing.

Kidfinger: I made a post called ' The Fractal Nature of Human Culture's Disease' that talked about exactly that. We are a microcosm of the world and the same problems in the world between countries can be found between two people...if you can search for it and check it out you will see I was thinking this way back and also created the post 'Why Can't We Be Greater' talking about this too. But it takes SO's post and arm band to draw attention.



[edit on 17-3-2005 by 00PS]



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Those are great ideas sofi

if even a few are used, then things will get better...




Thanks. Just hope it will get the ball rolling.






Thru the process that sofi illistrated quite elegantly, she educated me into a new understanding. Her process doesn't work with everyone... as it shouldn't...




You're giving me too much credit. Half the time I wing it. ..I did take philosphy in university, did well in logic and went into pre-law - but that was a long time ago. I've forgotten a lot and need a refresher, at least. ...I have fun with the debate structure, but I think it's too adversarial for teaching/learning. I'm trying to learn what's now called the "Socratic Method" - it's gentler, and more respectful.





we are all on the same team or we wouldn't be here...
we just have different ideas about what the team needs to do or think or believe... and research and experience is a valid way to "educate" other people.

You can never change someone mind by calling them names, or putting down their ideas... only by questioning them... and being willing to accept the answer will that be accomplished...









kidfinger

I have scanned through SO's thread and found some intresting points to back up his view. However, I feel that you too, have made some very well put points here.




...I agree with SO totally (except the part where he says I'm biased
) - just trying take things on to the next step.






I honestly believe that the problems we are witnessing here on the board is indicitive of the inherant problem of humanity. Someone always has to be right. People all over the world are acting the same way we are. It is not just a problem relegated to ATS.

...With our inate fear, we have lost the fundamental respect for our fellow man/woman. It is this respect that we must seek out and embrace, else we shall continue on the path we are trodding.





True. ...But why does that happen? IMO - you're right - it's a kind of "ego-survival." ...And education pulls people out of the pit, gives them MORE of everything they need to survive AND triumph - without feeling the need to stomp the "competition" into oblivion.




OOPS

I don't think creating more titles will help build effective community.





...Just an acknowledgment I felt was needed - to me, the core idea is the learning. ...The tests and titles are more by way of being motivators.






The problem that we suffer is one stemming from the dynamics of text based communication.





Only partly I think. ...I have an eclectic group of friends - get them all in the same room at the same time, and sparks DO fly. ...Because everyone is quite civilized, topics are dropped with regularity - and open discussion does NOT happen. But what if? What if we created a room full of people where despite differences, we could talk openly about things we disagreed upon?

..I have been lucky enough to be part of such groups. They're not common, and not easy to create - but they can and do exist.






The problems we deal with here on ATS are systemic. It doesn't mean we cannot solve them but it does insist a resolution addressing the system not the users so to say.





I tried to do both. Can you expand? Not sure what follows, or what you're saying is needed/missing.






ATS is a community not built on a concept of one. We are a diverse community meeting the needs of a diverse public. With this come the systemic problems I am speaking of.

...What are the solutions? I think we can use this OP/ED Soficrow has created to address them and to update each new page 1,2,3,4,5,6,7... with updates of Proposed solutions to keep the thread on track and progressing.




Excellent.
and thanks.


...I know that I'm a bit of a bull-dozer. I go thru my process, get the picture, charge on to look for solutions and start shooting my mouth off. ...It's manipulation inversed. Totally backward. I don't prepare the ground, don't share the process, don't go one step at a time or wait for other people to catch up. And often of course, just shoot myself in the foot. ...I'm workin on it. But I hope people with be patient and get past my mistakes - and really LOOK at how we can fix this problem we have. ATS can only get better IMO. It will just take all of us recognizing that we're working towards the same goals.


.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 12:36 PM
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Let us celebrate in our similarities, and learn from our differences...

we are all people that are concerned about conspiracy and information disclosure. (otherwise, why are you here?)
that is a basis that everyone can build upon...

i would go so far as to say...
"we all want to know the truth"

let us go forth and learn the truth, and be willing to accept it... once it is proven...



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow


kidfinger

I have scanned through SO's thread and found some intresting points to back up his view. However, I feel that you too, have made some very well put points here.




