OP/ED: Ending the Dark Days

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posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
(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"

Your use of "ovine" is to relay what, MaskedAvatar? That I am a sheepherder? Your monitoring of "behavior," in respect to being "courteous," is as vague as your typical encryptic writings. Care to be more descriptive?



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

Errm, since when does a members custom title have anything to do with discussions or the merit of what one has to provide in a discussion?



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.

Your solutions are what?
The search feature is not a useful tool?
Tutorials are not functional or productive?
About ATS topics not contributing to a "better 'medium'?

Please, we are all open to criticism's and improvement. Your constructive solutions, as with soficrow's or anyone else's, are always welcome. Your solution to the problem(s) is what?




seekerof

[edit on 17-3-2005 by Seekerof]




posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

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?





Odd that you describe skills as subjective/objective.



What's wrong with levelling the playing field, I wonder?






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?





NO discussion board is really "held accountable" for content, unless it drifts into illegality.

As far as "self-discovery and self-determination", I am simply proposing that we encourage members to develop skills that help in the quest.

Encourage, not force.


FROM THE HOME PAGE:

"Welcome to the Internet's most popular destination for news, discussion, and debate on government conspiracies, cover-ups, UFO's, and other alternative topics."


FROM THE ABOUT ATS PAGE:

"The idea of "deny ignorance" isn't a goal that ATS hopes to accomplish. Instead, it's a challenge. A call to all those who come here to aspire to a higher state of awareness through informed discussion and debate.

Deny ignorance is what we do.

It's how we think. It's how we talk. It's how we listen.

Ignorance is the creeping crud of history that has clouded our minds and dulled our brains. Is the evil that men do, the reason history repeats, and the cause of intolerance.

We deny it. it's not welcome here. Within these boundaries, it has no strength.

Here, ignorance is denied."


These are some of the claims that brought me to ATS - I'm just taking them as true - and suggesting that we find a better way to encourage members to develop skills needed to pursue these goals. And I'm doing so because SO identified real problems.

I honestly do NOT see how this recommendation is threatening to anyone who is truly committed to ATS principles. ...Can you explain please? And perhaps, offer another solution?


.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:31 PM
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The only way to "end the dark days" is to realize that by engaging in stereotype-laden divisive debate, you're playing their game. If we are to acknowledge that the polarization of issues has been a systematic strategy, we have to learn to stop the knee-jerk reactions to "the other side".

This is a far deeper issue than any feature or posting strategy can solve here on ATS.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
Your use of "ovine" is to relay what, MaskedAvatar? That I am a sheepherder? Your monitoring of "behavior," in respect to being "courteous," is as vague as your typical encryptic writings. Care to be more descriptive?


No, I don't see any flock around you.

What I see, as I have said before, is that it is courteous to avail oneself of the facilities that are made available to learn how to participate, and to participate well. Such courtesy involves reading up a little on a topic and searching. To do too little of that is to be asleep or asheep.


Originally posted by Seekerof
Errm, since when does a members custom title have anything to do with discussions or the merit of what one has to provide in a discussion?


LOL! Only since the humorous sycophantic custom identity badge you wear is in direct contradiction with your espoused philosophy of self-discovery and self-determination.


Originally posted by Seekerof

Your solution to the problem(s) is what?


First, express the "problem" in simple terms, even a cliche or adage, like "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."

Second, select people to solve the "problem", who will solve the "problem".



[edit on 17-3-2005 by MaskedAvatar]



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
The only way to "end the dark days" is to realize that by engaging in stereotype-laden divisive debate, you're playing their game. If we are to acknowledge that the polarization of issues has been a systematic strategy, we have to learn to stop the knee-jerk reactions to "the other side".




True. But mandating compliance hasn't worked.






This is a far deeper issue than any feature or posting strategy can solve here on ATS.



True. But something can be done to ease the effects. This really is an old problem - and breaking free needs ....something. Saying ATS might play a role doesn't make the site (or you) responsible.


There are no problems, only solutions.



.Edit - format gremlin

[edit on 17-3-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:07 PM
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Does this whole question not simply come down to a measure of self-restraint (as has already been suggested in earlier occasions in this thread). I accept of course that this might sound somewhat naively precocious coming from someone who has not really been involved on this site for very long, but it remains my view nevertheless.

Rather then propagate the cycle of tit-for-tat postings, is it not incumbent upon all of us to uphold the community-minded values that have probably played a big part in out choosing to remain engaged with this site: by showing moderation, balance and consideration in our responses. I'm sure that at times upon the road we have all learnt lessons, and now looking back, can use that experience to respond with dignity to those who come after us - this isn't as egotistical as it sounds either - it's a natural part of growing and developing, of acquiring the wisdom that comes from learning from experience, of finding our place in the world, and in supporting others in finding theirs.

Granted, this may well be neither easy, nor necessarily straight-forward if the opposing view is subjective and unbalanced, and that is where sensitivity is required to determine the way forward from that point: I guess if it really can't be saved by constructive posting from responsible members (not just mods), then lock the thread, but explain why, so as to avoid criticism of heavy-handedness, or editorial privilege.

How far this goes in promoting a culture of balanced discussion remains to be seen, but it will at least demonstrate that once a thread really has run it's course, then it ends.

Just my view, as ever.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:15 PM
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I don't like this 'teach debate' one bit. 'level the playing field'

Hogwash I say.

Debates may win arguments but they have NEVER led to the truth. Questions lead to the truth. I remember when I was in high school (long ago) the teacher of some class I can't remember now also was the sponsor for the debate team. She invited me to join the debate team and learn 'proper' skills.

Well I thought that was great. I went to a couple meetings. The others at the meetings were geeks- I was cool (it was long ago). The teacher assigned topics. I looked at mine and told her I didn't like it and wanted another. She told me - - - -

That's what debate is. It is a skill-set to manipulate others. Just like counseling. While working on my MS I also worked the Helpline. I was charged- I had a knack, I could help people see their own problems. Night after night the calls came in. After a few weeks, of turning in the reports every morning on my way to work, I realized all I was doing was facilitating. Whatever it takes to get 'them' from point A to point B. I quit.

This is what you seem to be getting at sofi and I disagree with it. I have read juvenile gibberish on this board that held a pearl of enlightenment. I have also read well versed rhetoric that was nothing more than propaganda.

Who wins? Truth surely doesn't under your view. Now granted i may have misread you- as I often do, but from where I'm at now
on your plan.

I would rather read junk with a little meat than dine on 5 star tofu.

To sofi's questions (all who care- I like sofi a lot)
    re: Lloyds of London
    sofi says: Not tracking here. ...? What do you mean?

I posted the Lloyds expose' in the hopes others would jump up and shout. No one did. You saw it as part of a growing problem, as do I. I also see it as more proof of a master conspiracy.
(side note- in ATS another thread I point out why I think it will backfire dramatically)

    Re: Jo Stalin and voting
    sofi says: Don't see how you draw that parallel. It's not about voting

BUT it is. Approvals are voting by another name. When we discriminate against the unlearned we have assumed not only arrogance but are dancing with the bride of ignorance. Who decides? Is there a grade level? How about non-English speakers that struggle just to post:
'das nut su- t gormnt - - -'

Who speaks up for these people? Who translates so they can 'debate' better?
    RE: . . .like some but not this
    sofi says: Okay, but tell me why, please.


Much of what goes on is not 'debate.' Much is more like mini-position statements. Lots of the time new information is shared and new thought emerges, but debates? There is a forum just for debating.

Finally- from two threads the truth emerges pregnant in its understatement:
    SO says:
    If we are to acknowledge that the polarization of issues has been a systematic strategy, we have to learn to stop the knee-jerk reactions to "the other side".

    This is a far deeper issue than any feature or posting strategy can solve here on ATS


Talk conspiracy (and this guy doesn't believe in space aliens, hah). This is believable. I have no doubt and don't require proof. Sometimes life provide enough.

Don't forget linguistic manipulation.
.

.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:21 PM
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It would be nice to see an end to the constant, knee jerk "anti-Bush", or a few years ago "anti-Clinton" stuff.

The men on top are tools, of their respective elite. The rich businessmen who run things support whichever party they think they can control best. Fatcats are on both sides of the aisle.

Conservatives are liberals and liberals are all over the map. D and R don't mean squat. Except to those who lock step with party lines.

Revolution begins at home.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:22 PM
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Personally, I don't think it's a problem of opinions, rather it's not a problem at all. It's simply the result of a community getting larger and is indictative of the success of ATS, which has already shown it's ability to expand and evolve by the fact that it's gotten this far and reached this many people. We could discuss opinions, or have a great philosophocal debate about the nature of truth. There isn't a problem that needs a solution, ATS has simply reached the next nodal point in it's evolution.

But we must be careful not to exclude anyone. An exclusionary tactic would be coutner to the motto of denying ignorance. We are all here to seek the truth, no matter what form it may take. Proclaiming that we have the right to pick and choose who is allowed to have a voice, and who must sit in silence assumes that we ourselves are right. To deny ignorance you must accept the fact that you may be wrong. ATS is a community, composed of a vast array of ages, locations and yes, even educational levels. Just because someone isn't as well versed in the rules of logic or formal philosophocal debate as you are doesn't mean they can't offer somthing to the topic.