...I agree with SO totally (except the part where he says I'm biased
) - just trying take things on to the next step.


Sofi, we are all biased to what we believe in. Me, you, and even the mighty SO. Saying someone is biased isnt necessaraly a bad thing. It simply means that you favor one opinion over another. We are ALL biased.






I honestly believe that the problems we are witnessing here on the board is indicitive of the inherant problem of humanity. Someone always has to be right. People all over the world are acting the same way we are. It is not just a problem relegated to ATS.

...With our inate fear, we have lost the fundamental respect for our fellow man/woman. It is this respect that we must seek out and embrace, else we shall continue on the path we are trodding.





True. ...But why does that happen?


Our basic need for survival kicks in subconsiously when something threatens us. Whether its an opinion or an action, the threat is the basic underlying cause,



IMO - you're right - it's a kind of "ego-survival." ...And education pulls people out of the pit, gives them MORE of everything they need to survive AND triumph - without feeling the need to stomp the "competition" into oblivion.


Education is part of the answer. The rest of the solution is that we as a people understand that we are ALL individuals with different backgrounds and life histories, and learn to respect this basic principle of tolerance. Respect for anothers opinion is a must on a board that wishes to keep the mud slinging relegated to the trash bin. We will never agree on everything all the time, but respect should be a never ending goal that we all strive towards.



It will just take all of us recognizing that we're working towards the same goals.


This is where we will run into more problems. Everyones goals are not the same. Overall, we are here to deny ignorance and educate ourselves with what we feel we lack from society. But that is all most our goals have in common. Deep down, we all have our true reasons for doing what we do and existing where we are in life and here in cyber space. Those reasons are fundamentally different for each of us. This is where respect and tolerance come into play. Yes, when you boil it down, we all share the same overall goals here, but the paths we took to understanding those goals is different for everyone. I have to respect the fact that people dont view things the way I do. All I can really do is voice my opinion as ambigously as possible so not to be offensive and hope that others will share my views, or at least help me understand what I am missing.



Sofi, you do a wonderful job here. That is my opinion. There may be some who dissagree, but does that make me wrong? No. In my eyes, and many others, you are a major contributor to ATS and you always attempt to be truthfull and honest when posting. When you learn something new that may change an opinion you hold, you are the first to admit it. You attempt to hold intelligent debates as opposed to billigerent debates, and , well, you are my adopted daughter, so I guess I am biased
But does my bias towards you make me a bad person? Do my views on the US government make me any less of a loving father? In all honesty, most of us are good people who I would share a shot of jegermiester with any time. Even though we dont see eye to eye, we dont have to hate and berate. I think we all need to realize that the true monsters in this world will never even let you know they are around. They are the ones pulling our strings and directing our misguided malcontent at the wrong people.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 12:55 PM
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Kid..........absolute brilliance yet again


The mods are not accounting for "harrassment" by passonate members when someone has a different and passionate veiw.

Convictions and values other than their own seem to bother several members................stating a belief in those differences becomes "hate" speech.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid
Convictions and values other than their own seem to bother several members................stating a belief in those differences becomes "hate" speech.


I don't think the point of this whole "Dark Days" discussion has anything to do with people having their own opinions. Nor does it specifically have to with exposing faults in opinions/beliefs/etc. brought about by ignorance.

It has to do with a belief in "black" vs. "white." "For us or against us." In fact, it is the diversity of opinion that we wish to embrace.

Here are some examples of this polarization:
"If you are against the war in Iraq, you must be a terrorist or you must like genocide."
"If you support Bush, you must want to kill the environment and attack all countries who don't agree with you."

It's these kinds of assumptions that attempt to label people one way or another without allowing for discussion of the topic. Partially, it is ad hominem attacks (trying to disestablish the credibility of a person on a personal level). Such attacks usually have nothing to do with the discussion at hand, but aren't meant to discredit their opinions because of who they are. The result of which is usually the labels you see, like "liberal crybaby" or "neocon warmonger".

The other part of this polarization is basically a license to commit logical fallacy, which comes into play with making assumptions based on labels.

So it comes down to, in the eyes of those polarized, you can only be for an issue or against it and by extrapolating views on an issue, assumptions are made about their feelings on other issues by using the simplest generalization possible.