However, I must agree, somthing should be done. I enjoy the time I spend on ATS because of the quality of the topics and discussions, and the fair governing of the mods. I've tried to maintain a pressence on many boards in the past, it's always the same story. There are a few dedicated people who, despite their differences, and often because of them, add to the quality of the board. All the rest is a flame war. But ATS isn't like any other board, it has a goal. Only when we work together are we able to reach that goal.

We would all lose if ATS adopted some form of educational segregation. We cannot reprogram our members, deny hyprocrisy. What is needed is a reassement of the current business plan so to speak. Personally I think some of the rules for posting should be stricter, such as rules on post content. Perhaps creating an option one can enable when creating a new thread to increase the minimum post length requirement to try and deter one line responses like "Bush=hitler PERIOD". Or rather the option to keep your thread restricted to members with a certain number of points or time on the board regardless of what section the thread is posted in.

This would allow self governing regulation for those of us interested in intelligent debate and discussion. This would also allow newcomers to mix with established members in un-restricted threads and in some cases earn their respect and become a productive member of the community.

I think you'll find the solution lies in a few simple changes here and there. This is a conpsiracy board, we can't be making our own conspiracy to control the board. Maybe just creating a chat room would distract the intellectually challenged enough that they'd stay off the boards. We just have to be careful not to over complicate this to the point where we all just give up. ATS is one of the best forums on the net, let's keep it that way.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow

True. But mandating compliance hasn't worked.


No, it most certainly hasn't.

Perhaps one should view SO's original post as a wakeup call and look within themselves to see if they might be part of the problem.

Right now there are only problems.
The solutions are there, people just refuse to see them.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by Banshee


Right now there are only problems.
The solutions are there, people just refuse to see them.


The solution is right before our eyes. Or right behind them to be more specific. It is within us. We each choose to type every word we put on this board WE CHOOSE! We choose to lead or to be lead. We choose to follow the party lines and trash the other. We choose to slander and insult. We choose to spew belittleing comments which are never warranted. People, it is OUR choice how we post here. It is OUR choice how we interact with one another. It is our choice to be tolerant and accepting of others opinions, or not.

So what's it gonna be people? The choice to be civil to your fellow human, or the choice to belittle and berate an opposing view? You dont have to like what they say, just be nice when you tell them. Simple social manners should be in everyones etiquitte when engaging in a discussion.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks

I don't like this 'teach debate' one bit. 'level the playing field' ...Debates may win arguments but they have NEVER led to the truth. ...That's what debate is. It is a skill-set to manipulate others.





I agree totally. Exactly why I suggested that we encourage people to learn about it. IMO - manipulators use these tricks to polarize people and prevent discussion. ...If everyone knew how to identify the tricks, they would be less likely to get sucked in.






Hogwash I say.

Questions lead to the truth.





I agree. That's why I won't participate in "debunking" attacks, and why I DO want to learn the 'Socratic Method.'






This is what you seem to be getting at sofi and I disagree with it.





Not what I'm talking about at all. I've made it clear since I first joined that I consider the debate format to be unproductive because it's too adversarial. ...But I DO think people need to learn the 'rules' in order to protect themselves.

I think I described my recommendation earlier here as "intellectual self-defense." ...The only reason I recommended testing and titles along with it was for 'motivation.'






I have read juvenile gibberish on this board that held a pearl of enlightenment. I have also read well versed rhetoric that was nothing more than propaganda.





Exactly.





Who wins? Truth surely doesn't under your view. Now granted i may have misread you- as I often do, but from where I'm at now
on your plan.




I think you misread me. Let me know.





I would rather read junk with a little meat than dine on 5 star tofu.



Me too.





    Re: Jo Stalin and voting
    sofi says: Don't see how you draw that parallel. It's not about voting

BUT it is. Approvals are voting by another name. When we discriminate against the unlearned we have assumed not only arrogance but are dancing with the bride of ignorance. Who decides? Is there a grade level? How about non-English speakers that struggle just to post:
'das nut su- t gormnt - - -'

Who speaks up for these people? Who translates so they can 'debate' better?




All good points, legitimate criticisms. ...Not sure if/how they could be handled. I suspect it's moot tho - doesn't seem to be a lot of support for this little kite - so I won't waste any energy trying to figure out how to make it work.






Much of what goes on is not 'debate.' Much is more like mini-position statements. Lots of the time new information is shared and new thought emerges, but debates? There is a forum just for debating.





A LOT of manipulation occurs here camouflaged as 'debunking' and 'debate' - and the un-prepared are sucked in or left floundering, with no recourse but to resort to name-calling, because they know at a gut level they're being abused.





Finally- from two threads the truth emerges pregnant in its understatement:
    SO says:
    If we are to acknowledge that the polarization of issues has been a systematic strategy, we have to learn to stop the knee-jerk reactions to "the other side".

    This is a far deeper issue than any feature or posting strategy can solve here on ATS


Talk conspiracy (and this guy doesn't believe in space aliens, hah). This is believable. I have no doubt and don't require proof. Sometimes life provide enough.

Don't forget linguistic manipulation.



I agree.

IMO - The manipulations work because people don't recognize the tricks and don't have the skills to 'block' the blows. Which is why I recommend teaching 'intellectual self-defense.' The first part of self-defense is knowing the moves - else how can you block them?


.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:13 PM
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edit: nm

[edit on 17-3-2005 by negativenihil]



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:19 PM
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Interesting thread.

I do like threads like this, so please keep it up.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:25 PM
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Cant we all just get along?

Come on now people... let the dream of a non black band banner live for a moment...

we have actually had the Doc and Sofi agreeing on something so anything can truely happen...

come on MA, come on Seekerof, everyone... Lets all have a big GROUP HUG!

ok who was pinching me?



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:25 PM
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I'm still finding it difficult to see how people can be so partisan when BOTH sides are so completely wrong...
And usually, most acknowledge this, and simply go with the one they feel is LESS wrong... (this past election I've been guilty of this as well....as I knew my candidate didn't have a prayer).

Well, I for one am tired of thinking that way. I'm tired of thinking I have to choose the lesser of two evils. I also believe that others (far more than you think) are feeling the same way. For example, the most staunch Republican I know (the guy even collects Reagan stuff) is now actively involved in the Libertarian party.

Partisanship has gotten to the point where we've allowed a candidate to completely bypass the electoral process, and the nation doesn't even seem to give a #. That's not just sad, it's pathetic.

I wonder if we have the power to reverse it, or if we're just destined to innaugurate Jeb in '08....well, apathy won't change it around, so personally, I'm not choosing the lesser of two evils, or any candidate, for any position, based on partisanship, but moreso on their character and ability to do the job and best represent the wishes of the citizens....



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
I'm still finding it difficult to see how people can be so partisan when BOTH sides are so completely wrong...



There is only one other member I have ever seen being so emphatic about "BOTH" sides as if there are two ... you're not a biker in disguise, are you?

PS. I only like hugging my favorite ATS member.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:39 PM
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    sofi said:
    IMO - The manipulations work because people don't recognize the tricks and don't have the skills to 'block' the blows. Which is why I recommend teaching 'intellectual self-defense.' The first part of self-defense is knowing the moves - else how can you block them?

damnit sofi
*whip me MODs*

WE can NOT be in agreement! Sigh- (sound of being had)
props to you EXCEPT the titles- I don't like titles and this is NOT a teaching forum.

While there may be a lot to learn here the idea of 'teaching debate' so that people can better defend themselves is just duplicitous trickery.

Mouthy people (even if by written word) exist everywhere on this board. I've seen lots of whams thrown at bullies and tricksters from people they weren't addressing. If people want to pick up some ideas (learn by another name) then they will, but to award titles is laughable. I don't like the present titles, sure wouldn't like any others.
*savior of the day
*life-rope of the uninitiated
*knight in shining armor
*super-savior
etc.

Nope-
that idea.

sign me up for ATS kung-fu-ko 102

.

.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong

Cant we all just get along?




...I think we can, given half a chance.

Problem is, I think SO is right. There IS a conspiracy to polarize people and keep them polarized. And the weasels know all the tricks. They sneak in here and do schtuff to keep everyone at each others' throats.

Enough I say. Time to neutralize the strategy. ...Question is "How?"






we have actually had the Doc and Sofi agreeing on something so anything can truely happen...




DrH and I agree lots. Just not about politics.


But we're good friends anyway. Right, Doc?






come on MA, come on Seekerof, everyone... Lets all have a big GROUP HUG!

ok who was pinching me?



I did it. Sorry. Meant to be more gentle.


.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks
    sofi said:
    IMO - The manipulations work because people don't recognize the tricks and don't have the skills to 'block' the blows. Which is why I recommend teaching 'intellectual self-defense.' The first part of self-defense is knowing the moves - else how can you block them?

damnit sofi
*whip me MODs*

WE can NOT be in agreement! Sigh- (sound of being had)
props to you EXCEPT the titles- I don't like titles and this is NOT a teaching forum.

sign me up for ATS kung-fu-ko 102






HAH ! Does this mean you like the basic idea? It does, doesn't it? Yeehaw!

And I LIKE that name: "ATS kung-fu-ko"


.






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