These are just my observations. Please feel free to add!



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn

Originally posted by DrHoracid
Convictions and values other than their own seem to bother several members................stating a belief in those differences becomes "hate" speech.


I don't think the point of this whole "Dark Days" discussion has anything to do with people having their own opinions. Nor does it specifically have to with exposing faults in opinions/beliefs/etc. brought about by ignorance.

It has to do with a belief in "black" vs. "white." "For us or against us." In fact, it is the diversity of opinion that we wish to embrace.

Here are some examples of this polarization:
"If you are against the war in Iraq, you must be a terrorist or you must like genocide."
"If you support Bush, you must want to kill the environment and attack all countries who don't agree with you."

It's these kinds of assumptions that attempt to label people one way or another without allowing for discussion of the topic. Partially, it is ad hominem attacks (trying to disestablish the credibility of a person on a personal level). Such attacks usually have nothing to do with the discussion at hand, but aren't meant to discredit their opinions because of who they are. The result of which is usually the labels you see, like "liberal crybaby" or "neocon warmonger".

The other part of this polarization is basically a license to commit logical fallacy, which comes into play with making assumptions based on labels.

So it comes down to, in the eyes of those polarized, you can only be for an issue or against it and by extrapolating views on an issue, assumptions are made about their feelings on other issues by using the simplest generalization possible.

These are just my observations. Please feel free to add!


Sorry but a vast number do see things as "Black" or "White" right or wrong. Outlandish accussations should be answered and corrected. I agree it can be done without finger pointing.............

Just linking to a 'supportive" website doesn't make data true or fact. Removing years of "brainwashing" can be seen as "hate" by the "programed".



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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Can I start a topic next called "planning the Rennaissance"?




There is nothing 'strategically manipulated' about partisanship. It is force of habit and mental laziness.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:25 PM
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I'm a married liberal:
I'm for gay rights all the way to marriage
I'm against abortion when used instead of birth control
I think we should try a legalized drug environment
I'm not a Christian-- think it's illogical
think there's too much racism, still
Pissed at the Democrats--would love a third party

Just a few of my Charactistics that bring out the worst in people and in me when trying to defend them. But I'm game for anything that will make this a better place to learn, [ and I do learn here, even from conservatives,] and help me be less offended when people use the word liberal as if it's analogous to Hitler.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn

Originally posted by DrHoracid
Convictions and values other than their own seem to bother several members................stating a belief in those differences becomes "hate" speech.


I don't think the point of this whole "Dark Days" discussion has anything to do with people having their own opinions. Nor does it specifically have to with exposing faults in opinions/beliefs/etc. brought about by ignorance.

It has to do with a belief in "black" vs. "white." "For us or against us." In fact, it is the diversity of opinion that we wish to embrace.






And it's all about discussion - finding new information, playing with it - and learning and growing in the process.





Originally posted by DrHoracid

Sorry but a vast number do see things as "Black" or "White" right or wrong. Outlandish accussations should be answered and corrected. I agree it can be done without finger pointing.............





True, but if all that's happening is a stating and restating of a position or opinion - then there is no discussion. ...Debate, discussion and understanding happen when people are willing to "flesh out" their ideas - and explain exactly what they think, and why they think it..

Simply repeating the same things, and resorting to namecalling or blaming isn't productive - it just goes around in circles without ever getting anywhere.

...But the ability to flesh out, expand and articulate ideas is a skill - it has to be learned. IMO - if we want to have fruitful, productive discussions, we need to keep honing our skills and be willing to teach newcomers too.

We can't hold people accountable for not having skills they never had the opportunity to learn.






Just linking to a 'supportive" website doesn't make data true or fact. Removing years of "brainwashing" can be seen as "hate" by the "programed".




True. Part of the "process" involves learning how to find information, and assess and evaluate it - next steps involve analyzing the data, categorizing, cross-referencing, speculating - the fun creative part.

...If we get stuck in "opinions" - we lose all the fun - and the learning and growing part of the process.





posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:34 PM
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I wonder if the administration of ATS is afraid that this site will be targeted by various groups that wants to keep people quiet about what is going on around the world and our nation.

How can you even tried to stop this site that is public to become a target by hate groups or others.

I have been thinking about that for quite some time. How dangerous can ATS get to certain interest groups or to our own government or how vulnerable can it get to others to target.

But how can you stop something like that from happening when we are just trying to bring the truth.

If I wanted to be lie at I just listen to the news media and believe everything the tell me.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:45 PM
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Look at the Lloyd's of London stuff as an example- now that is mind blowing. This tied in exactly to the class action arguments. This information and perspective does not come from someone mildly interested in some 'search for truth.' This information was presented in the spirit of debunking. See, nothing altruistic about it. Just plain and simple one-ups-manship


Another example. The political fracus.


Originally posted by DrHoracid
Just linking to a 'supportive" website doesn't make data true or fact. Removing years of "brainwashing" can be seen as "hate" by the "programed".

Ain't it the truth. 'That site's bogus, - - -'

    sofi:
    Why not create tests so members can earn titles like Philospher, Mediator and Negotiator?


Great- like Jo Stalin- all that matters is who counts the votes!

I like most of your stuff sofi, this however isn't some of it.

.

.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:52 PM
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as psoted by soficrow
We can't hold people accountable for not having skills they never had the opportunity to learn.

And let me guess here and correct me if I am wrong: you feel that it is up to this site, ATS, to "educate" and teach people the skills for which you have indicated or are insinuating? So instead of a passive discussion forum, you want us to become teacher's and educational guru's and then test each member based on those subjective/objective teachings?

Is this the intended purpose of ATS? Is ATS to be held accountable for not only content, but now, the proper education of its members? What ever happened to self-discovery and self-determination?



seekerof

[edit on 17-3-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks
Look at the Lloyd's of London stuff as an example- now that is mind blowing. This tied in exactly to the class action arguments. This information and perspective does not come from someone mildly interested in some 'search for truth.' This information was presented in the spirit of debunking. See, nothing altruistic about it. Just plain and simple one-ups-manship






Not tracking here. ...? What do you mean?







    sofi:
    Why not create tests so members can earn titles like Philospher, Mediator and Negotiator?


Great- like Jo Stalin- all that matters is who counts the votes!





...Don't see how you draw that parallel. It's not about voting - it's about people learning to defend themselves against illogical arguments, and to learn the rules of debate and discussion. Threads already exist here on these topics - and they are periodically brought back up.

Some people here DO have the skills - and some abuse them. ...I'm talking about levelling the playing field.

If I were promoting an educational package of specified information, I would 'get' your criticism. But I'm not - I'm talking about teaching skills - how to analyze information logically, how to debate, argue and discuss without shutting down the process.







I like most of your stuff sofi, this however isn't some of it.




Okay, but tell me why, please.



.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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Past 2
I was 'told' I had to have alternatives-

So here are some-

    Nuke people that protect sacred cows. There are a few slots here at ATS that are so well protected by the 'faithful' nothing worthwhile ever comes forward.

    Look at Secret Societies- the place sux. Same old regurgitated protectionist bunk week after week.

    Take the writer-scholar-fighter titles away. I think they are arrogant.

    Remove the WATS symbols. Not only arrogan,t but at least one of the holders seems to feel they are beyond reproach.

    Show the 'why' someone got got banned.

Nothing personal in this. sofi, none of the above reflects to you except tangentially.
.

.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

(1) So instead of a passive discussion forum...
(2) What ever happened to self-discovery and self-determination?




(1) I have never regarded ATS as "passive" - but I have regarded certain behavior by people who decline to be courteous to other members in completing a basic search or in getting a simple grip on the discussion in a topic - as being "ovine"

(2) This is rich, coming from someone whose custom title reads " That Others May Live Go Newt Gingrich!"


I think ATS could be a better medium for 'mutual' education if the information here was always easy for any member to find. But that's a tough ask.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:07 PM
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Take the writer-scholar-fighter titles away. I think they are arrogant.


There is nothing arrogant with those titles. I'm not sure how long you have been on this site, but I can assure you that you're the first to ever concieve it as an act of sheer hubris. They are simply titles delcaring that certain members have/are contributing to alternative ATS programs. I have the title as a writer, so as I can write poetry in the colabrative fiction section. It's open to everyone, and anyone can earn that title indiscriminatley.

We don't need titles, we just need members and moderators to put a foot down when needed.

Deep






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